August 2000    Newsletter Archives Home 
Greetings, Persian Fans!

The contents of this newletter are inspired by the visitors of PERSIAN-CATS.COM. The following tips and information come primarily from bulletin board postings and particularly useful discussions in the chat room. Please feel free to submit suggestions for future newsletters here!

Lindsay Richman
Site Owner

This Month's Features:
Blood Types in Cats
Fascinating Feline Facts
Health Insurance for Pets
Tuna: A Cat's Friend or Foe?
Grooming Your Show Cat

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Blood Types in Cats
(This information was summerized from research by Urs Giger, University of Pennsylvania, Kirk's XI.)

As we all know, humans have 4 different blood types: A, B, AB, and O. It turns out that our feline friends have 3 blood types: A, B and AB (rare). In the United States, the most common blood type among cats is A blood. As a matter of fact, approximately 99% of all domestic shorthair cats are Type A. In other breeds, there is a much higher occurance of B blood. The Persian is one example of a breed with a significant percentage of Type B blood. Other examples include the Abyssinian, Japanese Bobtail, Somali, British Shorthair, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, and Sphinx.

Within humans, Type O is known as the universal donor. In other words, people with any one of the four blood types should be able to receive blood Type O blood. However, within cat blood types, there is no universal donor. Receiving the wrong blood type can kill a cat.

For more information on feline blood types, copy and paste the following link into a new window:

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Fascinating Feline Facts
(Thanks Margie Y.)

  • Cats purr at 26 cycles per second, the same as an idling diesel engine.
  • A cat's arching back is able to get so high because the cat's spine contains nearly 60 vertebrae which fit loosely together. Humans have only 34 vertebrae.
  • Kittens can clock an amazing 31 mph at full speed and cover about 3 times their body length per leap.
  • Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan have concluded that while a dogs memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's recall can last as long as 16 hours - exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.
  • Cats have amazing hearing ability. A cat's ear has 30 muscles that control the outer ear (by comparison, human ears only have six muscles). These muscles rotate 180 degrees, so the cat can hear in all directions without moving it's head.
  • Cats are the only animals that walk directly on their claws, not on their paws. This method of walking is called "digitigrade". When cats scratch furniture, it isn't an act of malice. They are actually tearing off the ragged edges of the sheaths of their talons to expose the new sharp ones beneath.
  • Despite their finickiness, an average cat consumes about 127,750 calories a year, nearly 28 times their own weight in food and the same amount again in liquids.
  • Almost all animals walk by moving alternate legs. Only three animals walk by moving the two legs on one side together first, then shifting to do the same on the other side: the giraffe, the camel and the cat.

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Health Insurance for Pets
(This information came from Edna W.)

Health insurance coverage for your cat probably will not cover 100% of the vet bills, but it certainly can pay enough to be worthwhile. Pets are part of the family and deserve the very best in medical care too. So if/when your pet gets sick, having health insurance lessens the financial burden of the owner.

For information, write to Health Insurance for Pets at:

Healthy Paws Insurance
P.O. Box 20630
Columbus, Ohio 43220-9927

or call:


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Tuna: A Cat's Friend or Foe?

Most cats love tuna, and we love to make our furry friends happy. Tuna is fine to give as a treat every blue moon, but should not be the staple of your cat's diet. One reason is that tuna addicts can become afflicted with Steatitis or Yellow Fat Disease, which is "an inflammation of the fat tissue in the body due to a deficiency of vitamin E." Yes, fish is high in protein but lacking in vitamin A, most B vitamins, and some amino acids. The Calcium to Phosphorus ratio in canned tuna can cause bone disease. Generally speaking, fish does not contain enough iron, zinc, copper, or manganese. The bottom line - your cat's diet should not consist primarily of fish because the result will be some kind of nutritional deficiency for him/her.

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Grooming Your Show Cat
(Thanks to Mary B.)

There are as many techniques to grooming for a show, as there are breeders. Much depends on the age of the cat, the sex, time of year, color, and coat texture. Sometimes, daily brushing can cause more damage to a show coat than good. Check the coat several times daily, just by petting the cat, and if you feel the start of a small snarl, then comb it out using a wide-tooth metal comb. Never use a slicker brush for any type of daily, deep combing. The wire teeth of the slicker brush will tear out all the undercoat and leave only the hard, long guard hairs from the outer coat. This will leave the coat feeling harsh and wirey.

Most show Persian owners, bathe the cat at least the night before the show, though some can be done even a day or two before the show. Some people even bathe the morning of the show, both days. The most important part of the bath is the rinse. Be sure to rinse all the soap out. The biggest mistake many people make in grooming is leaving some soap in the coat. After the bath, push as much water off the coat in the sink as you can. Next put the cat on a pile of absorbant towels. Then using good quality, paper towels, soak up as much water as you can from all over the cat. Pay special attention to the face, head, front and back legs, belly, and tail. These are the hardest parts to get dry and the areas the cat is most likly to object to grooming. They are also the first areas to get crumpled and greasy. After the coat is almost dry to the touch, use a regular bath towel to "fluff dry" the cat. This will separate the coat and make it easier for air to get in and make the coat fluffy.

Powder is a very important grooming tool. It can help you in the drying proccess and in the show hall, help absorb grease as the day wears on. There is a process called powder packing: you can sprinkle small amounts of cornstarch baby powder into the damp coat, behind the ears, into the legs, and belly after bathing (then blow it out with the hair dryer). This will make a mess when you turn the dryer you may want to practice this with dry coat first until you are comfortable working with powder.

If you are serious about showing, then invest in a professional grooming dryer, such as the Oster brand table top/cage dryer. Dryers run about $160 and should last forever. They are more powerful and do not get as hot as a regular "people" hair dryer. They also make a lower pitch sound, which does not seem to bother the cats as much. Best of all, it leaves both of your hands free to groom the cat while he/she is being dried.

Turn on the dryer. There are a couple ways to start. One way is to put the cat in a carrier. Turn the dryer on into the carrier and fluff the coat with your fingers every few minutes. If you do this, be very careful that the dryer does not get too hot (especially if you are using a regular "people" hair dryer). Another way is to put the cat on dry towels or a rack. Just set the dryer, cat, and all your grooming tools up on a table, and get comfortable. Start off by just having the dryer do the work, while you fluff the coat all over with your fingers. As the coat dries, you can start using either a wide-tooth metal comb or a pin brush (without any balls on the end of the pins). Do not use a fine-tooth comb, slicker brush, or any type of plastic brush. This will only make static or pull the hair out. From start to finish, a well-coated Persian (depending on size/age) will take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to groom. The secret to growing a beautiful show coat is a bath and grooming every single week. Home Newsletter Archives 

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