One of the telltale signs of winter for a Persian cat owner is that their pet's fur starts to thicken a lot more. Regular grooming is of course always vital to keep that long fur looking good and prevent it matting, but, once the weather turns cold, this task becomes even more essential – and you may have to get out the brush and comb several times a day. Using a wide-tooth comb is the best way to ensure you get rid of all the loose fur, paying special attention to problem areas such as armpits and behind the ears.
If you find a lot of flecks of dirt lurking in your Persian's coat, you may decide you need to give the cat a bath – and this is again something which tends to be necessary more often during winter. Make sure you have combed your cat thoroughly before putting it in the water, as, if fur is already matted, water is likely to make things worse, and it will also be harder to get to grips with a wet and indignant cat! A sink or shallow cat bath is the best place to bathe puss, making sure the room is warm, and using special cat shampoo. Pour the water over your cat with a small cup and dry the face with a towel before using a dryer for the rest of the fur.
Just because Persians have beautiful fur coats, it doesn't mean they love freezing cold temperatures. Cats can suffer from hypothermia and even from frostbite, so it is important not to let them get too cold – so, if you are out of the house during the day in very cold weather it may be a good idea to leave the heating on at a fairly low level to avoid the temperature dipping too low. Your cat also needs a cozy bed to curl up in, so, if you don't have anywhere really warm for them, winter is the time to put that right.
Electric pet heating pads are another option which some owners find to be the answer, although others are nervous about leaving electrical equipment turned on while their cats are alone, and also about the possibility of a cat chewing a wire. In a past forum thread, site member Sasha Elizabeth said she had used a thermal bed with a heat reflective pad for her Persians, with no electricity involved. Another member, Momofmany, said that at night she preferred to use good old-fashioned hot water bottles, and didn't mind getting up to change them.
Winter Health Care
If you are worried that your cat might be getting too cold, symptoms to watch out for include shivering and meowing more than usual, while hopping about could be another sign. Remember that a cat who is older, or already suffering from health problems, could well find it harder to keep warm and need special care in cold weather. Also, during the holidays it is important to make sure that you have a good supply of medication for pets while veterinary surgeries are closed. Fleas are usually thought of as a summer problem, but the reality is that they can affect both cats and dogs all year round, so it is important to keep on treating, whatever the weather. Central heated homes give plenty of opportunity for these pests to breed and bother both cats and their owners, so, unfortunately, by keeping the house nice and warm to keep your cat comfortable, you could be causing another problem at the same time.
Another health danger to watch out for during the winter is the sweet-tasting, but lethal antifreeze, if you allow your Persian cat outdoors. This is a real menace to cats and sadly leads to many falling seriously ill and dying (another reason why Persian cats should be indoor cats only), while a number of house plants which are popular to brighten up your house in winter can also be poisonous. Christmas decorations and festive foods can also pose hazards to pets, so keep them well away – and then you can all enjoy the winter and the holiday season in comfort, with your Persian snuggled up on your lap. Just remember to brush off the hair when you get up!