Today’s post comes from an experienced Pet groomer who shares some important advice about grooming Persian cats.
Known for their long gorgeous coats and distinguishable pressed-in faces, it is no wonder that Persian cats are the most popular registered purebreds of their species. While cats are self groomers by nature, there are some things you should do and should not do to help them maintain their attractive looks. Here are some do’s and dont’s for grooming your Persian cat:
Trim Your Cat’s Nails
Maintaining the length of your cat’s claws is very important. When cat’s nails get too long, they are more susceptible to getting stuck on objects around the house like blankets, clothing, carpet, drapes, etc. If the nail is stuck, your cat may pull away hard enough to break the nail, which can result in bleeding, pain and discomfort. You may even find yourself paying a visit to the vet depending on how bad the break is. To avoid such a tragedy use cat nail trimmers about every 2 weeks to take the tips off of your cat’s nails.
Clean Your Cat’s Ears
How often do you look inside your cat’s ears? This important health check is often overlooked by most cat owners. By using an ear cleanser on them once a week, you can clean out any debris or buildup. You also will then have the opportunity to look for other existing issues such as an ear infection, ear mites, or foreign objects in the ear such as foxtails.
Brush and Comb Your Cat
Regular brushing is the most important thing you can do to avoid matting, especially with a Persian cat! Brush and comb your cat’s hair starting at the base of the hair, near the skin, and combing outwards. I always recommend using a slicker brush first to help remove any dander, debris, and loose hair, then follow through with a wide tooth comb. The comb will catch any tangles or matts that a brush often misses. Once you come across a tangle or matt, use the comb to help comb it out. If the matt is too tight you can purchase — and carefully use — a matt breaker to remove it. I say carefully because a matt breaker can be damaging to a cat’s skin if used carelessly. Try to brush your Persian cat at least three times a week and always brush out your cat thoroughly before bathing.
Put Cotton Balls in Their Ears Before Washing Their Head
Minimizing the amount of water that enters your cat’s ear during a bath is important to avoid ear infections. By sticking a cotton ball into each ear, not too deep in the ear canal, the cotton ball will absorb most of the water that tries to enter. Just be sure to remove the cotton balls when you are finished bathing your cat!
Bathe Your Cat Every 4-6 Weeks
Long haired cats should be bathed every 4-6 weeks. While they do a great job cleaning themselves, it is still a good idea to give them a thorough cleaning at regular intervals. This is also a great opportunity to trim the nails, clean the ears, check for matts, fleas, skin issues etc. Long haired cats can get a good amount of oil built up at the base of their coat. This oil can accumulate dirt, dander, and other debris. Bathing your cat with a cat shampoo will help to clean your cat’s coat. Shampoos and conditioners are also a great way to hydrate dry skin and coats, relieve any itching, and help brighten a dull coat. Take extra caution when washing their face. Do not spray water directly on it! It is best to use a wet cloth to clean their face, taking extra caution around the eyes and nose.
Use a Conditioner
Persians have long hair, and this long hair should be conditioned. Conditioning your cat’s hair and skin will help to moisturize the skin, hydrate the coat, and keep the hair soft and tangle free. Make sure it is a conditioner safe for cats. Do not use human conditioner.
Read Grooming Product Labels
Do not assume that any grooming product you would purchase from a pet store is safe for cats. Always read the label! There are certain products, including shampoos, that are safe for dogs but not cats.
Cut Your Cat’s Whiskers While whiskers may not seem like they have an important job, they actually do. These thicker, longer, hair-like structures act as sensory receptors. At the base of each whisker is a cluster of nerves allowing the whiskers to pick up movements, airflow changes, imbalance, or foreign objects, and then relaying the information back to the nervous system with enough time for the cat to make a quick adjustment to its surroundings. Whiskers can be found on the cat’s muzzle, chin, and eyebrows. When these hairs get cut or trimmed, a cat’s sense of equilibrium, location, judgement of distances and spaces, and ability to guide gracefully through the night can all become affected. By disrupting this unique sense they can become uneasy, intimidated, lost or scared. So do not cut them!
Use Hot Water When Bathing Your Cat
Cats are sensitive to temperature. When it comes to setting the correct temperature of the water for your cat, use a lukewarm setting. The water should not be hot or cold. Lukewarm water is the way to go for a happy kitty.
Wash Your Cat With A Matted Coat
One of the worse mistakes cat owners can do is wash their cat while there is matting in their fur. This can make the matt tighter and larger, making it even more difficult to remove. It is always best to remove all matts before bathing.
Use Human Shampoo
DO NOT use any type of human shampoo on your cat. Cats have a lower skin pH than we do and human shampoo is formulated for human skin to be able to withstand the acidity of it. More than likely, the human shampoo is too acidic for your cat’s skin and can do damage after prolonged usage by stripping the hair and skin of the natural oils leading to a dry, damaged coat and skin. There is a variety of cat shampoos out on the market to choose from that are formulated for your cat’s skin.
Try To Shave Your Cat
Persians are known for their long, beautiful coats. But at times there may be reasons your cat needs a haircut, whether it is due to warm weather, a matted coat, or you may just be going for a different look. Whatever the reason, make sure to have a groomer do it for you! Cats have very thin skin that is really easy to accidentally cut. Avoid injury by taking your Persian to an experienced cat groomer. A “Lion Cut” is a popular cut for long haired cats.
Grooming your Persian cat is a great bonding moment. It is best to start routine grooming maintenance when they are young kittens. The more exposure your cat has to grooming, the more familiar and comfortable they will become with the process, which will make grooming your cat easier on both of you.
I am the proud owner of The Itchy Pooch Mobile Pet Grooming based out of Hanford CA. I have been a groomer for over 8 years. I started working in a corporate pet store where I learned the art of grooming. After a year there I decided to start my own mobile grooming company….I haven’t looked back since. I decided to start a blog, This Groomer’s Life as a way of sharing my experiences, knowledge and insights of the grooming and pet world.