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Persian Cat Breed Profile

One of the most popular cat breeds registered in Australia if not the world, regal Persian cats have a luxurious, long coat, enjoy spending their days grooming themselves and sitting prettily somewhere they can be admired so they're perfectly suited to life as indoor cats. 

Prized for their stunning long coats and their short, sweet little faces, they have a calm, sweet temperament and are not overly active, which makes them perfect for quiet households. They are, however, a high maintenance cat when it comes to grooming

Persian Cat History

The earliest ancestors of today’s Persian cats originated in Persia (today’s Iran ).

Also known as the "Persian Longhair", these beautiful long-haired cats first arrived in Europe when Pietro della Valle, an Italian nobleman, imported eight cats to Italy in the 16th century. This breed of cat was highly prized by the aristocracy in Europe and as more cats were imported they grew in popularity.

Persians were first shown at the world’s very first all-breed cat show held in London’s Crystal Palace in 1871. 

Persian cats have always had a short face, but today’s Persian cats have a much shorter face than those originally shown. 
The traditional Persian, also known as the Doll Face, does not have the extreme features of the show Persian, and his nose is a normal length, giving him a sweet expression.

Persian Cat Appearance

Persian cats have short legs in relation to their massive body size and should have a very long coat. They are a medium to large breed and carry themselves in a majestic way.Their heads should be massive, very broad and round. 
Persian cats should have strong cheekbones with a short nose that may be slightly turned up. Overall the head should look broad and powerful. They have small rounded ears, spaced well apart and furnished with tufts inside. Persian cats have strikingly large round eyes which they hold wide open. 

Today, flat and peke-faced Persians are overtaking doll face Persians in the show ring and some say in homes.

Their tails are short, but well covered in very long hair. Persian cats are famous for their long, luxurious coats. Their coat is very fine and silky to the touch, and both the top coat and the undercoat should consist of long hair. Their coat does not lie flat but stands away from their body. On average a Persian’s coat will be around 10cm in length.

Persians come in a wide range of colours and patterns including tabbies, colour points, tortoise shells and bi-colours. They are also available in silver and smoke, black, chocolate, red and cinnamon. In fact, they probably come in just about every colour and pattern combination you can think of!

Most Persians have gold or copper coloured eyes, although colourpoints have blue eyes.

  • Weight: Males 5-6 kg (11 – 13 lbs), females 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs) 

Persian Cat Temperament

Persians are peaceful, none-aggressive cats who have a soft sweet voice. They are very quiet and like to live in calm, tranquil conditions. Persian’s are fine with quiet, gentle children but will not enjoy a boisterous, noisy life and will become stressed easily under these conditions. 
Whilst they are very affectionate towards their owners, they tend to keep out of the way of strangers. Persians get along well with other quiet cats and cat-friendly dogs. They don’t mind spending some of the day on their own but are always delighted to see their human. They mature late and are only considered fully grown at 2 years of age. 

Grooming & Maintenance 

There is no escaping the fact that Persian Cats are a high maintenance breed as they’re known to shed heavily. They need to be groomed very regularly, ideally on a daily basis. The coat should be groomed with a stainless steel comb and care must be taken to remove all loose and tangled hair, as well as any mats. A Persian cat’s coat can be very painful to it if it is not groomed regularly.

Persian cats are one of the breeds that need a weekly bath. If you start doing this when you get your Persian as a kitten then it will soon become used to it. Use a shampoo especially designed for long-haired cats and take your time blow drying the coat and combing through it to ensure it doesn’t tangle as it dries.

A Persian cat will also need its face cleaning on a daily basis due to the tendency for their eyes to tear and stain their coat. Pay particular attention to between the eyes. As with any breed of cat, a Persian will need its claws clipping and teeth checking on a regular basis.

Health & Lifespan
Persian cats are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have a short, flat face which can lead to problems such as excessive tearing of the eyes, dental problems, eye ulcers and breathing difficulties

All breeds of cat can be affected by hereditary problems and the Persian cat is no exception. Health concerns that have been known to affect Persian cats, among other breeds, are Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), bladder stones, cystitis and liver shunts.

Responsible breeders work to ensure that their breeding cats are healthy and carry out tests to try and ensure that their kittens are not affected by these problems.

Persians should be able to breathe normally and, even though their eyes will need cleaning every day, they should not produce excessive tears. In general, Persians are healthy and hardy cats but do need to be kept cool in hot weather as they are very heat sensitive.

  • Hypertrophic Cardimyopathy (HCM) is a form of heart disease that can be inherited in Persians. 
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD, is a genetic disease in Persian cats where small cysts in the kidneys can develop. It can result in renal failure. 
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy is present in the Persian gene pool and is thought to cause blindness in later years. 
Obesity is a common health problem so keeping your Persian Cat at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to protect his overall health. 

  • Lifespan: 12-14 years 
  • Recommended for: Families, retirees, indoors 

For more information and to find a registered breeder near you, please visit

Although Persian kittens are almost never found in shelters and rescue, adult Persians, both pedigreed and mixed, are not so fortunate. They may end up in shelters or rescue groups through no fault of their own. You may find the perfect Persian for your family through Persian Cat breed rescue groups or by checking your local shelters.

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