Are you the right person for the Persian?

Are you the right person for the Persian?

Sweet – Relaxed – Quiet

Easily recognisable by their extremely fluffy exterior and unique facial features, the Persian is one of the more ancient cat breeds that remain one of the most popular long haired cat breeds.

They are often associated with money and are regularly represented in the media as being luxurious, often spoiled or the pets of the villains of the movies. Bond fans will be familiar with the Chinchilla Persian – donning a silvery white coat. However, these furry felines are some of the most gentle breeds of cat, not to mention very quiet and subdued.

Persian Cat Breed Basics:

Average lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Average weight: 3-7 kg  

Colours: Persian cats come in pretty much every colour imaginable – White, Black, Blue, Red, Cream, Tortoiseshell, Apricot, Pewter, Silver…

Trainability: Medium

Shedding: Moderate

A history of the Persian

Due to their extensive and ancient history, the true origins of the Persian cat is not easy to pinpoint. It’s not know whether they did as the name suggest originate in Persia (Iran). There is information that suggests the Persian was bred with other Egyptian breeds to create the breed we have today. Their long coats made them perfect for the colder climates of both Turkey and Persia, helping to keep them toasty and warm.

There are lots of different types of Persian cats. The first recognised Persian had one solid colour throughout.

Did you know: The Persian cat was one of the very first cat breeds to be shown at the first UK cat show, which took place in Crystal Palace in 1871.

history of the Persian cat

Persian temperament & personality

Persians can often be wrongly judged as being a little stuck up and aloof, due to their snubbed noses and fluffy appearance. The Persian is actually a very loving, gentle breed. They’re not particularly active cats and do prefer to have a routine that they can follow every day.

Making sure you have a set schedule for feeding, grooming and bed time, can help to keep your Persian content and happy. This includes the environment your Persian is kept in. Any new furniture or even a new layout could stress them out.

How to groom a Persian

It should go without saying that the fluffiness of the Persian requires a lot of maintenance. Daily grooming is highly recommended as it allows you to keep your Persian’s fur in tip-top condition.

It’s essential that you are thorough with your grooming, as areas such as behind the ears and under the armpits can be easily missed, but are the most prone to uncomfortable matting. Aim to use a wide toothed metal comb for ultimate grooming comfort, you don’t want to be tugging on the fur as this isn’t fun for your feline.

Feeding a diet high in animal protein and essential oils will also help promote a healthy skin and coat minimising matting.

Persian cat health watchouts

The most common health concerns depends on a lot of factors, from the breeders that you purchase your Persian kitten from, to the type of Persian you choose e.g. flat faced.

Breathing and tear duct issues: Due to their flatter faces, Persian cats commonly suffer from breathing issues and problems with their tear ducts. Poor breeding can drive narrower nasal passages increasing the likelihood of your kitty suffering from problems here.

Ringworm (Dermatophytosis): Perhaps due to their long coat, Persian Cats are predisposed to this fungal condition which can affect the hair, skin and nails. It’s contagious and can pass to humans and other animals. Treatment involves clipping back the fur, oral medication and grooming with topical creams and medicated shampoos. This isn’t something your kitty will look forward to. You can minimise the risk of ringworm by keeping grooming equipment and bedding clean and regular rooming. Using a shampoo designed for ringworm treatment is recommended.

Hairballs: As Persian cats have long, dense coats they are more likely to suffer from hairballs. Where these form in the cat’s stomach or digestive tract, it can lead to more serious issues. You can prevent the risk of hairballs by daily grooming and feeding a high quality diet which promotes a healthy skin and coat.

Similarly to Maine Coons, Persian cats can suffer from a number of genetic diseases. Some of the most common that you may want to DNA test for are:

  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) – left without treatment this can prove fatal so we recommend an annual ultrasound to check if your kitty has PKD. Responsible breeders will test to breed Persians that do not carry the PKD gene so that this is not passed on.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) – this progressive eye disease can lead to loss of sight.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – this genetic condition causes the muscular walls of the heart to thicken and can restrict blood flow, proving fatal. There is currently no known cure but your vet will help create a plan to manage the condition and care for your kitty as best they can.
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) – a viral progressive disease that is almost always fatal. Infection rates are higher in multi cat households and most diagnoses are for cats less than 2 years old.

Like with any pedigree breeds, hereditary diseases and ailments can’t always be avoided. Simple DNA tests by the breeders and regular check-ups with your vet are ideal precautionary measures.

Persian Cat

Are Persians good house cats?

Persians make great house cats for the right home, as they aren’t fans of noisy and hectic environments. If you have a very loud or high energy family, the Persian may not be for you.

However, if you have a quiet house that is relatively relaxed, with no young children or other energetic animals, then a Persian will easily find a place in your home.

If you aren’t a fan of pet hair all over your furniture, again the Persian may not be for you. Their regular grooming schedule and moderate shedding means that you’ll be finding cat hair long after you’ve cleaned the house from top to bottom.   

Are Persian cats aggressive?

As they love attention, Persians tend not to be very aggressive. In fact, they are very lazy and laid back, preferring to be cuddled and stroked at every available moment.

Young Persian kittens can get a bit nippy, much like any young animal, but if you ignore them as punishment, you’ll soon be able to train that behaviour out of them completely.

Are Persian cats intelligent?

As beautiful and loving as they are, Persians were not gifted with all the brain cells. They can be difficult to train due to their low intelligence and make terrible hunters, but that doesn’t take away from their appeal as a house cat.

What they lack in brains they make up for in affection, so if you’re looking for a slightly dim cuddle monster, this is the breed for you.

How big do Persians get?

Although they aren’t as big as other fluffy felines such as Ragdolls, they are a good medium size and their fluff can make them look a little bigger than they really are.

On average, a Persian will reach around 5kg in weight max, a perfect weight for snuggles!

How much does a Persian cat cost?

If you’re looking to rescue a Persian cat, the cost is significantly less and you cat or kitten will drive fully vaccinated and with flea treatments. You’ll also have a better understanding of any potential health issues your cat has. You can keep checking sites like Blue Cross or look a specific rescue centre for Persian Cats.

Persians are very sought after and so are usually fairly expensive, costing up to £1,000 per kitten, sometimes even more.

Like with any pet, it is highly recommended to get good pet insurance, especially for pedigree cats and dogs. This can range from around £15-£30 a month, depending on the cover and whether your cat is KC registered. If you want to know roughly how much a Persian would cost to keep monthly, you could be looking at between £40-£60, which includes insurance, grooming and food.

We also advise to ensure you are getting top quality pet food for your pet, particularly pet food that looks after your pets gut health and promotes a healthy skin and coat. This can help you keep your Persian in top condition and keep them happy and healthy!

Conclusion

If you are looking for a relaxed cat that can fit seamlessly into a quiet and clean household, then a Persian is for you. They may take a bit of maintenance, but the love and affection you recieve from a Persian is completely priceless.

Should you add a Labrador to your family?

Should you add a Labrador to your family?

Energetic – Friendly – Happy

There’s a good reason why Labrador Retrievers or “Labs” continue to be one of the most popular breeds amongst dog lovers. These happy go lucky pooches love human attention and make the very best companions for those looking for an addition to the family.

Below, we take a look at some of the facts and figures of this waggy breed and help you to decide whether a Labrador Retriever could be the perfect pet for you!

Labrador Retriever Breed Basics:

Average lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Average weight: Male: 29-37 kg, Female: 25-32 kg

Colours: Cream, Golden, Black and Chocolate

Trainability: Easy

Shedding: Medium to High

Type: Gundog

A history of the Labrador Retriever

The humble Labrador actually originated in Newfoundland, rather than the Canadian region of Labrador as previously thought. The original Labrador differed slightly and no longer exist. With a black waterproof coat, these dogs were bred to help local fishermen. A few of these dogs were imported into the UK in the 19th century as hunting dogs and developed into the modern Labrador that we all know and love. Since then, these loyal companions have become one of the world’s favourite breeds, both in the UK and the US, due to their affectionate and happy nature.

Did you know: Whilst many will know Labradors as the Andrex puppy, in other countries including Australia, they are known as the Kleenex Puppy.

Labrador Retriever temperament & personality

Labradors are known for their happy and loving nature, it is what makes them so appealing to anyone looking for the perfect family pet.

When we refer to man’s best friend, we often picture the Labrador, with its smiling face, wagging tail and excited demeanour. They love to be active and make excellent companions when out and about. The ultimate outdoor dog, they love to swim, play, run and even hike with you as they are very energetic.

It is advised to make sure you’ve got plenty of chew toys when choosing a Labrador, as they love to chew on anything and everything. If you don’t give them enough to munch on, they will direct their focus on your furniture and even your shoes.

Chocolate Lab Dog

How much exercise do Labrador’s need? 

This large breed dog comes with buckets of energy. They need lots of mental and physical stimulation. Long daily walks are a must! As labradors love water, a regular swim as part of their daily exercise is highly recommended.

Left to their own devices and if they don’t receive the stimulation they need, Labradors can become destructive and may persistently bark. If you’re set on introducing a Labrador to your family but worried you don’t have the time to give them the exercise they need, check with a neighbour, or there are walkers and doggy day care options to ensure you keep your pooch happy and healthy.

How to groom a Labrador Retriever

Anyone who has met or lived with a Labrador, will have witnessed a lot of shedding. With the right grooming routine a high quality diet that’s rich in animal protein and oils to promote a healthy skin and coat, you can manage shedding effectively.

Labrador Retrievers short coats still need regular grooming to keep their fur happy and healthy. Daily brushing with a nylon brush can help to stimulate the oils in their coat and keep it looking shiny. Regular grooming will also feel great for your pet, especially if you throw in a little massage!

Massaging and brushing your Labrador daily can also help you to find any abnormalities or lumps, helping to prevent any serious illness before it becomes a problem for you and your pet.

Other than a daily brush, Labradors are relatively low maintenance for grooming. To keep their teeth healthy, we highly recommend daily brushing (check out our guide on the importance of dog teeth cleaning) and as Labs do love to get mucky, regular bathing might be called for.

Labrador Retriever health

Labs are fairly robust but as with many larger sized dogs, hip dysplasia can become an issue, especially in later life. Feeding an appropriate puppy food formulated for large breed puppies can help prevent hip dysplasia as these foods will have the right calcium phosphorus ratios and joint support needed.

Labs have insatiable appetites. They’re the only breed not allowed in food palatability trials as they will literally eat anything and everything. We’ve heard horror stories of labradors eating towels! Something that many Labrador Retriever owners may want to watch out for is overeating. As labradors love to wolf down their food, this can make them more prone to obesity and weight issues. To help stop these gannets from eating way too much, its important to stick to feeding guidelines and it’s worth buying a slow feeding bowls specially designed to prevent them from engulfing everything at once.

You should also try limiting your dogs portion sizes and could even try spacing out smaller meals throughout the day to help prevent any digestion issues. Choosing a good quality pet food can also make a huge difference. Scrumbles large breed dog food is specially formulated for larger dogs, avoids nasties like artificial colours, sugar and salt and is low in carbohydrates helping avoid unnecessary weight gain. As an added bonus, our gut friendly recipe will help deliver a firm healthy poop.

Are Labrador Retrievers good family dogs?

As they are relatively low aggression, always happy to see you and love to be active, the Labrador Retriever makes an amazing family pet and are great with children.

They are very easy to train, due to their loyal nature, so they can be easily house trained and trained to walk well on the lead. Their steady character is one of the reasons they are first choice for guide dogs. However, labradors are not the best guard dogs in the world, so if you’re looking for a bit of home security, these dogs are not the breed to opt for.

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed

Are Labrador Retrievers aggressive?

Any dogs can be aggressive, depending on their upbringing and training, but Labradors are known for having low aggression. If you have very young children or you’re planning to add a puppy and a baby to your family in the next few months, then a Labrador Retriever is an ideal breed choice.

Are Labrador Retrievers intelligent?

There have been a number of studies on the intelligence of some of our favourite breeds of dog and the Labrador Retriever regularly ranks in the top 10. Due to their working and hunting past, they hold a decent amount of intelligence, which makes them very easy to train.

They tend to pick up the most basic commands fairly easy, so if you need a dog that can be house trained quickly and efficiently, this is the breed for you.

How big do Labrador Retrievers get?

When it comes to size, you’ll find a Labrador to reach anywhere between 55-62 cm in height, depending on their gender. As large breed dogs, they can be pretty heavy, weighing in at a max of 37 kg for males.

How much do Labrador Retrievers cost?

Rescuing a dog is not only a great way to provide for a dog that needs our care but typically shelters will only charge a small administration fee and as a bonus, your dog will come home fully vaccinated and flea treated. If you’re thinking of adopting a dog, read our guide on pet rehoming.

If you’re set on buying a puppy, a Labrador Retriever puppy, could set you back £850 for a pedigree puppy. This is relatively low vs the cost of other, less common breeds.

Of course with any dog, there are extra costs you may want to consider. Pet insurance, monthly flea treatments and annual vaccinations as well as food, treats and toys.

Conclusion

When it comes to finding the perfect family pet, you’ll be hard pressed to find a dog that is better suited than the Labrador Retriever. They are bundles of sunshine that are always happy to see you, always ready to play and very loyal companions.

Do you have room for a Maine Coon?

Do you have room for a Maine Coon?

Curious – Gentle – Outgoing

Wondering if you could give the perfect home to a Maine Coon? Or maybe you’re just a cat fanatic wanting to learn more about this amazing and playful breed? Whatever your reasons for wanting to learn more about these gentle giants, read our breed guide below to become a Maine Coon master.  

Maine Coon Breed Basics:

Average lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Average weight: Male: 5.9 – 8.2 kg, Female: 3.6 – 5.4 kg

Colours: White, black, brown, cream, ginger and blue

Trainability: Easy

Shedding: High

A history of the Maine Coon

These playful balls of fluff originate from North America, specifically Maine, hence their name! They were kept outside as farm cats protected by their naturally thick coat from the bitter New England winters.

No official records exist to say where exactly the Maine Coon breed came from, although there are plenty of fun tales surrounding French royalty and English sailors. It is more widely believed that they originated in the UK, as well as having roots in Scandinavia, believed to be brought in by the vikings, due to their resemblance to the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Did you know: It can take up to 5 years for a Maine Coon to mature to adulthood!

Maine Coon temperament & personality

Maine Coons are known as gentle giants who maintain a kitten personality throughout their life. Despite being one of the larger sized cats, they have a surprisingly small voice.

The Maine Coon is most definitely as cuddly and loving as its fluffy exterior has us believe. They love to play and are very affectionate, so if you’re looking for a cat to show you some love when you get home, this is the perfect breed for you.

Maine Coons love to socialise with other people and pets, so they make great additions to a large family, whether human or feline!

There’s definitely a few differences when comparing male Maine Coons to females, with males being a little more sociable and entertaining. The females also love to socialise, but can often seem a little more aloof than their male counterparts.

How to groom a Maine Coon

Maine Coons have beautifully thick, shaggy coats that are waterproof. They shed seasonally losing their thick undercoat in the summer, although some Maine Coons are known to shed all year long.

It’s impossible not to notice just how fluffy Maine Coons are, which means you’ll have to get used to regular grooming sessions with your furry feline friend.

Maine Coon grooming tips

You may have to spend a bit of time getting your Maine Coon used to grooming, as like most cats, they aren’t a fan of being groomed by humans. The younger you acclimatise your kitty to grooming, the easier and more fun it’ll be for the both of you. With a bit of training, you can make this a weekly treat for them.

Maine Coon Grooming Tips

  • Opt for a soft bristle brush
  • Consistency is key – daily grooming will avoid the hair from matting
  • A monthly bathe will help keep the coat in perfect condition
  • If you’re uncomfortable clipping their claws, take them to a specialised groomer or your vet will happily do this for you

Although they may hate you for it, a regular bath can also be beneficial to your Maine Coons maintenance. We would suggest keeping this to 1 bath per month. This time is also great for clipping the fur around the paws, as it can become a little cumbersome for them when on the prowl.

Maine Coon’s coats are waterproof so you’ll need to take care to work through the fur when rinsing and pay particular care to drying. We recommend hand drying first to remove as much excess water as possible, followed by a thorough towel dry.

Maine Coon health

Overall, Maine Coons are a pretty durable breed that suffer with minimal health issues, but like most pedigree cats and dogs, they can suffer with a few minor genetic health problems.

As a large breed cat, Maine Coons can suffer from hip dysplasia. It’s not a common issue in most cats and is more often found in large dog breeds. It’s thought that this is because of the size of a Maine Coon, as they can become pretty large felines.

Other things to look out for would be:

  • HCM (feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) is a genetic condition where blood flow is restricted to the heart. Symptoms can show from 3 years old and include shortness of breath, a loss of appetite and a weak pulse. HCM can become serious if left untreated. If you suspect your Maine Coon has HCM, take them to the vet for a check-up.
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy – Not life threatening, but it can cause weakness in the muscles which may need treating. Symptoms show at 3-4 months old – look out for an abnormal gate or unsteady posture.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) causes cysts to form on the kidneys which can lead to organ failure. If your Maine Coon inherits this disease, it will require lifelong treatment. As a slow progressing disease, symptoms may not show until your kitty is 7 years old. Lookout for lethargy, loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss, vomiting, increased thirst and frequent urination. A common misconception is to feed a low protein diet but what’s key is phosphorus management. If you cat suffers from PKD you need to select a diet that has a low level of phosphorus as the damaged kidney is unable to remove phosphorus from the blood.

A good breeder will have tested for genetic diseases and on a whole, the Maine Coon is a healthy breed, whether purebred or mixed breed, they are pretty sturdy.

Like with any cat, it’s important to keep their gut healthy and their diet filled with nutrition that focuses on quality high animal protein levels. That’s why we advise to start your Maine Coon kitten on our delicious kitten food, then once they reach adulthood, choose between our tasty chicken or salmon cat food.

Are Maine Coons good house cats?

Due to the Maine Coons fairly laid back personality, they can be kept as either indoor or outdoor cats. Many Maine Coon owners prefer to keep them indoors however, as they are a very coveted breed and they have been known to get stolen when left to go outside alone.

maine coon house cat

Due to their large size, it’s best to have a fair amount of space in your home for them to roam around. Not only are they big, but they can be strong, so giving them space away from breakables is always a good idea.

With any house cat, it’s important to make sure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. Maine Coons are very intelligent, so making sure they have enough to keep them occupied whilst indoors is essential.

Are Maine Coons aggressive?

There isn’t an aggressive bone in their body.

Maine Coons are known for their gentle and loving nature, which is why they have become such a popular breed with families and cat owners alike.

Of course every cat can become aggressive if they feel threatened or if they are uncomfortable or feeling a little under the weather. If your Maine Coon does become a little sensitive, it may be a sign of underlying issues, so it’s a good idea to give them a little check up to make sure everything is ok.

Are Maine Coons intelligent?

Maine Coons are very intelligent, which makes them extremely easy to train. Using a clicker, you can easily train your cat, whether it’s for shows or just general housekeeping.

They are so intelligent, that they will soon pick up on your schedule and routine, so if you leave the house at the same time every day, they’ll know about it. If you come home at the same time, they will be ready and waiting when you arrive.

How big do Maine Coons get?

We’ve talked a little about Maine Coons being a large breed of cat, but if you want to know exactly how big they can get, we would recommend reading this article from the Guinness Book of Records. That’s right, the longest cat in the world is currently a Maine Coon and they have won numerous other awards for being giants in the cat world.

How much do Maine Coons cost?

So you’ve reached the end of our breed guide and you’ve decided that a Maine Coon is the perfect addition to your household. It is fair to say you’ve chosen a great breed, but an expensive one.

Pedigree Maine Coon kittens can go for nearly £1000 per kitten, so they are very pricey should you want a pedigree kitty. You may also want to think about the added cost of insurance and consistent grooming.

You can also look at rescue Maine Coons who are looking for a loving home. As this breed is extremely loving and affectionate, it’s always advised to add a rescue Maine Coon to your family. However, it can be tricky to find a rescue Maine Coon as they are so popular!

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a cat that could also double as a small dog, show you love and affection and bring you belly laughs every day, then the Maine Coon is definitely for you. Remember, these felines can be huge, but full of love and extremely fluffy cuddles.