With their long, luxurious coats, Persian cats are beautiful creatures. And while they’re perfectly happy grooming themselves, regular brushing will help keep their coats looking shiny, silky and healthy.
With so many cat brushes to choose from, you may be wondering which one is best for this breed. We’ll help you find the best brush for a Persian cat, but first, let’s talk about grooming requirements.
How to Groom a Persian Cat
The Persian cat’s coat is its best-known feature, but it’s also challenging to maintain. Regular brushing is absolutely critical to keeping their coats looking healthy. Skip a day or two, and your cat is likely to look like a matted mess.
The breed’s glorious coat is unnatural in the sense that you won’t find it on truly wild cats. Even the most diligent self-grooming cat can’t maintain the beauty of this long coat without a little help.
How often should you brush your Persian cat?
Every day. If you can’t brush on a daily basis, you may be able to get away with grooming every other day. But if you go any longer than this, you run the risk of your cat developing mats.
Mats are unsightly, but they can also be dangerous. The skin beneath can actually become infected if the problem goes unfixed.
Start grooming at an early age.
Persian cats that are groomed at any early age are accustomed to and comfortable with the practice. A thorough brushing should only take about 15 minutes, and you many want to wait until your cat is relaxed (after a nap).
How to Choose the Right Brush for Your Persian Cat
With so many brushes to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed and confused about which ones will be right for your cat.
For Persians, combs are actually better than brushes. Persian cat owners should have the following grooming tools on hand to keep their cat’s coat looking its best.
A wide-toothed comb is great for the initial brushing of the coat. The comb’s teeth will remove knots and tangles in a gentle way.
Look for combs that have metal teeth. Plastic encourages static, which will make it more difficult to work with your cat’s coat.
A fine-toothed comb is ideal for finishing your cat’s coat. The teeth will finely comb the fur and remove any last little tangles and knots the wide-toothed comb may have missed.
Again, metal teeth are better, but make sure they aren’t too stiff. Persians have long and silky coats – not coarse ones. A comb with very stiff teeth may hurt the cat or make brushing uncomfortable.
At some point or another, you’ll have to deal with mats. Mats are just par for the course when you own a Persian.
A dematting tool will allow you to deal with mild mats. These specially-designed tools remove tangles, knots and mats in a safe, gentle way.
Some Persian cat owners prefer to use a slicker brush instead of a comb when grooming their cats. These brushes have thin metal teeth that are bent on the ends. The design of the teeth allows the brush to pick up loose hair and debris in the coat.
While effective, you must be gentle when using these brushes. They can injure the cat’s skin if you apply too much pressure when brushing.
Otherwise, slicker brushes are very effective tools for removing loose, dead fur from your cat’s coat. You’ll be amazed at how much fur these brushes remove.
The Importance of Bathing
In addition to brushing, Persian cats should also be bathed a few times a month. A bath should only happen after a thorough brushing. Knots will only get tighter if you don’t brush them out before washing to coat. When this happens, your only option is to have a groomer remove it.
Once your cat is thoroughly brushed, you can start bathing. Be sure to use warm water and a shampoo that’s designed for your cat’s coat.
The Persian’s coat can sometimes get greasy. Some groomers will use a de-greaser before shampooing the coat. You can use a specialty product, or a simple solution of Dawn dish soap and warm water will work to remove grease and residue.
If your cat has a white coat, consider using a shampoo that has a brightening or a “bluing” agent. This will keep your cat’s coat looking bright and white. It’s best to purchase a shampoo that is designed for your cat’s coat color. Darkening shampoos are best for Persians with dark coats, while shampoos with lightening agents are best for cats with light coats.
Be gentle when washing the face, as the cat’s eyes, ears and mouth are sensitive.
When you’re finished shampooing, be sure to rinse thoroughly. Keep in mind that it takes twice as long to rinse a cat’s coat as it does to wash it.
Next, towel dry the coat, and let it air dry. Some groomers like to blow-dry the coat at a low temperature, but if your cat is not accustomed to the sound and sensation of a dryer, it may do more harm than good to go this route. The last thing you want is for your cat to have a negative experience while grooming her.
Helpful Grooming Tips
- Start with a wide-toothed comb, and then switch to a fine-toothed comb.
- Don’t forget to brush behind the ears and under the armpits.
- Comb the back of the legs and rump thoroughly. These areas are more prone to mats.
- Tease knots apart gently using the comb.
- Do not pull on knots. Pulling will hurt and may leave your cat with bare patches of skin.
- Use a dematting tool to remove mats without destroying your cat’s coat.
- Never use scissors to remove a mat. You may injure your cat in the process.
- Consider applying grooming powder to mat-prone areas before brushing. This will help absorb some of the grease to make brushing easier and less stressful for cats.