If you are looking for a furry friend, have a little extra time on your hands, and want an animal that will love you forever, then you should consider a Persian. They are so docile, affectionate, and will worship you for days to come. However, if you are the type that prefers a low maintenance cat, then you should bypass the Persian altogether because they will require a vast amount of your time where grooming is considered.
They Need You
Your Persian will depend on you for many things: including, but not limited to, grooming, entertainment, companionship, security, food, and medical checkups. Although this holds true for any breed, a Persian needs extra assistance, especially when it comes to grooming because it is nearly impossible for them to keep up good hygiene due to all of the dense long hair.
Grooming - They Need Help
You will need to devote at least 20 to 30 minutes of your time, every day, to take care of their fur. If you do not help them groom themselves, you will notice their fur well become matted, dull and tangled. If their fur becomes tangled, eventually it will hurt them because it will become knotted very close to the skin.
To untangle matted hair, try using your fingers first. Take the knots and gently pull them apart, while trying to get your fingers between the knots. Repeat this process until the knots are looser, then use the comb for the rest. Sure, they are going to become fidgety, so I suggest to do this while they are sitting in your lap and very content. It seems to lessen the anxiety for them.
If you cannot loosen the knots with your fingers or a comb, then the very last resort would be to use scissors. Please be careful! Persians skin is very sensitive and will pierce very easily. (I say very last resort because I don’t agree with using the scissor method – just keep working on the tangles, a little at a time, and they will eventually sort themselves out)
Note: Hairballs will be a problem. One remedy would be to give them a pat of butter a day. Another would be to obtain a gel from the veterinarian. Additionally, they shed profusely, so if you wear black, like I do, invest in many lint rollers. You will need them!
Bathing is not really necessary; however, if you feel the need to give your Persian a bath follow these instructions:
- Comb first
- Shampoo - from your vet (I use Dawn dish liquid – at the advice of my veterinarian – most shampoos have harsh chemicals)
- Lukewarm water
- Start at the neck – NEVER put water over their faces (use a damp cloth instead)
- Allow to air dry or use a hair dryer (I use a towel and get most of the water off)
- Comb…fluff…comb again
Although most Persians tend to clean their faces just fine, you may need to help them out a little in the end. This holds true if you have a flat nosed breed. Since their noses are so flat, they tend to have a lot of iodine eye discharge that will color the fur around their eyes. If this is the case, take a lukewarm soft cloth and wipe from the inside (from their nose to the outside of their eye) very gently. You may need to rinse your cloth and repeat. Additionally, you can take a q-tip or cotton ball and VERY CAREFULLY wipe the inside of their fur, around their nose. My Persian is very docile and purrs like crazy when I help him with this. If yours is not, then ask your veterinarian what would be the best method for your kitty.
Sometimes you may find that your Persian has a crusty brown substance around the corners of their mouth. This is feline acne and is caused by dirty bowls. Again, use a lukewarm soft cloth and rub the area. DO NOT pull the crusty substance off because this will hurt them. Just be patient and it will eventually come off on the cloth.
The feline acne state above primarily comes from plastic containers that have gotten rough or cracked, so opt for a different container. Ceramic bowls, although made with adorable prints these days, can contain lead, so be aware of this when purchasing. As for stainless steel, well, that’s really the way to go. They are durable, dishwasher safe and just a good choice.
Whichever bowl you choose just be sure that it is shallow because Persians tend to have flatter faces then other breeds. Additionally, the bowls should be washed every day to prevent feline acne. Rule of thumb: keep their bowls as clean as you would keep your eating utensils.
Fresh water should be given every day. As for food, well that’s a personal preference. You can put food out in a bowl all day long or feed them on a schedule. I will just warn you that if you put them on a schedule, they will know when it is time to eat. So, feed them enough; otherwise, they will be waking you around 4 am to feed them. A gentle wake up call, I might add, but they will be persistent until you get up and take care of them. Remember, they rely on you for everything!
Persian love to play, so it is essential to provide them with toys and these toys need not be expensive. There are so many things lying around the house that will suit them just fine. For instance, old socks are a great choice, as are empty toilet paper rolls, wine corks and rolled up balls of paper.
Furthermore, Persians are notorious for playing hide and seek, so provide them with some paper bags, with the handles cut off, or boxes they can crawl in and out of. The “cracklier” the better. Some will say that hairbands and bread twist are a great toy; however, I disagree. They could easily be swallowed, so I would suggest to steer clear of these types of toys.
Idea: Take an old fishing pole and tie a string to it that is a little raveled at the end – this will provide hours of fun – I sometimes place it between the cushions of the couch if I have something to do just so my Persian can still play.
Handmade cat nip toys are also a fantastic choice and very easy to make. To learn how to make your own, read Cat Nip Toys
A Healthy Cat
ALWAYS take you feline friend for regular veterinarian checks. Persians are prone to some health risks, such as, respiratory infections, blocked tear ducts, intestinal blockages, and urinary tract infections.
If you see that your Persian is having a hard time urinating, or has started using the bathroom somewhere other than the litter box, it is time for a veterinary visit. These behaviors could mean the beginning of a urinary tract problem or kidney problems in general. My Persian experienced this and is now on a special diet. Luckily, I caught it in time. So, if in doubt, go to the vet. It’s definitely worth the expense.
Vaccinations are a must. Some would say that since their Persian stays indoors, they don’t need vaccines. This is not true, nor is it sensible. Always get their vaccinations.
Outdoors versus indoors: Never allow your Persian to become an outdoor animal. They just aren’t equipped for it due to their long hair and sensitive approach to life in general. In the long run, being outside can cause more health concerns, so if your feline friend wants to be outside, provide him or her with some grass grown indoors and a nice screened in porch or wonderful window.
Thinking of Buying a Persian?
Get the Paperwork
If you are considering adding a purebred Persian to your family, make sure you get the appropriate paperwork, because there are a lot of kitty mills out there that will tell you your new friendly feline is a purebred. The paperwork that you should receive along with your Persian would be a registration certificate that includes the Persians parentage and other pertinent information regarding cat associations.
Persians are a delicate breed and pricey. Rarely will you find one in your local shelter. So, keep in mind, if paperwork cannot be provided, chances are that kitty is not a purebred.
So, if you are thinking about adding a Persian to your family, keep in mind that they are high maintenance and will require a lot of assistance to maintain their beauty. However, all that overtime on your part will definitely be worth every moment because they will bring you such joy that you might ask yourself: “Why didn’t I get one earlier?”
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