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Rajah (Chuckles)


Dear Tabby (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Breeding Period
Bladder Stones
Feline Acne
Persian Qualities
Life Span
Deciding on a Persian
Drinking Milk
Adapting to Home
Hair Knots and Eye Drainage
Litterbox Problems

Subject: Breeding Period

Could you tell me the best time of the year to breed a Persian?

There are 2 main breeding periods: early spring and then again in summer. During these seasons, the female will come into heat about every 14-21 days. She will be receptive to mating for 3-6 days.

Subject: Bladder Stones

My Flame Point Himalayan has had bladder stones in the past. Now the cat is beginning to exhibit the same behavior as the last time he got stones. What can I do?

Unfortunately, male cats are prone to developing bladder stones. Sounds like you should have your vet check him out again. I'm not sure what kind of food your vet has recommended, but my male Himalayan has had great success with Science Diet. After having problems with stones, we started feeding him Science Diet. Knock on wood, he's never gotten them again, and it's been over 9 years.

Subject: Shaving

I was given a 2-year-old Persian recently. The previous owner said that during the summer he usually shaved her to help with the high heat and humidity. I have never owned a long-haired cat before. Is this customary?

Not to worry. Shaving a Persian is quite common, but it's ultimately up to you. I take mine to the groomers for a shaving once or twice a year. I've had groomers tell me it's actually good for Persian cats because it lets them grow out a fresh, new coat and gives the skin some air.

Subject: Feline Acne

My Himalyan has suffered with feline acne since about one year of age. The breakout happens once a month, lasts for about 12-14 days, clears up, and then we start all over again.

My Himalayan had feline acne about 10 years ago. Back then, the vet told us to take a cotton ball, wet it down with alchohol, and swab the cat's chin every few days. I don't know that it actually did any good, but we gave it a try. I have heard that cleansing the cat's chin with a benzoyl peroxide shampoo a couple of times a week helps.

Some vets recommend antibiotics or corticosteroids, but I'm not one to suggest drugs unless it's absolutely necessary. And in case it's an allergy to plastic food bowls, try using ceramic or stainless steel bowls for the food and water.

Subject: Persian Qualities

Could you please list me 2-3 common characteristics that make a Persian cat desirable as a pet?

There are many different breeds out there all with different personalities. And it's important that the personality of the cat compliments that of the owner. Persians tend to be serene and laid-back and often have clownlike tendencies. They are definitely beautiful cats, but their coats require a good bit of maintenance. Persians are commonly described as being quiet, dignified, and not too vocal. If these traits sound good, then a Persian is the cat for you.

Subject: Life Span

I have two lovely registered Persians. Could you tell us, what is the average life span of a Persian? They are both starting to show signs of aging, and we want to do whatever will help them grow old gracefully.

I understand your concerns. Typically, the life span of a Persian is 15 years and up. Actually, I spoke with someone last week who's Persian had lived to be 22 years old!

Subject: Deciding on a Persian

I vowed that my next cat would be a Persian. Please send me information on purchasing one.

First there are a few things you should decide before you start shopping around. Decide on the colors or patterns that you like most. Also, you need to know ahead of time whether you plan on showing your Persian. If you don't plan on showing, then you want a "pet-quality" cat. You may want to decide whether or not the age and sex of the cat matters, too. Once you get a feel for the kind of Persian you want, talk to a vet and see if he/she can recommend a Persian cattery in your area. Most likely, the vets in your area will know which catteries are best known for producing healthy, well-adjusted animals. Another option is to visit a cat show, and talk to judges and exhibitors.

Be aware that many catteries out there are in it just for the money, and as a result, they produce inferior cats. So be on the lookout for sickly kittens who will no doubt be prone to a lifetime of health problems. Before you get to the cattery, go ahead and make a list of questions to ask. Most breeders will be glad to see that you're responsible and have the cat's best interest at heart. Once you're there, pay close attention to the health of the kittens and the living conditions. Does the breeder seem concerned about the kitten's future home or more interested in making the sale? Be sure to find out how the cattery handles contracts. Most catteries include contracts as part of the transaction. And it's a good thing because it usually includes details on their return policies.

Also, you may want to pick up a book/guide on owning a Persian. It can't hurt to beef up on Persian health and grooming. I know all this sounds like a lot of work, but try to remember that you're getting a new family member.

Subject: Drinking Milk

I have a persian cat and would like to know if it is okay to give the cat a little milk. When I was growing up, we always gave our cats milk.

I've heard very mixed reviews about cats and milk. Cats usually love milk if you give it to them, but it may not be the best substance for their digestive systems. I've read (don't know for sure if it's true) that cats are actually lactose intolerant. So giving milk to your cat may result in him/her having an upset stomach or diarrhea. You can try giving your cat a small amount and see if there are any problems. Otherwise, I suggest a product called Cat Sip. It's a milk product made for cats, so your cat should be able to digest it easily. You can pick up some at your supermarket in the cat-treat section. It looks like a little juice box.

Subject: Adapting to Home

My husband and I recently bought a 2-year old male from the local pet store. Three days after his arrival in our home, we had him neutered. However, he still consistently cries throughout the day and night. He seems especially vocal when he is alone. Could he still be adapting to a new home and just be lonely and looking for attention? I must tell you that we have two other cats in the household - both spayed females (ages 6 and 2). He gets along with one of them (the 2-year old), but the 6-year old is resisting his presence by hissing and growling at him. Could this also be a factor?

You can get a wide range of responses from cats adapting to a new home. Some cats will settle in immediately, while others will take months to really get comfortable. The crying isn't too out of the ordinary and should subside in the near future. He's probably still unsure of his environment and is looking to you for comfort and safety. Also, the stress of having his surgery may have thrown him mentally and physically out of whack. Your other 2 cats are another factor to consider. When we got a new Persian back in October, my Himalayan (who I've had for 12 years) had a really hard time with it. He behaved the same way your 6-year old is behaving. Our vet told us that the older the cat is, the harder time he/she has welcoming new animals into the household. Cats are territorial by nature. So don't expect things to change during the first few weeks. After a while, things should improve. (Our vet also commented that occassionally cat relationships don't get any better, and the cats end up only tolerating each other.) Right now, you need to just give it time.

Subject: Hair Knots and Eye Drainage

A local pet store has a Persian cat. Everytime I see it, its hair is very matted as if it has quit grooming. Also, it has eye gunk built up around the eyes, but it is still wanting to play. Do you think this cat could be very ill?

I tend the think that the kitten is ok, but you never know. One thing to remember about Persians and other longhaired breeds is that they need to be brushed/groomed daily or every other day. The cat can only do so much on his/her own to maintain a healthy coat. So assistance from humans is usually necessary. With regard to the "eye gunk," that's just another problem that Persians typically encounter. Due to the shape of the face and head (as well as other factors), Persians often develop respiratory problems that result in wheezing and eye drainage (this is more of an annoyance to the cat than anything). If the cat cannot clean off all of the substance, it falls upon the owner to do so. So it sounds like this pet store is just being kind of lazy.

Subject: Litterbox Problems

I have a Persian and a Himalayan. I have had the Persian for several years and the Himalayan for about a year. If I am gone too long or the Persian is unhappy (for whatever reason) she will go to the bathroom on the floor. I have no problems with the Himalayan. I have tried everything, however nothing seems to break her. There is a jealousy problem between the two cats. I try to pay extra attention to the Persian. Any suggestions?

Your cat has decided that the litterbox is an unpleasant place to be. The box may not be clean enough for her, she may have experienced painful urination or defection in the box, she may have been startled by a noise while using the box, or perhaps she has been "ambushed" while in the box by either another cat, a child, a dog, or even by you if you were attempting to catch her for some reason. This kind of an aversion may require you to completely replace the litterbox so it no longer reminds your cat of unpleasant experiences. You may need to buy a new box, put it in a new location and use a different type of litter. Remember to keep the box clean - scoop everyday, and completely change the litter anywhere from every three days to once a week.

If stress is involved (sounds like it in your case), you may see other behavioral or physical changes as well, such as, weight loss, fearful behavior, or changes in eating or sleeping habits. Punishment is not a way to resolve a litterbox problem. First, check with your veterinarian. Health problems can cause litterbox problems.

It has been said that booby traps, placed in the location of the soiling, may discourage pets from repeating the behavior in the same location again. Tricks include two-sided carpet tape, which pets don't like to walk on, a string of empty soda cans, small alarms set off by motion, balloons set up to pop against a tack on the wall if bumped by the cat, and mouse traps set upside down provide a quick, safe scare to the cat. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian before setting up any traps.
Some information in the above answer came from Feline Housesoiling (Acme Pet).

Subject: Grooming

I have a long hair Persian, and her hair is matting up in huge clumps, and I want to know what I should do. If you have any suggestions or tips, please help me.

Yes, Persian hair care can definitely be troublesome. If the knots are in the beginning stages, you should be able to work them out with a metal comb and some detangling solution. You can purchase such solutions at pet stores and sometimes veterinary or groomer offices. Ask the salesperson which product he/she recommends.

If your cat's knots are really severe, they will probably need to be cut/shaved off. (Note: this might leaving unattractive bald spots depending on the location of the knots.) Either make an appointment with a local groomer to have the knots shaved, or you can attempt to cut them out yourself if they are not close to the skin.

Now if your cat is badly knotted all over, you might want to consider getting him/her completely shaved - leaving the fur about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch for insulation. That way your cat will be able to grow a brand new coat, and you will be able to maintain it from the beginning. It is recommended that you brush Persians daily with a metal comb and bath them occasionally. Since I do not show my Persians, I put less effort into their beauty routines. I can get away with brushing their coats about 3-4 times a week and keeping the hair shorter in their problem areas (under the arms and neck). I also take them for grooming every 3-5 months.


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