Doll Face or Show Persian Kittens: How to Tell the Difference

Doll face Persians have a distinct look compared to show Persian cats and kittens, but they're actually more like the historic breed than the show variety.

Updated June 15, 2023
Doll Face Persian Kitten

Doll face Persian cats are closer to the original breed type than other Persian varieties. They also happen to be stinkin' cute, especially when they're kittens. Doll face Persian kittens have a more elongated facial structure. This makes them appear more "doll-like," hence the name. See how they differ from today's show Persians, how to tell the difference when they're kittens, and why they may be slightly easier to keep as pets.

Traditional Doll Face Orange Persian Kittens and Cats

Although organizations like the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) maintain one breed standard for Persian cats, there are two distinctly different types of Persians within the fancy. The main difference is in the structure of each breed's head shape and structure, and you can see the difference even when Persians are just kittens.

Doll Face Persians

According to the Traditional Cat Breed Association (TCA), this type of Persian is considered the original/traditional Persian, and they support that position through early images of the breed. This Persian variety has a normal length nose that is in proportion with the rest of its face and skull structure, yet they still have that distinctive Persian look. It's just not as extreme as the Persian shown at most cat shows.

Fast Fact

Because doll face Persians have regular nose structure, they don't have that "pushed up nose" look of show Persians, which is the main difference between these cats.

Show Persians

This is the Persian described in the CFA breed standard. Its head is round with large round eyes, round cheeks and a short nose that is aligned with its eyes. In fact, the nose almost appears to be set between the eyes on some of these extreme Persians because their faces are so flat.

Need to Know

Show Persians are popular in the world of cat shows due to their adherence to breed standards. They're commonly represented as the "ideal" image of a Persian cat.

Comparing Doll Face Persians to Show Persians

When you look at the two varieties of Persian, they're fairly simple to tell apart. Although they both have beautiful flowing fur, the differences in their facial structure are obvious. Compare the two images below to see just how different these two types of Persians can be, even as kittens.

Doll Face Persian and Show Persian kitten comparison

Some Breeders Believe Doll Face Persian Cats Are Healthier

Persian cat breeders who support maintaining the traditional doll face-type of Persian say health considerations are one of the strongest reasons to continue breeding for the original type. The extreme style of the show Persian's head can lead to excessive tearing, and that can lead to facial staining. A flat-faced Persian needs to have their face wiped on a daily basis to keep it clean and prevent sores from developing.

Although they're generally healthier in some forms, doll face Persians are prone to dental issues because of their shortened jaws, like all Persian cats. This can lead to crowding of teeth and other dental diseases, including gingivitis and periodontal disease. Regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian and oral care at home are crucial to your cat's overall well-being.

Brachycephalic Head Structure Health Issues

Like other pets with a brachycephalic head structure, including Pekingese dogs and Pug dogs, some show-type Persians may also experience upper respiratory problems and difficulty breathing. These problems are directly related to their extremely short noses, especially during very warm weather.

You need to take extra care to keep show Persian kittens out of the heat if you have one of these kittens. Due to their more normal head structure, doll face Persians rarely face these same issues.

Doll Face Persian Kittens for Sale

The following catteries are a few examples of breeders who raise doll face Persian kittens. Check out their photo galleries to make sure this is the type of kitten you're looking for.

You'll also find a list of doll face breeders from around the world on the TCA breeders page. Doll Face Persian kittens are more expensive than other Persian varieties, ranging from as low as $500 and as high as $5,000. The cost of the kitten depends on if they're pet- or show-quality and your location and the breeder.

Need to Know

LoveToKnow Pets does not endorse any breeder and recommends that you check out each breeder thoroughly before entering any transaction. Also, make sure your kitten is vet checked and comes with a written health guarantee.

Which Persian Kitten Is Right for You?

Except for the difference in head structure and the resulting difference in looks, both types of Persians still have luxurious coats and very pleasing temperaments. These are relatively quiet kittens that grow up to be very calm cats. Both can make wonderful, beautiful feline companions, and both still need a lot of grooming to keep their long coats in good shape.

However, the show-type Persian needs extra facial grooming on a daily basis. If you don't mind washing your pet's face each day, this won't be a problem. If you prefer not having to deal with this extra grooming, the doll face Persian may be a better pet choice for you.

Trending on LoveToKnow
Doll Face or Show Persian Kittens: How to Tell the Difference