The Persian cat is one of the most popular breeds of cats around. Looking at its long flowing coat and open, flower-like face with wide eyes shining with innocence, it is not that hard to believe.
However, Persian cats are well-loved not for their looks alone but for their sweet and gentle personalities as well. They are serene cats that thrive in an environment where they feel secure and loved. But their adaptable nature allows them to feel right at home in boisterous households, especially if reinforced with acceptance and reassurance from the family.
The Persian cat’s long coat is its pride and glory. It is what separates it from all other cat breeds. While the Himalayan cat may be closely related with almost similar features, the Persian cat has the distinction of being the older breed, with roots dating back to the Persian Empire in 1684 B.C.
Although Persian kittens and cats seem to be always identified with white, the coat actually comes in a variety of colors, thanks in part to Persian cat breeders that continue to develop and improve the breed by cross-breeding it with other cats.
Generally, Persian coat colors are divided into seven divisions: solid, tabby, silver and gold, shaded and smoke, Himalayan (debatable), bicolor, and particolor.
Persian Cat Maintenance
Unlike its distant cousin, the Siamese cat, the Persian cat requires less care. Persians are hardy cats with a solid, sturdy body. The only maintenance required of the Persian cat owner is grooming, which should be regular and frequent.
The long coat of the Persian cat should be kept clean and smooth, something that can only be achieved by regular baths and grooming. Both activities play an integral role in Persian cat health as a clean coat helps improve the general well-being of the cat as well as discourage infections and/or parasites.
How To Groom A Persian Cat
The two most pressing concerns in grooming a Persian cat are tangles and mats. It does not help that the Persian cat’s coat is naturally long and prone to tangling. Tangles and mats are the number one culprits of hairballs in cats.
Removing Tangles From Your Persians Coat
The best way to remove tangles is to brush your Persian’s hair everyday, or at the very least, every other day. Many owners and grooming experts recommend a natural soft bristle brush. Gently run the brush over your cat’s coat until the hair comes out looking shiny and healthy.
For more severe tangles, use a comb. Again, gently run the comb through your cat’s hair, taking care not to pull too hard and cause shedding.
For best results, wait until the coat is dry after a recent bath before you start your cat grooming.
Removing Mats From A Persians Coat
Mats are tufts of hair that are severely tangled. The affected areas of hair generally form clumps, which block the skin and cause irritation. If left unchecked, matted hair can lead to itchiness and skin infection.
Preventing mats from forming in the first place is one of the goals of regular grooming. However, if a mat does occur in your pet’s coat, use your fingers to gently tease apart the matted hairs. Once the hairs are loose enough, you can sort out the tangles by running a comb through the affected area. However, be careful not to use nylon combs as these are known to generate static electricity.
If the mat is too severe, you may have to cut some of your Persian’s hair. Be sure to cut as little hair as possible, else risk having a Persian cat that is bald in some areas. If removing matted hair from a Persian kitten, use a pair of round-tipped scissors. Keep the cat comfortable by offering cat treats and plenty of praise.
There are many cat grooming salons that offer to de-mat your cat for you. If it looks like your cat needs to be professionally groomed, then you may want to consider taking your cat to a grooming salon.