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A white Persian
A white Persian
Country of origin
Iran (Persia)
Breed standards (external links)

The Persian cat is one of the oldest breeds of cat. In Britain, it is called the "Longhair" or "Persian Longhair" (tipped varieties are known as "Chinchilla Longhair").

The Persian cat is reputed to originate from Iran (Persia), but interbreeding of Angoras with native British domestic longhairs in the 19th Century makes the true origin of the breed unclear . A show-quality Persian has an extremely long thick coat, short legs, a wide head with the ears set far apart, large eyes, and an extremely foreshortened muzzle. 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, and Persians are prone to a number of health problems (specifically affecting their sinuses and breathing) caused by it. However, conscientious breeders eliminate this by careful choice of breeding stock, as the goal is first and always healthy cats.

Persian cats can have any colour or markings including points, tortoiseshell, blue, and tabby. Persian cats with point are refered to as Colourpoint Persian in Europe and Himalayan (cat) in United States.

In the USA, there was an attempt to establish the silver Persian as a separate breed called the Sterling, but it was not accepted and silver and gold longhaired cats are judged in the Persian category of cat shows. In South Africa, the attempt to separate the breed was more successful: the SA Cat Council (SACC) registers cats with 5 generations of pure bred Chinchilla as Chinchilla Longhair. The Chinchilla Longhair has a slightly longer nose than the Persian, resulting in healthy breathing and no tearing of the eyes. Its hair is translucent with only the tips carrying black pigment: a feature that gets lost when out-crossed to other colored Persians. Out-crossing also may result in loosing nose and lip liner, which is a fault in the Chinchilla Longhair breed standard.

Because their fur is too long and dense for them to maintain themselves, Persian cats need extensive and regular grooming. To keep their fur in its best condition, they must be bathed regularly, dried carefully afterwards, and brushed thoroughly every day. Their eyes need to be checked for problems on a regular basis because some animals have trouble keeping them clean.

A Persian cat without an established and registered pedigree is classed as a domestic longhair cat.

Silver Chinchilla Persian
Blue Colourpoint Persian
Persian silver shaded
Persian silver shaded
Blue Tabby Persian

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