Much loved as they are for their adorable faces and funny noises, it can’t be denied that Persian cats look a little angry sometimes! If you are familiar with these cuddly, calm, and docile felines, you’ll know that they aren’t mad at all most of the time, so why do they look it?
Why Do Persian Cats Look Angry?
The Persian’s angry expression is a result from having a mouth that looks like it is set into a frown. This, along with a squashed face, is enough to make them look angry, and it’s the result of breeding to produce an increasingly short face – the same breeding that created the Persian cat in the first place.
Do All Persians Look Angry?
Some Persians have a distinctly more irritated look than others; you may notice that Doll-face Persian cats have much rounder faces and rarely have the furious glare of a show Persian.
Doll-faces are the traditional Persian cat and have not been bred so thoroughly to produce specific characteristics.
They tend to have a much softer look, with big, round eyes and a very adorable face. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the flatter head shape came into existence.
According to PersianCatCorner, it is usually the Peke-face Persian cats that look angry. These cats have been bred so their features come into line with each other. And its snout is short and flat.
This type of cat has a squashed face associated with the furious Persian cat that we recognize from memes and pictures online, if not from our own lives. While that may seem like a cute thing, there are some big problems associated with it.
What Specifically Makes Them Look Angry?
The angry expression is thought to be caused by the cat’s features being towards the center of the face. This results in a smooshed face that looks screwed up.
Their eyes are angled down toward the nose as though they are frowning.
Equally, their chins are pulled up, as though their mouths are set into a scowl or a pout. This adds to the overall impression of a bad temper. If their teeth protrude from the lower lip, this can further the look, as though they are baring them into a snarl.
The proper term for this shape is brachycephalic, which is a Latin word for a shortened head. Many purebred cats have this sort of head shape, as it became very popular for a while and was carefully bred into pets over several generations.
Persians can be good pets, but do require the right family.
Who Bred Persians With Flat Faces?
Some Persians with flatter heads occurred naturally, as part of general breeding and mutation. This characteristic appealed to some people, and selective breeding was started to enhance the feature and make it more dominant. Before the 1950s, it was rarely seen, according to PersianCatCorner.
Peke-faced Persians are a distinct breed of Persian cats and take their name from Pekingese dogs, which share similar facial structures. The standards for the breed have changed over the years.
Unfortunately, these flattened faces have caused some considerable health concerns for the cats – and these give Persians an excuse to look angry besides just the genetic one.
They are associated with breathing difficulties, deformed tear ducts and eye problems, dental issues and misaligned jaws, and general discomfort resulting from all these defects. Persian cats may struggle to eat well and often suffer from discomfort when breathing, which can lead to health problems as they grow older.
Now, most breeders are aware of these issues, and more responsible breeding has been encouraged, but these are things to bear in mind when considering Peke-faced Persians and their history. The health and comfort of animals should never be a secondary concern.
How Can You Tell If They Are Actually Angry?
Owners of Peke-faced Persians will usually have a very good idea about their pet’s emotions, regardless of the cat’s expression! Body language is often a better indicator of a cat’s happiness, even for “normal” felines without permanently angry expressions.
Lashing tails, growling, clawing, and biting are all very clear signs that your Persian is unhappy about something. More subtle indicators could be flattened ears or ruffled fur.
According to MyAnimals, dilated pupils are also good indicators of an impending attack, often resulting from irritation.
However, Persians are known for being generally sweet-natured and gentle creatures despite their angry looks. You usually have to push quite hard to annoy a Persian into attacking you, and on the whole, they are laid back creatures that don’t remotely live up to those angry expressions!
You can tell if your Peke-faced Persian is happy by listening for purring or watching it for a while.
Slow blinks are an indication of contentment and trust, while the tip of the tail twitching lightly requests affection. Here’s a list of more signs that your Persian cat loves you and is trying to show you signs of affection.
With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to read your cat perfectly – regardless of its angry expression!
Will Persian Cats Continue To Be Bred With Angry Faces?
As mentioned, Persian cats are being bred more responsibly nowadays, especially as people become more aware of the associated health issues. However, there are still problems with breeders seeking to recreate that furious face.
Unfortunately, many of these “grumpy cats” have taken the Internet by storm, and it seems like people really enjoy the glare of these felines.
They certainly are noticeable, but it’s sad that this seems to have increased the number of people looking to own one despite the noted health problems that they can have.
If you purchase a Persian cat from a reputable breeder, it is not likely to have been bred to dangerous levels, but it may still suffer from some discomfort resulting from over-breeding in its past.
You should ask detailed questions before adopting a Persian and get it checked over by a vet to ensure it is healthy.
Because the health concerns can be so varied and so very unpleasant for the cat, it’s important that people find and support good breeders. They should also consider adopting Persians from shelters.
Many Persian cats end up in shelters because they are high maintenance and require a lot of brushing and grooming – every single day. People take them on because of their looks but quickly find that they are too much work and give them to shelters instead.
If possible, adopt rather than purchasing a newly bred Persian cat. Many shelter cats have this “grumpy” expression and do not involve encouraging the over-breeding of felines for the sake of aesthetics.
You will get a cuddly and loving new friend with that cute expression and none of the guilt!
If you’re wondering why some Persian cats look so angry all the time, you now have your answer; they were bred that way because it looks cute!
Evidently, we still feel that way about them now, although we are taking more responsibility for putting the health of the animals before their aesthetics.
While grumpy Persians may appeal, we all need to do our bit to make sure that these beautiful, loving, and graceful cats aren’t suffering for the sake of aesthetics. They have a lot to offer, and the grumpy face is just a fraction of the enjoyment of owning one of these cats!