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Who can resist a Persian cat? Hardly anyone.

The Persian cat is probably the most popular of all cat breeds.Purebred Persians are common all over the world as pets, and are prominent participants in every cat show. In Britain, these cats are called Longhairs, and each coat color is classed as a different breed. Accordingly, a cat that is considered to be a Black Longhair in Great Britain is simply a black Persian in the United States.

Breed History
As the dusty desert caravans wound their way westward from Persia and Iran, it is supposed that secreted among the rare spices and jewels on the basket-laden camels was an even more precious cargo, an occasional longhair cat. They were called Persian for their “country of origin,” but hieroglyphic references as early as 1684 B.C. shroud forever their exact beginnings

Breed Description
Persian cats have a short and broad body type, often referred to as “cobby.” The body should be powerfully built and well balanced, with a massive short neck and thick legs. The head should also be of a heavy broad type. All Persians share large round eyes, short broad noses, and small rounded ears. However, there is a distinction between two face types:

• The modern flat-faced Persian (the cat commonly seen in shows)
• The traditional doll-faced Persian, which has a more proportioned face, with the mouth and nose located well in front of the eyes, while retaining the basic broad, round, and flat look.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the Persian cat is its full, long coat. This unique look is created by a combination of long undercoat and long topcoat. Persians come in many coat colors. The variety of possible colors and the fact that so many Persian cats participate in cat shows have led to the creation of seven color categories for Persians: Solid Color, Silver and Golden (silvers are also known as Chinchillas), Shaded and Smoke, Tabby, Particolor (tortoiseshell varieties), Bicolor, and Himalayan (also known as Colorpoint Longhair).

Persians are very affectionate, but relatively quiet. They are more inclined to a sedate lifestyle and feel most comfortable in calm, quiet surroundings.

Special Needs
The long, beautiful coat demands constant grooming. Persians need daily brushing and regular baths (preferably monthly). If you fail to provide the necessary grooming, the coat is likely to mat and tangle, and professional help may be required.

If you plan to show a Persian cat, seek advice from an experienced breeder who can teach you the tricks of the trade. Alternatively, buy one of the many professional books on the breed (seen to the right of this article).

Adopting a Persian
It’s hard to believe, but there are Persians out there who do not have a loving home. Even this beautiful, distinctive cat sometimes finds itself in need of adoption for one reason or another and there are rescue centers scattered throughout the country that have Persians available for adoption. If you think you might be a loving adoptive parent to one of these beautiful animals, contact your nearest Persian cat shelter and find out if you’re a good fit for one of these exotic creatures.

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