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What are common Persian cat health issues?

Persians are one of the world’s oldest and most popular cat breeds. Their unique physical features are adorable but can also cause various health issues.

Understanding your Persian’s needs and learning how to prevent or adequately manage their health issues will help you raise a healthy and happy kitty.

In this guide, we’ll answer some burning questions about common Persian cat health niggles, such as:

  • What are the most common Persian cat health issues?
  • How can you keep your Persian as healthy as possible?
  • What’s the best diet for a sensitive feline?

Common Persian cat health problems

Persians are susceptible to various health issues and typically have shorter lifespans than most felines. Keep in mind that every kitty is different, so your fluffy friend may not experience typical conditions. Proper care and diet can considerably prolong their life and improve its quality.

Here are the most common health issues in Persians:

  1. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) 
  2. Eye problems
  3. Hip dysplasia 
  4. Brachycephalic airway syndrome 
  5. Skin conditions
  6. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)

Persians are prone to PKD, a disease that causes cysts in the kidneys. Around 40% of Persian cats suffer from this illness. Prevention is impossible, but genetic testing will help determine whether your feline has it. In case they do, regular (annual) ultrasounds will show whether there are any concerning changes and help your vet apply the appropriate treatment to alleviate the symptoms. 

If left untreated, the disease can advance quickly, resulting in kidney failure.

Eye problems

The unique shape of your Persian’s eyes can cause various problems, including:

  • Congenital ankyloblepharon—Blue-eyed Persians are genetically predisposed to this disease in which the lids fail to separate at birth
  • Congenital epiphora—It’s a hereditary disease which occurs when the nasolacrimal duct drainage system doesn’t function properly, resulting in excessive tearing. The tears usually overflow and oxidate the hair around the eyes, causing various coat and skin issues. There are medications your cat can take to alleviate the symptoms
  • Entropion—The condition causes eyelids to invert, making eyelashes rub the cornea. Besides making your cat’s eyes itchy and irritating, it usually leads to tearing and ulcerations. Treatment includes a surgical procedure 
  • Primary glaucoma—When an anatomical abnormality creates excessive blood pressure in a Persian’s eyes, they can lose their eyesight. The disease is incurable, but the pain can be alleviated with eye drops containing dorzolamide or timolol and steroids

My eyes might be protruding and sensitive, but look how beautiful they are!

Source: Dan Wayman

Hip dysplasia 

Hip dysplasia comes from abnormal development of one or both hip joints. 

It can lead to instability and degeneration of the joints. The Maine Coon, Persian, and Himalayan cats are most likely to get it because of a narrower gene pool and proneness to obesity.

A full recovery is possible if the condition is detected on time. Watch out for the following symptoms: 

  • Joint laxity
  • Hip joint pain
  • Inability to jump or get up from a sitting position
  • Reduced thigh muscle mass in the hind legs
  • Increased shoulder mass
  • Swaying walk

A simple examination and a radiograph will be sufficient to diagnose the disease and determine its severity. At that point, your vet can start proper treatment (anything from pain medication to surgery). 

Brachycephalic airway syndrome

Persians’ flat faces cause various health problems, including respiratory issues. Their small and narrow nasal passages are highly sensitive to temperature and moisture, which affects their breathing. Persians can’t be as active as other breeds because they get heated too quickly and can’t catch their breath. 

Skin conditions

Fluffy Persians are susceptible to many skin conditions, usually because of their teary eyes and long, thick coats. Most skin diseases are easily treatable but can become extremely uncomfortable and painful if left unattended.

The most common skin problems in Persian are:

  1. Feline idiopathic seborrhea
  2. Dermatophyte infections
  3. Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex
  4. Acne
  5. Mange

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 

Because they have difficulty breathing and are often overweight, Persians are susceptible to heart problems, especially when they reach late adulthood and senior years. 

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common heart disease in Persians. It causes the heart walls to thicken, decreasing the organ’s efficiency and often creating symptoms in other parts of the body.

Lethargy and heavy breathing are the main symptoms of the early stages of the disease, so they can be hard to notice in Persians. Prevention includes a low sodium diet and exercise for healthy weight maintenance. 

Diet-related health problems in Persian cats

Their diet plays a massive role in your Persian’s well-being. Regular consumption of poor quality food can lead to:

  1. Food allergies
  2. Obesity
  3. Diabetes

Food allergies

Persians are naturally sensitive and prone to food allergies. Low-quality food can trigger:

  • Skin inflammation—Cat allergies commonly appear on their skin and coat, causing itchiness and irritation. Once they start to scratch and lick themselves, the condition can get worse and result in hair loss, skin tears, and open wounds
  • Gastrointestinal problems—Tummy issues, including vomiting, diarrhoea, and flatulence, are frequent symptoms of food allergies 


Persians are indoor cats, so they’re no strangers to obesity. When they gain unhealthy weight, cats usually become lazy, which can lead to:

  • Arthritis, osteoarthritis, and herniated discs
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory problems
  • Fatty liver syndrome
  • Constipation
  • IBS

Five more minutes, and then I’ll come to play, I promise!


Feline diabetes

Cats suffering from diabetes cannot produce insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. 

Obesity is a known trigger, so Persian cat parents must feed their felines healthy food and keep their weight in check. The symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Weight loss despite normal or increased appetite

How to maintain your Persian cat’s health

Most health issues in Persians can be prevented or alleviated with proper:

  1. Grooming
  2. Exercise routine
  3. Regular vet visits
  4. Nutrition

Groom your Persian 

Persians have a long, silky double coat that requires daily grooming because they cannot properly groom themselves without your help. Their coat can become matted and greasy resulting in painful skin rashes and excessive shedding. 

A regular grooming routine should consist of:

  1. Brushing
  2. Bathing
  3. Claw clipping
  4. Teeth cleaning 

Physical activity keeps your Persian healthy

Persians are calm, lazy, and don’t like to exercise, especially if they’re not motivated, so playtime is the ideal way to get them moving. It’s up to you to ensure they have a regular daily exercise routine. 

Unlike Bengals and Siamese cats who love to be active and roam free, Persians thrive as indoor companions because of their numerous sensitivities. The outside world is too risky for them.

Designate a room in your home where they can move, jump, climb, and feel free. Make sure they have at least 30 minutes of activity for optimal weight and overall health. 

I exercised a full hour today! Tomorrow is a nap day, right?

Source: Toa Heftiba

Visit the vet regularly

Regular veterinary check-ups are mandatory even if your Persian is fit and healthy. Detecting health issues in the early stages will help treat them successfully. Vet visits are vital during kittenhood and senior years because cats’ immune systems begin to underperform. 

Your Persian must also get all the necessary shots, including:

  • The rabies vaccine
  • The combination vaccine FVRCP
  • Feline enteritis
  • Cat flu
  • Feline leukaemia

You promise this is the last vaccine ever?

Source: Jeb Buchman

How to keep your Persian healthy with good nutrition

A proper diet will help your Persian avoid most health problems. Adequate amounts of high-quality food will help delay and control the symptoms of hereditary diseases and prevent diet-related issues.

Regardless of the type of food—wet, dry, semi-moist, raw, or homemade—prime-quality meat and fish must be the main ingredients

Avoiding unnecessary and harmful food is as important as knowing the right one. Check out the essential nutrients in your feline’s diet in the table below:



Animal protein

Animal protein is the best source of amino acids (e.g. taurine and arginine), which deliver energy, maintain muscle mass, and support reproductive health. Plant-based protein won't meet your kitty's nutritional needs because cats cannot break it down properly

Animal fat

Animal fat contains fatty acids, which help promote healthy development in kittens, keep the coat shiny, boost immunity, and improve digestion. It also makes cat food taste fantastic

Vitamins and minerals

Felines get all their vitamins and minerals from meat and fish. These micronutrients are responsible for enzyme formation and nutrient utilisation, and they help maintain your Persian’s overall health


In the wild, felines’ diet consisted of small animals, including birds, rodents, frogs, insects, and lizards. Fresh prey contains enough moisture to satiate feline’s need for water because they’re not avid drinkers. Since they’ve been domesticated, cats have become more sensitive to the dangers of raw meat, but high-quality wet food should keep them hydrated. Dehydration can lead to:

The best cat food is made of meat and not much else.

Image (c) Untamed

Can Untamed keep your Persian fit and happy?

Untamed cat food resembles your kitty’s natural eating habits because it is:

  • High in protein—Each tin of our wet food has twice as much animal protein as the industry standard
  • Made with human-grade meat and fish—Our products contain only human-grade ingredients. Your Persian can choose between jelly and gravy made of chicken, duck, salmon, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, and tuna. We add some liver and ham, as they’re great natural taste enhancers 
  • Low in carbs—All Untamed products are free from useless and harmful ingredients, such as meat derivatives, grains, vegetables, and sugar
  • Allergen-free—Our food caters to your sensitive Persian’s needs because we don’t add artificial colourants, taste enhancers, additives, and known allergens to our meals
  • Fussy eater-approved—We gently steam meat and fish to lock in the essential nutrients and preserve the flavour. Even the most finicky eaters who turn their noses up at wet food cannot resist Untamed

We create our meals in collaboration with vets to meet your feline’s biological needs, regardless of their age, gender, or health niggles. Untamed caters to:

We believe in ethical cat food production. Our packaging is 100% recyclable, and we use only meat and fish from cruelty-free, sustainable suppliers.

Order Untamed and watch your Persian thrive!

The Untamed effect

It takes only a week to see your Persian’s health and mood improve. After switching to Untamed, Persian cat parents have noticed the following changes:


The Untamed effect

First week

After two months

Within four months


Sign up for Untamed 

Ordering our cat food online couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is:

  1. Visit our Try Now page and take the online quiz
  2. Share some details about your Persian
  3. Create a tailor-made meal plan

All this for me? You spoil me, hooman!

Image (c) Untamed

Your taster pack will arrive in a day. Once your Persian tries each dish and chooses their favourites, we’ll make sure you never run out of tasty cat food with our monthly deliveries

If you wish to change, postpone, or cancel your order, you can do it from your account.