08 May Persian Cat
- Size: Medium-large, 7 to 12 lbs
- Energy Level: 1/5
- Talkative: 2/5
- Coat: Very long, thick and requires habitual grooming
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Seeking: Anyone willing to brush me regularly and not make sudden, loud noises
- Child Friendly: Yes
- Personality Snapshot: Very zen-like, quiet and gentle, loves to lounge and affectionate yet undemanding
I don’t mean to brag, but I’m officially the most popular cat breed – in fact, I’ve been number one since the CFA started keeping records and that was a long time ago (1871).
And ‘though my personality does factor in – I’m the whole package, baby! – a lot of my popularity admittedly has to do with my looks.
Let’s start with my larger-than-life, fabulously fluffy coat. It’s longer and oh, so much fuller than other cats’ coats. I’d even go so far as to say it’s the envy of the feline world. Apart from flaunting various shades and patterns, it is also very dense, which makes me look absolutely regal. Just to make things even more interesting, my coat has over 80 color combinations and patterns, easily making it one of the most diverse – and most glamorous – in the world of cat fancy.
Sigh. My coat is so, so sinfully luxurious, it’s almost a crime to keep it to myself.
And I like to spread the wealth around. Although I hate talking about my great deeds, you should know that I’ve generously lent my genes so that new breeds could be born with my beloved and popular coat. The Himalayan cat is one popular example of a cat breed that’s benefited from my selflessness.
But enough about my coat – I don’t even think it’s that special. Especially when you consider the rest of my features.
You see, my friends unanimously agree that I have one of the most adorable faces you will ever encounter.
I’m not sure exactly what it is. Is it my rather large, round head or my flat face and scrunched-up features? Is it my button nose and puffy cheeks? Or my small chin and delicate mouth? Maybe it’s my startlingly round, slightly almond-shaped eyes. People do say my eyes are entrancing, making me look inquisitive and easy-going. And the fact that they come in a variety of jewel-like shades like hazel, green, copper and blue doesn’t hurt either.
Whatever it is, both strangers and friends alike tend to smile when they see me. Some even laugh. And yes, a few like to crack jokes about me not having a neck. Or looking grumpy.
As if. I’m one of the most good-natured cats around, as you’ll learn all about in a bit.
As for the rest of my looks, they’re as charming as they come. I have tiny – yet perky – little ears lined with tufts of soft hair that give the impression I’m eager to hear anything you might have to tell me. And my lovely oval-shaped paws play peek-a-boo amidst my luxuriously full coat. My tail’s a sheer marvel, too – full, majestic and beautifully bushy. It’s like the perfect feather boa to top off my overall dramatically posh appearance.
Oh, and I really need to get this off my chest – I am so misunderstood, physique-wise. Sure, I may look plump, but it’s actually mostly fur. And muscle. My body type is not “fat” – it’s actually called “cobby” by cat fanciers, which is not a euphemism for “fat.” Cobby actually just refers to a compact, heavy-boned and well-muscled body type – the body type of the largest cat breeds.
If you ever get the chance to know me, reach over and give me a rub. You’ll see that my broad chest, thickset shoulders and well-muscled, stocky legs are a part of my natural build – not blubber, mind you.
Okay, let’s get one thing straight: despite popular portrayals in TV and film, Persian cats are not evil.
The media simply has not done my breed justice. Beauty breeds contempt (no pun intended) and my kind has been very unfairly targeted. I mean, come on. My breed would never associate with the likes of animal-torturing Cruella de Ville or that sadistic Dolores Umbridge.
Rest assured that lawsuits are being discussed and my current public relations agent is on his way out.
What you should know about my breed is that we are the exact opposite of evil. I mean, evil takes work. It’s a very proactive thing to do – you know, to be evil – and we just don’t have that in us.
In fact, we’re as laid-back as they come. A typical day for me is spent lounging around on the carpet, then chilling out on the sofa, and if I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I might jump up on the windowsill to relax some more.
This relaxation business is exhausting, which is why I have to relax some more. It’s a vicious cycle.
And it’s important you know this from the get go. Despite my powerful physique, I am not a very active feline. I mean, exercise? Pleeeeease. So not my thing. Just the thought of engaging in needlessly calorie-wasting activities like climbing up furniture, clambering up curtains or cabinets, running, or even walking exhausts me. So don’t expect to ever see me do something like break into a dash all of a sudden – unless there’s actually something after me. And even then, it really depends.
My laid-back nature extends to other parts of my personality as well. Yes, I’m a very quiet cat. Unless I have something important to say, I won’t say it. As long as my bowl is filled and I’m happy and healthy, your neighbors won’t even know I exist. Heck, your roommate(s) probably won’t either.
But if and when you do hear me meow – prepare to melt. My voice is uniquely melodious and sweet so when I do use it, I expect to get what I meow-ed for.
Okay, now that you’ve got the gist of my personality – I’m laid-back, in case you missed that – let’s move on to my pet peeves and deal breakers.
I have a very amiable personality and it’s pretty easy for me to establish close relationships with my human companions. I don’t even mind if there are other pets around the home. Even children are alright – I can be very patient with the little ones and I don’t mind sitting through their little tea parties or letting them cuddle me. But I do draw the line at being dressed up in costumes. Ugh, the indignity.
I also take issue with roughhousing and extreme noise. Of course, the sounds of everyday living like loud laughter and children running is fine, but if you’re into loud music, it’s probably best we don’t live together since I’ll just spend most of my time hiding under couches and beds or isolating myself in the quietest corner to get away from the noise.
My Ideal Human
I am one of the most emotionally and socially low-maintenance felines in existence. As long as you’re willing to feed me, brush and groom my coat on a regular basis, and not play loud music, we’ll have a happy and fulfilling relationship.
Unlike other attention-demanding cats (I won’t mention names, but I’m looking at you, Bengal), I don’t need constant attention and can entertain myself, which makes me a smart pick for first time cat owners and seniors wanting to get a companion feline. I also don’t have any special diet requirements and my disposition is generally sunny.
The only thing high-maintenance about me is my coat, which really does need regular grooming, but apart from the coat part, I’m as easy-peasy as they come.
My breed is one of the oldest in the world of cat fancy. However, figuring out the exact timeline when my breed came into existence can be rather tough since although my ancestors have been featured in hieroglyphs that stretch back as far as 1684 BC, there are no other historical artifacts or documents that mention them, unlike the Korat or the Japanese Bobtail.
What we do know is that my ancestors thrived in Persia or modern-day Iran, which inspired the name of the breed. Legend has it that along with the jewels and rare spices that were transported in caravans across the Middle East, an occasional Persian went along for the ride.
While traveling in Persia in the 16th century, an Italian named Pietro della Valle noticed these long-haired felines and instantly fell in love with them. A man of good taste, to be sure. He wasted no time bringing a specimen back home in 1626. This was the first time a Persian arrived in Europe.
More cats followed suit shortly after and they slowly but surely gathered a small yet growing fanbase in and around Europe, eventually becoming one of the most popular breeds in England during the 18th century. It’s even said that Queen Victoria owned a couple of Persians and frequently paraded them in the royal gardens.
As for the new world, we arrived in the United States in the early 1900’s. With our breed’s relaxed temperament and unique beauty, it took a very short time for us to win the hearts of American cat fanciers, even replacing the Maine Coon as the all-time favorite among enthusiasts. Booyah.
And true to the American tendency toward innovation, although we Persians were originally bred to have a cobby physique, chubby cheeks, snub nose and a head that is prominently round, American fanciers have come up with their very own breed standard for this cat, resulting in the Traditional and Show-Type varieties.
My breed was officially accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1914. We’re also accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA).
How to Keep Me Healthy and Happy
The first and main key to keeping me healthy and happy lies in my hair. I absolutely need regular grooming sessions as my coat gets kinky and matter if it’s not brushed or washed on a weekly basis. I’ll also have to stoop to coughing up frequent hairballs if my grooming is neglected and nobody wants that.
Just 20 minutes of meticulous grooming every week will do the trick.
And one other thing you should know is that given my relaxation-oriented life, I am prone to obesity.
I am also a feline that is prone to obesity if I don’t get enough exercise. Personally, I like to spend my day lounging around the home and I need my human companions to engage me in play to get me moving. Giving me a companion cat or dog to play with also works.
- Sometimes, I might wander away when you try to snuggle or play with me. I’ve heard this comes across as aloof or even haughty, but trust me when I say I’m not stuck up. I’m one of the most down-to-earth felines you’ll ever meet. It’s just me trying to de-stress and relax, okay? I’ll be back for some tender lovin’ care once I’ve had some alone time.
- My meows are pretty cute and it’s true I don’t give them away easily. If you want to hear my dulcet tones, you can coax me into trilling or purring by gently rubbing my belly or stroking me behind the ears.
- My breed is known to have startlingly gorgeous eyes. And if you’re lucky, you might even get one with two different-colored eyes.
- Okay, last brag, I swear. Some of my breed’s colors are so distinct, so eye-catching that there’s even been an attempt to establish a silver Persian called Sterling. It was advocated by Persian-lovin’ American breeders, but did not push through.