Image credit: Scott Moorman

Persian - Breed Profile:

Origin: Iranian plateau (Persia)
Colors: Any
Size: Medium to large
Coat Type(s): Longhair
Grooming: Daily
Talkativeness: Quiet
Activity Level: Low
Attention Requirement: High
Overall: Easy to handle

Breed video: Persian - perfect family cat

The Persian is the most recognizable breed of cats. Moreover, it is considered one of the oldest cat breeds. In Britain, it is also known as Longhair or Persian Longhair.

Physical Characteristics

The main sign by which you can easily identify a Persian is a foreshortened muzzle. This is like a "business card" of the breed. Their muzzle can be from "doll face" to the "extreme", "ultra", "flat-faced" or "snubby" face. All these types are acceptable for the Persian breed. Besides, these cats have a rounded head, large, wide-spaced round eyes, well boned short legs, a stocky body, and a broad chest. Ears of Persians are set far apart. In fact, everything about the ideal Persian cat is round. Persians are medium sized.


Persians have a lazy streak; they are usually very quiet and gentle, calm, undemanding, and can be very affectionate. Due to the placid nature, Persians generally get on well with other pets and children. They will barely scratch anyone. Persians love to be petted. Playful when in an active mood, Persians prefer quiet games such as playing with a ball or cat toy. They may be devoted to the owner very much. They have a wonderful ability to adapt to any environment. However, there is something to be taken into account: Persians don't like sudden noises which can make them irritated and nervous.

Coat and grooming

Persians have a luxurious long thick coat that comes in any color with or without markings. The latter may include pointed, golden, tortoiseshell, blue, and tabby markings. Tipped varieties of the colour are known as Chinchilla. Point varieties are known as Himalayan in the United States and as Colorpoint Persian in Europe.
Since the glorious fur of Persians is very think and dense, they need daily grooming. Also, it is strongly recommended to bathe them regularly and to dry carefully afterwards.


Because of the typical foreshortened muzzle, Persians have some problems with cleaning their eyes. Besides, their eyes are constantly "tearing" because of the short tear ducts. A Persian's eyes must be maintained by its owner on a regular basis. Moreover, the foreshortened face can cause breathing problems, making the cat sensitive to high temperatures. Persians are particularly susceptible to kidney failure and Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). On average, the lifespan of a Persian is 10 to 19 years.

Other interesting facts

- The breed was originally established with a short (but not non-existent) muzzle, but over time this feature has become extremely exaggerated, particularly in North America. The Persian cat is the most popular breed in the United Kingdom.
- Crossing between the Persian and the American Shorthair resulted in a new breed named the Exotic Shorthair.