Care and Wellbeing

This page is a bit messy after a move to a new website host company but the slide show still works. Great pics.

Persians have a particularly gentle nature. They are loving and need to be loved in return. That means lots of attention.

And it also means a certain degree of committed maintenance.

Remember cats domesticated themselves some 9,500 year ago and we agree to that. There is a “social contract”. The contract is this.

You look after your cat and she gives you love, friendship, laughter, pleasure and more in return.

Grooming is an important part of caring for a Persian. That is fairly obvious but it seems some people don’t do it often enough (perhaps through pressure of time in this modern world).

The key, it seems, is to be pro-active. That means always finding the time to groom. Little and often should be the motto. Go patiently and never to harshly.

And if you start early on with your new little adoption/partner then he/she will get used to it and learn to love it.

It would seem that it can’t be stressed enough that when you adopt a Persian whether she is a rescue cat or from a reputable breeder, you need to be fully aware of the long term responsibility involved.

A cat will change your life to a fairly substantial extent, much like a child.

If in doubt go to a good rescue center and foster for a while, working in partnership with the center and see how it goes. It’s a big step and not to be taken casually.

See more on grooming Persians here (opens in new window)

Please don’t renege on the agreement :-).

Not all cats have the kind of loving, caring start in life as Faolán who is pictured in the slide show above and who lives with Dani and Rick. Persians need to be close to their human companion. They need to be engaged and it may damage your cat if, for example, you shut him/her in a room when you are away as a means to protect the furniture. If you don’t want to risk some damage to furniture, you know what to do.  it’s best not to keep a cat in the first place. Sorry if that sounds harsh.

Because Persians are gentle and loving it may mean that they are more prone to be affected badly by environments that are unsettling or unfriendly.

All of us like the “comfort zone”. An atmosphere and environment that is warm emotionally.

We should not think of our cat as a possession like an accessory. Sorry to lecture but some “humans” have a slightly jaundiced opinion on keeping a cat. We should always accept our feline partner’s characteristics and love her for them.

Cats are very sensitive and alert creatures. They will pick up stimuli. This includes the emotions of their “owners” (I prefer to use the term “human partners” as I see cats as fellow creatures, neither more skilled or less skilled than us, just different).

This is particularly so for male Persians. I don’t live with a Persian but I am told that it is not unusual for them to try and cheer up their human partner when upset by displaying affection towards the person.

In a less than comforting environment a Persian cat’s gentle nature can turn to nervousness, leading in turn to a stressed cat. Stressed cats can go to the toilet in the wrong place and Persian cats have, it seems, a history of this.

Persian cats are unusually sociable with both people and other cats, and they must have some form of company for much of the time, for their emotional well-being. Never isolate your cat. If you want to put him/her out or something like (i.e get her out of the way) that I doubt that you are suitable to look after a cat.

I have an ordinary non-pure breed cat and I found that when I went away for a short while she became stressed and this gave her cystitis. Cystitis as you probably know makes you go to the loo more than normal and for a cat that can mean not using the litter, as it is an emergency. I haven’t been away for a long time now…

As I have perhaps said too often, if you are thinking of living with a cat think seriously about a rescue cat. And try and find a center near by as I understand in the US they fly cats more frequently but it is better if is not necessary to “ship” a cat by air as it is stressful (it’s stressful for humans too). Click here
for UK rescue.

There is a wonderful reward awaiting the person who is prepared to take on a damaged Persian rescue cat, with real commitment and tenderness. You will find the lasting contentment that comes from giving unconditionally to a fellow creature. The gift of contentment gained will outweigh the commitment given.

But some knowledge of cat and Persian cat psychology will be needed.  A quality rescue center may feel that only 10% of those requesting to re-home a cat are suitable. The work of the “adopters” will be to take over the task of re-habilitating the cat (if damaged and of course a significant proportion are to some extent) and this should be done in partnership with the center handing over the cat.

In assessing the person(s) it is more about attitude than financial circumstance and physical attributes. Insecurity is probably a major emotional aspect of rescue cats. This cannot be overcome quickly.

You may adopt a vulnerable, nervous cat. What can you turn him into? A happy contented one full of affection towards you. You can’t get better than that.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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