Anyone considering getting a Persian cat for their household will have quite a few things to think about, and one of the biggest considerations is likely to be how much maintenance these creatures need. Persian cats are undoubtedly beautiful, but how much work do those beautiful coats take to maintain them?
Are Persian Cats High Maintenance?
Persian cats are often considered high maintenance; they need regular grooming (usually daily) for at least ten minutes, sometimes more. This will ensure good coat health, reduce tangles, and keep them clean and comfortable. You will also have to clean your house more often!
Persian cats make great pets, however, it’s important to know they will require more maintenance than other breeds.
Grooming A Persian Cat
How long you need to spend grooming your Persian cat will depend massively on the season and the climate where you live, but you should estimate at least ten minutes a day. Some people say they spend an hour every day brushing their feline friend!
Persians need grooming; this isn’t something you can neglect. Their long fur requires brushing to avoid knots, which will quickly become mats. Once the coat has matted, it may have to be cut away, so you should take care that this doesn’t happen.
You may also notice that dirt and fluff get tangled in a Persian cat’s coat. Again, regular combing will get this out and prevent it from bothering your kitty.
Occasionally, you may discover that your cat has accidentally got waste stuck in its fur while using the litter box; this will need to be cleaned away with water, and then the fur dried and brushed.
Preparing To Brush A Persian Cat
You will probably find a brush or comb that suits you and your cat perfectly, but make sure you look at suitable options for long-haired cats. You might want a selection so that you can choose, or ones with two sides so you can try out different kinds of brush.
YourCat recommends using a comb instead of a brush, as they claim this works better for the cat. They suggest a wide-tooth comb for the body, while a finer one will do for the face, ears, legs, etc. You may find that just having two combs – or even a comb with one wide end and one fine end – is easier than many brushes.
How To Brush A Persian Cat’s Body
You can find lots of brushing techniques online, or you can talk to the breeder that you buy your Persian cat from to find out what it is used to. You should always make brushing a very positive experience with praise, treats, and encouragement. If your Persian cat starts to struggle, do not force them or get angry.
Negative brushing experiences can be challenging to overcome, and as you need to groom your Persian cat every day, you want them to be relaxed and comfortable while you do it. Try and encourage them to come to you willingly, and let them sniff the brush or comb. Be careful not to tug their fur while you are grooming them.
Many Persian cats seem to enjoy the sensation of being brushed, and you can combine it with petting and fussing to encourage positive associations.
Some people recommend starting at the Persian’s head and working your way along their back to the tail. You can then begin to work on the body and gently free up any tangles. Work in the same direction as your cat’s fur goes; this is more comfortable.
Some people brush in the opposite direction to help loosen and remove the undercoat, but you should check that your cat finds this comfortable before doing so. If they dislike it, take more time and only brush in the same direction that their fur naturally lies in.
What Other Maintenance Does A Persian Cat Need?
PetSittersIreland recommends getting your cat a “lion’s cut” at a groomer’s every so often. This is a cut that will minimize the maintenance, although it in itself is maintenance. It ensures that your Persian’s hair is shorter and easier to brush and won’t tangle as much.
With this kind of cut, your cat will still have long hair on its tail and head, but you won’t have to do as much brushing on its body. You should always ensure you choose a reputable groomer for any cut of your Persian’s fur; do not try and cut it yourself at home.
If you don’t like the lion cut, you can also just get the fur around the back legs and stomach shaved shorter; this will help keep your cat clean when using its litter box and make life easier and more comfortable.
Persians often need quite a lot of attention to keep their faces healthy. Because they are purebred cats, they can suffer from health problems resulting from having squashed faces. These faces attract many people to the cats, but they require extra work.
PetMD explains that Persian cats often get lacrimal tears on their faces because they have a fold of skin between the nose and the eye. The liquid discharged from the eye can run into this fold and then makes the cat’s face look dirty.
Gently wiping this with a tissue or a special cat-eye wipe can help clean the face, but you will also need to keep watch for signs of excessive discharge. If you see it or redness or signs of pain, your Persian will need to be taken directly to a vet.
Some people recommend that you bathe your Persian twice a month to prevent grease from building up in their fur. Some may only need a monthly bath or even less. You will need to buy an appropriate shampoo – do not put human shampoo on your cat. You can also buy a suitable de-greaser.
Use warm water and wet the cat slowly, talking to it soothingly as you go. It is best to approach baths with lots of treats, to begin with, and not to force your cat, but to keep gently encouraging them to let you wash and clean them.
Do not get water in your cat’s ears. Don’t spray or pour water over their faces at all. Instead, use a cloth to gently tease the water into the fur there.
If you can get your cat to submerge its body in the water, it will make it much easier to wash the soap and de-greaser out and ensure the undercoat is clean. Not all cats will allow you to do this, so you may have to rinse the cat.
You will need to dry your Persian after a bath thoroughly so it doesn’t get chilled. A large towel and a hairdryer are good if they will tolerate the hairdryer. Do not rub their fur; it may mat.
As you can see, owning a Persian does involve quite a lot of work, but they are loving cats, and many people feel their beauty justifies this work!
Make sure you always handle your cat gently, and when brushing them, tease out tangles as you would in a human’s hair, rather than tugging them.
As long as you are prepared to commit to daily brushing, you should be able to manage the work associated with owning a Persian, but yes, they are high maintenance!