Persian Cat Color

Opinions vary on when the Persian cat first appeared, how it got its name, and how the breed spread across the globe. This article outlines some of the popular views about Persian cats.

There are references to the Persian cat in hieroglyphic records as early as 1684 B.C. It is believed that the Persian cat is named for its origin in "Persia". The Persian Empire covered a large area of the Near East including modern day Iran and Turkey.

Many historians believe Persian cats came to Europe during the Great Crusades in the 1300's. However, the Italian traveler and writer, Pietro della Valle, (1586 - 1652) has also been credited with bringing the Persian cat to Europe where they were believed to have been bred to Angoras. These varied historical references have confused the exact origin of the Persian cat.

It is believed that the Persian cat was brought to North America in the late 19th century. It has become the most popular breed in the United States. In the UK the Persian cat is known as the Longhair and each coat color is considered a different breed.

Over the years, the look of the Persian cat has changed. The head and eyes are more round and large while the size of the ears has decreased.

Persian cats were historically owned by royalty, including the King of Persia and European nobility. They were highly prized for their beautiful long flowing coats, expression, and wonderful temperament.

Persian cats come in a wide variety of colors. The list below reflects the divisions and colors recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA):

  • Solid Division
    • White Persian cat
    • Blue Persian cat
    • Black Persian cat
    • Red Persian cat
    • Cream Persian cat
    • Chocolate Persian cat
    • Lilac Persian cat
  • Silver and Golden Division
    • Chinchilla Silver Persian cat
    • Shaded Silver Persian cat
    • Blue Chinchilla Silver Persian
    • Blue Shaded Silver Persian
    • Chinchilla Golden Persian cat
    • Shaded Golden Persian cat
    • Blue Chinchilla Golden
    • Blue Shaded Golden
  • Shaded and Smoke Division
    • Shell Cameo (Red Chinchilla)
    • Shaded Cameo (Red Shaded)
    • Shell Cream (Cream Chinchilla)
    • Shaded Cream (Cream Shaded)
    • Shell Tortoiseshell
    • Shaded Tortoiseshell
    • Shell Blue-Cream
    • Shaded Blue-Cream
    • Black Smoke
    • Blue Smoke
    • Cream Smoke
    • Red Smoke
    • Tortoiseshell Smoke
    • Blue-Cream Smoke
  • Tabby
    • Silver Tabby
    • Silver Patched Tabby
    • Blue Silver Tabby
    • Blue Silver Patched Tabby
    • Red Tabby
    • Brown Tabby
    • Brown Patched Tabby
    • Blue Tabby
    • Blue Patched Tabby
    • Cream Tabby
    • Cameo Tabby
    • Cameo Silver Tabby
    • Chocolate Tabby
    • Chocolate Patched Tabby
    • Lilac Tabby
    • Lilac Patched Tabby
  • Particolor
    • Tortoiseshell (Tortie)
    • Blue-cream
    • Chocolate Tortoiseshell
    • Lilac-cream
  • Calico and Bicolor
    • Calico Persian cat
    • Dilute Calico Persian cat
    • Chocolate Persian cat
    • Lilac Persian cat
    • Bicolor Persian cat
      • Black and White
      • Blue and White
      • Red and White
      • Cream and White
      • Chocolate and White -
      • Lilac and White
    • Black Smoke and White
    • Blue Smoke and White
    • Red Smoke and White
    • Cream Smoke and White
    • Chocolate smoke and White
    • Lilac Smoke and White
    • Calico Smoke
    • Dilute Calico Smoke
    • Chocolate Calico Smoke
    • Lilac Calico Smoke
    • Shells and Shaded colors
    • Red Tabby & White
    • Brown Tabby & White
    • Patched Tabby & White
    • Other Tabby & White
  • Himalayan Persian cat
    • Seal Point
    • Blue Point
    • Chocolate Point
    • Lilac Point
    • Flame Point
    • Cream Point
    • Tortie Point
    • Blue Cream Point
    • Chocolate Tortie Point
    • Lilac-cream Point
    • Seal Lynx Point
    • Blue Lynx Point
    • Chocolate Lynx Point
    • Lilac Lynx Point
    • Flame Lynx Point
    • Cream Lynx Point
    • Tortie Lynx Point
    • Blue Cream Lynx Point
    • Chocolate Tortie Lynx Point
    • Lilac Tortie LynxPoint


30 .. HEAD (including size and shape of eyes, ear shape and set)

20 .. BODY TYPE (including shape, size, bone, and length of tail)

10 .. COAT



20 .. COLOR


Balance and refinement are the essence of the breed, where all parts come together in a harmonious whole, with neither too much nor too little consideration given to any one feature.

GENERAL: the ideal Persian should present an impression of a heavily boned, well-balanced cat with a sweet expression and soft, round lines. The large round eyes set wide apart in a large round head contribute to the overall look and expression. The long thick coat softens the lines of the cat and accentuates the roundness in appearance.

HEAD: round and massive, with great breadth of skull. Round face with round underlying bone structure. Well set on a short, thick neck. Skull structure to be smooth and round to the touch and not unduly exaggerated from where the forehead begins at the top of the break to the back of the head, as well as across the breadth between the ears. When viewed in profile, the prominence of the eyes is apparent and the forehead, nose, and chin appear to be in vertical alignment.

NOSE: short, snub, and broad, with "break" centered between the eyes.

CHEEKS: full. Muzzle not overly pronounced, smoothing nicely into the cheeks.

JAWS: broad and powerful.

CHIN: full, well-developed, and firmly rounded, reflecting a proper bite.

EARS: small, round tipped, tilted forward, and not unduly open at the base. Set far apart, and low on the head, fitting into (without distorting) the rounded contour of the head.

EYES: brilliant in color, large, round, and full. Set level and far apart, giving a sweet expression to the face.

BODY: of cobby type, low on the legs, broad and deep through the chest, equally massive across the shoulders and rump, with a well-rounded mid-section and level back. Good muscle tone with no evidence of obesity. Large or medium in size. Quality the determining consideration rather than size.

LEGS: short, thick, and strong. Forelegs straight. Hind legs are straight when viewed from behind.

PAWS: large, round, and firm. Toes carried close, five in front and four behind .

TAIL: short, but in proportion to body length. Carried without a curve and at an angle lower than the back.

COAT: long and thick, standing off from the body. Of fine texture, glossy and full of life. Long all over the body, including the shoulders. The ruff immense and continuing in a deep frill between the front legs. Ear and toe tufts long. Brush very full.

DISQUALIFY: locket or button. Kinked or abnormal tail. Incorrect number of toes. Any apparent weakness in the hind quarters. Any apparent deformity of the spine. Deformity of the skull resulting in an asymmetrical face and/or head. Crossed eyes. For pointed cats, also disqualify for white toes, eye color other than blue.*

*The above listed disqualifications apply to all Persian cats. Additional disqualifications applicable to Silver and Golden Persians are listed below.



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