Breed-related disease: Persian Cat

                                                                                                                               John K. Rosembert

The Persian is the most popular pedigreed cat in North America, if not the world, it is also known as the “Persian Longhair” in the English-speaking countries. In the Middle East region, they are widely known as “Iranian cat” and in Iran they are known as “Shiraz cat”. The first documented ancestors of the Persian were imported into Italy from Iran around 1620.

The Persian comes in two types: show and traditional. The show Persian has a round head enhanced with a thick ruff, small ears, a flat nose, big round copper eyes, a broad, short body with heavy boning atop short tree-trunk legs, and a thick, flowing plume of a tail.

While the traditional Persian, also known as the Doll Face, does not have the extreme features of the show Persian, and his nose is a normal length, giving him a sweet expression. Both types have a long, glamorous coat that comes in many colors and patterns, and both share the same wonderful personality.

Persian cats suffer from certain recurring problems. This does not mean that Persian cats are necessarily unhealthy, but you should be aware of their risks and needs in order to prevent diseases and notice them in time.


Here are some of the most common diseases of Persian cats ….

Hairballs and trichobezoars: Persian cats are known for their long and dense coat. Therefore, they are more likely to suffer from trichobezoars than other cats with shorter hair. Trichobezoars are hairballs that form in the cat’s stomach and digestive tract.

Cats can usually regurgitate hairballs, but occasionally they accumulate in the stomach. When this happens, cats suffer badly and may even have serious health consequences.


  1. Polycystic kidney disease: Persian cats are very prone to polycystic kidney disease. This means that cysts develop in the kidney area, growing and multiplying if left untreated. It is estimated that 38% of Persian cats suffer from this hereditary disease.


  1. Respiratory problems: Persian cats are easily recognizable for their flat face and huge, round eyes. Sadly, having such a small nose causes the nasal passage to be very short and more sensitive to the cold, heat, moisture or dry environment.
  2. Heart problems: Fewer than 10% of older Persian cats have been found do have Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which causes an enlargement of the left heart chamber and can result in sudden death.


  1. Eye problems: The special shape of a Persian cat’s eyes can also cause problems. The most common ocular diseases of Persian cats include:


  1. Congenital ankyloblepharon which is an inherited abnormality that usually occurs in blue-eyed Persian cats.
  2. Congenital epiphora consists of an excessive tearing of the tear duct, which results in oxidation of the hair around the eyes and infection by bacteria or fungi in the affected area
  3. Entropion is when the eyelashes rub and irritate the cat’s cornea as a result of the inversion of the eyelid edge
  4. Primary glaucoma Excessive blood pressure in the eye which results in opacity and vision loss. It should be treated by surgery.



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