So you've decided on bringing a kitten home to the nest, and you're considering a Persian; or maybe you've always wanted a Persian and your mind is made up. Either way, Persians are a distinctive breed with unique grooming and health needs. For the right family, they're the perfect cat.
There's a reason the Persian breed is the most popular in the United States. It's not just the cat's long, thick coat or the cute, smushed-in face. The breed tends to produce gentle and sweet but somewhat lazy cats. Even as kittens, they prefer to lounge rather than climb and pounce -- though individual kittens do not always conform to the breed standard. Because of their mellow disposition, it's important to make sure they get enough exercise. In other words, play with them more often.
Let's get it out of the way -- the coat. It's a major part of why the Persian cat stands out. It's long and extremely thick. If the Persian meets breed standards, the coat covers her entire body except the head. When properly cared for, the coat is glossy and fine. A Persian, even a kitten, needs daily grooming sessions. The earlier in the kitten's life you begin daily grooming, the better behaved she'll be as an adult when you attempt to detangle her coat or clip her claws. You may also need to shampoo her coat on occasion if it accumulates dirt or dust.
Persian kittens, as delightful as they are, may be susceptible to certain breed-specific ailments that you'll need to watch out for. They're prone to fungal infections, which makes daily grooming a must. While grooming your kitten, you'll need to check for mycetomas -- little lumps or tags on the skin. Your kitten may develop inflammation of the liver and biliary tract, a condition called cholangiohepatitis. Persian kittens are most at risk for chronic cholangiohepatitis, which can lead to digestive disorders.
Because of their coats, Persian kittens belong indoors. Out in the elements, their coats get dirty and matted. Because of their adorably smushed-in snouts, they should never be left in hot, humid temperatures -- it's too difficult for them to breathe.
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