Persian cats are some of the most beautiful, sweetest cats. They also require a considerable amount of maintenance and care, especially due to their propensity to breathing problems. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help.
Who You Calling Flat-Faced?
Short-nosed, flat-faced cat breeds such as Persians commonly have issues breathing, snoring, coughing, and even eating (some Persians are even known to grasp their food with the underside of their tongue). Why? So called brachycephalic breeds have a unique head shape, which is inherited naturally at birth. This may cause the animal to have narrowed nostrils, overly long soft palates as well as small tracheas. The less pronounced the Persian’s muzzle, the more labored their breathing. In more extreme cases these physical characteristics may require medical intervention to allow the cat to live a "normal" life.
How Can You Help?
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to check your Persian every day for nasal obstructions and breathing problems. While other cats may catch a cold and go on living like nothing is the matter, your Persian may be relegated to inhaling and exhaling exclusively through the mouth, or worse, develop a sinus infection, due to its brachycephalic characteristics.
Factors that may increase the risk and further complicate the Persian's condition include obesity, allergies, over-excitement, and exercise. Any of these may cause rapid breathing that the obstructed airway cannot manage. These problems worsen in warm, humid weather, which also leads to excessive panting.
You may also want to consider consulting your veterinarian if your Persian is constantly sick or suffering due to its physical characteristics. Although it is common to deal with occasional snorting and sneezing on a daily basis, some Persians may benefit from surgical treatment such as widening narrowed nostrils, shortening an elongated palate, and tonsillectomy. Ultimately treatments are recommended by your veterinarian based on the severity of your Persian's symptoms.
Talk to your veterinarian today if you believe your Persian may benefit from respiratory treatments, or if you have questions about common brachycephalic issues such as breathing problems.
A cavity within a bone; may also indicate a flow or channel
The term for the nostrils and muscles in the upper and lower lips of an animal; may also be used to describe a type of tool used to keep an animal from biting
An animal with a wide head, short in stature.