Of the 700+ cats that our rescue places per year, a great majority are Persians. People often wonder how we get so many of these wonderful cats, especially because they are known for their sweet nature and charming personalities. The answers are pretty simple; there are more breeders of Persians than any other breed, and people do not usually realize how HIGH MAINTENANCE a Persian is. The cute ball of fluff in the pet store begs to be an impulse buy, but within a year it has turned into a large matted clump of fur that nobody wants to deal with. It is extremely important that people considering this breed understand the responsibilities that come along with a Persian.
Persians are known for their full, beautiful coats and rounded flat faces. They are a breed that is absolutely unfit to live outdoors due to physical makeup. The flatter the face, the more care is needed as the flattening influences tear duct and sinus structure. Many of the flat-faced Persians have watery eyes that must be kept clean daily to reduce the chances of infection. Their coats range from silky and fairly easy to extremely full, cottony and difficult.
Many people skirt around the grooming issues by keeping their cats in short “lion cuts.” This is a cute, hygienic, easy way of maintaining these cats and many seem much happier (and cooler) that way. This does require regular grooming fees (ranging from $35-$50+ depending on where you live) on roughly a quarterly basis. People who keep the coats full should plan for DAILY combing/brushing to keep the fur clean and mat-free.
For more information on grooming, please go to our “Grooming” page.
Persians can have significant health issues resulting in significant care costs. Because of their shortened faces and poor breeding practices, many have bad teeth which will require regular cleaning and perhaps some extractions. Their ears also need regular cleaning in order to avoid infections. In addition, they are very susceptible to joint issues (slipping kneecaps and early arthritis), heart problems, eye ulcers, and Polycystic Kidney Disease. Nostrils can be too small for the cat to breathe and require laser surgery to open them up. In fact, our rescue provides this surgery on a regular basis.
These breeds are best for families and people new to cats because of their laid-back, easy-going personalities, provided, of course, that the new owners are prepared for the care requirements attached to these cats.