With their flowing coats and sweet, loving personalities, many cat fanciers consider Persian cats to be the preferred "lap cat" and the quintessential glamor cat. Persians have long been the darlings of the cat fancy, representing more than 60% of all cats registered.(1)
Unfortunately, this popularity has not escaped the notice of the commercial and back yard breeders, who may not properly train the new owners in the art of grooming and maintaining a healthy, well mannered Persian nor educate new owners in cat care and the responsibilities that cat ownership entails. Commercial and back yard breeders may also not know how, or care, to breed to maintain health and temperament. As a result, it is estimated that as many as 80% of all purebred cats arriving at Rescues are Persians.(2)
Persian rescue involves the rescue of pedigreed Persian cats and related cats and "copycats". Copycats are possible purebred mixes or mutations within the stray population that produce a cat which looks like a pedigreed animal to some extent. Sometimes the physical characteristics that are elements of a breed are also found in randombred cats. For instance, the longhair gene that causes the Persian coat is also common and not confined to the Persian breed; the gene that causes the distinctive "pointed" pattern in the Siamese or Himalayan, is also present in the randombred population; the genetic mutation that causes total or partial taillessness is also common and not confined only to Manx and Japanese Bobtails. Since most animals in rescue do not come with their registration papers and pedigrees, many Breed Rescuers often are called upon to make a close determination. Purebred rescue organizations are usually composed of people who are expert in identifying the various breeds of cat. In more cases than not, they will give the benefit of doubt to the cat, accepting what may be a "copycat" (though unlikely pedigreed or pedigree related) in order to assure that they find a home.
These cats may come from Animal Shelters, Humane Societies and sometimes from individuals that have no other resort than to relinquish their pet. Persian Rescues take these cats and have them vet checked for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, wormed and groomed. Rescues provide temporary homes for such cats. In those cases where the rescued cat has previously acquired any problematic attitude or behavior, Rescues work with the animal to correct these problems before placement.
If you are interested in helping foster or providing a permanent home for a Persian rescue, or in otherways supporting or participating in Persian rescue efforts, please join the list for Persian rescue communication, the Persian Rescue Email List. Please note that many of the Persian_Rescue List members are cat breeders who care deeply not only for their own breed, but for all breeds and for the randombred cats as well. Rescued cats are NOT used for breeding nor are they available for breeding. Also, this list is not a vehicle to place retired breeding cats - retiring cats who were previously used for breeding are not placed by their owners through this email list. It is through organized cat fancy contacts that these breeders can provide the expertise and help most specific to the cats in need.
Cat fanciers and breeders are best qualified to rehome the relatively few purebred cats that enter shelters, and many work very hard to accomplish this, both as individuals and as club efforts. The low incidence of purebreds entering shelters can be attributed to the cat fancys dedication to good breeding, careful screening of kitten purchasers, and to the principle that only the very best representatives of breeds should be bred. The vast majority of kittens are either sold with a neuter/spay agreement or sterilized before going to their new homes. Breeders involved with Persian Rescue exercise the same care in rehoming rescued cats that they do with placing their own kittens.
Total U.S. owned cat population 71 million (3)(3).
Of the 71 million, 87% are already neutered or spayed by their caring owners (4)
Total unowned/feral cat population est. 25-40 million (5)
More than half of cats entering shelters are relinquished by their owners for reasons such as: a) moving b) landlord wont allow pet; c) too many animals in household; d) cost of pet maintenance; e) owners personal problems; etc. (7)
Approximately half of the cats entering shelters are unadoptable because they are too old, sick, have serious behavior problems, or are unweaned litters of unowned/feral cats. (8)
Less than 1% of cats entering shelters are purebred (9)
It is estimated that approximately 6% of all cats are purebred. The number of purebred owned cats is growing presently because people appreciate obtaining pets with predictable size, appearance and personality, as well as cats which have been bred with emphasis on good health and good temperament.
Goals of Persian Breed Rescue:
Rescued Persians come from Animal Shelters, Humane Societies and sometimes from individuals that have no other resort than to relinquish their pet. Rescues take these cats and have them vet checked for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection, groomed, vaccinated, wormed and spayed or neutered, as necessary. Persian Rescues then provide temporary homes. In those cases where the rescued Persian has previously acquired any problematic attitude or behavior, Rescues work with the cat to correct these problems before placement.
In far too many cases, people give up animals because they do not understand animals basic behaviors and needs or because of "lifestyle" changes that are beyond their control. Please do help educate others about each species or breed BEFORE they get a pet and caution them to ONLY get a pet if they can honestly commit to that responsibility for the lifetime of the animal. If they are considering buying a whole animal as a pet, please tell them the advantages of spaying or neutering that pet. Only a very few purebred cats, as identified by knowledgeable breeders, are likely to contribute to their breed's important health, beauty and temperament characteristics. It is a rare cat that is qualified for a responsible, pedigreed breeding program! If a person is not ready to undertake the increased level of commitment to a breed which that entails, then other options are available that will still allow them the enjoyment of their chosen breed. Please ask them to consider the neutered or spayed rescue cat as one of those options!
Are you interested in cat adoption? If so, lists of your local rescues by breed and by location are provided here so you can easily find out if there is rescue cat waiting for you.
Thanks for caring!
DISCLAIMER: Please note that The Feline Rescue Network/Persian Rescue does not have control over or any direct relationship to the sites offered as links from this site. The Feline Rescue Network/Persian Rescue is not responsible for the content of these linked sites and is not responsible for any transactions based on contacts made through this site or any linked sites
1. _Cat Fancier's Almanac_, March 2000, The Cat Fanciers
This website is designed & maintained by volunteer efforts. This page last updated on November 11, 2000. Page designed and © copyrighted 2000-2003 by The Feline Rescue Network
Special thanks to Pam Delabar and Anna Sadler for their advice and input.