Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
Mati is a 1-year-old Persian. Once in a while her nose turns bright red, but not for long. She weighs almost 8 pounds. Do you think I should put her on a diet? She wants to eat all the time and goes to her dish and then if we are eating, she wants to eat what we have. Seems we give her two little bits of beef or chicken she is satisfied. We give her dry cat food of a mixture of Purina and 9 Lives Plus. After 5 p.m., I remove her dish until morning. She seems to not want to eat after 5. She eats about two cupfuls of food each day. Mati had a checkup 6 months ago and nothing wrong with her. Mati wants to sleep 2 or 3 hours in the afternoon and then ready for bed by 9 PM. She is very active and plays.
Siouxsie: Good news, Wendy: It sounds to us like your sweet Mati is absolutely in the pink!
Thomas: Persian cat usually weighs between 7 and 12 pounds, with males being on the higher end of that range, so Mati is just where she should be.
Bella: As long as you’re following the feeding instructions on the cat food bag, you should be all right in keeping her weight where it should be.
Siouxsie: But remember — since Persians tend to be on the less active end of the kitty energy scale, you probably should monitor her weight. Your vet would be the best one to tell you how much to feed your kitty, since we can’t see her and we don’t know how active she is.
Bella: I don’t know why Mama feeds you as much as she feeds me, Siouxsie. All you do is sleep. I’m an energetic little kitty and I should be able to eat at least half of your portion as well as mine!
Siouxsie: Don’t even think about it, you little … kitten!
Bella: Come on! I just want to eat some of your food …
Thomas: Bella, you know Mama feeds you the right amount. You’re built just like you should be, and if you got fat you might have to start getting shots again.
Siouxsie: You should stop stealing my food too, Thomas! Honestly! Does Mama have to chaperone you every time we eat?
Thomas: I’m just trying to help …
Siouxsie: Phooey on your help! Leave me alone and let me eat!
Thomas: Anyway, Wendy — it sounds like you’re concerned about her nose getting red every once in a while. But that’s not uncommon in fair-haired breeds with pink noses.
Bella: When a cat’s nose gets red like that, it’s kind of like blushing in humans. For some reason, maybe because kitty gets a little overheated, the blood vessels under the skin expand in order to help release the extra heat.
Siouxsie: We cats don’t have sweat glands anywhere except our paw pads, so we can’t cool ourselves off by perspiration. When we get overheated, we may pant (if we’re way too hot) or start grooming ourselves to wet down our fur a bit.
Thomas: Because Persians have so much fur, I’d imagine they get overheated more easily than short-haired cats. In hot climates, some people will have their long-haired kitties groomed into a lion cut in order to help with temperature control.
Bella: You did say she’s active and plays, so it’s quite possible she is getting a little overheated. If her nose changed color and stayed that way for more than a few minutes, that would be more of a concern.
Siouxsie: We’re not veterinarians, of course, so if you have any concerns about her weight or the “nose blushing,” definitely talk to your vet to be sure.
Thomas: So enjoy your sweet little Mati. She sounds like quite the character. *purrrrr*