A: According to the rules of each feline organization, cats for pets are required to be neutered. As a breeder and member of one of the most respected global feline organizations - WCF and the cattery for Persian cats, we strictly adhere to this policy. There are few simple and compelling reasons for that. The first is the health of animals! It has been proved that castrated animals live 3 years longer. Castration prevents mammary, uterine, ovarian and vaginal tumors, uterine inflammation (pyometra) and so on. It prevents males from developing prostate problems, tumors and inflammation of the testes. It also prevents smaller events such as marking, constant meowing or whining, aggression and bad behavior. Last but not least castration preserves the purity of a breed. It prevents unscrupulous and unauthorized people from breeding illegally these wonderful cats! The Persian cat has its own specifics that would immediately be lost if mating with any other breed was allowed. Even breeding with some similar breeds could be devastating. That's why we ask you to understand our responsibility as breeders of this special breed. We don't want to see stray cats which resemble the little birmans! Even a cat sold and then mated with the wrong partner can be a factor which one day may lead to this! Again, not least neutering is the only humane way to control the population of animals!
Q: Taking care of Persians
A: 1. They require daily brushing.One of the most striking aspects of the Persian breed is the long, silky, and luxurious coat, praised by breeders and show judges and beloved by their owners. However, owners run the risk of matting and tangling should the cat prove too stressed or otherwise emotionally distraught to execute the regular cleaning ritual. It is recommended to slowly groom a Persian cat for at least 15 minutes a day using a fine-toothed metal comb to remove any nits, ticks, fleas, or other annoyances. This keeps their coats healthy, saving money and time on regular trips to a groomer. While brushing, be sure to pay very close attention to the areas that the cat may not be able to reach on his or her own, such as the throat, the neck, parts of the tail, and parts of the legs. Doing so ensures a smooth, even pelt on all sides, devoid of uncomfortable and unsightly knots and mats.
2. It is possible to keep them on a vegetarian diet.
Though natural carnivores, Persian longhairs respond fine to a diet comprised of commercial vegetarian food supplemented by wheatgrass. A sturdy but somewhat languid breed, some cats struggle against weight issues. Vegetarian diets prevent some of the unhealthy additional weight gain that many Persian cats face, so it is a possible route to consider when owning one facing these problems. It is never a wise idea to switch a pet’s diet without prior consultation with a veterinarian, however. Keep the cat in question on the same dietary regimen as always before receiving professional approval. To make the transition, start incorporating the new food into a normal diet little by little until replacing the old food completely. This cuts down on any potential intestinal disrupts experienced as a result of an abrupt dietary shift. The addition of wheatgrass – which grows easily and rapidly in a windowsill – acts as a digestive aid for cats with sensitive stomachs.
3. They require regular baths.
Except for the Scottish Fold and controversial “Puppykat” breeds, most domestic felines harbor a legendary aversion to water. Unfortunately, Persian cats require weekly or monthly baths – especially if they ever venture outdoors. The frequency of these baths depends on owner preference, vet recommendations, and the animal’s lifestyle. Cats who traverse the yard pick up dirt, bugs, twigs, and other detritus harmful to their lengthy pelts and the home, and therefore require more bathing than those spending their lives indoors. But even homebound Persians have their own unsanitary risks. Being longhaired, excursions to the litter box may result in fecal matter becoming accidentally stuck, even embedded, on the legs or tail. This poses a health hazard not only to the cat, who may accidentally ingest the substances during personal grooming sessions, but their owners as well. Regular bathing reduces the spread of bacteria across the home and helps keeps Persians and their masters and mistresses healthy.
4. Be sure to clean around their eyes.
Because of the flat, snub-nosed face that characterizes the breed, Persian cats have a tendency to suffer from teary, gooey, or crusty eyes. As a result, their faces may become discolored and infected with bacteria. Lighter colored cats may end up with unsightly staining around the eyes if the draining remains unchecked. Depending on the severity of the leakage, they will need cleaning once or twice a day to prevent health and aesthetic issues. Cats with more pronounced muzzles tend to deal with these issues less frequently than those with much flatter faces. Commercial wipes and tear stain remover have been specially formulated for use around (never in) the eyes. However, those on a limited budget may use a tissue, paper towel dampened with warm water, or a soft washcloth to get the job done as well. Extra care must be taken during the cleaning ritual, as Persian longhairs are already prone to cornea scratches, ulcerations, and/or cloudiness as well. Slippage may result in further damaging an already sensitive eye.
5. Persian cats are best kept indoors.
While many cat breeds relish the outdoors, it is best for those of the Persian variety to only venture outside the house in small doses for a number of different reasons. Their long pelt traps more dirt, sticks, grass, and leaves as well as ticks, fleas, nits, chiggers, and other pests than shorthaired cats. Tracking in such a mess poses a health hazard for human and animal residents alike and demands precious time to clean. In addition, a Persian’s majestic coat stems from the breed’s origins in the Iranian deserts. Exposure to particularly humid or frigid climates may prove uncomfortable for extended periods of time, as they are more biologically adept to subsist where the atmosphere remains more arid. However, cats who have been shaved – most especially in the popular and visually comical “lion cut” – function better in the outdoors for longer spans of time than those who have not. Obviously, though, this is unadvisable during colder, wetter months. Though shaving reduces the chances of the cat dragging in elements best left outdoors, it does not eliminate the threat entirely.
6. They are prone to kidney issues.
Between 36% and 49% of the Persian cat population suffers from polycystic kidney disease, or PKD. Symptoms begin developing between 3 and 10 years of age and include depression, apathy towards cleaning, weight loss due to a dwindling appetite, and frequent drinking and urination. It results from cysts growing in and around a kidney, eventually growing to replace the organ issue entirely. If left unchecked or undiagnosed, it can lead to enlarged and inevitably failing kidneys. Breeders have done their best to prevent PKD from further tormenting the gene pool, but it has sadly not become eradicated entirely. Owners with the means may want to have their cat screened for the disease via DNA screening or ultrasound if they are concerned it may play host. Regardless of pocketbook, however, all responsible Persian masters and mistresses must whisk their pets to the veterinarian’s office once the symptoms appear to emerge. There is unfortunately no cure for the disease right now in either humans or cats, so owners must face a grim decision after consulting with an animal healthcare professional.
7. Most Persian cats are not terribly active.
Breeders and cat fanciers alike approve of Persian longhairs as ideal apartment cats due to their relatively lackadaisical activity. Notorious sun worshippers, they love nothing more than to stretch out with their bellies towards the sparkling warmth pouring in through the window. This makes them fine, low-intensity pets in a house with children, elderly adults, and/or the disabled who may grow overstimulated or exhausted with hyperactive pets. Unfortunately, behaving more like a decoration than a companion may lead to weight management issues. Along with a vegetarian diet, Persian cats can keep their bodies healthy by engaging in regular exercise with their owners. Any sort of play – especially involving balls, catnip, simple lengths of yarn, or other toys – helps maintain their waistlines and occupy their minds. Yet another drawback to their slothful demeanors is the lack of mental stimuli once the playthings get put away. For indoor cats, simply leaving the blinds open provides them with something external, unfamiliar, and occasionally dynamic to watch throughout their day. Even though they will never capture the tempting squirrels or birds flirting through the window, being able to watch them is sufficient to keep their brains moving. Owners unconcerned with electricity bills may want to leave the television on as an alternative.
8. Try to avoid overfeeding.
Even factoring out the implications regarding weight gain combined with general laziness, owners of these striking cats must practice prudent portion control. Overfeeding may lead to diarrhea or vomiting, as some Persian longhairs suffer from rather sensitive stomachs and are only able to handle a certain amount of nourishment at a time. They may react poorly to certain foods, regardless of whether or not they contain meat or meat products – wet, canned products may especially cause digestive difficulties. Purchasing expensive provisions is not always the solution, either, as cost does not always necessarily denote quality or effectiveness. Some brands are created especially for cats with irritable gastrointestinal tracts and cost no more than many regular foods. Regardless, however, overindulgence in even the meals tailored for felines with special dietary needs may still result in discomfort (or worse). Discussion with a veterinarian and perhaps a little bit of experimentation is all it takes to ensure a cat receives the amount of food necessary for a healthy, comfortable life.
9. Hairballs are a big issue with Persian cats.
As can be expected of an animal sporting such a generous coat, the Persian breed has a tendency to hack up hairballs at a far higher frequency than shorthair cats. Obsessive groomers, felines who whittle away their lives indoors prove something of a migraine for their owners when it comes time to clean up the soggy regurgitated leavings. Fortunately, there are a few measures that masters and mistresses may take in order to reduce time and spent eradicating hairballs. Many pet food suppliers offer inexpensive products specially formulated to keep them to a bare minimum, occasionally offering weight management perks as well. Some cat treats also come with hairball control features as well. Owners may opt to purchase fresh wheatgrass or wheatgrass seeds (which may be grown in a garden or windowsill) as a far healthier alternative, though plants grown with certain pesticides may result in gastrointestinal discomfort. Shaving also reduces hairballs as well, reducing the amount of fur ingested during the grooming ritual.
10. Pay close attention to their nostrils.
Due to their flat faces, many Persian cats suffer from breathing difficulties – more extreme cases are relegated to inhaling and exhaling exclusively through the mouth. Responsible owners must check them every day for nasal obstructions, as they impact these felines moreso than those with normal muzzles. The less pronounced the animal’s muzzle, the more labored their breathing. Cats with severe issues related to their nose and its role in respiration may qualify for a surgical procedure involving their enlargement. Sinus infections and simple colds also negatively affect the Persian breed’s nasal passages as well, so it is always a wise idea to keep a close eye on their general health. Some snorting and sneezing naturally results from their unusual facial bone structure. It is only when this becomes excessive that the cat’s master or mistress should become concerned.
11. Their ears need a fair amount of cleaning.
As with most cats, Persians are unable to groom themselves inside their own ears. Their owners must take the responsibility to clean out uncomfortable and disruptive waxy buildup. This may be accomplished with special swabs, a tissue, dampened paper towel, or soft washcloth. Because their ears host some of the most sensitive skin on a cat’s body, special care must be taken to ensure the procedure ensues as quickly, efficiently, and tenderly as possible. Always make sure to check for mites as well, which oftentimes leave behind a rust-tinted crust in and around the ear. These cause considerable trouble for cats, who often react to their presence with visibly pained squirming and frequent scratching and head shaking. It is essential to treat ear mite infestations with the recommended medications as quickly as possible before the victim suffers from permanent hearing damage or other infections.
12. Always buy from a reliable breeder.
If hoping to secure a Persian cat from a breeder rather than a rescue or homeless animal shelter or through an ad, always make sure to check, double-check, and triple-check the individual’s or establishment’s credibility. Failure to do so may result in bringing home a potentially inbred animal, shielding a ticking time bomb of genetic defects that cause it a fair amount of pain and its owners a fair amount of financial stress. Aspiring pet owners do not have to spring for the spawn of a Grand Champion in order to ensure the healthiest Persian possible – all it takes is some research and a few well-informed reference checks to find a breeder that will not saddle them with a terrible deal. Some states and cities require catteries to practice with a license, though this does not always indicate legitimacy. Shady breeders act along the same lines as shady used car dealers, displaying little knowledge of the cats they sell and caring little about what sort of home will be provided. They tend to resort to high-pressure sales and insults hurled towards the competition, often displaying little knowledge of the breed in question and downplaying their genetic issues. Always make sure to perform detailed investigations prior to making a commitment to any breeder.
13. Their affection can sometimes turn to clinginess.
Though generally possessing a rather docile demeanor, Persian longhairs are also beloved for their capacity for great affection as well. They love cuddling, attention, and sleeping with or near their owners. However, there are moments when the cats’ desire for validation may become overwhelming. Begging for pats, scratches, and even playtime may not necessarily be the norm, but pets feeling ignored as their masters or mistresses deal with their everyday lives do freely express their emotions. Rescue cats may especially develop overly loving personalities, having grown lonely and desperate due to an abusive background. Unlike some animals such as sugar gliders, however, cats will not self-mutilate if they do not receive adequate attention. Owners should not face too much pressure should work, family, and other obligations have to take precedence over the persistent Persian for a while because of this. The clinginess may prove irritating at times, but ignoring it has no real dire consequences.
14. Shedding is going to be an issue.
Unsurprisingly, longhaired cats such as Persians pose a shedding problem for their owners. While numerous effective devices to clean up the fallen hairs exist, they do not address the problem at the main source. Daily brushing removes the loose bits of the undercoat and overcoat alike, meaning more fur in the comb instead of the couch. Regular bathing and shampooing is another method of reducing shedding as well. Some cat fanciers opt to shave their pets as well, with the “lion cut” considered one of the more popular styles. Groomers remove most of the hair off the body, leaving the paws, head, and part of the tail untouched. The result may render a cat looking like a delightfully whimsical absurdity straight out of Monty Python, but it still makes for an excellent method of preventing shedding and keeping a home safer from airborne fuzz balls and other unsightly follicular leavings.
15. Persian cats may live up to 20 years.
The average life span of a Persian longhair is very much the same as other cats. They generally live between 10 and 15 years, though hearty specimens from reliable breeders intent on eradicating genetic defects may go on to enjoy 20. Owners diligent about taking care of their cats – bathing them, cleaning their ears, nose, eyes and fur, feeding them properly, and taking them in for regular veterinarian appointments – may enjoy the company of their beloved pets for almost 2 decades.
By following these guidelines, Persian cat owners can guarantee the health and safety of their beloved pet as well as minimize the damage of hairballs, shedding, and other irritants. Taking proper care of these widely popular animals ensures that future generations may also enjoy gratifying affection courtesy of the heartier, happier descendents of today’s housecats.