Persian Cat

Although everybody, of both sides of the Atlantic, knows the aspect that a Persian cat has and uses the term freely, in this group are included some varieties, as the chinchillas, which in North America are ad scribed to a different race.

The cats commented in this section could be denominated as “common” Persians. The varieties that are considered other races in other countries will be treated separately.

Basic Features
The Persian is of cobby constitution, with short and thick legs, rounded head, flat nose and big eyes. The tail ends in a crest and the cloak is abundant and thick. The hair and the eyes present diverse colors.

Symbol of Status
For many, the Persian is the luxury domestic cat by excellence, it is a race associated with richness and power.

This is due no doubt, that the first Persians were introduced to Europe 300 years ago through the travelers that came from the orient and would give them as a gift to the nobility, in this way the Persian became the cat of the aristocracy.

The introduction of the first Persians to Europe is attributed to the Italian traveler Pietro Della Valle (1586-1652). Who lived 4 years in Persia (1617-1621), although the first references of longhair cats in Europe are dated in 1520?

In his t raveling chronicles, published after his death, Pietro Della Valle described the cloak of the Persians as “smooth as silk and so long that it formed curls in some parts, specially under the neck: the Persian was soon erected as the most favorite cat in the European courts and went from France to Great Britain, where it was known as the French cat.

It seems, that in the XIX Century the British breeders permitted and even fomented the crossings with the Turk angora.

Although there exists some differences between both races, they were classified and exhibited together, within the category of long hair cats. Afterwards, and as consequence of the interest for the Persian, the Turk angora was practically extinguished, until the years of fifties in which it was recovered with Turkish specimens.

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