The most popular cat breed in the United States and one that people wish for often. The Persian lives up to its reputation, but is it suitable for children?
Are Persian cat’s good family pets? Yes and no. Their natural going personalities are great for families. They are loving and make great gently playful lap cats. However, the Persian's personality conflicts with the maintenance that they require as far as diet and cleaning goes.
Ultimately whether you want to add a Persian to your family is up to you. To help you make that decision below are the pros and cons to owning a Persian. Read further to understand why their personality fits into a family atmosphere and what is required to keep them healthy and at their best.
Why a Persian cat would make a great family pet
The Persian isn’t the most popular cat in the U.S for nothing. Often people like them because of their open un-cat like personalities.
Instead of being an inscrutable rascal whose eyes glow at you in the middle of the night, they are the friendly, abet high maintenance friend who wants to be near you at all times. The biggest plus to adding a Persian to your family is their temperament.
Certain factors need to be looked at when bringing a new cat into a house with children.
Think about what your home is like, are your children introverted or extroverted? Is there a lot of noise in the household, or is everyone relatively mild? Do you have a lot of sleepovers you're your kids, or are they the type that sees their home as a sanctionary?
Depending on the atmosphere of your home, you need a breed that is the following:
- Not scared of loud noises or constant movement
- Lack of territorial behavior
- Doesn’t bite or swipe
- Open to change
The Persian fits these qualifications to a tee.
Not scared of loud noises or constant movement
For a typical cat, kids might get too lively and too active for them to handle. You will find them under the bed or in a safe location away from the noise. Our Persian friend will continue to the lay there, welcoming any attention that comes their way while ignoring the decimal level.
My more sensitive cats run or growl when they even hear someone walking by my home, which makes them excellent guard cats. However, when friends with children come by, who enjoy screaming at the top of their lungs, my cats are nowhere to be seen.
The kids don't even know that I have a cat.
While your children might be on the calmer side than the people in my life, they will still be active than you believe them to be. The Persian will calmly observe the noise and commotion only to pay attention when the kids come around to them.
Lack of territorial behavior
They are too lazy to be territorial, which felines tend to be. They love meeting new people in the home and will be a great addition to the family when other kids come over to visit.
They will love laying on the bed while the kids play and will even submit to become part of the play themselves as long as there are pets involved.
They are a clingy cat that loves attention, the more, the better in their case. The Persian is not a kitty that you can leave unattended for extended amounts of time. They will start to get depressed if someone isn't there telling them how beautiful they are.
Having the Persian in the family makes this clingy attention seeker a lot easier to handle rather than one person attending to their needs.
The Persian wants to be right on your lap no matter what you are doing. As much as you love cuddle time with your kitty, you might not have that amount of time to sit around at the end of the day.
More members of the family mean more laps for this cuddler to take over.
Doesn’t bite or swipe
They have a very affectionate personality and are not prone to aggression. This docile nature makes them great with kids who depending on age, might not know how to treat animals correctly.
While other cats might take a swipe if a child picks them up the wrong way or touches the unforgivable belly area, this flat face kitty will love that they are getting attention.
Regardless of teaching your children how to treat the Persian with respect is necessary. If you have a boisterous child, try to impart the idea that they should be gentle and kind to their furry friends.
While the Persian is not aggressive, any cat will act out if they feel that they are mishandled, they will nip to let the person know that isn't something that they like. If your children tell you that the cat bit them ask what they were doing when it happened.
Handling an animal is not something that children instinctively know. Teaching your children how to manage and respect the animals in the household is an essential part of pet ownership.
They are a calm, quiet kitty, so when it comes to bedtime, you will not find them yelling the hallway, wondering why all the fun is over, and we have to go to bed. That makes it a lot easier if you have a little tyke who is hard to put to bed.
The Persian will adopt one of your kids to be a live nighttime pal who will bring them comfort while they sleep. It might mean that you have to clean the sheets more, but with kids, you are probably going to need to do that anyway.
Open to change
With kids, there are a lot of people flitting in and out friends, team members, study buddies. Also, with children, it is unavoidable that there will be a lot of change as they grow, not only to themselves but also the living arrangements will change as they age.
The Persian will not be traumatized by this aspect just going along with whatever changes that happen, as long as they get the attention they feel they deserve.
The Cons of having a Persian when you have a family
You didn't think that there would only be good things about the Persian, did you? With everything, there is good and bad. What you deal with depends on how the adverse effects you verse how much the excellent benefits you.
If you have always wanted a Persian, by all means, get one, but also understand that there will be work for you. All that you need to do is look at your life and question what you can handle.
A significant drawback to the Persian is the amount of time and money you need to spend on them. The theory about cats, in general, is that they can take care of themselves, give them food, litter, water, and love.
This idea is rarely accurate for most cats, and it is especially untrue of the Persian.
The extra care that the Persian needs:
- Human quality meet
- Daily brushing
- Bathing every 2 to 6 weeks
What they should eat
Persian tend to have a sensitive stomach and need better food because of it. There are even specialty Persian cat food brands such as Royal Canin that provides the type of nutrition that your feline will need.
There are several reasons your Persian needs exceptional food. One their fur. Persians not only have long hair, but it is also dense. So hairballs become much more of an issue than they would with your typical kitty.
So something that has more oil in their diet to limit the number of hairballs they can get.
Their faces also play a factor in what they can eat. The doll face variety has less of an issue with this, but our flat-faced friends can't eat as a typical cat would. First, they have difficulty picking up food due to the shape of their mouth.
Small bits and x-shape dry food are especially hard for your Persian to eat. While wet food, especially pate, is hard for them to eat also due to the shape of their face.
The Persian's lifestyle likewise requires special food. They are not a sprint around the house type of cat. This kitty prefers a lily in the field approach, which makes them laid back but will also lead to weight problems due to the lack of movement.
All of this combined creates a kitty that needs special care when it comes to the food department. A 14 dollar bag of food from your local store isn't going to cut for them. You know what specialty means, expensive.
Another factor for the needy Persian is maintaining their hair. They need daily brushing to prevent tangling of their tendrils and additional hairballs. Use a wide-tooth comb to brush so that it won't hurt them.
You can get a rubber comb that picks up the hair pulls the natural oils on their skin that due to the density of their fur is hard to extend out to the outer part of their pelt.
Bathing is a necessity when owning a Persian cat, more than you would expect. The frequency in which your feline needs bath time depends on if they are an all indoor cat or they go outside.
Their fur while beautiful hides dirt and debris too well. If they venture in the wide world, then they need their spa day at least every two weeks. It's best to start this practice when they are young to get them to use to the idea.
You can, of course, start bathing them when they are older, but your arms will bear the scars.
If they are an indoor kitty, which is advised for Persians because people have a habit of snatching them right up, then bathing will need to happen every six weeks.
If you are new to the Persian depending on if you let them outside start with the two to three weeks bathing periods, then adjust as you get used to their individual needs.
All of this combined means more time that you have to spend on another member of the family. Having children period is a full schedule, and you might not have the time necessary to care for the Persian.
High action pet they are not
Besides the care needed if you are looking for an animal that is going to be active and engage in a lot of play with the family, this is not the cat for you. They would rather lay next to or on top of everybody and observe what is going on instead of joining in the fray.
If you want an animal to help wear your kids out, the Persian can't help you. However, if you want someone to be quiet in an active household, then this cat can accommodate you.
Downsides are inevitable to everything, but it is your choice if you want to decide if you can handle the Persian's needs. If stress is already a factor in your life, especially for the time, then adding this kitty might be too much.
However, if you have ever wanted this beautiful and sweet baby, then make time for them, and since you have more people in the household, then there are more people to help care for them.
Are Persian cats aggressive? Not at all. They are sweet-tempered cats that love nothing more than resting in your lap rather than running about the house. Rather than hiding when the doorbell rings, they will venture out to receive whoever comes by to get those extra pets.
Are Persian cats smart? You can tell intelligence in an animal by how active they are. Generally, sorry to say is not a very active cat and tend to have average intelligence. Training is always an option for felines, but playtime, which is for a more intelligent animal is less necessary since they like to be lazy.
Can Persian cats stay alone? They can for short periods, such as when you are away at work, but more extended periods are not great for their clingy personalities. For such people attached animals, it's a good idea to get them in pairs so that they don't get lonely in the time that you are away.