Cat Grooming: Persian Cat Care- save your coat from invaders
Persian Grooming 101 School E-Course: Lesson 5
Groom Your Persian cats! Persian Coat Care for the Itchy Itchies
International award-winning Purrinlot Persian cat breeder Laura Thomas discusses the itchy itchies and how to keep them at bay and save your Persian coat in this FREE online Persian cat grooming 101 course. In Lesson 4 Laura discussed the various types of gunk that can get into your Persian's fur and how to clean up your kitty when they do. Now it's time to talk about the times you see your Persian or other longhair cat scratching incessantly behind their ears, down their throat, and other locations where itching is common. Lesson 5 will cover the underlying causes of these common itches, the damage constant itching and scratching can do to the coat, and what you can do to alleviate your kitty's itching.
Overview: learn the causes of common itches
This class is quite important. Knowing what is causing your kitty to scratch can help you save the coat. First and foremost, do a check list.
- Did you notice the itch shortly after a bath?
- Is the itch in the neck area going down into the throat?
- Is the itch over the eyes and possibly behind an ear?
- Is the itch creating a bite- kitty biting where they itch?
- no real itch - but little bumps appearing and or coat starting to fall out in lumps?
- Is the itch going down the body back?
Where the itch is tells you what the itch means
After a bath. An itch after the bath normally means you didn't get the soap out completely and now it is causing the skin to itch. It may even develop into a rash. Then the kitty may begin to dip his face, cheek, legs, and soak himself trying to make the itch go away. However...this actually will make the itch worse. Solution: re-bathe with baby or face shampoo. Rinse three times and dry thoroughly.
If the itching is around the neck and going down into the throat and you did not JUST bathe in the last day or so... it is most likely a food allergy or hormones. Many cats do not agree with corn and excessive amounts of corn over time can develop into a food allergy. Solution: find a food with less corn and wait out the time it takes to filter the old out of the body. Also, Females tend to itch in this area a few days or even a week before a heat cycle may begin. This tends to run in lines.
If you find the itch is over the eyes or behind the ear, don't waste time. See your vet. You have ear mites. ASK for the shot (the one that also kills worms) not the drops. The shot is a one or two-time thing and the mites die almost instantly. The reason why I say 2 times is because it is a good idea to plan one shot and then redo it in 10 days. This way you also kill all the eggs too. The drops are messy and take a week or even longer to show any promise. If the itch is creating a bite, did a mosquito bite the kitty or possibly a flea? If not..this might also be a sign of a heavy corn diet.
If you see pimple-like things on your cat... this one is a biggie...these little pimple looking things are most likely fungus. You need to get on top of this sooner than later. You will need to topically treat and internally treat. Do not take shortcuts or this problem will leave and return over and over. Bleach (1-10 dilution) everything possible. Keep in mind it takes 10 minutes to kill. Any less time only puts this bug to sleep to be awakened later. Also, you can only disinfect clean surfaces, so wash and clean, then disinfect.
Wash your kitty in an anti-fungal shampoo such as Anna's Healthy Coat twice per week...and, if you can tolerate it, dip your kitty too. Talk to your vet on the fastest and easiest way to remove these nasties. You are out of the show scene for a bit with this itch!
If the itch is going down the body, you may have body mites. A quick visit to the vet can fix this one in one shot (sometimes two.)
When shampooing, use full strength and leave sit for at least 10 minutes.
MOST IMPORTANT!!! After you handle the kitty, wash your hands and arms and fingers and nails really GOOD! I highly suggest you get yourself a Cat Breeder Bar if you have a cattery or are expecting kittens. This bar was developed so that after you handle your kitties you can wash up feeling secure that you won't be spreading germs, fungus, and/or viruses to other pets and people in your home and cattery. This bar of soap is also great to use if you have kittens. It is better to be safe and cleaned and protected than to end up with sick kittens. The soap contains everything you need to make sure not to transfer nasties from you to another. You can also use the bar soap on the cats too for a spot clean up area.
So, to review:
- Always disinfect everything- bedding, housing, clothes, ect when any itch is present.
- If you use a protector shampoo (for example: CB Anna's Healthy Coat) and then clean up yourself real good with our Breeder Tea Tree Bar- most often itchy's stay at bay. BTW - Fleas hate this bar too! an added bonus. :-)
Next Grooming School class issue: Drying techniques and a little on-off staining