Sweet - Relaxed - Quiet. Easily recognisable by their extremely fluffy exterior and unique facial features, the Persian is one of the more ancient cat breeds that remain one of the most popular long haired cat breeds.
They are often associated with money and are regularly represented in the media as being luxurious, often spoiled or the pets of the villains of the movies. Bond fans will be familiar with the Chinchilla Persian - donning a silvery white coat. However, these furry felines are some of the most gentle breeds of cat, not to mention very quiet and subdued.
Persian Cat Breed Basics:
Average lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Average weight: 3-7 kg
Colours: Persian cats come in pretty much every colour imaginable - White, Black, Blue, Red, Cream, Tortoiseshell, Apricot, Pewter, Silver...
A history of the Persian
Due to their extensive and ancient history, the true origins of the Persian cat is not easy to pinpoint. It's not know whether they did as the name suggest originate in Persia (Iran). There is information that suggests the Persian was bred with other Egyptian breeds to create the breed we have today. Their long coats made them perfect for the colder climates of both Turkey and Persia, helping to keep them toasty and warm.
There are lots of different types of Persian cats. The first recognised Persian had one solid colour throughout.
Did you know: The Persian cat was one of the very first cat breeds to be shown at the first UK cat show, which took place in Crystal Palace in 1871.
Persian temperament & personality
Persians can often be wrongly judged as being a little stuck up and aloof, due to their snubbed noses and fluffy appearance. The Persian is actually a very loving, gentle breed. They're not particularly active cats and do prefer to have a routine that they can follow every day.
Making sure you have a set schedule for feeding, grooming and bed time, can help to keep your Persian content and happy. This includes the environment your Persian is kept in. Any new furniture or even a new layout could stress them out.
How to groom a Persian
It should go without saying that the fluffiness of the Persian requires a lot of maintenance. Daily grooming is highly recommended as it allows you to keep your Persian’s fur in tip-top condition.
It’s essential that you are thorough with your grooming, as areas such as behind the ears and under the armpits can be easily missed, but are the most prone to uncomfortable matting. Aim to use a wide toothed metal comb for ultimate grooming comfort, you don’t want to be tugging on the fur as this isn’t fun for your feline.
Feeding a diet high in animal protein and essential oils will also help promote a healthy skin and coat minimising matting.
Are Persians good house cats?
Persians make great house cats for the right home, as they aren’t fans of noisy and hectic environments. If you have a very loud or high energy family, the Persian may not be for you.
However, if you have a quiet house that is relatively relaxed, with no young children or other energetic animals, then a Persian will easily find a place in your home.
If you aren’t a fan of pet hair all over your furniture, again the Persian may not be for you. Their regular grooming schedule and moderate shedding means that you’ll be finding cat hair long after you’ve cleaned the house from top to bottom.
Are Persian cats aggressive?
As they love attention, Persians tend not to be very aggressive. In fact, they are very lazy and laid back, preferring to be cuddled and stroked at every available moment.
Young Persian kittens can get a bit nippy, much like any young animal, but if you ignore them as punishment, you’ll soon be able to train that behaviour out of them completely.
Are Persian cats intelligent?
As beautiful and loving as they are, Persians were not gifted with all the brain cells. They can be difficult to train due to their low intelligence and make terrible hunters, but that doesn’t take away from their appeal as a house cat.
What they lack in brains they make up for in affection, so if you’re looking for a slightly dim cuddle monster, this is the breed for you.
How big do Persians get?
Although they aren’t as big as other fluffy felines such as Ragdolls, they are a good medium size and their fluff can make them look a little bigger than they really are.
On average, a Persian will reach around 5kg in weight max, a perfect weight for snuggles!
How much does a Persian cat cost?
If you're looking to rescue a Persian cat, the cost is significantly less and you cat or kitten will drive fully vaccinated and with flea treatments. You'll also have a better understanding of any potential health issues your cat has. You can keep checking sites like Blue Cross or look a specific rescue centre for Persian Cats.
Persians are very sought after and so are usually fairly expensive, costing up to £1,500 per kitten, sometimes even more.
Like with any pet, it is highly recommended to get good pet insurance, especially for pedigree cats and dogs. This can range from around £15-£30 a month, depending on the cover and whether your cat is KC registered. If you want to know roughly how much a Persian would cost to keep monthly, you could be looking at between £40-£60, which includes insurance, grooming and food.
We also advise to ensure you are getting quality cat food, particularly food that looks after your cats gut health and promotes a healthy skin and coat. This can help you keep your Persian in top condition and keep them happy and healthy!
Persian cat health watchouts
The most common health concerns depends on a lot of factors, from the breeders that you purchase your Persian kitten from, to the type of Persian you choose e.g. flat faced.
Breathing and tear duct issues: Due to their flatter faces, Persian cats commonly suffer from breathing issues and problems with their tear ducts. Poor breeding can drive narrower nasal passages increasing the likelihood of your kitty suffering from problems here.
Ringworm (Dermatophytosis): Perhaps due to their long coat, Persian Cats are predisposed to this fungal condition which can affect the hair, skin and nails. It's contagious and can pass to humans and other animals. Treatment involves clipping back the fur, oral medication and grooming with topical creams and medicated shampoos. This isn't something your kitty will look forward to. You can minimise the risk of ringworm by keeping grooming equipment and bedding clean and regular rooming. Using a shampoo designed for ringworm treatment is recommended.
Hairballs: As Persian cats have long, dense coats they are more likely to suffer from hairballs. Where these form in the cat's stomach or digestive tract, it can lead to more serious issues. You can prevent the risk of hairballs by daily grooming and feeding a high quality diet which promotes a healthy skin and coat.
Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is fairly uncommon in cats as a whole, affecting only around 5% of the population; however, for our purebred cats (like the Persian) that number leaps up to around 20% of the population being affected! Most incidents of hip dysplasia occur early in the felines life so it’s best to start fighting early.
Similarly to Maine Coons, Persian cats can suffer from a number of genetic diseases. Some of the most common that you may want to DNA test for are:
- Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) - left without treatment this can prove fatal so we recommend an annual ultrasound to check if your kitty has PKD. Responsible breeders will have their cats tested and only breed Persians that do not carry the PKD gene, so that it is not passed on.
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) - this progressive eye disease can lead to loss of sight.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) - this genetic condition causes the muscular walls of the heart to thicken and can restrict blood flow, proving fatal. There is currently no known cure but your vet will help create a plan to manage the condition and care for your kitty as best they can.
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) - a viral progressive disease that is almost always fatal. Infection rates are higher in multi cat households and most diagnoses are for cats less than 2 years old.
Like with any pedigree breeds, hereditary diseases and ailments can’t always be avoided. Simple DNA tests by the breeders and regular check-ups with your vet are ideal precautionary measures.
Hairballs: In order to reduce the amount of hairballs produced, you can feed a high fibre food so that your furfriend can digest more of the fur.
Eye disease/cataracts: To help fight against the eye complications that are common in Persians, look for foods with zinc and/or vitamin E; vitamin E also aids in heart function and coat condition.
Hip Dysplasia: Some foods contain glucosamine or chondroitin additives, which are excellent at reducing pain by increasing fluidity in the joints. You can also try some Fishy feline food which is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is good for decreasing inflammation and pain; especially in arthritis, which can be onset from hip dysplasia. As an added bonus, Omega-3 fatty acids are good for keeping the skin and coat in good condition.
Urinary Health: To improve general urinary health and protect against UTI, you can look for foods containing cranberries as they help fight against bacteria in the bladder. Wet food can also help to a degree as it contains a high-water content which increases the urine production and acts as a method of flushing the bacteria and toxins through the system faster.
How Can Scrumbles Help?
Scrumbles "Cool Cats" dry food contains vitamin E, zinc, 2% fibre, and Omega-3 fatty acids! There are also Anti Hairball cat treats available, formulated with slippery elm to aid in the health of the digestive system, fighting against those pesky hairballs as well as out Chicken Wet Food.
If you are looking for a relaxed cat that can fit seamlessly into a quiet and clean household, then a Persian is for you. They may take a bit of maintenance, but the love and affection you recieve from a Persian is completely priceless.