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Type evolution through time in persians and siamese

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Check out these photographs of past and present winners of purebreed persians and siamese.

Supreme adult 1978

Supreme adult 1981

Supreme adult 1989

Supreme adult 1998

Supreme Neuter & Supreme Exhibit 2004

Siamese cats:

This picture was taken 1890

Supreme adult 1976




The evolvement of the type difference of these cats is amazing. The oldest persian (1978) looks nearly lika a todays persian mix, and its not even 30 years since that cat got his supreme adult title, and note that this cat looked more persian then the average persian at the time. The siamese cats are also so much different.

Well now its time to drop the bomb. What do you all think of this? Should we have the main focus to breed cats with a certain type and physical characteristics, even when they dont even look like the original form of the breed? Is it still the same breed as before? Should the focus of breeding cats (and dogs for that matter) be on the type characteristics, even when it jeopardizes with things like the health, beauty, temper and balance of the cat breed?
post #2 of 14
IMO you still have good qualities and balace, etc. in modern day Siamese/Persians, as you did before. Granted both breeds are more extreme, but that doesn't make them unhealthy.

The very early siamese that were shown in England, were brought from the Orient and were NOT temple cats - they were picked off the street and transported to Europe, so that is the "type" that was shown. But over the years, more refined siamese were brought from the orient and you started to get more refined cats - the traditional siamese. And from those, you got more extreme to the modern day siamese. The cats are still the same - but the look has changed. You still would have the basic cat - wedge head, tall ears, long elegant body and legs.

I think breeders tend to breed extreme cats just so they are not the run of the mill mixed breeds and are obviously purebred and totally different looking. Is this bad? I don't think so
post #3 of 14
My gripe is with the Persian breed. I do not feel it is right to breed for extremed flat face persians. They have many health problmes due to this. Why breed cats to win at shows.but at the same time this breeding is causing the cats to suffer from health problems.
post #4 of 14
That is such a neat web site idea... Showing the evolution of breeds through show winners. If I had time to do a web site right now that is what I would do. It would be a challenge though because of the copyright issues and the permissions needed etc..
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by gardenandcats View Post
My gripe is with the Persian breed. I do not feel it is right to breed for extremed flat face persians. They have many health problmes due to this. Why breed cats to win at shows.but at the same time this breeding is causing the cats to suffer from health problems.
I agree with this! I wish I would of understood this 10 years ago when I bought my persian. I love mine but he has had alot of health problems. As for the siamese I do like the long slanky look but I have no idea if they health problems or not.
post #6 of 14
I think the Siamese are getting too extreme these days. I think the perfect style of a more modern Siamese, is my little SunLee. She's not so extreme, and doesn't look strange.

Her face is wedge shaped, but not as long as what is the standard these days. She looks more like the Siamese that were accepted in 1976.

Now, I much prefer the doll faced Persians. I don't think the super flat face is attractive at all.
post #7 of 14
Heidrun - glad to see that the GCCF link helped you find those pictures!

The 1978 Persian grand champion, Cobden Charlie, was the father of our first pedigree kitten, a seal point Persian my mum named Spiffy. He was absolutely stunning. We would never get another show- quality Persian now, as the faces have become far too extreme, they look nothing like the old standard. However I am a fan of the modern Siamese, I prefer them to the stockier traditional type, though as far as I know the modern Siamese don't suffer from any more health problems than a traditional would.
post #8 of 14
I don't believe in breeding for extreme features since they tend to cause health problems sooner or later. We've seen it happen among dog breeds for many, many years. Luckily we don't have the same degree of the problem with cats, the Persian and the Siamese are basically the only cat breeds we can see very extreme features in but I'm just waiting for my own breed, the Devon Rex, will go the same way. Abroad I've seen Devon Rex breeders aiming for stops that look like a pit in the face of the cat, short muzzles that might just as well belong to a Persian and big round eyes just waiting to start wetting.

We have to think about what we are doing to the cats inside when we shape the outside. How big can the ears become until the cats get prone to ear infections? How large can the eyes becom until they get runny? How short muzzles can we have until the teeth start to have problems fitting in?

I don't necessarily think the main goal with breeding has to be preserving the original type, type can progress and be refined without ever causing any problems but we have to think about what we are doing. I thinkg the original Devon Rex, Kirlee, was a stunning male but I do believe his features can be refined somewhat without us harming the cats. I got absolutely furious when FIFé decided to change the Devon Rex standard. From saying that the Devon Rex should have a short muzzle they today should have a VERY short muzzle. The FIFé standard for the Persian says they should have a short muzzle... so the muzzle of a Devon Rex should be shorter than the muzzle of a Persian. Madness!
post #9 of 14
Wow! That is amazing the changes that have happened over time. Thanks for taking the time to put that together.

I know that different people have their preferences and I do respect that. My concern is that there may be some truth to what I've heard about the health issues that occur with extreme breeding.

I guess I'm just confused as to why associations lean to these extremes verses appreciating how the breeds use to look. If it is for surety of purebred, then at what cost?
post #10 of 14
I just don't understand the thinking of who ever is in charge of setting the standards at these cat shows. They obviously are cat lovers.They must be intelligient people. Yet they encourage this extreme breeding.Knowing full well that in reality these cats are not healthy due to this. Why on earth would they encourage this.If they "who ever they are" would just change the written standard for these breeds. People would have no reason to breed cats (for example the Persians with the very flat pushed in faces.) It makes no sense to me...
Untill people stand up and make a protest this is going to continue.The solution is simple change the standards and people will breed accordingly.Not only are Persians having severe sinus, respiratory, and cronic runny eyes. They are starting to have a shorter life span due to the breathing problems that is causing there hearts to work harder and they are dieing younger.
post #11 of 14
Both my Sneakers and my Godiva have flatter faces (they aren't as flat as they could be) and they still have health problems. I had to get Godiva surgery on her 3rd eyelid and Sneakers sometimes has to breath through her mouth because her nose is too narrow to beathe in and out of... it's pathetic. If I had known that when I was looking for a breed to get, I wouldn't have gotten a purebred. I love my kitties, but I definitely do not support that kind of extreme breeding anymore. I think it's irresponsible.
post #12 of 14
I just have to say, is anyone else totally disturbed by that last persian? His nose is parallel with his eyes, and his mouth makes him look angry. Poor cat.
post #13 of 14
I have two doll faced persians. They look like the winners did 30 years ago.
Cute and fluffy. Persian is a such a gorgeous cat, I do not understand the desire to breed the face so flat that the nose sits between the eyes.
Pretty soon there probably won't be many doll faced persians left.
Oh well.
post #14 of 14
I plan to get a dollfaced persian or two at some point. The flat faces are sort of cute, but I don't understand why they're being bred for in super extremes.

Almost everyone I personally know with flatfaced cats has had to spend bundles on medications and corrective surgeries because of breathing issues/eye problems.
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