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Persian cat

The Persian cat is one of the oldest breeds of show cat. A show-quality Persian has an extremely long thick coat, short legs, a wide head with the ears set far apart, large eyes, and an extremely foreshortened muzzle. The breed was originally established with a short (but not non-existent) muzzle, but over time this feature has become extremely exaggerated, and Persians are prone to a number of health problems (specifically affecting their sinuses and breathing) caused by it. However, conscientious breeders eliminate this by careful choice of breeding stock, as the goal is first and always healthy cats.

Persian cats can have any colour or markings except Siamese, including torty, blue, and tabby. There was an attempt to establish the silver Persian as a separate breed called the Sterling, but it was not accepted and silver and gold longhaired cats are judged in the Persian category of cat shows.

Because their fur is too long and dense for them to maintain themselves, Persian cats need extensive and regular grooming. To keep their fur in tiptop condition they must be bathed regularly, dried carefully afterwards, and brushed thoroughly every day. Their eyes need to be checked for problems on a regular basis because some animals have trouble keeping them clean.

A Persian cat without an established and registered pedigree is classed as a domestic longhair cat.