5 Things to Know About Persians

Persian cats are gentle, beautiful animals with a history that includes hieroglyphics dating back to B.C. times.

Persians are sweethearts, but their stain-prone fur under their eyes need a lot of attention. By: Michal Bednarek

1. Key Characteristics

  • Weight: 7–12 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10–15 years

Persians are medium-sized, longhair cats with tails almost as wide as their bodies.

Their colors are varied and include silver, golden, shaded, smoke, tabby, particolor, bi-color and himalayan.

Their flat faces — not unlike brachycephalic dog breeds — have large, round eyes, and the eyes can appear in a variety of colors.


2. Where They Came From

These treasured cats originated in Persia (modern-day Iran).

Although 17th-century European explorers likely brought them west and later exported them to the United States, hieroglyphic evidence of the cats dates to 1684 B.C.

These cats generally have long lives. By: alaskaphoto

3. How Friendly Are They?

Persians are sweet, gentle cats that can be playful or quiet and laid-back. Great with families and children, they absolutely love to lounge around the house.

They also adapt well to new surroundings and are OK with busy or even boisterous households.

They don’t mind a full house or active kids, and they’ll usually hide when they need some alone time, so create a quiet space for them in your household.

4. Is This the Right Cat for You?

Exercise Needs


LOW: Persians should be kept indoors due to their coat quality and sweet, potentially naive demeanor. The outdoors presents dangers this gentle cat is not equipped to handle.


Their physical activity should be similar to that of most cats (sleeping long hours, playing, running and jumping). Contact your vet if you notice a decrease in activity or mobility. That could be a sign of a health issue.

Grooming Needs


MEDIUM: Brush your Persian daily to remove dead fur and minimize tangles or mats. Acclimating them at an early age to occasional baths will make the process easier later in their lives.

Trim the cat’s nails as needed (usually every 1–2 weeks), and clean the ears and teeth to promote good overall health.

Also, clean your Persian’s eyes regularly. The under-eye fur is prone to staining and can build bacteria.

Health Problems


MEDIUM: The Persian is a relatively healthy breed, but their large eyes need regular cleaning and attention to avoid future problems.

Know that Persian kittens may have issues with consistently going to the litter box.

Some current studies are looking into the genetic inheritable of kidney disease in Persian cats. Diagnosis might be easiest through ultrasound.

Bring your cat to the vet if you notice any of these signs:

  • Depression
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Drinking water excessively

Check out this adorable Persian kitten:

5. Where to Adopt One

If you consider getting a Persian for your next pet, please check adoption resources — even purebred animals end up in shelters.

Try Petful’s adoption page. (Select the “Cats” tab.)

Additional Resource

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, has been researching dog and cat breeds for nearly a decade and has observed the animals up close at dog shows in both the United States and the United Kingdom. She is the author of the book One Unforgettable Journey, which was nominated for a Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. In addition, she was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. Kristine has researched and written about pet behaviors and care for many years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, another bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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