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What is a Persian Cat?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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The Persian cat is a very popular breed of domestic cat and is an especially popular show cat. Persian cats are large-bodied with a wide head, widely spaced ears, a short muzzle, rounded cheeks, large eyes and fairly short legs. The Persian cat originated in the Iranian plateau, but has developed through breeding with British longhaired cats and Angora cats in the nineteenth century. American Persian cats were developed through breeding with Maine Coon cats and Angora cats.

The Persian cat needs consistent grooming. Daily brushing as well as combing with a metal comb helps prevent matting. Baths are usually necessary for this breed about once a month and should be started when Persians are kittens so that they don't resist the bathing as much when they are older. Be sure the process is gentle and as non-traumatic as possible. Those who don't want to spend a lot of time carefully grooming a cat should definitely consider another breed than a Persian!

While the white Persian cat is probably the most easily recognized, there are actually many different colors of Persians. They range from white to black and both solid and point varieties are available. The seven color types of Persians are: solid, silver and gold, shaded and smoke, Himalayan, Tabby, Calico and parti-color. Some types of Persians have shorter muzzles than other varieties.

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Shorter muzzles can cause breathing and sinus problems. The Persian cat is also prone to Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) in which cysts grow in the kidneys, reduce kidney function and lead to kidney failure. PKD usually strikes cats between three and ten years of age.

The Persian cat is known for being gentle and for its loyalty and affection. It is often a good breed to have in homes with children and other animals. However, this indoor breed tends to do best in a quiet, stable home as it tends to prefer routine and security. Due to its short-legged, sturdy body type, the Persian is not a very high jumper. It is usually considered one of the less active cat breeds.

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