Monday, November 30, 2020

6 Tools for Grooming Your Persian Cat at Home

The Persian Cat is one of the most popular pedigreed cats. They are known for their signature long, plush and cottony coat and huge round eyes. If you choose to bring one of these beautiful felines into your home, you must be prepared that they need daily grooming to keep their coats mat free and beautiful.

graphic of Persian cat with grooming tools

Disclaimer:  I am not a professional groomer or breeder and I do not show Persian Cats. 

I've shared my home with Persian Cats the last 25+ years. I've never needed or wanted to shave my cats because I love their luxurious fur coats. In order to maintain their coats, I needed to learn how to groom them effectively at home to help avoid knots and excessive shedding of fur. I've learned the daily routines of grooming my cats through watching videos, talking to groomers and breeders, researching on the Internet, participating in Persian groups on Facebook, and personal experiences. If you choose to bring one of these beautiful felines into your home, you should be prepared with effective grooming methods and tools. Many of these tools and method are also effective with other long-haired cats.

Grooming Tools

I usually keep the following tools in a basket beside my bed for easy access. My cats are more comfortable being groomed in the morning when I wake up or late in the evening when we are ready to go to bed. I always have a bag of treats close by to reward my cats after a grooming session. 

  • Greyhound-style metal comb
  • Finishing Brush
  • Slicker Brush
  • Small ball-tipped grooming scissors
  • Pet Mitt grooming tool
  • Child's toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Cat Treats

Grooming Fur

It's important to groom your Persian Cat's fur on a daily basis. The fur you remove each day will end up on the comb and not on your furniture or in your cat's digestive system. Cats tend to have a lot of loose fur (aka blowing their coat) in the spring and the fall where you may need to groom more than once a day. Grooming your cat's fur every day allows you the opportunity to check for any unusual lumps, growths, scabs, rashes, or flaky patches. A grooming session may be short or long, depending on your cat's fur and her temperament. I always follow up any grooming session with a treat for my cats.

Silver shaded Persian cat, Brulee, with a slicker brush
Brulee with a slicker brush by Catit®

Slicker Brush. A slicker brush can help remove any dander, debris, or loose hair and is recommended as a first step when grooming your cat. Search for a slicker brush that is gentle on your cat's skin as some are quite sharp and Persian Cats have thin skin. Rub the slicker brush across the back of your hand to see if it hurts you before purchasing. I use the slick brush behind the ears and in the armpits because the fur is less thick in those places and it's easier to maneuver the slicker in those areas. I find the slicker brush will not get down into the undercoat of my Persian Cats.

silver shaded Persian cat, Truffle, with greyhound-style comb
Truffle with a stainless steel comb

Metal Comb. A metal greyhound-style comb is a must to get down into the thick undercoat when combing your Persian Cat. The comb should be a 6-8 inch comb made of stainless steel with both fine and coarse teeth. When using a stainless steel comb, make sure the teeth of the comb reach down to the skin in order to get to the undercoat. Begin combing at the back of your cat's neck and work your way down to the tail, combing in the direction of the growth of the fur. Be very gentle when combing your cat as she has tender skin and can feel pain easily. If you don't use a comb to get down to the undercoat, mats and tangles can occur more easily. Make sure you pay attention to the armpits and belly because tangles tend to occur there more frequently. Remember to be very gentle when combing your cat's tail because it's very sensitive. Using the comb, part the tail down the middle and gently comb through the fur on each side. 

Silver shaded Persian cat, Truffle, with ball tipped scissors
Truffle examining her Scaredy Cut® Tiny Trim Scissors

Ball Tipped Grooming Scissors. First rule of thumb - try to avoid using scissors when grooming your cat!  While grooming your cat, she tends to move and if you are using a sharp pair of scissors, there is danger of cutting into the skin which may result in a visit to the veterinarian and include stitches. Some Persian owners recommend seam rippers, but I'm afraid of using them for the same reason I avoid regular scissors because it would be too easy to cut your cat's skin if she moved quickly. If you run across a knot when combing your cat, try to work it out gently with the end of the comb and avoid pulling on the knot. You can use the the comb to gradually work your way up the knot as you detangle the area beneath it. If the knot is difficult to remove with the comb, consider purchasing a pair of ball-tipped grooming scissors (shown above). Begin by using your fingernails to work under the mat to separate it from the skin. I then place the ball-tipped scissors in the area between the skin and mat. Cut upwards into the mat and then separate the mat gently with the comb. The ball-tipped scissors can also be used to trim fur on the face, ears, nose, and paw. I choose to keep the fur "natural' on my cats because it gives them character.

silver shaded Persian cat, Truffle, with a steel tipped brush
Removing fur with the Catit® steel bristle brush

Finishing Brush. There are several types of pet brushes on the market. I use a brush with steel bristles after I've thoroughly combed my Persian Cats. A steel-bristled brush helps thin out the undercoat, which helps leave the topcoat healthy. Even after a detailed combing session where there is a lot of loose fur removed, the brush tends to complete the job. You should continue brushing your cat until there is little to no fur on the brush after a few strokes.

silver shaded Persian Cat with handson glove
Using a grooming mitt tool such as the HandsOn® Glove helps with grooming the tail

Pet Mitt Grooming Tool. Another grooming tool I use, especially on the head and tail is a mitt-style grooming tool. This tool is usually in the form of a glove with with rubber tips. I like how the mitt gives me a little more control around the face and on the head. It's also great in grooming the sensitive tail. These types of mitts provide a massage on your cat as you rub it across their fur which helps to relax her. 

Child's Toothbrush with Soft Bristles. A small and soft toothbrush can be used to brush the fur around your cat's eyes and nose. Persians tend to get a buildup of eye secretions that can dry under the eyes and on the side of the nose. Using the toothbrush allows me to softly sweep away the buildup without harming her eyelids or tender skin and to brush the fur away from her eyes. There are other products I use to take care of the tear stains around the eyes, which is another process in grooming. You can read more about taking care of a cat's eye on the post -  Understanding an Caring for the Eyes of a Persian Cat.

Silver shaded Persian Cats - Truffle and Brulee sitting
Truffle and Brulee

Personal Experiences

I've been blessed with getting my Persian Cats as kittens, so I was able work with them on grooming at a young age.

Each cat has a different personality and tolerates grooming in a different way. My first Persian Cat loved grooming. All I needed to do was pull out the brush and she would run to me, roll over, and begin purring. I was extremely lucky that she didn't have many knots in her fur. 
I haven't been as lucky with Truffle and Brulee. Truffle has a thicker and coarser coat. She is pretty calm with grooming until I get to her back legs and backside. I must work slowly with her as she tends to get knots in these areas. Sometimes a grooming session may occur in several small time periods. I always finish each session, no matter how long, with a treat. This way, she associates grooming with something positive. The only time I've ever needed to do any shaving on Truffle is when she was spayed, had bladder stone surgery, or had diarrhea. I didn't use a shaver - I allowed the veterinary assistant to do it. 

Brulee's fur is cottony-soft and she tends to knot very easily and close to the skin. Brulee was a squirmer from the very beginning and didn't like to be brushed or combed. She'd meow so loudly that Truffle would run into the room to make sure I wasn't hurting Brulee. I've come to understand that Brulee has very sensitive skin and I must be very careful and take my time when combing her. I've learned to work in small time segments with Brulee. It took me almost 3 years before she would allow me to comb her entire coat without squirming too much or attempting to nip me. The only grooming tool she's really comfortable with is the steel-toothed greyhound-style comb. She also only allows me to comb her when I'm in my bed and she's on my lap. I'll put a small sheet or towel over my lap to help capture the flying fur. I must use the ball-tipped scissors on her when dealing with the knots that develop, especially on her stomach because she gets such tight knots. I always finish her sessions with treats. In fact, as soon as I release her, she immediately turns around looking for her treat. The only time she's ever been shaved is when she was spayed and her belly had to be shaved. 

I don't plan on ever shaving my girls and that is why I take so much time and care with them. There is always the possibility in the future I may need to reconsider as they become older and can't groom themselves. Some people who rescue a Persian as an adult cat may need to shave them on a regular basis because the cat may have been traumatized and won't tolerate daily grooming and knots form that can't be easily removed. I believe that with patience, care, love, and the right tools, one can get most cats accustomed to grooming. It does take time and patience. The results are worth it and you truly develop a special bond through these one-on-one grooming sessions.

Would you like to comment?

  1. These actually would have worked well on Boodie too. Although she wasn't a Persian, her long, cottony fur was very similar and required a different approach from mine.

    P.S. My human actually said she is not getting another cat with fur like that! It was too much maintenance. She had no idea when she brought Boodie home. She says my fine, silky fur is perfect for her schedule.

  2. You girls are so beautiful and your Mom Paula sure understands what you need.

  3. Great tips. I don't have Persians, but I can use these tips on my long-haired cats.

  4. All good tips. Mom's Himalayans used to require lots of grooming. Even though Allie was a Birman she was pretty easy maintenance.

    The Florida Furkids

  5. great tips. My family and took in an all white stray cat we always thought was a Persian but was never 100% sure.
    Your cats are gorgeous.

  6. These are great tips and I can use them for long-furred kitties, too.

  7. Great tips! Mom Paula sure does take great care of you, sweet pals. XO

  8. Most people are surprised to learn I brush my cats every other day. With Bear, it's not really necessary - but Ellie's coat is super thick. Brushing is a great way to keep hairballs to an absolute minimum - even in short-haired cats!

  9. It's funny how similar the tools, and process, are to how I groom my small, long haired dogs! I've never tried a grooming mitt with them, though. I might have to pick one up sometime and see how it works on them.

  10. Great tips as grooming them can be difficult

  11. Now I see why your girls are always looking so gorgeous Paula. You take very good care for your girls. In the past with my long haired cat Dusty, I'd use the slicker and Furminator for grooming. Sometimes I'd use the glove too however she always loved the slicker brush and lean into it. It is a lot of work but so worth it. That toothbrush trick is a new one I didn't think of. Good idea.

  12. We got several brushes, including the Furminator that works great during the shedding season. The all-time favorite is the grooming glove you pictured above. Both my dog and I love it.

  13. Our cats love their slicker brush. Even Natasha who is not big on grooming (she would never make a Persian!!) and the scissors are new to me, I use clippers but then our cats are outdoor and perhaps not as delicate as a Persian.

  14. My cat never really appreciated my attempts to groom him, but luckily he had short hair. I am going to try the child's toothbrush idea for my dogs.

  15. These are some great tips. Our girl Pippen is a Maine Coon mix, so she has quite the long coat. It takes a lot of work to stay on top of that coat, but it's worth it to see her looking all beautiful.


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