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I once fell in love with a big ginger fluff ball, or technically a red haired Persian. He was the most affectionate, greedy, hysterically funny cat I'd ever had. However his grooming requirements weren't fun. I had been used to medium and short haired cats as pets and brushing was never a chore. So I decided to educate myself fast as he wasn't particularly good at grooming himself, even though, bless him, he did try.

Combing Not Brushing

A Persians fur is so dense that combing, not brushing, is the only option. A brush will just slide over the surface, only removing dead hair from the top and not getting deep enough in to the coat. A Persians hair is made up of guard hair awn and down and can shed all year long. You should use a metal comb which should have two different lengths of teeth, one short, one long. It is also a good idea to have two different types of comb. One with wide teeth, one with regular teeth. The wide toothed comb will be easier to use on your cats knots and matted areas. Once you've loosened the knotted fur you can revert back to the original comb. Unfortunately you may have to cut the knots out if their fur has become really tangled and matted. A cat's skin is very thin and sensitive so make sure you are gentle but firm.

Starting the Combing Procedure

First of all get your combs and accessories ready. Nothing is harder than trying to persuade your cat to come back for more combing if you've had to get up to find another item. It's likely they'll disappear for quite some time. Spraying your combs with Feliway Feline Spray, and letting them dry before using, is a good way to keep him calm and relaxed. Choose a time when your Persian has played before hand so he's not too energetic. Then find a comfortable seating area for you and your cat, don't make a big deal about it, just act as if you were about to watch T.V. or relax for the evening. It will make your cat feel calmer if he thinks this is part of your normal pattern. Your sofa will probably be best as your cat can stretch out and it gives you space whilst combing.

The next step is to start from the head moving down the body to the tail. Carefully comb the fur in the direction of the hair growth and in an upwards motion, which will remove the dead hair. Even though you need to be firm remember that your cat's skin is like tissue paper, be careful. The base of the tail is extremely sensitive especially in male cats that haven't been neutered. So again take care. You then have to comb the chest and stomach. You may be lucky enough to have a cat roll on to his back and let you do this, but it's unlikely. They're not dogs.

The armpit area gets very knotty as well so it's best to lift their front legs, supporting their weight so they don't struggle. You can then comb their underneath area. You may need to wear rubber gloves as they might claw at you with their back feet which will be very painful. Encouraging words and praising him whilst he's being combed will help. Also having his favourite cat toy near him may keep him happy too. Most pet shops and pet sites have a variety of combs to suit different breeds of cats. Hopefully if you start combing your Persian from kittenhood you will get him used to his daily routine and it will be a lot easier for both of you.

If you're going to have a Persian then every day combing is necessary. They will matt frequently if you don't, which is very painful for them, as in time it pulls at the skin. If you honestly don't think you'll be up to the daily job, then stick to owning short haired cat's as it's not fair on their health if you know you can't be bothered. Owning a Persian is a big responsibility, so be honest with yourself before you even think about looking to add a Persian to the family.

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