Whether adopting a full-grown Persian set in his ways or a Persian kitten that loves to play, you are about to enter a wonderful chapter of pet ownership. Persians are noted for their beautiful, long flowing coats and easy-going personalities. They have short, snubbed noses and big round eyes. Combine those features with a lot of fur, and you can guess why this breed is known for its priceless expressions.
Coat Care is a Priority
While all cats require care, Persians need a little more TLC because of their impressive fur – a combination of a thick undercoat and a silky overcoat. To keep the coat from matting, daily combing is necessary. This will smooth tangles and distribute natural oils to maximize the gloss of their coats. Removal of loose hair – especially during shedding seasons – will minimize hairballs and help keep fur off your clothes and from collecting under furniture. Persians may need an occasional bath or visit to a professional groomer. Daily eye care is recommended to keep vision optimal and to eliminate tear stains.
Persians are best suited as indoor cats, but can get fresh air and sun in a screened window or porch or in an enclosed yard. Some cats even learn to walk on a harness and leash, but be sure to have your cat wear his identification and vet tags on a breakaway collar just in case there is an escape. Always use a comfortable secure cat carrier when transporting your kitty in a vehicle.
Water, Food & Litter
If you plan to keep your kitty inside, you will need to provide a clean litter box, a scratching post and a pot of grass seedlings for chewing. You may even want to install a cat condo, which provides secluded nooks in which your Persian can nap and high perches to scope out household activities. If you have problems with cat box training, experiment with different types of litter and even location. Quiet spots are best. If you have multiple cats, please note that some felines will not use another’s box.
Of course, fresh water and healthful food are essential. Your veterinarian or a reputable breeder is a good source of nutrition advice, but generally speaking the highest quality foods – whether soft or in kibble form – will contain mostly meat, less filler and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Water should be provided around the clock, and food should be offered in amounts that help your cat maintain a healthy weight.
Caring for Body and Soul
Regular veterinary care is a must. Vaccinations should be kept up to date, and kittens should be spayed or neutered as soon as it is safe to do so.
And just as you attend to your cat’s physical health, his emotional well being will be maximized by providing a safe and stimulating environment. Daily petting will give your cat a sense of security and may help owners reduce their own stress levels, studies have shown. Entertainment is important too. Even placid cats love to play on occasion, so provide plenty of safe toys and the random empty box or paper bag for a game of hide-and-seek. Interaction with your pet will stimulate him mentally and give him exercise. It also will help strengthen your bond with one another.
A happy cat is less likely to develop bad habits. If an issue crops up, be patient. Take the time to discern why the behavior developed. With consistent training and positive reinforcement, most problems can be remedied.