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Feb 27, 2017

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Photographer: Agholamreza Alivand  
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By: Julia Harm
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'The Life and Times of the Persian Cat'

The history of the Persian cat is as mysterious and unusual as the cat itself. The breed was registered with The Cat Fanciers Association in 1871 after being brought to Europe in the 16th century by Pietro Della Valle from the Iranian Plateau.

The Persian cat that is known in America today is physically different from the Persian cat that was found throughout Asia and the Middle East. A descendant of the Pallas cat, a wild cat indigenous to Central Asia, the Persian cat was found to be highly valuable for its long hair. Breeders began combining the cat with the European domestic cat and got some wonderful and exotic results.

Originally, the Persian cat came only in a blue and white color. But after nearly three hundred years of being bred with European domestic cats, a wide range of colors were created, which are still present today. From the standard black and white to the more exotic silver, lilac and chocolate, the colors are magnificent. The Persian is also known to have color mixtures called tortoiseshell and calico, as well as a trait called tipping, in which the hair follicle is a pale color, such as lilac and the hair tip is a darker color, like chocolate. This give the animal a rich and textured appearance.

The Persian cat has other very distinctive characteristics. Their breeding has led to compact bone structure, an underdeveloped muzzle and a shortened hip and leg structure. They also have long hair, which does take additional maintenance but is well worth the effort.

These unique characteristics, as well as the Persian cats rich history and calm disposition that make it an ever growing cat in popularity. Breeders sell registered Persian cats for anywhere between $500-$1200 and with hundreds of breeders registered through the Cat Fancy Association, it is clear that the Persian Cat will continue in that popularity.

" The Persian cat has very distinctive characteristics. "

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