10 Fun Facts About Persian Cats
Considered the most popular cat in the world, the Persian Cats are everyone's favourite due to their regal look and adorable smushed-in face. But what else do you know about them apart from their popularity? Here are the 10 fun facts that you might not know of Persian Cats.
Fun Fact #1 : Traveller's Souvenir
Although nobody quite knows when—or how—the rest of the world discovered Persian cats, one popular version is that the luxuriously-furred feline was introduced to Western Europe by an Italian named Pietro della Valle. della Valle was a famous nobleman who journeyed extensively throughout the Holy Land, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and India. In 1620, della Valle passed through Persia, now known as Iran and took a liking to the exotic, long-haired gray cats he spotted at a bazaar. He purchased four pairs of them, and brought them home with him to Europe. Of course, sailors, travelers, or merchants might have also carried Persians with them from the Middle East to the Continent.
Fun Fact #2 : Furniture With Fur
Due to their ability to be inactive for long periods of time, the Persian breed rightfully owned the nickname “furniture with fur” due to their inherent laziness. Although many Persians can be lovable and playful at times, they are not a hyperactive breed by any means. Looking that good must require lots of beauty sleep. The plus side is that this breed makes the ultimate lap kitty companion.
Fun Fact #3 : Persian Cats + Kids = Bad Idea
Persians tend to be a bit shy and this breed does not do well with loud noises or lots of disruption in the home. Kids have a tendency for being unpredictable at times and a home with small children may not be the ideal environment for this cat breed that is a bit reclusive and shy.
Fun Fact #4 : The Good Boy/Girl Cat
A Persian is the perfect cat breed for anyone that might be worried about their cat running amuck and destroying their home while they are away. Not overly curious or adventurous by nature, the Persian is trustworthy in that it won’t be caught shredding your curtains or sabotaging other things inside your home. This breed is calm and quiet and if it wasn’t for all that fur, you might not even notice they are there half the time with their kitty manners always intact.
Fun Fact #5 : They Are Immortal! In Art
Recently, a 6-by-8.5-foot artwork that’s purported to be the “world’s largest cat painting” sold at auction for more than $820,000. The late 19th-century oil portrait is called My Wife's Lovers, and it once belonged to a wealthy philanthropist who commissioned an artist to paint her vast assortment of Turkish Angoras and Persians. Other popular Persian paintings include White Persian Cat by famous folk artist Warren Kimble and Two White Persian Cats Looking into a Gold Fishbowl by late feline portraitist Arthur Heyer.
Fun Fact #6 : Flat Face? Not Always
After its coat, the Persian’s most distinctive characteristic is its flat face. However, the breed hasn't always had a squished visage. Persians once had a more pronounced muzzle, but in the 1950s a genetic mutation caused a batch of kittens to be born with scrunched features. Breeders liked the aesthetic, and over the years they used selective breeding to taper down the cat’s silhouette. Some kitties, called “traditional” or “doll-face” Persians, still look like their pointy-featured ancestors. Others have a “peke-face,” or an “ultra face,” which describes the kind of smushed-in mug the Persian is known for today.
Fun Fact #7: Turkish Angoras Resemblance
Persians look a lot like Turkish Angoras, which are another breed of fluffy feline that arrived in Europe from the Mediterranean in the 1500s. The two were cross-bred over the years to improve the Persian cat's coat so much so that the breed nearly went extinct. Turkey set up breeding programs to help save the Angora. Persians have a stockier build, a larger head, rounder eyes, and a slightly longer coat, whereas Turkish Angoras have lithe bodies, pointed ears and a plume-like tail.
Fun Fact #8 : They're Quite A Work, At Grooming
As any Persian cat owner can attest, owning one of these cats doesn’t come easily. Grooming is a major requirement for a Persian and she requires daily attention to keep her looking rightfully majestic. To manage all that fur, some Persian owners opt to keep their cat’s hair short.
Fun Fact #9 : Royal Connection
The famous royal monarch of the United Kingdom was the proud owner of Two Blue Persian Cats. Queen Victoria was very fond of her felines, which increased this specific type of Persian's popularity in Britain at the time.
Last not least, Fun Fact #10: They Come in Multiple Colours
While iconic pop culture Persians are usually white or silver (think the Fancy Feast Cat), the breed comes in range of colours and shades. From tortoiseshell and calico to orange, grey, and black-and-white, the varieties are plentiful. Other sub-variants of the Persian include toy and teacup sizes, Himalayans which are a cross between a Persian and a Siamese and Chinchilla Longhairs, which have pointy noses and black-tipped fur.