Do Persian cats need a special diet?
Ah the beloved Persian cat! Why do people love them so? It's easy – the are gorgeous cats that come in a wide range of lovely colors and have gentle and sweet personalities to match. They are a good choice for most families although along with all this loveliness comes a few considerations. It should be taken into consideration that they do require more grooming than the average short haired cat, they can occasionally be picky eaters and can have sensitive tummies. But the question is – do they need to eat a special diet formulated just for Persians?
As you may have noticed, there are many different theories about how and what to feed cats. There are 100's of diets on the market for cats so let's start at the beginning. First and foremost, cats are true carnivores, meaning they must have a diet in which their protein comes from meat sources such as chicken, turkey or fish. There is also much debate about which is better - dry vs. wet food. Although there are other things to be considered, in general canned and raw food diets provide more moisture. Moisture is critical in keeping the kidneys healthy for any cat. Persians can have an inherited disease called Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) that later in life can cause dysfunction of the kidneys. This is why it is a good idea early on to provide your Persian with a diet that helps to keep them well hydrated. It is also very important to provide them with plenty of fresh water.
Many cats have a taste preference for certain flavors of food. Some prefer chicken or turkey over fish. Some even like beef or lamb or even rabbit. Because Persian cats can be picky eaters you may have to do a taste test until you find the flavor that your cat likes the best. Don't forget to switch it up a little bit just so they don't get “stuck” on any one type of food. With cats that are picky eaters other things need to be considered as well. Persian cats have a unique jaw shape and may prefer eating a smaller sized dry kibble that feels more comfortable to them. They may also prefer “pate” style foods over chunky. This is why you may need to experiment with different shapes and textures until you find the one or ones they prefer.
Along with what to feed is how to feed. Some cats do better being able to munch on dry food all day long, while for others being served meals twice a day works for them.
If you are having some difficulties with feeding your Persian cat, it is always best to have them examined by a veterinarian just to rule out any medical problems. Once that is out of the way you can concentrate on finding just the right type, flavor and shape of food. But remember, your Persian is a little carnivore so please - always feed high quality meat and provide plenty of fresh water!