Perhaps the most popular of all cat breeds is the exquisite Persian cat. It is one of the oldest cats in existence, with records of its presence dating back to times of Pharaohs in Egypt. It is generally believed though that the cat originated in Persia, now known as Iran. They were brought over to Europe centuries ago though it was not until the later half of the nineteenth century that their fame truly began to spread. In United Kingdom they are called Persian Longhairs or simply Longhairs. A felid without an established pedigree is referred to simply as Domestic Longhair Cat.
Over the years, through selected breeding the appearance of Persian cats has changed quite a bit from the time when they were first introduced to the rest of the world. Their traditional doll face has been developed into a shortened muzzle and flattened high nose. Coat has become more and more thick and long with a variety of colors and patterns include silver, gold, tabby, solid and bicolors. Body is cobby with short and strong legs and round head. Eyes are big and expressive and ears low and widely set.
Though they are highly sought for their beauty, the Persians also suffer from some health issues. Their long silky double layered coat frequently gets matted and requires regular washing, drying and combing to prevent tangles and hairballs. The modern flat-faced Persians frequently develop respiratory problems owing to their flattened nose that obstructs breathing as well as the tear ducts, meaning that their eyes and nose require daily wiping to clean away crusts. Some Persians develop Polycystic Kidney Disease as well. Responsible breeders though are making efforts to preserve the health of this splendid cat above all.
Persians are the most gentle and docile of all cats. They are very affectionate and tolerant animals who fare best in a peaceful, loving environment. It is best to keep them as indoor pets to free their long exuberant fur from parasites even as they have been occasionally reported by some to be surprisingly good hunters. Persians are not a very vocal breed and are not demanding at all. They are, on the whole, very sweet and easy going animals who make great pets and loving companions.
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