So you’ve decided to get a Persian kitten and entered into the world of Persian cat ownership. The care of your Persian kitten will be a bit different from caring for any other cat. Due to their long, luscious coats and flat doll-like faces, some issues will need to be addressed and worked into a routine as you care for your furry baby.
I’ve been there and hope that this post will help you and your kitten settle into the home.
Kitten Aging Timeline
This will give you an idea of how your kitten develops before she’s old enough to come home with you.
- One week: His or her eyes didn’t open completely until they was one week old.
- Four weeks: They can use the litter box and has started playing with toys.
- Five weeks: They have started rough play with siblings. Warning: watch for what they call kitten butt. Now that they are using the litter box, they can have soft poop that can stick in their fur and get caked if not cleaned up. They should be checked daily.
- Six weeks: Their first shots are due. The vet should also do a kitten health check-up.
- Eight weeks: Deworming is done as a precaution. A first bath may be given at this time, too.
- Nine weeks: The second round of vaccines done.
- Ten weeks: A second bath may be given to get the kitten used to regular baths. It is important to establish this, so it won’t be a chore to bathe your kitten once they are yours.
- Eleven weeks: Your breeder will have the kitten checked over, again before getting them ready for their new home and family. Final vaccinations are given before kitten goes to a new home.
- Twelve weeks: The week you’ve been waiting for. The breeder will give a final bath and clip nails. Paperwork gathered to be given to you. Time to go to his or her new home.
Have you named your Persian kitten? If so, great, if not you can read my guide to the 200+ best Persian cat names.
Taking Your New Kitten Home
Your new kitten will need some time to recover from his or her move to your home. Remember they’ve just left their mamma, daddy, siblings, and perhaps a few feline or canine friends. Comfort them as best you can. Your kitten will need a long nap once home, they can only take so much excitement. Lots of sleep and regular meals, just like a human baby will be needed.
Once you get your kitten home you may want to select a small area for them to be in, such as a bathroom or your bedroom. This smaller area will give your new kitten a place to get used to your home. Each day you should allow supervised exploration of the rest of the house. Don’t allow your kitten out of your sight. This also gives your kitten a chance to settle in, learn the way to the kitty box, and give you a chance to find out if there are areas of your home that still need kitten proofed. Your first step is to set your kitten in front of the cat box before you set them anywhere else in the house. Let your kitten get in and out of the litter box on their own.
If you’ve chosen to get your kitten, say at Christmas time, you’ll have to take extra precautions so that your kitten doesn’t get into tinsel, tiny pieces of paper, even tree needles. Also, the hustle and bustle of a house full of merrymaking people can be dangerous for your kitten, you may want to show them off and then shut him or her in their own room.
Your kitten should be fed the same diet the breeder was feeding them. Most breeders will send samples or a small supply of the food they feed. If you decide you want to change the food you feed, you won’t want to just switch their food. It’s best to switch gradually. The way to do this is to take some of the food already being fed and mix with the new brand until gradually you are feeding only the new food. Food can be left out during the day and evening. Be careful of the food you feed. Some brands aren’t good for any cat, let alone your Persian kitten.
Food and water dishes should not be set next to the litter box.
Persian Cat Food Bowls
When looking for cat food bowls for your Persian kitten it’s important to note that Persian cats prefer shallow food bowls due to their flat faces. If the bowl is deep the Persian cat will make a mess trying to get food from the bowl and in some instances, they will just refuse to eat from a deep-sided bowl as this can rub against their whiskers and annoy them.
Fresh water should be provided daily for not only your new kitten but for any other pets in your home.
If you do get a male kitten you need to be aware that they need more water especially while intact (not neutered). The reason being that is if they don’t get enough water, they can develop crystals in their urinary tract. Males may not be able to pass crystals in their system if the crystals are too big.
Serve water in a glass bowl, try to avoid plastic. Plastic can cause mouth ulcers and allergic reactions.
If your kitten gets their bib (the fur at their chest) wet, try using a smaller bowl. You may have to refill more often, but your kitten will remain dry. They will more than likely outgrow this.
Rule of thumb says one cat box per cat in the house. If you have a house that has more than one level, you may want to add an extra cat box per level. Now, I know that this might not be possible. If this is the case, I suggest having a cat litter box per two, maybe three cats. This is for multi-cat households.
It is recommended that you don’t use scoopable litter for your male kitten if he is still intact (not neutered). Once he is neutered you can start using scoopable if that is your preference. Try to get a product that is low dust, low perfume. Highly suggest low dust, not too highly perfumed and no scoopable (clumping) for whole males. Scoopable litter can stick to feet if it’s wet or your cat’s feet are wet, they can ingest this when they clean their feet if it has stuck there.
Persian cats prefer large pans. I use an automatic litter box but this may not be idea for a kitten but certainly worth considering when they grow a bit.
As your kitten grows, there will teeth, just like a human baby. They lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth come in. Also like a human baby, they want to chew things to help their teeth come in.
You should discourage any chewing on wire, cords, your hands because these could be dangerous to your kitten and as your kitten grows can be detrimental to you. Those cute little bites on your hand may not be so cute when your adult cat bites your hand.
Most kittens are four to five months old when they teeth. You can offer a cardboard box to play, sleep, and chew on. For your kitten to teeth you can give them an empty tissue box, but don’t give them one where the tissues had lotion or other product added to them.
Your kitten may not want hard food while teething so you should make sure your kitten is eating. You may have to substitute soft food for a few days.
You may also find kittens tear more during teething.
Your Persian kitten’s eye may tear more than usual while they are teething.
Cleaning your Persian Kitten’s Teeth
Brushing your Persian kitten’s teeth may sound like a crazy idea right?
Well, according to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information 70% of domestic cats over two years of age and 85% of those aged over five years suffer from some form of oral disease.
Poor dental health in kittens not only affects their teeth but prevents them from eating correctly as well as lower the kitten’s immune system, thus making it more susceptible to other diseases.
Brushing your kitten’s teeth is very important but as with other forms of grooming, it must be implemented early. Your kitten will initially resist but over time it should get easier.
Before you start you will need some toothpaste suitable for cats or dogs, human toothpaste can be toxic to animals and shouldn’t be used. I recommend Beaphar Toothbrush and Toothpaste kit. The good thing about this cat toothpaste is its fishy smell, the kitten is more likely to want to smell and investigate it.
These are the steps I recommend:
1.) First, you need to get the kitten used to the smell of the toothpaste. Let the kitten smell it and then let it lick the toothpaste. What should then happen is your kitten should get used to the taste and like the fishy smell.
2.) The next stage is to introduce the toothbrush, let the cat smell and bite the toothbrush.
3.) What you now need to do is put some of the toothpaste on the brush (but don’t attempt to brush the kitten’s teeth). Let the kitten smell the toothpaste and eat it from the brush, don’t worry this specially designed toothpaste is designed for animal consumption.
4.) If all the other steps have gone to plan, then this is the stage where you can gently start brushing the front of the kitten’s teeth.
You need to remember that this process can take a while for your kitten to adapt to and get used to, I would say you need to implement one of these steps per day and gradually introduce the process. I didn’t introduce this to Milo as a kitten and as a result, he still isn’t 100% comfortable with having his teeth brushed.
If you can manage to brush your kittens daily, then that’s great but at least once per week will help prevent any future dental issues.
Persian Kitten Eye Care
Due to the Persian’s cats ultra-flat face, they do tend to suffer from eye problems, and this often results in runny eyes that stain the fur. As with grooming their fur I recommend eye cleaning as soon as you get your Persian kitten as this forms part of daily Persian kitten care.
To avoid straining I would advise wiping their eyes daily with cotton wool pads and warm water, this will ensure that crust and hard particles don’t build-up that can cause further eye problems for your Persian Kitten. I wrote a guide you can read on cleaning your Persian cats eyes.
Your kitten will need their claws trimmed. You do this by spreading each toe out and push the nail outward. Clip the nail where it looks clear, move on to the next nail. If your kitten fights this routine, you may need to allow a small rest period and come back to the task. Front nails should be clipped twice as often as back nails. Once the routine is down, clip rear nails monthly and front nails to twice a month. You can find a review post on the best cat nail clippers I wrote.
Clean ears with a cotton ball or Q-Tip. Only clean the part of the ear you can see. Never enter the ear canal.
Your Persian kitten should be used to being bathed if her breeder was one of those that do socialization with their kittens. Baths should become routine. If your kitten was bathed in the first three months of their life, they probably already had two or three baths. As an older kitten growing into adulthood a bath perhaps once a month wouldn’t be too much. Otherwise, they should be done whenever the fur is wanting to mat. Make sure to rinse your kitten thoroughly. Soap residue can irritate or burn skin.
I wrote a grooming guide for Persian cats that you may find useful.
Caring for your Persian kitten’s coat is going to be one of the most challenging aspects of looking after your Persian cat. It’s best to get your new Persian kitten used to this as early as possible as this will become a daily routine for the rest of their life.
You need to choose the right cat comb as some just aren’t very good with long thick hair like your Persian will have. I did a review of the Best Brush for Long-Haired Cats.
To start off, your kitten will most likely be scared when you try to comb them. One way to get them used to this routine is to brush them before mealtime or give a treat right after a brushing session. This way the kitten will associate being brushed with a positive experience, in this case eating food.
Don’t be surprised if it’s a bit of a challenge at first, I remember the first few times I brushed Milo he tried to run away or resisted being combed, this is perfectly normal until they become accustomed to it.
You need to learn the correct way to brush a Persian’s coat. Basically, you need to brush down to the roots applying the right amount of pressure, this will avoid any mats or knots (something you really want to avoid), and brush in the direction of the fur as you would with your own hair. To start with just do small sections of your kitten then stroke them and make a fuss of them so the whole experience is more pleasant for them. Naturally, some kittens will prefer this process to others but if you start off early then they’re more likely to cooperate and some Persian cats even enjoy being groomed!
Cat clippers come in handy as well to shave off any mats or knots.
Owning a Persian cat does take time and you need to be committed to their upkeep.
Persians need more care than some breeds of cats. Grooming is the biggest issue you’ll have as your kitten grows. Things can get messy if they aren’t groomed often. It’s best to get into a daily habit of brushing that way you can better avoid tangles and mats. Even following the steps in this post, you may still come across grooming related issues because every cat is different.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of implementing this early on because once your cat is older it will be more difficult to suddenly introduce something into their life that they’re not used to (we’re all creatures of habit).
Do you have any tips for looking at a Persian kitten? leave your comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.