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Persian coats consists of a woolly under coat and a long, hairy outer coat. The coat loses all the thick underwool in the summer, and only the long hair remains. Hair on the shoulders and upper part of the hind legs is somewhat shorter. Conversely, the Angora has a very different coat which consists of long, soft hair, hanging in locks, "inclining to a slight curl or wave on the under parts of the body.
However, Bell says the Angora "fails to the Persian in head," Angoras having a more wedge-shaped head and Persians having a more appealing round head. Bell notes that Angoras and Persians have been crossbred, resulting in a decided improvement to each breed, but claimed the long-haired cat of had significantly more Persian influence than Angora.
Champion lamented the lack of distinction among various long-haired types by English fanciers, who in , decided to group them under the umbrella term "Long-haired Cats". The traditional Persian , or doll-face Persian ,  are somewhat recent names for what is essentially the original breed of Persian cat, without the development of extreme features.
As many breeders in the United States , Germany , Italy , and other parts of the world started to interpret the Persian standard differently, they developed the flat-nosed "peke-face" or "ultra" type see next section over time, as the result of two genetic mutations, without changing the name of the breed from "Persian". Some organizations, including the Cat Fanciers' Association CFA , today consider the peke-face type as their modern standard for the Persian breed.
Thus the retronym Traditional Persian was created to refer to the original type, which is still bred today, mirroring the renaming of the original-style Siamese cat as the Traditional Siamese, to distinguish it from long-faced modern development which has taken over as simply "the Siamese". Not all cat fancier groups recognize the Traditional Persian at all, or as distinct , or give it that specific name.
TICA has a very general standard, that does not specify a flattened face. In the late s a spontaneous mutation in red and red tabby Persians gave rise to the "peke-faced" Persian, named after the flat-faced Pekingese dog. It was registered as a distinct breed in the CFA, but fell out of favor by the mids due to serious health issues; only 98 were registered between and Despite this, breeders took a liking to the look and started breeding towards the peke-face look.
The over-accentuation of the breed's characteristics by selective breeding called extreme- or ultra-typing produced results similar to the peke-faced Persians. The term peke-face has been used to refer to the ultra-typed Persian but it is properly used only to refer to red and red tabby Persians bearing the mutation. Many fanciers and CFA judges considered the shift in look "a contribution to the breed.
In , breeder and author P. This is a type of face which is definitely recognized in the United States, and helps to form a special group within the show classification for the [Persian] breed. There are certainly disadvantages when the face has become too short, for this exaggeration of type is inclined to produce a deformity of the tear ducts, and running eyes may be the result.
A cat with running eyes will never look at its best because in time the fur on each side of the nose becomes stained, and thus detracts from the general appearance [ A nose of this type creates an impression of grotesqueness which is not really attractive, and there is always a danger of running eyes. While the looks of the Persian changed, the Persian Breed Council's standard for the Persian had remained basically the same.
The Persian breed standard is, by its nature, somewhat open-ended and focused on a rounded head, large, wide-spaced round eyes with the top of the nose leather placed no lower than the bottom of the eyes. It was not until the late s that standards were changed to limit the development of the extreme appearance. While ultra-typed cats do better in the show ring, the public seems to prefer the less extreme, older "doll-face" types.
In , the Siamese was crossed with the Persian to create a breed with the body type of the Persian but colorpoint pattern of the Siamese. It was named Himalayan , after other colorpoint animals such as the Himalayan rabbit. In the UK, the breed was recognized as the Colorpoint Longhair. The Himalayan stood as a separate breed in the US until , when the CFA merged it with the Persian, to the objection of the breed councils of both breeds.
Some Persian breeders were unhappy with the introduction of this crossbreed into their "pure" Persian lines. The CFA set up the registration for Himalayans in a way that breeders would be able to discern a Persian with Himalayan ancestry just by looking at the pedigree registration number. This was to make it easy for breeders who do not want Himalayan blood in their breeding lines to avoid individuals who, while not necessarily exhibiting the colorpoint pattern, may be carrying the point coloration gene recessively.
Persians with Himalayan ancestry has registration numbers starting with 3 and are commonly referred to by breeders as colorpoint carriers CPC or series cats, although not all will actually carry the recessive gene. The Siamese is also the source for the chocolate and lilac color in solid Persians. The Persian was used as an outcross secretly by some American Shorthair ASH breeders in the late s to "improve" their breed. The crossbreed look gained recognition in the show ring but other breeders unhappy with the changes successfully pushed for new breed standards that would disqualify ASH that showed signs of crossbreeding.
Regular outcrossing to the Persian has made present day Exotic Shorthair similar to the Persian in every way, including temperament and conformation, with the exception of the short dense coat. It has even inherited much of the Persian's health problems.
The easier to manage coat has made some label the Exotic Shorthair the lazy person's Persian. Because of the regular use of Persians as outcrosses, some Exotics may carry a copy of the recessive longhair gene.
When two such cats mate, there is a one in four chance of each offspring being longhaired. Other associations register them as a separate Exotic Longhair breed. A number of breeders produce small-stature Persian cats under a variety of names.
The generic terms are "toy" and "teacup" Persians terms borrowed from the dog fancy , but the individual lines are often called "palm-sized", "pocket", "mini" and "pixie". Currently, they are not recognized as a separate breed by major registries and each breeder sets their own standards for size.
Unscrupulous breeders have resorted to harmful and repetitive inbreeding to obtain smaller cats resulting in genetically weaker cats often with severe health issues and shortened lifespans. In the US, there was an attempt to establish the silver Persian as a separate breed called the Sterling, but it was not accepted. Silver and golden Persians are recognized, as such, by CFA. The Chinchilla Longhair has a slightly longer nose than the Persian, resulting in healthy breathing and less eye tearing.
Its hair is translucent with only the tips carrying black pigment, a feature that gets lost when out-crossed to other colored Persians. Out-crossing also may result in losing nose and lip liner, which is a fault in the Chinchilla Longhair breed standard. One of the distinctions of this breed is the blue-green or green eye color only with kittens having blue or blue-purple eye color.
In , the Persian was the most popular breed of pedigree cats in the United States. The most color popular varieties according to CFA registration data are seal point, blue point, flame point and tortie point Himalayan, followed by black-white, shaded silvers and calico. The breed standards of various cat fancier organizations may treat the Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair or simply Exotic as variants of the Persian, or as separate breeds. The Cat Fanciers' Association CFA treats the Himalayan as a color-pattern class of both the Persian and the Exotic, which have separate but nearly identical standards differing in coat length.
Among regional and national organizations, Feline Federation Europe treats all three as separate breeds. A show-style Persian has an extremely long and thick coat, short legs, a wide head with the ears set far apart, large eyes, and an extremely shortened muzzle. The breed was originally established with a short muzzle, but over time, this characteristic has become extremely exaggerated, particularly in North America.
Persian cats can have virtually any color or markings. The Persian is generally described as a quiet cat. Typically placid in nature, it adapts quite well to apartment life. Himalayans tend to be more active due to the influence of Siamese traits. In a study comparing cat owner perceptions of their cats, Persians rated higher than non-pedigree cats on closeness and affection to owners, friendliness towards strangers, cleanliness, predictability, vocalization, and fussiness over food.
The permissible colors in the breed, in most organizations' breed standards, encompass the entire range of cat coat-pattern variations. CFA base colors are white, black, blue, red, cream, chocolate, and lilac. There are around named CFA coat patterns for which the Himalayan qualifies, and 20 for the Himalayan sub breed.
Any Persian permissible in TICA's more detailed system would probably be accepted in CFA's, simply with a more general name, though the organizations do not mix breed registries. If classified as the Himalayan sub-breed, full point coloration is required, the fourth TICA color division, with a "pale and creamy colored" body even lighter than mink, with intense coloration on the face an extremities.
The four TICA categories are essentially a graduated scale of color distribution from evenly colored to mostly colored only at the points. TICA-recognized tabby patterns include classic, mackerel, marbled, spotted, and ticked in two genetic forms , while other patterns include shaded, chinchilla, and two tabbie-tortie variations, golden, and grizzled.
Basic colors include white, black, brown, ruddy, bronze, "blue" grey , chocolate, cinnamon, lilac, fawn, red, cream, with a silver or shaded variant of most. Eye colors range widely, and may include blue, copper, odd-eyed blue and copper, green, blue-green, and hazel. Pet insurance data from Sweden puts the median lifespan of cats from the Persian group Persians, Chinchilla, Himalayan and Exotic at just above The modern brachycephalic Persian has a large rounded skull and shortened face and nose.
This facial conformation makes the breed prone to breathing difficulties, skin and eye problems and birthing difficulties. Anatomical abnormalities associated with brachycephalic breeds can cause shortness of breath. It can be caused by other more serious conditions though.
Entropion , the inward folding of the eyelids, causes the eyelashes to rub against the cornea, and can lead to tearing, pain, infection and cornea damage. As a consequence of the BBC program Pedigree Dogs Exposed , cat breeders have also come under pressure from veterinary and animal welfare associations, with the Persian singled out as one of the breeds most affected by health problems. Kidney failure develops later in life, at an average age of 7 years old ranging from 3 to 10 years old.
Symptoms include excessive drinking and urination, reduced appetite, weight loss and depression. Because of DNA testing, most responsible Persian breeders now have cats that no longer carry the PKD gene, hence their offspring also do not have the gene. Before DNA screening was available, ultrasound was done. However, an ultrasound is only as good as the day it's done, and many cats that were thought to be clear, were in fact, a carrier of the PKD gene.
Only DNA screening and then breeding negative to negative for the PKD gene will produce negative kittens which effectively removes this gene from the breeding pool has allowed some lines and catteries to eliminate the incidence of the disease.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy HCM is a common heart disease in all cats. The disease causes thickening of the left heart chamber , which can in some instances lead to sudden death. It tends to affect males and mid to old-aged individuals. Reported incidence rate in Persians is 6. The age at the first cardiac event was significantly lower in Maine Coons 2.
In Sphynx, the age at the time of diagnosis was 3. Concerning sudden death solely, Maine Coon cats died younger than other breeds. No sudden deaths were reported in Chartreux and Persian cats in this study. All cats surviving longer than 15 years of age were Domestic Shorthair, Persians, or Chartreux. Early onset Progressive retinal atrophy is a degenerative eye disease with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance in the Persian.
While often benign, rare cases of malignancy tends to occur in Persians. White cats , including white Persians, are prone to deafness, especially those with blue eyes. As with in dogs, hip dysplasia affects larger breeds such as Maine Coons and Persians. But the small size of cats means that they tend not to be as affected by the condition. Other conditions which the Persian is predisposed to are listed below: Since Persian cats have long, dense fur that they cannot effectively keep clean, they need regular grooming to prevent matting.
To keep their fur in its best condition, they must be brushed frequently. Some advocate for bathing the cats in water, although many Persians are fine cleaning themselves. An alternative is to shave the coat. Their eyes may require regular cleaning to prevent crust buildup and tear staining. The art world and its patrons have long embraced their love for the Persian cat by immortalizing them in art. A 6-by The late 19th-century oil portrait is called My Wife's Lovers, and it once belonged to a wealthy philanthropist who commissioned an artist to paint her vast assortment of Turkish Angoras and Persians.
The beloved Persian cat has made its way onto the artwork of stamps around the world. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Breed of cat. The Exotic Shorthair and Himalayan cats are often classified as coat variants of this breed. This section contains too-lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. Please help improve the article by presenting facts as a neutrally-worded summary with appropriate citations. Consider transferring direct quotations to Wikiquote.
December Prize-winner at Westminster in Winner of multiple leading cat shows in Main article: Traditional Persian cat. A Persian with a visible muzzle in contrast with a Persian with its forehead, nose and chin in vertical alignment, as called for by CFA's breed standard. The shorter the muzzle, the higher the nose tends to be.
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