The distinguishing characteristics of the Persian cat are its soft, luxurious coat and its round ‘pansy-like’ face. Also known as Longhairs, Persians come in a wide range of colours, patterns and shades.
The Persian is not a demanding cat, they are typically quiet and docile, as you would expect from their sweet innocent faces. Whilst they aren’t extroverted or particularly active, Persian cats love to play – interactive toys that encourage them to hunt and stalk are always popular, and will save damage to your furniture.
By nature the Persian cat isn’t as independent as other breeds, and they don’t enjoy being left on their own all day (although as long as you have other pets in the house for company will be fine). They crave companionship and at night they will happily lounge around with you, sit on your lap and lavishly enjoy any affection and attention that you bestow upon them.
Did You Know?
The Persian cat got its name from its homeland – Persia – which is now known as Iran. They were first imported from the Middle East in the 17th century when travelling European traders took them back to England along with spices and jewels.
Persian cats were a favourite of royal families in Italy, France and England. Queen Victoria owned two Persian cats and they were also a favourite of Florence Nightingale who owned a large white Persian named Bismarck.
Caring for Your Persian Cat
Due to their long, luxurious and thick coat, it’s not easy for Persian cats to groom themselves. The Persian coat matts easily so to prevent knots and matting they ideally need to be brushed daily or at least 2-3 times a week. Regular brushing will also limit the incidence of hairballs which are common in any long-haired cat.
Dental problems are extremely common in Persians as a result of their flat faces, so yearly dental examinations are recommended. Their flat faces also make them prone to breathing difficulties and issues with their eyes and tear ducts.
Around 50% of this breed suffer from polycystic kidney disease, so it is important to known the signs of this diseases – typically excessive drinking and urination, reduced appetite, weight loss and depression – so that you can seek veterinary advice when needed.
Overall, the Persians are a great choice of cat, they are sweet-natured, affectionate and great company. This pampered puss though, is best suited to an indoor lifestyle (or apartment living) where they are safe from the dangers of the outside world, which they are ill-equipped to deal with.
Have you had a Persian cat in your life? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
Image: Magnus Brath via Flickr