The Persian cat breed is one of the most popular cat breeds in the UK, usually vying for the top spot in the rankings with the Siamese and British shorthair. Their distinctive flattened faces, long luxurious fur and affectionate natures make them popular with cat lovers of all types, and from all walks of life.
However, like all pedigree breeds of cat, the Persian breed as a whole tends to be more prone to certain types of hereditary health conditions that become prevalent within the breed due to the limited gene pool of all pedigrees, and learning a little more about such issues in the breed that you own or are considering buying is important.
Whilst skin problems might not seem like the worst possible issue that can afflict a cat, issues with the skin and coat can be complex to identify and challenging to manage, and this is no different in the Persian.
In this article, we will take a brief look at some of the skin and coat problems that can affect the Persian cat breed, and provide a little more information on their effects and identification. Read on to learn more.
Cat allergies can be caused by a huge plethora of different issues, from food ingredients to pollen to common substances that may be present in your home. The Persian tends to be slightly more prone to suffering from allergies than most other breeds, and so establishing their diet and troubleshooting any problems is important.
Allergies tend to cause symptoms such as a dull, dry coat that does not stay in good condition, along with dry skin that may be itchy and irritable. If your cat then scratches to excess to try and get some relief, this can lead to the development of hot spots and sores, which then run the risk of leading to secondary infections and other problems.
Fungal infections in cats are not hugely common, but again, tend to affect the Persian more than most other breeds. In immune-compromised cats or those whose tend to be prone to suffering from a lot of minor ills, the risk of developing fungal infections is higher than normal too.
Fungal infections usually cause hair loss and dry patches on the skin with in some cases, visible indications of the fungus present, such as discolouration or rough patches on the skin, which may develop into lesions.
The successful treatment of fungal skin conditions in cats depends on your vet diagnosing the cause of the issue, and prescribing the proper medication to treat it.
One of the most common forms of fungal infections in cats is ringworm, which is not a “worm” at all, and so cannot be treated or prevented with standard cat wormers.
Ringworm causes round patches of dry skin to develop, which then causes the fur to rise up or stand proud before falling out. Whilst not painful, this can be itchy and left to spread, can lead to hair loss over the bulk of the body of the cat.
Again, ringworm can be treated with the appropriate veterinary product, but it is important to note that the condition is highly contagious, and can easily spread to other cats, and also dogs and people, which can make it hard to eradicate when it has taken hold.
Yeast infections in cats are not hugely common but can be very problematic. Yeast requires the presence of the right environment as well as a source of food, and so yeast infections often occur in immune-compromised cats, just as they do in people.
Yeast infections can begin in the genital region, anus or ear canals, but as they spread, they can also affect the wider skin of the body. Yeast infections are usually treated with topical creams, and can take a while to eradicate and prevent from spreading and worsening.
All cats can potentially pick up parasites such as fleas, lice, mites and ticks, and regardless of what breed of cat you own, it is important to protect your cat against such threats.
Persian cats tend to be more sensitive than most to developing flea allergies, which occur when the cat becomes allergic to the saliva of fleas, and so has a localised allergic reaction any time they are bitten by a flea. This can be very irritating and lead to the cat scratching itself to distraction, potentially leading to sores and abrasions.
Ear mites too tend to take up residence in Persians with ease, and due to the cat’s long hair, these can be challenging to treat. Whilst usually restricted to the areas around the ears, they can also spread around the head and neck, and often recur regularly in affected cats.
Your vet can once again recommend the best course of action for preventing and treating parasites in your Persian cat.