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The Persian Cat – Breed Profile, Care, Diet and Nutrition

Persian cats are the world’s oldest and most famous cat breed. The regal and docile Persian cat is characterized by their long hair, thick and luxuriant with a dense, soft undercoat, round head and flattened flace. Persians are a medium sized stocky breed with a massive head in proportion to its body.

Persians make popular pets due to their calm and sweet disposition. Although Persians tend to be relaxed and easygoing, they tend to limit their affections to humans closest to them.

Persian cats are a popular breed worldwide and are instantly recognisable from their luxurious coat and flattened face.

breed overview

ORIGIN

Persia (known as Iran today)

HEIGHT

14 to 18 inches, not including tail

WEIGHT

7 to 12 pounds

COAT AND COLOUR

Solid (white, black, cream), tabby, calico, bi-color (silver and gold, shaded and smoke, and Himalayan)

EYE COLOR

Blue, green, hazel, copper

LIFE EXPECTANCY

10 to 17 years

history

One of the world’s oldest breed, the Persian cat originated from old Mesopotamia, which was later known as Persia and now modern day Iran.

In the 17th century, an Italian Nobleman introduced the Persian cat to Europe, which at that time had shiny, silky and gray fur. It was only through selective breeding that  Persian cats acquired their famous long hair in a kaleidoscope of colors, including bi-color in which a white coat is accompanied with another colour.

Through selective breeding too, the Persian cats today typically have a round head, short face, snub nose, chubby cheeks, small, rounded ears, big eyes, and a sturdy body. Their fur was longer than that of the Angora cat, and they had shorter legs.

The Persian cat was first imported in the United States in the late 19th century and their popularity has grown since making them the most beloved cat breed, prized for their beautiful appearance and sweet disposition.

personality

Dignified and docile, the Persian cat enjoys a quiet and serene environment. They reserve their attention for family members and those few guests whom they feel they can trust.

A Persian cat is happiest in her spot on the floor or on a favourite furniture. You will not find a Persian cat climbing up curtains, jumping from furniture to furniture and perched on a shelf. Not an attention seeker, the Persian cat would rather lounge in a sofa or bed and happily receive any attention along the way.

care

A Persian cat is happiest indoors. They do not mix well with other cats, dogs and being outdoors. Persian cats have simple needs and not clingy. They simply require regular meals, a little playtime and lots of love, which they return tenfold

The Persian cat’s long hair does not stay beautiful and lustrous on its own. Daily grooming is an essential in caring for a Persian cat, which includes combing and brushing their hair.

Due their long hair, litter may get lodged in a Persian’s paws and coat. As a scrupulously clean cat breed, both their coat and litter box must be kept clean at all times or they will stop using the litter box.

The breed is also prone to eye discharge. Do wipe the corners of the eyes clean daily to prevent under-eye stains from forming.

common health problems

Studies revealed that Persian cats are prone to a number of potential health problems, most commonly related to their facial structure:

  • Breathing difficulty or noisy breathing caused by constricted nostrils
  • Dental disease, due to the teeth not meshing well together
  • Eye discharge due to excessive tearing
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Kidney disease
  • Predisposition to ringworm, a fungal infection
  • Skin disease that causes itchiness, redness and hair loss

diet and nutrition

As picky eaters, be prepared to try feeding Persian cats with different types of food before they find something they like. It is a good idea to get a good mix of high protein, fiber and low fat food, which can be wet, dry and combination of both.

A Persian cat may refuse certain food due the structure of the food. Their flat faces may pose difficulty in eating food of certain shapes an sizes.

Be mindful not to overfeed a Persian cat as their inactivity may lead to weight gain and obesity. Do feed set amounts twice a day instead of leaving food out all of the time to limit overeating.

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