Known for their long, flowing coats and adorable pressed-in faces, Persians are one of the most popular cat breeds. These calm cats are affectionate and adaptable, but they require some extra grooming.
Persians, like other cats, are excellent self-groomers, but their unique coats (which wouldn’t be found in the wild) mean that they need a little extra help in the grooming department.
While you can hire a groomer to take care of your Persian, you can also brush your cat at home using your own tools.
The calm, gentle nature of the Persian cat makes this breed relatively easy to brush. Most take to grooming very well, and are more than happy to sit back and relax while you groom them.
How to Brush a Persian Cat at Home
If you can, make it a point to brush your cat every single day. The long and luxurious coat of a Persian is beautiful to look at, but can easily turn into a matted mess if you don’t keep up with your brushings.
Persians are prone to matting, which can be both unsightly and hazardous to the cat’s health. Matting can cause skin infections.
To brush your cat, you’ll need the following tools:
- Wide-toothed comb
- Fine-toothed comb
Avoid using nylon brushes, as they generate static electricity and can actually shock your cat.
Once you have all of the tools you need, you can start your brushing session. Be sure to choose a time when your cat is calm and content. Avoid brushing your cat when she’s stressed out or agitated. Give her lots of praise and plenty of pets to create a positive experience.
1. Start with a Wide-toothed Comb
Start off your grooming session with a wide-toothed comb. The comb will loosen tangles and snarls that are too difficult to remove with a fine-toothed comb.
Remember to be gentle. Pulling too hard or being too forceful may hurt your cat. The last thing you want is for your cat to view brushings negatively.
- Using the comb, start at the top of the head, and work your way down the cat’s back.
- Be thorough with your brushing, and don’t neglect the tail or behind the ears.
- Turn your cat onto her back, and start from the chest area down to the back legs.
- Don’t forget to brush in between the legs and in the armpits. The fine hairs in these areas are prone to matting.
If you come across a difficult knot, don’t pull on it (you’ll only hurt the cat). Instead, use the comb to tease the knot, or mat, apart. If necessary, you can use a de-matting tool, which has blades that can cut through the mats.
We don’t recommend using scissors to cut the mat. Cats are squirmy and don’t like to be handled too much. One quick movement in the wrong direction could cause you to cut the cat’s skin. You can also try using a grooming powder, which will absorb some of the oil and grease that’s holding the mat together. These powders don’t always work, but they are worth a try.
You can also use a mat splitter, which can be found at most pet supply stores, to literally cut the mat into pieces.
In cases of severe matting, it’s best to see a professional groomer. Once the groomer has restored your cat’s coat, you can start an at-home brushing routine to prevent future mats.
2. Use a Fine-Toothed Comb
Once you’ve finished brushing the coat with a wide-toothed comb, you can move on to a fine-toothed comb.
The fine teeth will catch fur in the undercoat and make it easy to remove. If you come across any knots or mats, work through them gently with the comb. Hold the fur at the roots while combing with the other hand to avoid pulling the skin, which can cause pain.
Use the same brushing pattern as you used with the wide-toothed comb, and make sure that your cat is comfortable and content.
Check the comb every few strokes and remove hair from the bristles as needed.
Some people recommend brushing against the grain when using the fine-toothed comb, but you may want to think twice about doing this. Brushing the opposite way may remove more loose fur from the undercoat, but it can also cause your cat a lot of discomfort. Discomfort can quickly turn to agitation or anger – which may mean a few bites or scratches for you, the groomer.
3. Use a Toothbrush
Cats have sensitive faces, which makes it difficult to brush their facial fur with a regular comb. A toothbrush is a great option for grooming the face because its bristles are stiff but soft.
Use the toothbrush to groom around the eyes, nose and mouth. Again, be gentle. You don’t want to scare or agitate your cat.
4. Use a Stiff Bristled Brush
Finish up by going over the coat one last time with a stiff bristled brush. A good brush will fluff up the coat after combing.
Brush against the growth with the bristled brush. Brushing in the opposite direction will not only make the coat fluffy, but also help stimulate new growth.
5. Repeat Daily
Brushing sessions should take no longer than 15 minutes if you keep up with your routine. Make an effort to brush your cat’s coat every single day, so you don’t have to worry about troublesome tangles and mats.
Every day that you put off brushing increases the risk of your cat’s fur becoming a matted mess.
Brushing is just one part of your Persian cat’s grooming routine. It’s also important to make sure that you’re bathing your cat at least once or twice per month, or every other week. Persian cats have greasy fur, which means it needs to be cleaned more often. Use a gentle shampoo that matches the color of your cat’s coat, and be gentle when cleaning the ears.
Persian cats are beautiful creatures, but to keep them looking their best, you need to establish a good grooming routine. Follow the steps above to keep your cat’s coat looking its best.