Most Popular Cat Breeds Persian Cats 101 Fun Interesting Facts #persiancat
From Wikipedia: The Persian cat (Persian: گربه ایرانی Gorbe Irâni) is a long-haired breed of cat characterized by its round face and short muzzle. It is also known as the Persian Longhair. In Middle East they are widely known as Iranian cat and in Iran they are known as Shirazi cat.The first documented ancestors of the Persian were imported into Italy from Iran (Persia) around 1620. Recognized by the cat fancy since the late 19th century, it was developed first by the English, and then mainly by American breeders after the Second World War. Some cat fancier organizations’ breed standards subsume the Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair as variants of this breed, while others treat them as separate breeds.
The selective breeding carried out by breeders has allowed the development of a wide variety of coat colors, but has also led to the creation of increasingly flat-faced Persians. Favored by fanciers, this head structure can bring with it a number of health problems. As is the case with the Siamese breed, there have been efforts by some breeders to preserve the older type of cat, the traditional breed, having a more pronounced muzzle, which is more popular with the general public. Hereditary polycystic kidney disease is prevalent in the breed, affecting almost half the population in some countries.
In 2015 it was ranked as the 2nd most popular breed in the United States according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association. The first is the Exotic breed.
It is not clear when longhaired cats first appeared, as there are no known long-haired specimens of the African wildcat, the ancestor of the domestic subspecies.
The first documented ancestors of the Persian were imported from Khorasan, Iran, into Italy in 1620 by Pietro della Valle, and from Angora (now Ankara), Turkey, into France by Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc at around the same time. The Khorasan cats were grey coated while those from Angora were white. From France, they soon reached Britain.[self-published source]
Recent genetic research indicates that present day Persians are related not to cats from the Near East but to cats from Western Europe. The researchers stated, «Even though the early Persian cat may have in fact originated from Persia (Iran), the modern Persian cat has lost its phylogeographical signature.»