Persian and Siamese cat. The first Himalayan cat was a result of the fourth generation of these crossbreedings. Keeler and Cobb named the new breed the Himalayan after its coat which resembled that of rabbits and goats living in the Himalayas.

Himalayans differ from Persians in their eye colour and coat variations – the Himalayan eye colour is blue and it has a white/cream coat with black, blue, lilac, chocolate, red, cream, tabby or tortoiseshell colourpoints, a result of crossing with the Siamese cat.

The Himalayan is usually a medium-sized cat although she is massive and heavily boned. With her masses of fur, she can appear to be rather large. The Himalayan is an extreme looking breed. The body is short but thick with thick legs and a short, thick neck. The boning is heavy but the tail is short and the ears are small. The head of the Himalayan is round and has large, round eyes. When viewed in profile, the face is flat with the nose changing direction so that you see primarily the colored skin on the nose (nose leather).

Characteristics Of The Himalayan

Also known as the Colourpoint or Himalayan Persian, the Himalayan cat is a cross between a Persian and a Siamese. The Himalayan cat tends to have a rounder body, shorter legs, and mostly white or cream fur. Kinds of Himayalan cats can be differentiated by coat: blue point, lilac point, seal point, chocolate point, red point, and cream point. In terms of its head, it will either have a doll face or squashed-looking face (known as peke-faced). Typically holding a sweet disposition, the Himalayan cat enjoys being coddled and played with but can become agitated or moody.

Affection LevelHigh
FriendlinessHigh
Kid-FriendlinessHigh
Pet-FriendlinessHigh
Exercise NeedsLow
PlayfulnessModerate
Energy LevelLow
IntelligenceLow–Moderate
Tendency to VocalizeLow
Amount of SheddingHigh

Temperament Of Himalayan Cats

The typical Himalayan temperament is gentle, loving, and incredibly intelligent, says Pam Nichols, DVM, president of the American Animal Hospital Association. And just like their Persian cousins, Himalayans are laid-back cats who are content to spend their day snoozing in your lap.

Common Health Problems Of Himalayan Cats

Although the genetic variation of Himalayans offers some protection against inherited health issues, they can be susceptible to certain conditions. Not every Himalayan will have health issues, but it’s important to know about them, should they develop in your cat.

Some common health conditions among Himalayans include:

  • Polycystic kidney disease: PKD is characterized by the development of multiple cysts on a cat’s kidneys. It’s not immediately life-threatening but should be treated as early as possible to prevent the development of new cysts and to reduce the risk of dangerous bacterial infections.
  • Respiratory issues: Because Himalayans have flattened faces, they’re more susceptible to certain respiratory problems, like difficulty breathing and swallowing, or inability to perform physical activity.
  • Ringworm: Himalayans’ long, thick coats are more difficult to groom, giving them an increased risk of developing ringworm. Be sure to carefully check your cat’s skin for red, scaly spots during grooming sessions and see your vet ASAP if you suspect a ringworm infection.

Himalayan Lifespan

The Himalayan breed was developed from the Persian and Siamese cat breeds. Both of these breeds are among the longest-living cats. On average, the Persians live 15 to 20 years. The Persian may develop some stomach issues as it ages, which can also be true of the Himalayan. The Siamese breed also lives to be between 15 and 20 years old. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the Himalayan is one of the longest living cat breeds.

What Is A Himalayan Cat?

Take the body and coat of a Persian and mix with the markings of a Siamese. Behold the sweet-faced Himalayan! This experimental breed has been “in production” since 1931 and finally gained breed recognition in 1957. However, not all cat fancier societies recognize the Himalayan as a singular breed. The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA), for instance, considers Himalayans a division of Persians – the Persian Himalayan Cat.

Himalayan Size And Weight

Male Himalayans are generally bigger than females. Typically, males should weigh under 12 pounds while females should weigh between 8-and-10 pounds. Breeders initially crossed a Persian cat with a Siamese cat to produce the Himalayan. By comparison, male Persians should weigh between 9-and-12 pounds while females weigh between 7-and-11 pounds. Therefore, you can expect your Himalayan to be about the same size or a little bit bigger.

Male Siamese cats weigh between 8-and-12 pounds. Female Siamese cats should weigh under 8 pounds. Therefore, you can expect your male Himalayan cat to be about the same size while your female should be slightly bigger.

The Himalayan cat will reach its full size at about two years, much later than many domestic cat breeds. Since they are heavy-boned cats, it takes their bones longer to mature. If you are looking for other cat breeds that will grow to be about the same size, you may want to consider Exotic Shorthairs or Chinchillas. Alternatively, either the Persian or the Siamese can make a great addition to your home.

Is A Himalayan Cat Right For You?

Brachycephaly is a serious condition that affects all Himalayan cats to some extent.  Every brachycephalic kitten sold encourages the breeder to continue creating more flat-faced kittens. This is a key concern for feline advocacy groups who have called for changes to breed standards.

How Friendly Are They?

People who have Himalayans describe them as loving and affectionate, and the cats often become very attached to their family members (and sometimes one family member in particular).

They like to cuddle but are not overly demanding for affection; this can vary by cat. These intelligent cats are responsive to human moods and emotions and can be talkative at times despite being described as docile and quiet.

Himalayan Cat – Hypoallergenic?

While shedding and allergen production are not directly correlated, if allergies are a concern, a Himalayan is not the best choice. Himalayans are considered high- to heavy-shedding cats. This means they deposit more allergen coated hairs around your house and on your clothes than low-shedding cats. A benefit of regularly grooming your Himalayan cat is a reduction in shedding, but be prepared for a lot of shedding all the same.

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