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OK i'm in a different country entirely, so my experience is completely different, but i thought i'd just add my bit because i've been wondering about persian cats a lot in the last few months .. below

only have something to say about these two points below, so have snipped everything else:
Breeders who breed for the love of a breed are ... shame. Did you have a different take on it?

Well, yes, but again it's just an opinion. I just haven't met many people who were in the market for ... rather than the doll-faced kind. So IMO I think many people do find doll-faced Persians more appealing and prefer them.

(snip the rest )
( actually i've just read through my post below again, and it's a pretty pointless ramble .. so feel free to skip )
I have a persian mix .. i think. thats what everyone tells me (amongst other things), but i'm still not sure, and anyway i don't care. it's just that everybody thinks she's a persian, a ragdoll (! come on, i really don't think so), a british longhair (??), wahtever! it started bothering me and i started looking up Persian FAQs and web sites.Here's the thing: I adopted her from a colleague of mine who had taken her in from the streets. Background - I'm planning to move into my own place soon (have posted about this) and I had always ALWAYS wanted a cat. I had started to prepare for one by reading a couple of books about them - I don't know why but when i started it never occurred to me to check the internet for research. My plan was to get prepared and learn about them, and eventually get one when i moved in six months from then (about three months from now).

However, my colleague saw my catbooks at work and suggested I take one of her fosterees (she has several- we have a culling situation going on here). At the time, my thought was "yay, free cat" , THEN she told me it was a Persian. And my followup thought was - yick! WHy? Because my ONLY perception of Persians were that weird owl faces you see in all those cat guide books! In my mind Persians were those weird overly hairy owlfaces (and WHY are they combed into large clumps of hair?), OR the ones that look like grumpy old chinese men (a bit like pekinese dogs too, no?).

If I was going to buy a cat (and I hadn't decided then, it was still an option), that was the one cat i would not buy. But still, hey it was a free cat (OK at this time, I only knew about the SPCA re: adoption, which had an adoption fee, and I also felt sure I would fail the pet test I assumed they would give me, which is why in the first place I had bought cat books and was learning more about them), and better yet, it was from someone I knew, so I felt that she would be able to help me with advice should i need it, and since she had taken it in, she knew all about the cat's habits already , etc.
She gave me pics but the pics were always of the cat running away, so all you really saw was a slightly fuzzy grumpy looking cat, and not a single full body shot at all. This actually I found endearing, because i felt the cat was grumpy and didn't photograph well - basically exactly like me. We would get along great! So i decided to take her! I figured - weird persian cat, so what, I guess I can live with that. The books said you have to be committed to grooming a persian at least 15 mins a day, I would do it! And you knwo what! Even if it's a weird owly-face, it would be beautiful because it was a living creature and I would take care of it! But when I actually saw her on the day of pickup, she was COMPLETELY LOVELY! She was beautiful, not flat faced at all, small, only slightly fluffy, very pretty.

Now I don't know if she's anything like "doll-faced" but she looks like a normal cat, just a but fluffier (not short haired). AND she has now developed what i guess would be a persian tail - that big duster tail.NOW here is the other thing. So I've had her three months and we're getting along famously, everything's good, etc. But now I'm curious because i have NEVER EVER SEEN a flat-faced persian in real life here, ever! It's become so I really REALLY want to find one (in real life that is). It was starting to bother me because the pics I saw of persians never tallied with my own cat, yet everyone said she was a persian. At first I went around thinking: what the hell, why is everyone calling her a persian when she looks nothing like one - am i the only one who reads books? Even at the vet, when I first brought her in, the vet nurse classified her as a persian.

Then, i saw persians for sale in shops - they are the cutest little "doll-faced" babies ever! I've now seen persians belonging to other SIngaporeans and on local adoption sites, not a single "pansy" face! Where are these mythical pansy persians! Emotion: smile We were more or less convinced she was a mutated Persian, therefore not a true award-winning persian - a defective persian! But that meant also that all Persians in Singapore are not true breeds (which is just fine with me).

THEN, I started looking up persian sites, and although you do see the weird owlies, there are a fair number of non-owlies too - my cat looks almost exactly like the cat "COle" on this page
http://www.persian-cats.com/gallery.cgi?breed=tabby&start=50

and Bella on this page:
http://www.persian-cats.com/gallery.cgi?breed=tabby&start=20

Also, she does have a bunch of the same traits as the tabby persian - she squeaks and chirps a lot, she doesn't meow. She's quite outgoing and friendly. So now we were back to her being a "legitimate" Persian! (until my friend started insisting she was a ragdoll .. LOL)
THEN i found out about this tradditional persian versus show cat persian dicotomy. The thing is though, even in pet shops here, for cats that you buy, the Persian cats look real pretty, if you had to classify them as dollfaced or pansy faced, they would have to be dollfaced. I don't know what the "breeders" persians here look like (and don't want to), but i really doubt they would look that* different. So I guess what I'm saying is, I *think persians HERE are probably mostly (so far that i know) "traditional" persian types rather than owlfaces.

And since our persians are imported, is it possible that there are more traditional persian cats than people think? Not only that, I personally, at the point when I considered buying a cat, specifically would not have bought a persian based on my understanding that persian cats were owl-faced. So is it possible that not as many people like that flat owly look as we think?

Of course I have nEVER been to a singapore cat fancy club (? there's some official name for it) gathering, or whatever. It could very well be that there's a whole other level of persian cats that i'm missing out on (actually quite likely, i'm not THAT plugged into the fancy cat scene). But the pet shop scene, and the GENERAL persian cat scene, appears to be that they're traditional persian cats.

that's it..
Well, yes, but again it's just an opinion. I just haven't met many people who were in the market for ... rather than the doll-faced kind. So IMO I think many people do find doll-faced Persians more appealing and prefer them.

That could very well be, but I bet the vast majority of the common, cat- buying public don't know there IS a doll-face Persian. You don't see them any more, really. I know I didn't know they existed until recently, and I'm a huge cat lover.
Considering my local pet store and how many purebreds they sell, I'd wager that most people who buy purebreds have no idea what the standard even is - they just know that when they see Persians they have flat faces. To them, that is what a Persian is. They buy on impulse, not because they researched the cat and really wanted one. If they'd done research, they wouldn't be buying them from a pet store that charges more than a BYB. *g*
My local pet store, which I stop in about once a month, always has Persian kittens. They sell well, apparently. For $800 each.

IME, most people who buy Persians either do so on impulse or for a status symbol. They don't go around to breeders and ask about the different types.
Also, I didn't realize you meant mostly commercial breeders. The only breeders I know are the ones I have met at cat shows, and they breed according to breed standards, not to meet public demand for certain types of kittens.

I did mostly mean commercial, for profit, breeders. Such as my local pet store and the BYBs in the newspapers.
I have no idea how standards get set, as I prefer moggies to purebreds. I prefer companions to a pet that compliments my furniture. hehe

Honestly, though, why set the standard to a new type if that new type were not more popular? I can't fathom it, but there's a reason for everything...

~kaeli~
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thinks you'd make a nice sandwich.
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That could very well be, but I bet the vast majority of the common, cat- buying public don't know there ... see them any more, really. I know I didn't know they existed until recently, and I'm a huge cat lover.

Maybe it depends on where you are. I do see doll-faced Persians at pet stores. They might be Persian mixes sold as Persians, however. I don't see too many Peke-faced Persians other than at cat shows.
Considering my local pet store and how many purebreds they sell, I'd wager that most people who buy purebreds have ... If they'd done research, they wouldn't be buying them from a pet store that charges more than a BYB. *g*

That's true, because responsible breeders don't sell to pet stores.
My local pet store, which I stop in about once a month, always has Persian kittens. They sell well, apparently. ... so on impulse or for a status symbol. They don't go around to breeders and ask about the different types.

No doubt true, because as you say, many people buy on impulse. If they did research at all, they wouldn't buy from a pet store.

Cat show people are a relatively small group. When you talk about standards being popular, that means popular with judges at the cat shows, not people who buy pet cats. I'm not sure the judges really care what "look" is more appealing to potential buyers of pet quality cats. After all, if the cat met the established standards perfectly, it would be show quality, not pet quality, and the breeder would not be interested in selling it anyway.
Maybe it depends on where you are. I do see doll-faced Persians at pet stores. They might be Persian mixes sold as Persians, however. I don't see too many Peke-faced Persians other than at cat shows.

Really? Then it must be regional. I don't even remember seeing doll- faces. We're all flat-faces here (suburban Chicago). Then again, I only see them in pet stores. I don't see Persians anywhere else.
Considering my local pet store and how many purebreds they ... a pet store that charges more than a BYB. *g*

That's true, because responsible breeders don't sell to pet stores.

A very hardy SO TRUE from me on that one.
Actually, I think it's harder to get a cat from a responsible breeder than it is to adopt a kid. That's only half-joking.
IME, most people who buy Persians either do so on ... go around to breeders and ask about the different types.

No doubt true, because as you say, many people buy on impulse. If they did research at all, they wouldn't buy from a pet store.

Yup.
My point exactly. From my experience only, of course.
Cat show people are a relatively small group. When you talk about standards being popular, that means popular with judges ... perfectly, it would be show quality, not pet quality, and the breeder would not be interested in selling it anyway.

Yeah. That is true...So why would the standards change? I don't know a whole hell of a lot about showing cats, since I'm a moggie-lover. Any ideas?
The Siamese changed too, as we were saying somewhere else in this thread. In the ring, the appleheads lose because they are no longer standard. How would this happen?

~kaeli~
Jesus saves, Allah protects, and Cthulhu
thinks you'd make a nice sandwich.
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/wildAtHeart
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/kaelisSpace
Yeah. That is true...So why would the standards change? I don't know a whole hell of a lot about showing ... else in this thread. In the ring, the appleheads lose because they are no longer standard. How would this happen?

I'm not sure. I know there are some breeders committed to bringing back appleheads and doll-faced Persians. I think there is probably a parallel with dog breeding the trend has been to make each breed distinctive from other breeds or mixed breeds. So I imagine what has happened is that judges tend to favor a look that is distinct for each breed. Over time, that meant that Persian faces became flatter than your average housecat, and Siamese cats became slimmer and with more wedge-shaped head than a mixed breed pointed cat.

I have seen this happen with dog breeds too. Many of the more common breeds that I see shown at dog shows sure look more extreme than those breeds that I remember as a child. For example, it seems to me that cocker spaniels were a lot cuter dogs thirty years ago. Irish setters (at least the show dogs) look a lot more extreme to me now too.
I'm not sure. I know there are some breeders committed to bringing back appleheads and doll-faced Persians.

I saw some of the sites on that.
They are SO much prettier, IMO.
I think there is probably a parallel with dog breeding the trend has been to make each breed distinctive from other ... than your average housecat, and Siamese cats became slimmer and with more wedge-shaped head than a mixed breed pointed cat.

That would make sense in a weird sort of way...
Sometimes, people confuse me.
*g*

~kaeli~
Jesus saves, Allah protects, and Cthulhu
thinks you'd make a nice sandwich.
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/wildAtHeart
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/kaelisSpace