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White Persian Cat: Facts, History & Origin (With Pictures)

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on July 16, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

white Persian cat lying in the living room

White Persian Cat: Facts, History & Origin (With Pictures)

Persian Cats come in a variety of colors, and each coat type has unique charm and appeal. White Persian Cats are some of the most popular. They are known for having a luxurious appearance, and many cat lovers are attracted to their fluffy, long coats.

Along with their adorable appearance, white Persian Cats have sweet personalities and love giving and receiving affection. This combination of traits has made them one of the most popular and recognized cat breeds.

Breed Overview

Height:

10–15 inches

Weight:

7–13 pounds

Lifespan:

10–15 years

Colors:

White

Suitable for:

Families with children, seniors, families with multiple pets

Temperament:

Affectionate, easygoing, sociable

Other than appearance, there are no definitive traits that differentiate white Persian Cats from Persian Cats with other coat colors. White Persian Cats are charming pets that break many negative cat stereotypes. They’re known to be extremely friendly, and many aren’t shy around strangers. These sweet cats also have easygoing and good-natured personalities, so it’s no surprise that they’re popular pets.

White Persian Cat Characteristics

Energy
+
A high-energy cat needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep healthy and happy, while a low-energy cat needs minimal physical activity, but still needs mental stimulation. When choosing a cat, It’s important to ensure their energy levels match your lifestyle.
Trainability
+
Cats that are easy-to-train are more willing and skilled at quickly learning prompts and actions with minimal training. Harder-to-train cats are usually more stubborn or aloof and require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
+
Certain cat breeds are more prone to various genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat in those breeds will have these issues, but they do have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Lifespan
+
Due to their size or potential genetic health issues of a specific breed, some cats have shorter lifespans than others. Proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and hygiene also play an important role in your cat’s lifespan and quality of life.
Sociability
+
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other cats and animals. Cats that are more social have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches or jump on laps for cuddles, while cats that are less social shy away, hide, are more cautious, and even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed or gender, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to many different situations.

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The Earliest Records of White Persian Cat in History

It’s not clear when the first white Persian Cat appeared. However, Persian Cats are generally recognized as an old cat breed that came into existence around the 1600s. They originate from Persia, which is now modern-day Iran, and were introduced to Europe sometime in the 1800s when it is thought that they came over on spice caravans during the spice trade.

White Persian Cats eventually made their way to the US in the late 1800s. White Persian Cats were also involved in breeding new cat breeds. Exotic Shorthairs and Himalayan Cats are both examples of cat breeds that involved white Persian Cats in their development.

White Persian Cat sitting on a blue background
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock

How White Persian Cats Gained Popularity

It almost seems like white Persian Cats were always popular. But they became exceptionally popular after they earned the favor of Queen Victoria, who owned several Persian Cats. They were also exhibited at the world’s first organized cat show.1 This cat show took place at the Crystal Palace in London in 1871, and a Persian Cat took the crown for “Best in Show.”

It’s possible that white Persian Cats continued to remain popular due to the significant number of celebrities and public figures being fans of Persian Cats. Elizabeth Taylor, Freddie Mercury, and Martha Stewart are just a few celebrities who are known to have loved Persian Cats or owned one.

In 2008, Persian Cats were the most popular cat breed in the US. The breed continues to be among the most popular cat breeds, with the white Persian Cat being the most recognizable among Persian Cats.

Formal Recognition of White Persian Cats

White Persian Cats are recognized by many cat clubs and associations around the world. They were formally recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1906 and The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979.

While most organizations recognize Persian Cats as a distinct breed, their categorizations differ for Himalayan Cats and Exotic Shorthairs. Some organizations classify these breeds as variations of Persian Cats, while others recognize them as distinct breeds. For example, TICA categorizes Himalayan Cats and Exotic Shorthairs as Persian Cat variants. Meanwhile, the World Cat Federation (WCF) recognizes Persian Cats and Exotic Shorthairs as distinct breeds.

white Persian cat sitting in on owner lap hand
Image Credit: Stella_E, Shutterstock

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Top 3 Unique Facts About White Persian Cats

1. White Persian Cats didn’t always have flat faces.

The look of white Persian Cats changed sometime in the 1950s. Kittens in a litter of Persian Cats had a gene mutation that gave them flat faces. This look became favorable, and more Persian Cats with flat faces appeared through selective breeding. This appearance is eventually what became accepted and included in the breed’s official standards.


2. White Persian Cats may be more susceptible to sunburn.

White Persian Cats may have a higher risk of getting sunburn than other types of Persian Cats. This is because animals with white hair and pink skin produce less melanin than animals with darker skin color.

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

3. White Persian Cats are included in the world’s largest cat painting.

“My Wife’s Lovers” by Austrian artist Carl Kahler holds the record for the largest cat painting in the world. The painting depicts 42 cats and has a mix of Persian Cats and Turkish Angoras. You’ll find many white Persian Cats painted in various poses all across the canvas. Prior to this painting, Kahler had never painted a cat. So, he studied cats’ poses and habits for 3 years before starting this masterpiece.

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Does a White Persian Cat Make a Good Pet?

white persian cat sitting on the senior woman's lap
Image Credit: masary78, Shutterstock

White Persian Cats make wonderful companion pets, and they can be a good choice for novice cat owners, the elderly, and apartment living. White Persian Cats have gentle and easygoing temperaments. They’re not the most active or playful cats, and they’re not known to climb very high. They much prefer cuddling and being lap cats.

While white Persian Cats aren’t aggressive, they may not always be a good fit for families with particularly young children. They don’t like loud noises and activities, and things like kids running around the house can stress them out. Therefore, children must learn how to be respectful of the cat’s boundaries because too much noise or activity can stress out white Persian Cats.

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Conclusion

It seems like white Persian Cats have been popular ever since they were first bred. This comes as no surprise as they’re very charming and gentle cats. They enjoy human companionship, but they’re not extremely needy or demanding. They just like being around their favorite people and will give as much love and attention as they receive from their family members.


Featured Image Credit: Suriyawut Suriya, Shutterstock

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