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Meet the Persian

June 1, 2021

Do you have a Persian cat? The Persian is one of the most popular breeds in the world. These adorable, fluffy kitties are very sweet and lovable pets! A veterinarian discusses the Persian below.

History

The Persian has a fairly long and distinguished history. In fact, they’re one of the oldest known breeds of cats. Fluffy has been depicted in hieroglyphics dated as far back as 1684 BC. As one may suspect, these kitties likely originated in Persia, specifically in the area now known as Iran. An Italian traveler named Pietro Della Valle brought them to Europe in the 1500’s.

Temperament

Persians are usually quite calm and laid back. They’re also quite affectionate, and love to cuddle. In one study, the Persian scored higher than non-pedigreed kitties in many categories, including vocalization, cleanliness, and how affectionate they are with their humans. However, they can be finicky about whose laps they grace. Fluffy may bond closely with you, but snub everyone else.

Grooming

One of the Persians’ most distinct features is their long, pretty fur. Fluffy will need some help with her beauty ritual. We recommend brushing your furry little diva daily, or at least every other day. Your kitty will also need the occasional bath. If you adopt a Persian kitten, it’s best to get your little ball of fluff used to being bathed while she’s young. That way, if she ever gets something on her fur that would necessitate a bath, you at least have a chance of getting her clean again without going through World War III.

Coloring

As you may know, Persians are typically quite fluffy. Fluffy’s wardrobe includes coats of many different pretty colors and patterns. Some of these include solid, silver and gold, shaded, smoke, tabby, particolor, bicolor, and Himalayan, or seal point. We think they’re all adorable.

Chatter

Persians are rather talkative, but they aren’t loud so much as chatty. They often reply when spoken to, Their voices are usually quite cute and charismatic, and perhaps a bit squeaky. Of course, like any other cat, Fluffy may sound like a siren if she spots the bottom of her food bowl, or doesn’t like what you put in it.

Activity

Persians are about average on the kitty activity scale. They’re playful as babies, but once past kittenhood, they aren’t usually the frisky furballs that you’ll be plucking from your drapes or disengaging from your leg. Fluffy will do best as a pampered indoor ‘princess’ pet. We don’t recommend letting her go outdoors.

Health Issues

As you may have noticed, Persians are often quite flat-faced, or brachycephalic. Many breeders deliberately seek out that squished-face look. This look is cute, but unfortunately it leaves Persians vulnerable to some serious medical issues, including shortness of breath, tearing, and eye problems. In fact, activists are now pushing for changes in the breed standard. Ask your vet for care tips.

Our Advice on Meet the Persian in 2024

Are there any specific genetic health tests or screenings that prospective Persian cat owners should consider before acquiring a kitten or adult cat?

Prospective Persian cat owners should consider specific genetic health tests and screenings to identify common breed-related issues. It’s crucial to screen for polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a prevalent genetic disorder in Persians. Testing for this can be done via DNA testing from a blood sample or cheek swab. Additionally, considering their brachycephalic nature, screenings for respiratory difficulties or eye problems are advisable. Consulting with a veterinarian who can recommend appropriate tests will help ensure the health of the Persian cat before acquisition.

How do Persian cats typically handle travel or changes in their environment?

Persian cats, known for their calm and affectionate temperament, can vary in their response to travel or changes in their environment. They typically prefer stable and predictable surroundings due to their laid-back nature. Sudden changes or travel can induce stress in some Persians. To mitigate stress, it is beneficial to maintain a routine, use calming pheromones, and provide familiar items like blankets or toys during travel. Gradual acclimatization to carriers and short practice trips can also help them adjust better to new environments or travel situations.

Are there any specific grooming tools or products that are particularly effective for maintaining the Persian’s long, thick coat?

For maintaining a Persian cat’s long, thick coat, specific grooming tools and products are highly recommended. A high-quality steel comb is essential for daily grooming to prevent mats and tangles. Additionally, a slicker brush can be used to gently remove loose fur and smooth the coat. Given their dense fur, using a detangling spray or conditioner can facilitate easier combing and brushing. Regular baths with a moisturizing cat-specific shampoo can help keep their coat clean and reduce skin irritation. These practices are crucial for keeping a Persian’s coat in optimal condition.

Can Persian cats be trained to perform tricks or participate in activities like therapy work?

Persian cats can indeed be trained to perform tricks and participate in activities such as therapy work. Despite their calm demeanor, Persians are capable of learning through positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise. Training them to do simple tricks or to comfortably wear a harness can enhance their participation in therapy settings, where their gentle nature can be soothing to individuals in hospitals, schools, or eldercare facilities. Starting training early and ensuring consistent, gentle instruction can yield excellent results in engaging Persians in such activities.

Are there any notable differences in personality, grooming needs, or health concerns between male and female Persian cats?

Male and female Persian cats generally exhibit similar personalities, both tending to be calm and affectionate. However, males may occasionally display more dominant behaviors and can be slightly larger, which might influence their interaction styles. In terms of grooming needs, both genders require extensive care due to their long, dense fur, including regular combing and occasional baths to prevent matting and maintain coat health. Health concerns are also similar across genders, with both susceptible to breed-specific issues like polycystic kidney disease and respiratory complications due to their brachycephalic nature.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your veterinary clinic in Cavan Monaghan, ON!