If you want a cat that likes to luxuriate about the house allowing all to bask in its decorative beauty, then a Persian or Chinchilla might be the pet for you.

Persians are so-named as they were brought to Europe in the 17th century from Persia (Iran), along with other exotic items such as silks and spices. Queen Victoria is said to have owned some of these cats.

Persians have the following features:

Appearance: The most notable thing about this breed is their beautiful luxurious long coat, with its softer undercoat. Persian coats can come in a wide variety of colours, from solids, bi-colours, points, tortoiseshell, tabby and smokes. These cats are quite thick-set in their body with stocky legs and big paws, a flattened roundish face, small ears and round eyes which can be turquoise blue, sapphire blue or copper in colour.

Chinchillas are a silver or golden coloured variety of Persian cat. The coat colour is shaded. For example, with the silver variety, the fur is pure white underneath with black tips scattered evenly throughout the coat. This gives it a shimmery silver appearance. Chinchillas generally have green or blue-green eyes.

Temperament: Persians are known for their serene, gentle and placid nature. As a general rule, they are quite happy to rest and relax, but they can also be playful and affectionate. They love being stroked, adored and pampered by their humans. Persians will often attach themselves to one person. Although not demanding, they are quite social and don’t like being left alone for long. Their nature makes them quite adaptable to changes in their environment.

Habitat: Persians and Chinchillas are quite happy living a largely indoor life in an apartment or flat. They are also suited to living in a family home with a garden, although they may not blend well with boisterous children. As they are generally quite laid-back, they usually get on fairly well with other pets.

Caring for a Persian: Of course this luxurious coat needs daily grooming. This can be done with a metal comb for a few minutes each day, to keep the coat in good repair. A neglected Persian coat will become matted and tangled and cause problems for the cat, which will require a professional to fix. Persians also molt twice each year; combing during this time will help reduce the amount of hair shed around the house.

An occasional bath is required to keep the Persian’s coat healthy and a hair trim every now and then, if necessary.

Health: Persians tend to suffer from watery eyes which can cause some discolouration over time. A cat eye lotion helps to ease this problem. They may also develop some breathing difficulties due to the flattened structure of the face.

There are many Persian Cat Breeders in Australia and many varieties to choose from

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.