1901 Persian Cat vs 2009 Persian Cat

A pictorial comparison between a Persian cat of 1901 in Britain and a Persian show cat of about 2009 in the United States. The difference shows us how far the development of the Persian cat has come over more than 100 years. Is it a good, positive development?


I'd like to refer you to two pages on PoC that discuss the Persian cat and its development:
  1. Persian cats
  2. Persian cat breeding
And I'd also like to refer to DOMESTIC AND FANCY CATS - A PRACTICAL TREATISE ON THEIR VARIETIES, BREEDING, MANAGEMENT AND DISEASE (1901) by John Jennings who was an experienced show cat judge of the time.

Mr Jennings says this of the Persian show cat of his era:
"The ears should be somewhat small. The head should be small for the size of the car. The body should be long and rounding. The Persian should scale 8lb to 10lb."
The CFA standard for the Persian at 2012 says:
"HEAD: round and massive, with great breadth of skull...EARS: small. When viewed in profile, the prominence of the eyes is apparent and the forehead, nose, and chin appear to be in vertical alignment...BODY: of cobby type, low on the legs, broad and deep through the chest, equally massive across the shoulders and rump."
I don't have to add a comment save to say that the long, elegant 1901 Persian cat has become a somewhat dumpy, flat-faced rounded cat of more extreme proportions.

I don't know about anybody else, but it has always mystified me why the cat breeders who administer the CFA decided that the Persian cat should have such a flat face. For some reason they think that the appearance of this extreme Persian cat is more aesthetically pleasing than the original version. I can't see the logic in the decision making. 

The earlier versions are aesthetically more pleasing than the later ones. It seems to me that the cat associations have gone backwards. Not only are the early Persians better looking they are healthier because the extreme breeding alters the anatomy, as you know, of the face which can cause breathing problems and tear duct overflow. 

What is going on? What happened? How did the CFA arrive at this situation? And can they go back? They certainly don't want to go back when they should be more open to that possibility. In fact, I would highly recommend that they do, for the reasons stated above.

Associated: Traditional Persian Cat.

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