Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What happened to the Persian Cat's face?

Sometime over the period from the turn of the century and most particularly before and during the 1980s until today the face of the Persian cat changed from being a traditional look ("doll face" appearance) to the ultra or peeked face that we think of today as the classic Persian look. This extreme looking Persian cat competes all over the US in cat shows and is judged against the Cat Fanciers Association breed standards.

The breed standard says that the components of the face of the exotic persian cat should be vertical. This helps to give the cat a very well rounded head which fits the breed standard. But this desire to produce something different, extraordinary and therefore very saleable for the breeders has it seems backfired as less persian cats are being registered with the CFA.
Bonji streamline
The reason for this may in part be due to the increase in popularity of the Bengal, which the CFA do not register as it has too much wild blood. However, I feel that another reason is the gradual realization that the breeding of the Persian cat has gone a step too far and produced a cat that simply looks unnatural. Are breeders playing God here and ignoring good practice for the sake of commercial gain? I don't know. What do you think?

More importantly there are health issues associated with the flat face including tear flow problems in part due to poor drainage of tears and in some cases breathing and sinus problems.

What do you think. Which type of Persian cat do you prefer?