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Persian Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Portrait of a beautiful persian cat
Image Credit: Irina oxilixo Danilova, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 22, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team

Vet approved

	Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Height:10 – 15 inches (not including tail)
Weight:7 – 11 pounds
Lifespan:10 – 14 years
Colors:Blue, black, white, cream, red, chocolate, lilac, silver, gold, shaded, smoke, tabby, calico, parti-color, bicolor
Suitable for:Families and individuals with a calm and quiet household who are often home
Temperament:Loving, regal, quiet, sweet, calm, discerning, sedate

Few breeds of cats enjoy the worldwide adoration that Persian cats receive. They’re the most popular breed of domestic feline, and this isn’t something new. This breed has long been loved by people on every level of society, from the ruling elites to the everyday average person.

One of the most attractive traits of the Persian cat is their affectionate, calm personalities. These aren’t the sort of cats that are going to tear through your home in the middle of the night, waking up everyone with a loud crash and bang. Instead, Persians tend to be very docile creatures, spending their time curled up in your lap.

Still, Persians can be fun to play with. Pull out a laser pointer or a toy mouse and your Persian will have a great time displaying their hilarious antics. But this will be a short-lived play session. These cats don’t like to expend a lot of energy, even when they’re having fun. Expect a short play period, followed by more affection.

Even though these are very loving, affectionate felines, they’re not demanding. They’ll be open to your love anytime you want to give it, but they won’t bother you trying to get your attention. They’re also very selective creatures, only showing affection for a very select group of close companions.

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Persian Cat Kittens – Before You Welcome One Into Your Family…

a persian kitten
Image Credit: 558124, Pixabay

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3 Little-Known Facts About Persian Cats

1. They Were First Brought to Europe in 1626

The Persian breed originally started in ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iran), but for centuries, it was known as Persia; hence, the breed’s name. Pietro Della Valle was an Italian nobleman who traveled the world and discovered these cats during his travels and is credited with bringing the first longhaired cats to Europe in 1626.

Prior to this time, all longhaired cats from the Middle East were called Asiatic cats and were commonly bred together. But soon, the breed would be forever changed and cemented into popular culture when Queen Victoria acquired specimens of this breed.

2. Queen Victoria Was Fond of Persian Cats

Today, if a particular breed of the feline is owned by celebrities, that breed gets a notable boost in popularity. But this is no new practice. In fact, it stretches back hundreds of years or more. In the mid-1800s, Queen Victoria forever changed the Persian breed when she acquired Persian cats of her own. This exploded the breed’s popularity; something that never died out.

Queen Victoria first purchased two blue Persians. This started the explosion in the breed’s popularity, causing many people to want cats that looked similar to the Queen’s. Soon, this led to a deep love of felines by many British people, and suddenly, cats were a big deal. Before this, they were mostly seen as useful animals for their rodent-killing abilities, but they weren’t beloved family members.

Eventually, the Queen acquired a black and white Persian cat as well. This one was named White Heather, and it outlived the Queen, eventually being adopted by her son after her death.

3. Persian Are Best Kept Indoors

While many breeds of cats do equally well as outside or inside cats, with some even preferring to be outside, Persian cats are best kept indoors for several reasons. First, they have long, luxurious coats that are easily tangled and matted. Plus, they can pick up all sorts of debris, dirt, and more. They’re not dirt-shedding coats and they already need loads of upkeep to keep them looking good, so letting your Persian go outside is going to multiply the amount of maintenance you must perform.

Moreover, Persian cats are not good fighters as many other breeds are. These cats won’t do well against many of the dangers that cats often run into outside, such as other cats, dogs, coyotes, and more. Plus, Persian cats are docile and simply prefer to spend their time curled up inside, especially since they’re very heat-averse and don’t do well in the warm weather, preferring the climate-controlled interior of your home.

white himalayan persian cat laying on chair hepper

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Persian Cat

While many cats are prissy creatures, the Persian is not. They’re also not very active animals, preferring to spend their time lazily lounging on the most comfortable seat in the house. Of course, if your lap is available, they’ll prefer to perch there.

These are very loving felines that want as much attention and love as you have to give. However, unlike many other breeds, they’re not demanding with their desire for affection. They’re happy to take your love when it’s available but just as happy to wait patiently when it isn’t.

Are These Cats Good for Families?

Persian cats don’t like loud, hyper households. They prefer to be in peaceful places around calm people that fit with their equally tranquil demeanor. But they can still be great family pets. Keep in mind, these are very discerning animals that will only bond with a few select people and are likely to play favorites.

Still, Persians can do great in households with calm children. If your kids are boisterous, loud, and always active, then a Persian isn’t a great fit. But if you have a calm household with children who understand how to handle pets, then your Persian will fit right in.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The way a Persian behaves is very much based on how others treat them. While many cats are naturally averse to canines, Persians generally aren’t. If your dog is calm and treats your Persian nicely, then your Persian will have no problem cuddling up with that canine. But if your dog nips at them or makes them feel anxious, they aren’t going to get along.

orange long haired doll face traditional persian cat
Image Credit: Light Hound Pictures, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Persian Cat:

Food & Diet Requirements  

Traditional Persian cats have flat faces and short jaws that can make it more difficult for them to eat and drink. As such, you’ll want to ensure you have the right cat bowl and supplement your cat’s diet with plenty of moisture-rich fresh or wet food since it’s often easier for them to eat. It is also a great idea to provide your Persian with a water fountain to entice and facilitate their hydration intake. Still, high-quality dry kibble is acceptable, especially for Persians who don’t have squished, flat faces.

Choose a food that is high in animal proteins and low in carbohydrates, and make sure you control the daily amount of calories your Persian ingests to prevent them from becoming overweight.


As mentioned, Persians are a particularly docile breed of cat. They don’t exert much energy, instead, spending their time lazily lounging on the couch, bed, or other comfortable spots. You might see your Persian occasionally exhibit an uncharacteristic blast of energy in a short spurt of intense play, but that’s about the most you should expect. You should make the most out of it; exercise is important for every cat, and Persians are no exception. Make sure to pull out the laser pointer or toy mouse a couple of times a day so they get those short bursts of energetic exercise.

White persian cat walking on green grass
Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock


Thanks to their docile and calm nature, Persian cats are easier to handle than other breeds. Since they allow handling, training them to participate in their grooming and daily care is possible through positive reinforcement methods. It is recommended to start with these practices when they are kittens and to be patient and consistent with their training.

Grooming ✂️

That beautiful, flowing coat that Persians are known for requires quite a bit of upkeep and can easily be the most difficult part of owning one of these cats. You’ll need to comb that coat every single day to prevent it from matting, clumping, and becoming a general mess. It’s also not good at shedding dirt, so if your Persian goes outside, expect maintaining that coat to become quite difficult.

Persians also need to be bathed regularly; at least once a month. Beyond this, you’ll also need to take care to brush their teeth several times a week at least since Persian cats are susceptible to periodontal disease. They’re also prone to excessive tearing, so you’ll want to wipe their eyelids to ensure that the tearing doesn’t stain the fur beneath their eyes.

Regularly trimming their nails is very important, as overgrown nails are unfortunately a common issue with Persians. Getting your kitten used to regular nail trims and hair combing is a great way to prevent these problems. Positive reinforcement is a great way to train your older Persian to participate in their grooming routines.

Health and Conditions

Purebred Persian cats are susceptible to a wide array of health concerns that range from mild to life-threatening.

Minor Conditions
  • Haircoat disorders
  • Breathing difficulties, brachycephalic airway syndrome
  • Dental malocclusions
  • Excessive Tearing
  • Cherry eye
  • Entropion
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Periodontal disease
  • Facial dermatitis
Serious Conditions
  • Polycystic kidney disease (inherited, ask for parent test)
  • Dystocia
  • Seborrhea oleosa

Unfortunately, the flat face feature is desirable among many breeders and cat associations. Selective breeding has been highly detrimental to the health of the Persian and other cats. The medical term is “brachycephalic,” which means that these cats have extremely malformed heads with exceptionally short and flattened/squashed noses, with large eyes. Veterinary communities across the planet have recognized that many different problems arise directly from this selective breeding. At Excited Cats, we are dedicated to animal welfare and encourage you to prioritize good health over aesthetics. If your heart is set on a Persian, look for a cat without an extremely flat face.

Brachycephalic Cats Skulls
You are free to use this image, however, you are required to link ExcitedCats for credit

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Male vs Female

There are some notable differences between male and female Persian cats. Physically, they’re very similar, though males tend to be heavier. The average weight of a female Persian is 9.5 pounds, while the average weight of a female is 7.5 pounds.

Temperamentally, fixed males and females will display very similar behavior. But cats that aren’t fixed will show more differences. Unneutered males tend to be more aggressive and territorial, naturally guarding their territory and fighting when they feel threatened. They are also prone to marking their territory with urine containing felinine, a chemical that has a very strong and nasty odor. Moreover, unfixed males will have a very strong sex drive that can lead them to take off through an open door in the hopes of reaching a fertile female.

Females that aren’t fixed will go through heat, which can result in an anxious and noisy cat. They’ll pace around the house and often vocalize for seemingly no reason, even going so far as to howel. Unfixed female cats are also likely to take off in search of a male and become pregnant, so if you are not planning to breed your Persians and do not wish to have the kittens of one or more unknown random male cats, desexing your Persians is highly recommended.

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Final Thoughts

Persian cats are known for their regal attitudes, calm demeanor, and luxurious coats. They’re not very active animals, preferring to spend their time lounging about and receiving as much love as you’ll freely give. They don’t do well outside, but they also don’t need much exercise. However, they do need quite a bit of maintenance to keep their coats looking luscious.

These cats aren’t a great fit for loud households with over-active children. But calm kids are a great fit for Persians, and even other cats and dogs can be a good fit if they’re not overbearing and don’t make the cat anxious. They’re pretty pricey felines, but owning one is as much a status symbol as it is a loving companion pet. As long as you can handle the daily upkeep of that long coat, a Persian cat makes a loving, affectionate pet that’s perfect for anyone with a similarly calm demeanor.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Irina oxilixo Danilova, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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