Keeping your white/light colored persian's face clean

First of all, the old adage "You are what you eat" isn't far from the truth with a white cat!!!


Seems like the rule is that the one you want to show will always be the one that bowl dives for water like Beatrice, pictured on top. What you end up with is a dingy, yellow ruff.


Or how about the one that just shoves his face in his food, like Gio, pictured in the middle. Also, many cats' eyes water when they eat.


Course, then there are the rare ones, like Crystal, pictured on the bottom who NEVER even has an eye stain!!


You will NOT get the cat clean overnight or even in a few days.

If you plan on showing your white beauty plan on a month to get stain free. Once you have gotten the cat stain-free, it is pretty easy to keep her that way. It is a matter of dedicated routine.

Well worth it though, don't you think??? Just look at the 'after' pictures!

Follow these links!


Understanding Tear staining:

On many persians, we may see a brown stain on the skin and hair below the inside corner of the eye. This is a common cosmetic problem caused by an overflow of tears onto the cheeks. The color change of the hair and skin occurs when the normal bacteria on the hair and skin react with the clear tears.

In normal animals, tears are constantly produced and drain out through small ducts in the eyelids.

There are several causes of the overflow of tears. Persians often have more prominent eyes. This stretches the eyelid and may cut off the drainage system. This is the most common cause and there is little we can do to correct it.

Hair can act like a wick, drawing the tears out of the eye. This can be corrected by removing the offending hair. In some cases, tear overflow may be due to excessive tear formation caused by irritation of the eye by a particle of something in the eye, an allergy, or an abnormal eyelid or eyelash which turns inward and rubs against the surface of the eye. Inflammation or ulcers of the surface of the eye (cornea), or inflammation of the duct system is also a cause. These conditions, which are often painful, need to be seen immediately by your veterinarian.

Since the tear accumulation on the facial hair can also lead to matting of the hair, skin irritation and possible infection, you must keep this area clean. Trimming the hair below the eye with curved blunt end scissors (I got mine at a beauty store) will help. Clean the area and remove any accumulated material or crusts.

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Tear stain Removal:

Removing stains is a two-step process:

  1. Clean with a stain removing liquid, buff dry
  2. Apply the stain removal powder to the cleaned area

There are products available which are used to remove the brown stain from the hair. These products can be irritating to the eye. They should NOT be used directly in the eye..CAUTION!! You are cleaning the FUR - do NOT get in the eyes!!!

If you just have ONE cat, it might be easier just to BUY the ready made cleaning products. They are a little pricy, but ready-to-use!

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Eye Envy

Eye Envy makes a Liquid Solution and a Powder to be used together:

If your pets eyes are very crusty and full of debris, then gently clean around their eyes with warm water and a toothbrush (softly). Try to remove as much debris as possible. If eyes are mostly runny, with no big clumps of debris, then skip this step.

Shake bottle of Eye Envy well and soak up a cotton round, paper towel or washcloth.

Gently wipe around eye area. Don't be afraid to get it too wet. Do not pour solution into eyes, but don't worry if a little bit gets inside. Allow to dry.

Gently work the Eye Envy Powder into your cats fur, working around the eyes and working powder against the hair growth. You can use a small brush, Q-Tip or your fingertip. Allow to dry. You can apply the powder immediately after applying the solution. Avoid powder in their nose.





Get an 8 ounce container (squirt bottle or flip lid bottle works best!)

  • one cup VERY HOT WATER
  • one tablespoon Boric Acid Powder
  • tablespoon of Witch Hazel

Mix well.

Use daily to clean away tear and face staining.

Make up a new mix at least once weekly.


Microwave to warm before use for best results



Get a plastic sealable container


Add to it equal parts of Boric Acid Powder and Cornstarch


Pat gently onto the hair being careful not to get any into the eyes or the mouth. The powder mixture will bleach the white whilst absorbing the stains.

Once the cat is stain-free, you need to simply maintain. A daily face wash with a warm washcloth with baby shampoo should do it. Rub dry. Get your container of equal amounts of Cornstarch and Boracic Acid Powder and pat gently onto the hair being extremely careful not to get any into the eyes or the mouth. The powder mixture will bleach the white whilst absorbing the stains.

Don't use will dry the hair shaft out, make it brittle and make it MORE absorbent.

Remember, the key to success here is DEDICATION!!!

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Stain Causes and Prevention:

Water Bowl Diving:

If you are lucky, you cat get the cat to drink from a water bottle. Some of ours like it..others don't and you can take away the water bowl, but you are risking too little water intake if they won't drink from that bottle.

Get some small "bird" crocks - better to offer up a line of smaller dishes. If you are not planning on showing, simply clip the fur short from under the chin and on the ruff. You can get these at any PETCO store...

These 16 ounces water fountains are also excellent! as they offer a good supply of water and a small drinking area.

We buy them at P-K Products

What I do NOT like about them is that they smell foul inside very you NEED to wash them daily with a bottle brush & dish soap. However, these are GREAT for kittens!


These water hole dishes are a favorite of Persian breeders at the shows. I am not sure I like them that much for every day use. Again, they can tend to smell foul quickly and they are not big enough for daily use

They are available at P-K Products

If you are showing, then your show cat would be in your bedroom anyway where you can make sure no surprise knots happen. In this case, you would be able to fluff that fur dry as it happens.

Dry your show cat's fur thoroughly before giving her back her dry chow.

For some odd reason, once you are done showing the cat, it seems to outgrow the water bowl diving. Go figure. I often wonder if because they are bathed and blow-dried that they have excessive thirst or nervous and just drink.

One thing that can happen with a cat that keeps constantly drenched is that their skin can get a yeast infection and get a black grunge happening. In this case, you might even need to use Animax to help. But keeping it clean and dry helps


Food Staining:

This is the easiest to fix. Either use a cat bib (a big coffee filter with a hole in the center works), or after the meal, wash the cat's face and bib and fluff dry. When we were showing Gio, we only fed him white foods...chicken and rice, turkey...any actual meat doesn't stain.

My friend Cathy makes these AWESOME cat bibs!! I LOVE them!! You should buy one or two!!

Bacterial Infection or Upper Respiratory:

It is entirely possible that your cat may need to be on some antibiotic eye drops or ointment (like Terramycin) or maybe a 2 week course of Antibiotics. If the discharge is yellowis or thick and the cat is sneezing...see your vet


General Bathing:



My cat is beginning to get knots frequently!!

What should I do??


CHECK OUT OUR 'BATH' PAGE with step by step images


When planning on showing your white or just keeping her looking her very best, you will want to bathe weekly. There are plenty of brightening shampoos on the market these days (E-Z Groom Crystal White, White Lightening, etc...visit our BATHING page for complete information with pictures!!!

Did you know that when a cat's fur begins getting 'greasy' it begins to knot up?? It's true!

The solution, is a bath. I don't have a set schedule for baths…just when I notice a cat begins to get knots day after day.

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