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Persian Cats Were at World’s First Cat Show

As Silk Road connected the oriental world to Europe, rare spices and jewels were traded and exported from the East to the West. On top of everything, an even more precious cargo, an occasional longhair cat was taken from Persia to Europe.

The Persian cat is a longhair breed of cat, famous for its round face and short muzzle. They are widely known as Iranian cat and are occasionally referred to as Shirazi cat. As far as documented evidences are available, the first Persian cats were imported into Italy from Persia (today’s Iran) around 1620. Their popularity grew in Italy and later in France and then breeding took place in Europe. However, the exact history of the Persian cat seems a bit unclear. 

Here you can find how Shiraz looks like

Persian Cats Were at World’s First Cat Show
Persian Cats Were at World’s First Cat Show

Although nobody quite knows when and how Persian cats entered Europe, one popular European story is an Italian nobleman named Pietro della Valle who travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, passed through Persia and liked the exotic, long-haired gray cats he spotted at a bazaar. He bought four pairs of them, and brought them to Italy with him to Europe.

The first documented presence of the luxuriously-furred feline at a cat show dates back in 1871 at the world’s first organized cat show in London, England. They’re one of the oldest cat breeds and were featured at the world’s first cat show.


Persian cats have luxurious coats and with their open pansy-like faces are the number one breed in popularity. Persian cats enjoy sweet and gentle personalities and as soon as they feel safe, they blend into new households.

Creatures of habit, Persian cat can remain inactive for long periods and are happy to spend hours in the same spot without moving; that is the reason why they are known as “furniture with fur”! They are famous for making great lap warmers for any scheming super villains in the world of popular culture!

The beautiful coat of the Persian cats is not only an aesthetic characteristic in our human eyes, it has a mental impact on the cats too. If the long coat of the Persian cats is trimmed too short for our human convenience to keep our houses clean from constant shedding, the glorious Persians fall into a state of depression!

If the fur is cut very short, the cat may feel cold. And until his hair grows back, a little blanket may come handy. If the hair is too long, they may need conditioners after shampooing to help encourage tangle-free hair afterward.

These cute cats are very quiet and their melodious mews are pleasant. They communicate delightfully with their expressive eyes and charm pet-owners of all ages.

Important people who had Persian cats

The luxurious feline has always been popular among the common and the elite of all countries across the world. Florence Nightingale had 60 cats in her lifetime, and a large Persian cat named Mr. Bismarck shines among all of them. Marilyn Monroe owned a white Persian cat named Mitsou. And Raymond Chandler read the first drafts of his novels to his first critic, a black Persian named Taki!

Persian Cats Were at World’s First Cat Show
Persian Cats Were at World’s First Cat Show

The popularity of Persian cats has been embraced by artists and they immortalized them in the art. “World’s largest cat painting” was sold at an auction for more than $820,000. The late 19th-century oil portrait is called “My Wife’s Lovers”.

“White Persian Cat” painted by famous folk artist Warren Kimble and “Two White Persian Cats Looking into a Goldfish Bowl” painted by late feline portraitist Arthur Heyer are well-known among other popular Persian cat paintings.

Finally, human’s furry friend has an average lifespan of 15 years. However, it is not cheap to purchase one. It’s highly encouraged to adopt pets rather than buying them, yet, if one is into buying a Persian cat, it may cost them from 1,800 USD to 3,000 USD.

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