Saturday, February 6, 2010

Contemporary Persian Cat

Garley the Persian cat
Originally uploaded by arash_rk
This is a nice black and white close up of a contemporary Persian cat. I think the picture was taken with film as opposed to on a digital camera but I could be mistaken.

The contemporary Persian is sometimes called the Ultra Persian signifying "ultra typing" which means that it is bred to "type" (required appearance) but in an extreme way. It means that breeders, in their desire to get the appearance just right plus a bit extra gradually bred cats that drifted away from the natural appearance of the original traditional Persian cat called the doll face persian. I suppose the term "doll face" simply describes the doll face beauty of the Persian, sweet looking and charming.

But the contemporary Persian cannot said to be charming looking and doll faced! Very often they look angry or cross even when they are not. It is a kind of "built-in" look.

What I find interesting is that the head of the Persian should be round; in fact the body and ears should convey this sense of roundness. Yet in making the face flat the breeders have created a round head with one side flat! Think of a football that has been kicked or that has hit against a wall. Or a golf ball at the moment it is being hit by a golf club.

Anyway enough frivolity. There is a serious side to the flat faced Persian. It not only has a built-in cross look it also has a built in health problem, in fact more than one but the obvious one is that the tear drainage ducts at the corners of the eye do not function properly because they are deformed and blocked. The tears fall down the face staining it. A commercially available cleaning fluid is manufactured specially for this!

Well I could go on but suffice to say I prefer natural and healthy and it never ceases to surprise me that the Cat Fanciers Association continue to support and praise this cat and decry the traditional Persian a much better cat all round including more healthy.

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