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. Photo: Michal Bednarek

1. Key Characteristics of Persian Cats

  • Weight: 7–12 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10–17 years

Persians are medium-sized, longhaired 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 Persian Cats 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. Photo: alaskaphoto

3. How Friendly Are Persian Cats?

Persians are sweet, gentle cats who can be playful or quiet and laid-back. Great with families and children, they 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. 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: You should keep your Persian cat indoors due to their coat quality and sweet, potentially naive demeanor. The outdoors presents dangers that this gentle cat is not equipped to handle.

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

Grooming Needs

MEDIUM: Brush your Persian daily to remove dead fur and to minimize tangles or mats. Acclimating your cat 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 factors behind the high incidence 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:

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5. Where to Adopt a Persian Cat

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

Try Petful’s adoption page or check your local animal shelters and rescues.

If you do decide to check out breeders, get to know them and ensure they’re not operating a kitten mill.

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