The Persian cat is a long-haired breed characterised by its round face and short muzzle. The first documented ancestors of the Persian were imported into Europe from Persia around 1620. The breed was developed after the Second World War and recognised by the Governing Coucil of the Cat Fancy since the late 19th century.
Selective breeding has allowed the development of a wide variety of coat colours (including colour points, sometimes known as Himalayans), and has also led to the creation of increasingly flat-faced Persians. There have been efforts by some breeders to preserve the older type of cat which have a more pronounced muzzle.
The placid and unpretentious nature of the Persian gives a clear propensity for indoor and apartment living. For many people they are regarded as the epitome of pedigree cats.
London Persian Rescue – Background
The London Persian Rescue is a small rescue specialising in the re-homing of Persian cats and, occasionally, associated breeds throughout the UK. As a registered charity, we rely on donations and fund raising to support our work and with no paid staff, every penny raised goes towards the welfare of Persians. The founder, Barbara Black, is a trained midwife and maternity nurse. Barbara has been nursing Persians back to health for over 20 years and is a respected authority on caring for the breed. Barbara works with breeders and other welfare organisations on all aspects of Persian rescue and rehabilitation. She also works collaboratively with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, The Mayhew Animal Hospital, Celia Hammond Trust and Cats Protection League. At the rescue, cats are evaluated in a secure home environment where Persians are matched with their new owners.
All of our cats are health checked, vaccinated, de-matted and chipped prior to re-homing. Support and advice is offered on an on-going basis, and many of our adopters keep in touch. Information is available here.
Caring for Persians
Grooming your Persian
Due to their lovely long coats, Persians have special requirements. The information here has been put together as a guide for owners.
Hopefully your Persian will enjoy being groomed – a special bonding time for you both. However, some Persians hate it, so may need to be groomed little and often.
Don’t give up on grooming – if you are having problems, talk to a professional groomer or your vet. There is always a solution to keeping even the most groom-resistant Persian’s coat in healthy clean condition.
• 7.5 inch Wide Tooth Comb
• A very fine tooth comb
• A round tipped ended brush
• A very fine tooth comb which you can use on the face and feet
• Powder (optional)
• Cotton Wool/Eye cleaning wipes
Simple steps to effective grooming:
1. Comb through the coat
2. When dealing with mats, try to tease them apart into little knots
3. Break them up using the wide tooth comb.
4. Be careful and gentle as the skin is extra tender under the mats.
5. Do not use sharp tools, such as scissors or knives, as these can cause serious injury if your cat resists the grooming and your hand slips.
6. If the matting is really bad see your vet or a professional groomer, who can deal with the matting in a safe, gentle and painless way.
7. If your cat often gets lots of mats (and some just get more than others) it might be worth considering a cut from time to time to help you manage your Persians coat more easily.
If your cat needs a complete shave we recommend using a professional groomer, as they are highly experienced and your cat will tend to be on her best behaviour!
Daily Eye Care
It is very important to clean your Persian’s eyes and the creases in the face every day as debris can build up, causing infections.
1. Gently wipe your Persians eyes with a pet wipe (for eyes/nose) or use a cotton wool pad with warm water
2. Staining is often caused by the caramel flavouring/ colouring in many dry foods – so this needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep your Persian clean, beautiful and healthy. It also prevents staining on your soft furnishings.
Bathing Your Persian
Bathing is a good thing to do every six months, or when you think it may be needed. You can take your cat to a professional groomer. If you choose to bath your Persian yourself the best way to do it is as follows.
1. Make sure you groom your cat before bathing
2. Remove all mats and knots prior to getting the cat wet
3. Bathing can make mats worse – it will not miraculously remove them – only the comb will do that.
Choose a shampoo specially formulated to match your cat’s fur. A white Persian needs to have a white or brightening shampoo and a red or tabby needs something to bring out the lovely golden browns in their coats. There are many good cat shampoos available online and in pet shops.
Preparing the bath Make sure you prepare all your tools and everything that you need in advance. The easiest place to bath your cat is in a sink – preferably one that the cat can sit in comfortably. Fill the sink with warm water and add your shampoo. Place the cat in sink and gently shampoo. Pour water over and just keep going until the water becomes cleaner. Rinse cat with a jug or shower attachment (not on full blast) until all soap is removed from the coat. Make sure all soap is removed from the underside too.
Drying Gently squeeze excess water from the coat – gently towel dry the face and wrap your cat in a towel before starting to dry with your hairdryer. Gently dry your cat, make sure you keep moving the dryer all over the body, and when dry, comb the coat through.
Health Checks and advice from your Vet
Flea and Worm Control
There are excellent flea and worm control products on the market. Your Vet can advise you on the options. Regular flea treatment is necessary, as flea eggs can live in carpets, soft furnishings, and your cat’s fur for years. Cats need to be given flea treatments – even indoor ones, and it doesn’t hurt to worm them too.
Manicure and Pedicure (claw care)
Trim the claws and keep them short but be careful not to cut into the quick. If your cat is a wriggler or you are not confident, then please ask your vet or groomer to do this for you.
Even if your cat is an indoor cat, remember to keep vaccination boosters up to date. If your cat needs to go into a boarding cattery or escapes from your home, up to date vaccinations mean that it is protected against contagious diseases.
Persians have a short jaw and flat face, making them very prone to dental problems. Ensure that your cat’s teeth are checked by your vet (at least once per year). Toothache makes cats miserable and causes bad breath.
Make sure your cat is micro chipped, as they may escape and become disorientated and lost. If someone finds your cat, they will often take it to their local vet or animal rescue organisation. A microchip means that it will be possible to tell that your cat belongs to you.