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How to Tell If Your Cat Is Persian: 8 Different Methods

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Beautiful persian cream colorpoint cat whith blue eyes

Most of the time, Persians are adopted from breeders, so the owners know exactly what they’re getting. However, sometimes Persians show up at animal shelters or are found as strays. In these circumstances, it can be difficult to determine if a feline is a Persian or not.

Truthfully, without knowing the cat’s parents, it’s pretty much impossible to know whether a cat is a Persian or not. DNA tests aren’t always very accurate, and mixed breeds can take very much after one parent. Even if a cat is only half Persian, they can easily look like a full-blooded Persian. Genes are complicated and confusing.

However, there are a few traits that Persian cats have in common. By checking for these traits in your cat, you can make some determination on whether or not your cat is a Persian.

The 8 Methods to Tell If Your Cat is Persian

1. Look at Their Face

Persian cats have unique faces. Their faces are often very round, with very fluffy checks. Their nose is squished in when compared to other cats, which is one reason that they are prone to a significant number of health problems. Their eyes tend to be larger than normal, and they may stick out a bit.

Of course, they aren’t the only cat with any of these traits. However, if they have all of these traits, they are probably Persian. The face of the breed is really hard to mistake.

persian cat lying
Image Credit: Pixabay

2. Coat

Persians often have silky and long fur. There are obviously many other felines that have this sort of fur, so you can’t use this trait alone to identify this breed. However, if they also have other features, this may be an additional clue.

Their fur typically requires a bit of grooming. Therefore, if they aren’t getting the correct grooming, they may have knotted fur.

3. Tail Shape

Persians have an extremely small tail. It’s one of their distinguishing features. Their tails are usually fairly fluffy and loft upwards. Many Persians carry their tail at an angle below their back, so their fluff may not be apparent in the beginning.

As with other physical traits, there are a few different breeds that have a similar tail to the Persian. You really need multiple positive physical characteristics to make a determination of breed.

Persian cat grey
Image Credit: ANURAK PONTPATIMET, Shutterstock

4. Use an At-Home DNA Test

There are many DNA tests online for cats. However, not all of them are made equal. If you want to know for sure if your cat is a Persian, this may be a good option. While these tests aren’t usually super accurate, if you already think that your cat is Persian and the results show Persian, there is probably some degree of accuracy there.

You don’t want to use this as the only source of confirmation. If your cat looks nothing like a Persian and a DNA test shows that they’re a Persian, the test is likely wrong. However, if you combine this test with multiple other features, you’ll likely be able to make a good guess.

5. Determine the Cat’s Personality

Like most purebreds, Persians have specific personality traits that they usually stick to pretty closely. In general, Persians do not vocalize very much at all. They are quiet cats. When they do vocalize, it is often short, quiet, and melodic. They are not yowlers and do not meow very loudly unless they are seriously distressed.

Usually, these cats can be somewhat playful. However, they are also reserved. They aren’t ones to ask for a lot of attention and typically won’t approach strangers. They typically spend a lot of their time sitting around and may sit quietly next to their owners. But they aren’t a cat to meow continuously for attention or even follow you around the house. They tend to do their own thing. Persians usually don’t like loud noises or people, which often includes children.

Of course, many cats will share some of these traits without being a Persian. However, a cat that has all of these traits and looks like a Persian is probably a Persian.

cute ginger doll face persian cat
Image Credit: CKYN stock photo, Shutterstock

6. Check Their Coat Color

The Persian can only come in certain coat colors. However, the list is quite long. It includes most of the common cat colors out there, including white, black, brown, bluegray, chocolate, and lilac. Many other breeds come in these colors as well, so you can’t use this trait alone to determine if your feline is a Persian or not.

However, you can rule out a cat as being a full-blooded Persian if they come in a coat color that isn’t in the breed standard.

Patterns can also give you some clues. But these cats come in so many different patterns, they practically cover the whole range of common cat patterns. For this reason, the pattern often isn’t very helpful in determining the breed of your feline.

7. Check Their Weight and Body Type

A Persian’s weight is determined largely by their gender. Females usually weigh between 8 to 12 pounds, while males weigh over 12 pounds. If a cat is in a health condition and falls outside of this range, they probably aren’t a full-blooded Persian. These cats have been bred to be a specific size.

They are often heavy-boned and tend to be very sturdy. They are extremely compact cats, with short necks and limbs.

1 year old seal colourpoint persian cat
Image Credit: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock

8. Ask a Breeder

If you have a Persian breeder near you, they may be able to give you their opinion on whether or not your cat is a Persian. After all, these people work with Persians extensively, so they typically have a pretty good idea as to what they look like. The best way to do this is by taking your cat to the breeder. They will often be able to look at the cat in person and tell if they are a Persian or not. However, they may also be able to give some opinions through a series of photos.

Alternatively, you may also be able to ask a vet. However, vets typically don’t have much experience determining a specific breed of cats, while breeders spend much of their time trying to breed the perfect Persian. Therefore, a vet’s opinion isn’t necessarily a great option, though they will have more experience with cats than most people.

Final Thoughts

It can be nearly impossible to know for sure if your feline is a Persian without having a pedigree. If you don’t know your feline’s parents, you can’t usually make a certain estimate on whether or not your cat is a specific breed. Your goal should be to look at your cat’s appearance and temperament. Use these two determinations to figure out your cat’s breed.

You can also ask an expert. Breeders are often the best option, as they have been living with Persians for years. However, a vet can also provide a useful opinion if you’re unsure and a breeder is unavailable.

Featured Image Credit: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock

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