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 or more

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 are believed to have 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. They are great with families and children and 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 will usually hide when they need some alone time, so be sure to 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 can present 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; this could be a sign of a health issue.

Grooming Needs


MEDIUM: Persians should be brushed daily to remove dead fur and minimize tangles or mats. Occasional baths are not uncommon for Persians, and acclimating them at an early age will make the process easier.

Trim the cat’s nails as needed (usually every 1–2 weeks) and clean the ears and teeth to promote good overall health. Declawing is not recommended.

Clean your Persian’s eyes regularly; their fur underneath 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.

There is some discussion and current studies 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 Resources

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of an award-nominated book, One Unforgettable Journey, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. She was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. She is also employed as chief operating officer for a large mental health practice in Louisiana. Kristine has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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