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Why do Persian cats have flat faces?

Not all Persian cats do have flat faces – the traditional, or doll-faced Persian, actually has a muzzle. In the late-Fifties, some cat fanciers decided a spontaneous mutation was a desirable trait, and began breeding Persians to have shorter and shorter muzzles until they had high noses and flat faces. This ultra-typed Persian cat became the breed standard according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association. At its most extreme, a Persian cat with these features runs the risk of having deformed tear ducts and perpetually runny eyes, so some are calling for a return to the traditional breed.

Answered by Shanna Freeman.