BEFORE YOU GET A PERSIAN


PawPersian Qualities

There is a wide variety of canine breeds, each of which has its own distinct personality traits. It is essential that the owner’s personality and the cat’s personality be compatible with one another. Persians are known for their calm demeanor and easygoing nature. The cats themselves are undeniably stunning, but the care that must be given to their coats can be time consuming. It is standard practice to characterize Persians as being reserved, dignified, and not overly talkative. If you think that these characteristics would be desirable in a cat, then a Persian is the breed for you.

PawThe Truth about Grooming/Shedding

It seems like so many people ask: with all that long hair, aren’t shedding and grooming a nightmare with Persians? The real answer: it depends. Consider human hair for a moment. It can be curly or straight, thick or thin, coarse or fine, and everything in between. Every person is a little different and so is every Persian. The type of hair, of course, determines how time-consuming your grooming duties will be as the owner. Some Persians have thick, wooly hair that knots up quickly. They require a daily brushing. (You might even plan to have him/her shaved once or twice a year as well.) Other Persians have sleek, silky hair that never tangles. They can get away with being brushed as needed.

Shedding also varies from Persian to Persian. The general consensus is that it’s not as bad as one might expect. If you are good about grooming your cat regularly, you’ll remove much of the excess hair that would otherwise collect elsewhere. Grooming gloves are handy to have. As you pet your cat, the gloves pick up the loose hair. More grooming tips are available.

PawChoosing a Persian

There are a few things you should decide before you start shopping around. Decide on the colors or patterns that you like most. Also, you need to know ahead of time whether you plan on showing your Persian. If you don’t plan on showing, then you want a “pet-quality” cat. You should decide whether or not the age and sex of the cat matters, too. Once you get a feel for the kind of Persian you want, talk to a vet and see if he/she can recommend a Persian cattery in your area. Most likely, the vets in your area will know which catteries are best known for producing healthy, well-adjusted animals. Another option is to visit a cat show, and talk to judges and exhibitors.

Be aware that many catteries out there are in it just for the money, and as a result, they produce inferior cats. So be on the lookout for sickly kittens who will no doubt be prone to a lifetime of health problems. Before you get to the cattery, go ahead and make a list of questions to ask. Most breeders will be glad to see that you’re responsible and have the cat’s best interest at heart. Once you’re there, pay close attention to the health of the kittens and the living conditions. Does the breeder seem concerned about the kitten’s future home or more interested in making the sale? Be sure to find out how the cattery handles contracts. Most catteries include contracts as part of the transaction. And it’s a good thing because it usually includes details on their return policies.

Another option is to find a Persian rescue organization. Rescue groups keep Persians that have been abandoned or lost. You can also check with your local humane society or animal shelter – sometimes Persians end up there. Not only would you be getting a new kitty, but you would also be saving a life.

Regardless of where you get your cat, you may want to pick up a book/guide on owning a Persian. It can’t hurt to bone up on Persian health and grooming.

PawDealing with Breeders

It is very important to do some homework before deciding on a breeder. If possible, you should visit the cattery to see first hand the enviroment in which the cats are being raised. You will want to observe whether the cats are kept in the home or in cages. Find out how long he/she has been breeding Persians and if you can meet the kitten’s mother and father. Do not be afraid to ask the breeder lots of questions – they should have plenty of questions for you, too.

Definitely get lots of health information. Ask the breeder if he/she provides a written health guarantee (and for how long). Also, find out if there is a veterinarian who sees all the cats and whether he/she has screened them for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. Additionally, you should ask the breeder if he/she is aware of any genetic problems in the breedlines, such as hip dysplasia, and how long the cats typically live.

Finally, the breeder can provide you with guidelines on how often to groom and bathe the cat as well as make recommendations on what to feed the cat.

PawAdapting to a New Home

You can get a wide range of responses from cats adapting to a new home. Some cats will settle in immediately, while others will take months to really get comfortable. Crying isn’t too out of the ordinary and should subside in time. (He/she is still unsure of the environment and is looking to you for comfort and safety.)

Other pets are another factor to consider. Our vet told us that the older the cat is, the harder time he/she has welcoming new animals into the household. Cats are territorial by nature. So don’t expect things to change during the first few weeks. After a while, things should improve. (Our vet also commented that occassionally cat relationships don’t get any better, and the cats end up only tolerating each other.)

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