As desert caravans wound their way westward from Persia and Iran, it is rumored that among the rare spices and jewels on the basket-laden camels was cargo considered even more precious, an occasional longhair cat. They were named Persian cats for their supposed region of origin, but hieroglyphic references to the breath-takingly beautiful creatures exist as early as 1684 B.C.. However, it is not truly known precisely when and where this feline breed arose.
Persians, with their long flowing coats and flat, wide faces are the number one most popular feline breed among cat fanciers. They tend to possess sweet, gentle, adaptive personalities, and will readily adapt to the most quite and serene environments, to the most boisterous households. Persians tend to emit soft almost musical meows, and are not shy about vocalizing. Their large, expressive eyes and willingness to interact with people make them a delight for people of all ages.
Most Persian cats have short, thick, well muscled legs to support stout, short bodies. Not big climbers or jumpers, Persians prefer to have all four paws firmly planted on the ground. Persians enjoy play and will delight in it, but are never demanding and are content to either entertain themselves with their cat toys, or simply lay across a favorite chair, cat bed, or windowsill (appearing almost like a work of art, this is a sight which will brighten any household). While not always pleasant outside their household environment, such as at the vet or at the groomer, Persians are very responsive and affectionate to their family members and even household guests. The companionship that Persian cats offer is intimate and enduring.
Their long flowing coats of the Persian require an indoor, protected environment, as well as constant maintenance. Proper maintenance requires a daily brushing and even run through with a metal comb to eliminate the potential drawbacks of mats and hairballs. An occasional biweekly to monthly bath will keep the coat
•Solid Color Division
•Silver and Golden Division
•Shaded and Smoke Division
Health wise, Persians are prone to medially luxating patella, hip dysplasia, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and polycystic kidney disease. Therefore, it is important to ask breeders for documentation of pre-breeding screening of the tom and queen prior to purchase of a Persian kitten. If from good breeding stock, kept indoors, fed a good nutritious diet, and with maintained with regular wellness visits to the veterinarian, Persians are known to live long lives, averaging 13-15 years.
By: Roger L. Welton, DVM
President Maybeck Animal Hospital
Author Canine and Feline 101
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