Persian cats and breeds that belong to this group (Himalayan, exotic), for some reason, are considered centenarians. They often live to the venerable 20 years of age, but there is no official data on this. The life span of animals is influenced by many factors, from hereditary predisposition to housing conditions.
Recommendations from competent breeders will help you figure out how to prolong the active life of a Persian cat at home.
How long do Persian cats live at home?
Persians are the most famous breed in the world, which came to Europe at the beginning of the 17th century. Since then, cats have changed a lot and now they cannot live without human care.
The transformation was so powerful that the breed even lost its original phylogeographic signature and completely merged with the genetics of cats in Western Europe.
According to Swedish animal life insurance companies, Persian cats live at home for about 12.5 years. Moreover, 76% do not even reach the age of 10, and the statistics are pulled up by the remaining quarter of the group.
British researchers give a different forecast – according to the version, the period of life of cats of the Persian breed is limited to 12-17 years, and the average value is at the level of 14.1.
It is known that the Persians had to undergo a serious change in appearance, which provoked a decrease in the life of animals. Persian cats were subjected to uncontrolled selection, which resulted in three varieties (traditional, European, and flat-nosed ultra type).
They also got a number of diseases and forgot how to adapt to the environment. Against this background, a decrease in life expectancy looks like a natural result.
Factors affecting the health and life expectancy of Persian cats at home
In the middle of the twentieth century, the Persian breed was overtaken by an unknown genetic mutation. Their already short snub noses have become even smaller. Representatives of this branch were called “Peking”, although the international felinological associations did not change the standard.
They simply did not oppose the appearance at exhibitions of animals with new parameters and considered them the result of the natural development of the classic Iranian breed.
As a result of selection, three species of Persian cats were formed, in which the size, shape, and position of the nose became the main distinguishing feature.
- In the classic group, a small, straight nose is below eye level.
- The European population reduced this part of the muzzle, introduced snub-noses, and raised the nose in line with the lower eyelid.
- Extreme type – the nose rises to the upper edge of the eye.
It was later revealed that flat-faced Persian cats’ lifespan at home had decreased, and they developed health problems that were not previously present.
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing – sometimes this symptom greatly worries the owners of Persian cats living at home. You have to urgently go to the veterinarian and constantly monitor the condition of the animal.
- Entropy – usually affects the lower eyelid, which folds inward. In this case, the cilia can rub and damage the cornea of the eye, cause injury, pain, and infection.
- Another symptom leads to similar consequences – trichiasis of the upper eyelid or nasal fold. Here, the hair grows so close to the eye that it irritates the pupil and causes damage.
- Difficult childbirth – dystocia. It occurs quite often in the life of domestic cats. The birth of dead offspring in the breed is now at the level of 16-22%.
Other diseases that affect the lifespan of Persian cats at home are more common among other animals and are common to all breeds.
1.The appearance of multiple cysts in the kidneys or polycystic disease (PBP) is a genetic disease that manifests itself in the development of structural abnormalities of the renal tubules and the formation of cysts. At the end of the last century, the pathology was diagnosed in half of the animals aged from 3 to 10 years, which significantly reduced the lifespan of Persian cats at home.
Thanks to the movement of animal rights activists, this catastrophic statistics was corrected. Most reputable breeders do DNA tests on animals and only breed animals that do not have the gene responsible for transmission of the disease.
2.Cardiomyopathy is the inability of the heart muscle to pump blood normally due to a thickening of the wall of the left chamber. The disease often leads to sudden death. It greatly affects how long castrated Persian cats live. After surgery, such animals are prone to gaining excess weight, which causes additional stress on the cardiovascular system.
In some breeds (Maine Coon, American Shorthair) the genetic nature of this disease has been confirmed, but experts have included Persian cats in this list.
Other ailments are not so fatal, but they can also cause great anxiety to the owners of animals and take time for treatment.
- Improper bite and lack of ability to chew food normally.
- Lowering the level of sensitivity in the field of thermal protection.
- Sebaceous adenoma is a slowly growing tumor on the skin of a Persian cat.
- Lupus erythematosus is a malfunction of the feline body’s immune system.
- Various types of dermatological diseases associated with the anatomy of the structure of the muzzle in Persian cats.
Interesting! The Persians have traditionally been participants in the selection of new tribal groups, and in no small measure are responsible for the spread of genetic predisposition to certain types of diseases.
How to extend the life of a Persian cat at home
A complex of preventive measures will help the cat to live to old age, although it will not in any way affect the general negative development trends that follow this ancient and very beautiful breed.
Regular and timely prevention of diseases
Visits to the veterinarian should be started from the first days of the kitten’s life in the new home. The same recommendation applies to adult animals. Moving to a new location creates real stress for them, which can result in physical health problems. Often there is a prolonged depression, which is extremely difficult to get rid of without the help of a specialist.
The life span of Persian cats at home is sometimes reduced due to their main external advantage – luxurious coats. The animals are very clean and lick themselves constantly. Microparticles of skin and hair enter the stomach and form thick lumps (trichobezoars).
The pet loses its appetite, becomes apathetic, suffers from constipation. In later stages, the body temperature rises, there is an urge to vomit. The danger is that all of the listed signs are universal for many diseases. The owner is unlikely to make the correct diagnosis at home.
Important! Every year, the Persian cat must be vaccinated with complex preparations and prevent the appearance of external (fleas) and internal (worms) parasites. This can protect the animal from many diseases and increase its lifespan.
Persians do not express finickiness in choosing a daily menu, but nutritional problems begin not with food, but with the organization of a feeding place. Due to the characteristic short nose, it is necessary to choose wide bowls for food and drink, with small sides and a flat (no depression in the middle) bottom.
Neglecting these details will have an extremely negative impact on the emotional state of the Persian cat. She will be nervous, will not be able to feel comfortable, and will start throwing food around.
As well as for other breeds, felinologists recommend three types of food for Persian cats:
- In childhood, preference is given to natural products – how long Persian kittens live on such a diet, the owner determines himself, taking into account the physical condition of the pet.
- In the active period of life, the cat is transferred to industrial dry or wet food.
- In old age, the diet should be combined.
Important! You cannot feed a Persian cat with fatty meat and bone-cartilaginous tissue, fatty milk, spices and sweets, some types of vegetables (eggplant, potatoes).
Hygiene and care
Due to the characteristic flat structure of the muzzle, the lacrimal glands of the Persians are blocked, therefore, the eyes and nose of the animal require careful care.
The ears are cleaned of sulfur deposits using cotton swabs or sticks, and the inside of the ear canal is treated with drops or lotions. White cats traditionally suffer from hearing problems or general deafness, which occurs in all breeds and is not considered an individual disadvantage of the Persians.
Persian cats have very thin and long hair, which, without proper care, quickly forms untidy mats. Therefore, you need to comb the animal daily, and during the period of active molting, this procedure is repeated several times a day.
Education and physical activity
Small Persian kittens are playful and lively, which corresponds to the general idea of cats. With age, animals begin to behave more calmly. This breed has at the genetic level such character traits as kindness and affection for humans.
Persian cats live long only at home, under the tutelage of the owner.
Felinologists do not officially recognize the influence of the mood and emotional state of animals on their health. However, Persian cat owners notice the relationship between stress and possible physiological problems.
Anxiety and irritation, followed by a nervous breakdown in the Persians, can be caused by any unexpected events:
- change of residence and owner;
- loud noises or unexpected behavior;
- a sharp decrease (increase) in air temperature, change in the level of humidity;
- chemical irritants (alcohol, tobacco, smoke);
- food stimulants (lack of nutrition, lack of vitamin and mineral support);
- emotional signs (transportation in a cage, the appearance of new people, a long break in communication, jealousy).
The manifestation of anxiety symptoms depends on individual characteristics but is most often characterized by increased breathing, diarrhea, and frequent urination, as well as temperature changes, lack of appetite.
For domestic Persian cats, it is extremely important to prevent stressors so as not to traumatize the psyche of a pampered pet. At such moments, he needs affection, participation, communication, and the attention of the owner.
To the constant irritants that will regularly appear in the life of a cat, he must gradually get used to it. This is how the fear of loud sounds or intolerance to the carrying cage passes. It will take several preliminary sessions, then the Persian cat will normally perceive such events.
Sterilization and castration, the effect of surgery on life expectancy at home
Uninformed people mistakenly believe that sterilization is performed on females, and castration – on males. In fact, the sex of the animal has nothing to do with the procedure. In the first option (sterilization), the fallopian tubes (for females) or the seminal ducts (for males) are ligated.
In the second case (castration) in males and females, the internal organs that are responsible for reproductive activity are removed.
Castration affects how long Persian cats live:
- The hormonal background changes and the appetite of animals increases sharply – cats are prone to overeating, followed by obesity.
- The risk of kidney stones is increased.
Therefore, it is necessary to control the diet, volume, and calorie content of portions. Manufacturers recommend special mixtures for such animals.
The operation has almost no effect on the lifespan of sterilized Persian cats. It is only necessary to organize a safe period after surgery. And if you follow the rules of feeding, then a castrated Persian cat is likely to live a very long life.
Famous Persians and long-livers of the breed
There have never been real pensioners among the Persians. Only one white-tortoiseshell cat is known for certain, living up to 19.5 years.
But in art and cinema, Persian cats have a really long and fruitful life:
- Sotheby’s sold a painting by the artist Karl Kahler (Austria), in which the main characters were 42 Persian cats.
- Florence Nightingale, the most famous English sister of mercy, kept 60 Persians at home.
- Raymond Chandler (author of detective novels) read his writings to the black Persian cat Taki.
The collection of admirers of magnificent long-haired beauties includes the legendary Cardinal Richelieu and Marilyn Monroe, the French monarch Louis XIV and Ernest Hemingway, the English Queen Victoria, and the musician Freddie Mercury.
Some of the difficulties in caring for long hair, Persian cats more than pay off with their unmatched appearance, gentle character, and boundless love for the owner. Under good conditions, they are able to live a long feline life, remaining healthy and active until old age.