Things to Consider Before Buying a Persian Cat
Persian Cat Basics
Persian cats, those gloriously maned creatures, were brought to Europe from the Middle East by traders. Caravans passing through Western Europe would carry exotic wares, jewels, gold, and carpets. But what really attracted the eye of the European was none other than the beautiful Persian cat.
Of unparalleled beauty, the Persian cat was and is a sight to behold. However, it does possess a temperament that can be slightly difficult to manage, yet once you capture the heart of your Persian, it is yours forever to keep.
I've owned a lovely cameo-colored Persian named Capsurr for three years now and wanted to share some information about what you should think about before getting a Persian based on my experience.
What to Know About Persian Cats Before You Buy
There are many factors that go into making the decision to purchase a Persian cat. These include:
1. Initial Cost
Persian cats are expensive! A typical breeder can charge up to and over $800 for a healthy kitten.
It can be difficult to procure the color of kitten you desire most. Greys and beiges seem to be most popular. If you would like your cat to be a certain color, be patient. You may not get your purrfect kitty for a while!
Bear in mind that you may need to develop a working relationship with a breeder out of state or even out of the country in order to get a Persian cat! And shipping costs can be expensive! Some breeders might wish to have an ongoing relationship with you, and some may also have restrictions they write into a contract, such as not surgically removing your cat's nails.
4. Cat Shows
Go to a CFA Persian cat show. This is your opportunity to meet other Persian cat breeders. It's possible there may even be some kittens available for sale at the show.
5. CFA Breed Registration
Remember, it's not a Persian cat, unless it is CFA registered. This means that the bloodline has been determined and established. If you buy a kitten, make sure to register your cat right away. Sorry, even if it looks Persian, it isn't unless it has the proper documentation.
Persian cats require daily bruishing. Are you ready to brush your kitty daily? If your Persian cat is cotton-furred, which is a very soft type of fur, this is especially important as the fur can knot and become nappy. If the fur knots around the belly and under the arms and legs, it can pull at their tender skin.
Ideally, Persians require monthly baths. In some cases, a degreaser is used. I've heard of some people using baby powders to take away oils and untangle knots. Sometimes a color enhancer is also used. I use a purple shampoo for my Persian to brighten the color and make very sure not to get it on his face.
For a darker Persian, a different color enhancer should be used. After the color enhancer, use shampoo and conditioner. Grooming techniques vary, but eventually you will find one which suits you and your kitty. However you do it, monthly bathing is essential to keeping your cat's coat clean and free of tangles.
8. Expected Grooming Costs
Even if you brush your Persian cat daily, you may find that you have to bring your Persian to the groomers every 6 months to a year. Are you prepared to spend around $70 per visit once or twice a year?
9. Flat-faced vs Traditional-faced Persians
There are two types of Persian: flat-faced and traditional. The one we, as Americans, are most familiar with is the flat-faced variety. This is actually an Americanized variety and not necessarily the true variety. It all comes down to personal preference.
10. Issues Pertaining to Persian Eye and Nasal Drainage
Flat-faced Persians are cute, but they can have serious eye drainage around their faces, as well as nasal stuffiness. Some flat-faced Persians face health issues in the long run. Traditional Persians have a nose structure that allows proper drainage.
Please note, the flatter the face on your Persian, the higher likelihood it may experience allergies and colds. Traditional Persian cats require some amount of cleaning as well, as they are prone to eye muck.
11. Persians as Indoor Cats
Persian are one of the most domesticated of all cats. They should not be outdoors cats. They were once owned by kings and concubines and deserve a quiet life, which is the life they were raised for. Although I've seen an outdoors Persian, it is not something that aligns with their natural constitution.
If you own a Persian, it is your right to keep your cat as you like. But please consider that Persians tend to be very soft in body composition, as well as temperamental and nervous about danger and loud noises—not exactly the proper making for an alley cat. Not to mention, the nose structures of a Persian leave it vulnerable to infection from outdoor pollutants and dust.
Also, a groomer once told me that Persians who are left to roam outside and whose fur is not tended to frequently enough often arrive at her shop with maggots under the knots and naps. My two cents: Keep your Persian indoors!
Bonus Video: Cats 101—Persians!
Some Great Websites Pertaining to Persian Cats
CFA (The Cat Fanciers' Association) — This website will help you with registering your cat, cat information, national cat shows, etc.
Persian Cats LLC: An Online Community of Persian Cat Fans Everywhere — This is a great online forum made of Persian cat lovers who are very helpful with all questions. Breeders can be found here, too!