Persian cats have beautiful long hair but they do need a lot of care to keep from matting and tangling. With regular grooming, they can be the most gorgeous animals around. However, grooming a Persian for the first time can be a daunting prospect. Here is your guide to grooming your Persian puss at home.
Brushing Your Persian Cat
Persian cats are generally very placid and willing to sit still for grooming. Start by holding your cat gently in a position that is comfortable for both of you. Ensure your cat is calm and content before you start brushing.
First, use a wide-toothed metal comb to ease out tangles from the cat’s hair. Be careful not to pull at the cat’s hair. Work mats loose gently. Use small scissors to carefully cut out any knots that you cannot detangle, but use great caution with the scissors that you don’t accidently cut your cat’s skin. A good rule of thumb is to always be sure you can see daylight between the cat’s skin and the scissors before snipping.
Gently comb or brush the cat’s fur in the direction of growth, using a good comb (like the “greyhound” comb pictured here), or a good quality pin brush or slicker brush will also work. Whatever type of grooming tool is your preference, be sure you are brushing all the way through the coat, down to the skin. A common rookie mistake is to think you are done when the top coat looks beautifully smooth. But if you dig down underneath or look in the armpits, you’ll often find a nest of tangles hiding. Part the hair with your hands until you see the skin — and make sure you are brushing all the way down! Any place you see curly hair, those are problem areas that need to be brushed out.
A special coat-thinning grooming tool such as the Furminator can help to reduce the volume of your Persian’s undercoat, making him easier to care for and reducing the amount of hair that your kitty sheds all over your house.
Bathing Your Persian Cat
Persians need bathing relatively frequently – at least once every four to six weeks. You can tell when your Persian needs bathing when patches of grease begin to appear where the legs meet the body.
Before bathing, ease out tangles and mats from the dry fur, then gently bathe your cat in warm water. (Notice how we gloss right over this part – yes, shampooing a reluctant cat can be challenge. It’s best if you have four extra hands and wear a suit of waterproof Kevlar.) More seriously, draw a warm bath before bringing your cat into the bathing area. Have towels and shampoo ready. Use cat shampoo to gently wash your cat’s hair. Human shampoo can dry out the cat’s skin. Rinse the cat thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo.
Once the bath is over, dry your Persian carefully using a soft towel. It’s generally not necessary or even desirable to blowdry a cat – and they generally don’t like it one bit. Just restrict them to a warm clean area until their fur air dries. Once the hair is completely dry, brush or comb through it so it is neat and tidy.
Like all cats, Persians need to have their nails clipped occasionally, particularly if they are indoor cats that don’t like to use a scratching post. If you don’t see where the quick begins, ask a professional groomer to show you where on the nail to clip to avoid hurting your cat.
Keep the sanitary area neat and tidy by trimming the hair around your Persian cat’s anus and back of the legs with small scissors. Again, be extremely careful to snip away only hair. If left untrimmed, poop can get stuck in the hair back there. Not only does this make your cat look awful and smell bad, but it can also lead to infections.
Clean out their ears using ear cleaner and cotton balls. Moisten the cotton ball and gently clean the inside of each ear. Repeat with a fresh cotton ball until the cotton ball comes out clean.
If you find that grooming your Persian is overwhelming, you can ask a professional groomer to trim his or her coat to a more manageable length. This will reduce the amount of hair you see from shedding, and also cut down on the amount of brushing you need to do to keep his coat free of tangles. Check out our post on lion clips for cats and particularly the section on chenille clips for more information.