The Persian’s size ranges from medium to large, with a muscular and robust body. Its facial appearance has been categorised into the traditional doll face and the peke-face or ‘ultra’ type. The former virtually refers to the original Persian breed, which has a visible muzzle. The latter is the pansy-like variety, with a short, flat, pushed-in face that has its eyebrows, nose, and chin lined up.
The peke-face was developed from a genetic mutation involving a batch of kittens born in the 1950s. Apparently, breeders approved of the mutation and continued to breed the peke-faced Persian over the next couple of years to this day. In fact, the CFA now regards the ultra-faced Persian as the modern standard. However, the peke-faced Persian is prone to having runny eyes due to the scrunched nose and has trouble breathing.
It has short, solid-boned, powerful legs that end in large, tufted, and rounded paws. Interestingly, the front paws have five toes, whilst the rear ones only have four. As such, it prefers to plant its paws firmly on the ground and does not enjoy climbing and jumping high.
The Persian’s most distinct feature is its long, luxurious coat. It is the longest coat of any feline breed, with a long, woolly undercoat and a hairy topcoat. It has a very bushy tail that moves according to the Persian’s emotional temperature. With such a fancy, lushly touchable coat, the Persian is the kind of cat that begs to be petted. Although popularly known for its white or silver varieties, this cat breed has a wide range of colours. Its coat’s hues can range from tortoiseshell to orange.
Due to its sumptuously long coat, the Persian needs to be combed daily. Otherwise, its fur will begin to mat. It also needs professional grooming every six weeks or so. With the peke-face types, it is important to wipe the Persian’s eyes to take care of tear staining and avoid crust build-up.