Are Persian cats good for first time owners?

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People who want to own a cat for the first time might be confused about which breed to raise. The indecisiveness when it comes to adopting a particular cat comes from the adorable nature of most of the cat breeds, or more with the adorable looks. Cats come in different shapes and sizes, hence, it can be hard to decide on which breed to adopt from the breeders. If we are moved by just the looks, it can even lead us to adopt a wild cat, which can be trouble. It is important to note that each breed has different behaviours. Persian cats have been popular even in the Victorian era, because of their beauty. Sometimes, they are used as accessories to complement fashion clothes. Their beauty makes them stand apart from other cat breed. It can be fascinating to people who are new in the business of cat ownership to own Persian cats because of their beauty. However, taking care of Persian cats can be quite a challenge because of the standard of maintenance they need.

Firstly, they need grooming every day to ensure that their fur does not tangle and become a breeding ground for various infections. They also have some hereditary diseases that reduce their quality of life, if they are not treated and taken to the vet clinic more than the average cat. Due to this reason, it might be hard for a person new to cat ownership, to handle a Persian cat. A first-time owner might be able to handle other breeds but because of the high maintenance nature of Persian cats, they might not be able to handle a Persian cat. It is important to know that the reason a first-time owner might not be able to handle a Persian cat, has nothing to do with the behaviour of a Persian cat, it is only concerned with the maintenance of the cat.

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Are Persian cats good for first time owners?
Are Persian cats good for first time owners?

What do I need to know about owning a Persian cat?

Usually, it is important to have background knowledge of things before venturing into them, to ensure success. The same is advisable when it comes to adopting or owning a cat. Having background knowledge is even more important when the cat in question is a Persian cat.

Persian cats need a great amount of care, so having knowledge of what is important to the Persian cat is critical so that adequate care is given to the cat. Firstly, if we look at the physical features of the Persian cat, we would notice that the Persian cat has a very long flowing furry covering, and a very flat face. The fur they have is one of the longest in the cat breeds. Their hair grows almost two times that of other breeds of cats. Their fur also contains proteins that can be allergens. Although the long flowing fur is a beautiful thing, it can be a lot to handle. Because of the length and consistency when it comes to growing, there could be a risk of tangling.

Tangling of the fur of the Persian cat can be detrimental because it can become a breeding ground for so many germs, bacteria, and fungi infections. The knots in the tangles are also worse when the grooming is not performed daily. Being already prone to hereditary and other infections, the infection in their fur can cause great discomfort to them. Another important thing to note about owning a Persian cat is also in their physical features—their flat face. In their flat face, there is also a nose sitting in the middle of the face, greatly flattened just like the other parts of the face. This type of nose can make them prone to lots of respiratory problems that can either be mild or a medical emergency. Persian cats also have several hereditary diseases depending on their parents. These diseases range from kidney disease to bladder diseases, to cystitis, to even different types of cancer. These are things to bear in mind before owning a Persian cat. Lastly and most importantly, owning a Persian cat is quite expensive. These cats cost a lot to own, and maintenance is even more expensive.

Persian Cat Personality

Despite the expensive nature of their cost and maintenance, Persians are known to have a personality that is among the sweetest among the cat breeds. They have a very docile personality, with an ability to stay calm at almost all times. These cats are happy and content staying on the lap of their owners almost all day long if they can. They would not mind if they were carried around all day. It is important to know that they are not outdoor cats. The Persian cats thrive better in the internal environment than the external environment. They would be perfect for indoor games but would be the worst choices when it comes to outdoor games. They are good companions for a single apartment or even a family. Their companionship is limited to just lap and couch rest. They do not enjoy intense physical activities because they are a lazy breed. Even though the intense physical activity is inside the house or in the house environment, Persians would not want to engage in it.

Persian cats have a very quiet nature, so that if they are played with they would not scratch. Also, they exhibit somewhat friendly behaviour that makes them approachable by people and other pets. Their accommodating nature makes them perfect pets for families since they are able to associate with and be friendly with all. Sometimes, they favour certain people they are familiar with more than other people, but that does not mean that they would be violent to the people they are not familiar with. Despite their good behaviours, they are after all normal cats. They have some of the common naughtiness found in other cats. They exhibit behaviours like climbing onto tabletops, playing in the wrong places, and scratching furniture. These behaviours are exhibited at times when their boredom is heightened. This is the reason why it is important to keep the Persian cat busy, with toys or cuddling to avoid boredom.

Do Persian Cats Like To Be Picked Up?

Just as mentioned earlier, Persian cats are calm cats, they cause almost no problems with their behaviour. They are animals that thrive better when they have company, either from any other pet, their owner, or any other human. Persian cats have no issue being picked up; it can be said that they enjoy being picked up because they enjoy attention when it is given to them. They love being cared for and tended to, and being picked up means that they are being cared for and tended to. When they are picked up they might snuggle into the arms of the person that picks them up, especially when there is even a little amount of familiarity between them and the person that picks them up. Unlike other cat breeds that might have an issue with being picked up. Some breeds might even scratch with their claws when they are picked up, some would even go as far as biting to show their distaste for being picked up. Persian cats liking to be picked up does not mean they would not wince and extend their claws when they are held wrongly. This is why it is important to know how to hold cats before trying to pick up a Persian cat.

What Is The Best Cat For A First Time Owner?

As a first-time owner, it is important to know the best kind of breed to get. Some cats are high maintenance and getting those kinds as a first-time owner can be a lot to handle. Also, getting breeds that might be violent is a very bad idea for first-time owners, because many first-time owners might not know how to hold cats, and holding wild and violent cats wrongly is asking for trouble. It is important to know the breed and the behavioural characteristics of the cat you are about to get, to avoid problems. The best type of cat for a first-time owner is an American shorthair cat. Just as the name implies, this breed of cat has short hair which means grooming of this breed of cat does not have to be every day. Their fur is short and almost unnoticeable, which means lesser allergens are found in them for people who are allergic to fur. They are somewhat independent when it comes to care and playtime. This makes it suitable for every kind of person—busy and work-at-home kind of people. They do not demand to be petted often and they have no problem if their owner wants to pet them often. They also have no problem with being picked up, they might even enjoy the company and attention. In all, their calm nature makes them a perfect choice for first-time owners.

If you are worried about beauty, this breed would not disappoint because they would wow you, with their charms. Also, a Maine coon can be a very good breed of cat to own. Unlike American short hair, the Maine Coon has medium-length hair. The hair of the Maine Coon might need a little bit of grooming but overall the grooming required by them is not as much as that required by the Persian cat. This breed of cat is friendly and easy to get along with. Just like a dog, this breed can walk while leashed without fussing about it. They are also quite easy to train, which makes them also perfect for first-timers. A Siamese and Ragdoll breed of cat could also be a good choice. They are both friendly and playful, and also easy to teach. Grooming is also no problem for these breeds because they do not have long fur, so it’s easier to clean and groom them.

What Is The Easiest Breed Of Cat To Own?

Easy cat breeds depend on what the owner is looking for. If the person who owns the cat has allergies and wants a cat but is afraid of that, the best cat to consider is the Sphynx cat. Although a Sphynx cat would not like being carried in the lap, picked up, or even held. However, when you understand the nature of this cat, you would tend to give it its way, to avoid being clawed at. The greatest advantage of having this type of cat is the low maintenance they require. This breed barely has any hair on its body which means even people with allergies can own them. They are known to be one of the most intelligent breeds of cats. Their intelligence and curiosity make them more independent than other breeds of cats. If their food and water are provided and every other thing is set in place, they would never be seen to be demanding attention. If attention is given to them, they don’t mind either. However, they get bored easily just like other breeds of cats, and when they are bored, they might keep themselves busy by jumping all over the place. Giving them a toy tower can help them pass time while you are away from the house.  The Maine Coon and American shorthair, are also easy breeds to own, both with low maintenance and the ability to amuse themselves when you are not around to play with them. They are also not demanding, they can be calm. They both would not mind being carried or even cuddled.

Worst Cat Breeds For First-time Owners

As first-time owners, it is important to know that there are some cats to avoid when you want to own a cat. As first-time owners, handling might be a problem, even picking up might be a problem. Knowing the worst cats that cannot be handled by first-time owners would save the stress of owning a cat that would be a terror. The Bombay is top of the list of the worst cats to be owned by first time owners. For people who love black cats, getting Bombays might be a wish-come-true. These cats are adorable but reserved. They are breeds that can be considered wild cats. They do not know how to play like usual cats. They play in a very rough way that can be overwhelming for first-time owners. They are extremely independent and would not hesitate to bite or scratch when they are carried like other cats. The Persian cat breed also makes its way to the list because of how much it takes to groom them. Siamese is a good breed, because of its friendly nature but when it is adopted by families, it only bonds to the family member that feeds it and is aggressive to the other members of the family.

Another breed that can be aggressive to first-time owners, is the Savannah breed. They have a leopard-like look and become irritated when they are picked up, which makes them aggressive. Scottish Folds and American White Hairs are breeds that are cute but can be violent when they are picked up or held. The worst on the list is the breed called Bengal. They are known for their notorious nature. They are the wildest of all the cat breeds, they bite and scratch hardest when they are being held. When left alone in the house, they would destroy anything within their reach. As a first-time owner, having a Bengal spells trouble.

Best Cat Breeds For Families

The best cat breeds for families are made up of cats that can be willing to socialize with every member of the family, and not cause problems when they are handled. Breeds like Maine Coons, Ragdolls, Persians—if you don’t see grooming as a problem, and exotic breeds which is a mixture of a Persian cat and American shorthair cat. These cats can understand, be calm, and be friendly. These cats are also undemanding and can handle cooing and excessive handling from kids.

Best Cat Breeds For Apartments

If the apartment is equipped with places to scratch, places to climb, and a window to look out of, some breeds of cats can thrive. Breeds like Burmese, Siamese, Ragdoll, American and British shorthair, and Birman are cats that can thrive in apartments. They get used to their owner because of the familiarity. These breeds have easy-going behaviours and have low energy, which makes them suitable for apartments.


Persian cats are adorable and well-behaved cats, but when it comes to owning a cat for the first time, it might not be the right option. The high maintenance they require, and also the illnesses they are prone to, makes it hard for first-timers to handle because they might not know what and what not to do. It is important to know that cats that are good for single apartments might not also be good for families because there are cats that can bond with just one person and there are others that can be nice to a whole lot of different people. Despite the good behaviours of some breeds, cats will always be cats, and there are naughty habits that are found in all breeds. It is important to curtail these naughty habits by supervising other adequate measures.


Hazel Buckley
Hazel Buckley

About Hazel Buckley
Hazel is an animal enthusiast and educator who grew up on a farm which her parents owned in Ingogo, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  The farm was situated right under the Majuba Mountains - the site where the Anglo-Boer War was fought. 

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