The Himalayan cat, also known as Himalayan Persian, is a hybrid breed. It is a beautiful cat with a long and silky Persian like hair coat and has exceptionally gorgeous blue eyes. It is a thick-bodied cat that is considered the “gentle giant” among all the cat breeds.
Their appearance can be misleading as they are incredibly lovable and playful when around their owners. Apart from having a sweet personality, Himalayan cats are low-maintenance and are the best pick for you.
Continue reading the article to learn about the history, personality traits, and facts about this friendly cat breed.
Himalayan Cat History and Origin
Unlike other cat breeds, which share a long and rich history, a Himalayan breed is different. Its history is not very long as they only come into existence around 100 years ago.
In the 1930s, the pointed-pattern long hair breed of Siamese and Persian was developed in the United States. To study how certain characteristics are inherited in the genes, the two medical researchers of Harvard crossed female Siamese with a black male Persian.
As a result of this mating, a liter of black, short-haired kittens were produced. The researchers then repeated the experiment taking a female Persian and a male Siamese. The results obtained were the same.
The results were justified as it is given that the parents should possess recessive genes in order for the traits to be obvious in the offsprings. After this, the researchers took a female from the second litter and crossed it with a male from the first. As a result, a Debutante was formed.
The British breeders visited the US to see the mutation of the cats and began the process in England too. The breeding program was interrupted by World War II, and it was eventually stopped.
In the 1950s, the official breeding started when American Cat Fanciers Association and Cat Fanciers Association recognized the breed under the name “Himalayan.” It was because the pattern of pointed colors resembled that of the Himalayan rabbits.
It was only due to the efforts of Marguerita Gorforth, Virginia Cobb, and Dr. Clyde Keeler that this breed came into existence and gained popularity as Persian-Himalayan, Himalayan-Persian, or just Himalayan.
Himalayan Cat Appearance
The Himalayan is a distinct breed that is known for its beauty and exceptional personality. Although they are identical to Persian cats, Himalayan cats ha
Although they are identical to Persian cats, Himalayan cats have some different features. This is a strong cat breed that leaves a robust impression on others.
Following are some physical attributes of a Himalayan Cat breed that distinguishes it from others.
A Himalayan cat has a firm body with a round midsection. It is usually medium to large in height and weighs around 8 to 12 lbs. The head of this cat breed is round and smooth domed shaped.
A Himalayan cat has a broad jaw, furry cheeks, and a strong chin. Although the features are defined, the overall expressions of the cat are sweet. The ears of this cat are round-tipped, while its eyes are large, round, and sparkling. The ocean blue eyes add beauty and depth to the Himalayan cat’s face.
Similar to Persian, Himalayan cats have a thick coat. The beautiful long fur covers the whole body, including the cat’s head and a tail that gives it a mesmerizing look. The dense undercoat of the Himalayan cat gives it a fuller look.
However, this breed sheds its fur in the season but still remains hairy and charming, unlike other breeds.
The Himalayan Cats come in a variety of colors. The pointed colors and pattern come in shades like:
- Blue Point - The blue point Himalayan cat has colored ears, tail, feet, and face mask.
- Lilac Point - It is a brighter version of a blue point where the shading is a bit more diluted.
- Chocolate Point - This is the most common color observed in the Himalayan cats, where the face mask, tail, ears, and legs are in shades of chocolate brown color. The body is usually bright white in color with pink paw pads.
- Flame Point - The color design is the same as the one for chocolate and blue point, with the only difference that the color shading is in flaming red. If both cat parents are diluted, blue, cream and blue-cream, the flam point Himalayan cannot be developed.
- Cream Point - This color is close to the flame point. The body is white, and the ears, tail, legs, and face mask is in hot cream and light red in color.
The basic color of the Himalayan cat body is whitish or cream in color, while the points come in a variety. The rarest color to be found in the Himalayan cats is the chocolate and lilac point. For this shade, both the parents should have chocolate/lilac genes to produce the kittens with the same color patterns and shade.
Himalayan Cat Personality
Himmies or Himalayan cats are sweet-tempered and considered to be the friendliest cat breed. Because of their lovable nature, they make amazing companions to be kept in the house and around people.
They are gentle, calm, and playful, making the time spent with them enjoyable. Like Siamese, Himalayans love to play fetch and with toys that keep them entertained for hours. Just get them a kitty toy of their choice and watch them get crazy about it.
Moreover, Himalayan cats are very intelligent but can be moody at times. As they share a gene with Siamese as well, they tend to be more active than Persian cats.
The attitude of this cat breed is inherited from the Persian genes. Unlike other cats, they will not harass you or beg for attention. Unlike Siamese, they are not very vocal as well.
The Himalayan gets are devoted beings. They are super dependent on their owners for companionship and protection. They look for affection in their humans for being petted and groomed, making it easier for the owner to be around them.
It is safe to say that Himmies are a family cat and make amazing pets. If you are looking for a furry partner to provide you entertaining companionship and be a lap cat, Himalayan cats are the right option.
Himalayan Cat Care
Himalayan cats are famous for their luxurious coat and personalities. They are a high maintenance purebred that requires proper care to be fresh, active, and healthy. If you are getting a Himalayan cat or already have one at your house, you should be careful about its food, grooming, health needs.
The health of your Himalayan friend should be of serious concern to you. They are a healthy and an adequate amount of active greed.
Although its genes provide protection to some inherited diseases, they still tend to get certain conditions that can be extremely dangerous for their health. Not every Himalayan have health issues or have genetic problems, you should still be aware of the diseases they can get and their cure.
Following are some common health issues and diseases that Himalayans have a tendency to get:
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) - Because of having a Persian gene, Himalayans are prone to PKD. This disease occurs when a cat’s kidneys develop multiple cysts. Although it is not life-threatening in the start, it should still be treated early to avoid getting bacterial infections in the body.
- Respiratory Issues - Due to their flat face, the Himalayans are more susceptible to common respiratory problems. These issues can lead to different physical activity problems as well.
- Ringworm - Because of their thick undercoat, the risk of developing ringworms in this breed is higher. These worms pave the path for certain other infections that can be extremely dangerous to your Himalayan cat’s health.
In order to ensure your cat is healthy, often pay visits to the veterinarian. Keep your cat vaccinated and visit the vet immediately if you observe any strange behavior in your cat.
Moreover, keep the cat spayed or neutered if you are not planning to breed the cat.
Your Himalayan cat’s diet plays a significant role in its overall health. However, the cat’s diet and nutrition depend on its age, weight, and physical activity level. It is advised to ask for your Himalayan cat’s diet schedule from the vet.
The Himalayan cat has thick fur, and they shed a lot. Ask your vet to prescribe a diet plan that will help reduce shedding and hairballs. Moreover, the Himalayan cats have a tendency of obesity. Avoid overfeeding, treating, and if you notice that they are gaining, get medical help right away.
Make sure to choose a high-quality cat food that will fulfill all the nutritional needs of the cat. In addition to this, feeding your cat following a proper schedule will help it maintain a healthy weight.
The cat’s bowl should always be full of fresh and clean water. Keeping them hydrated is essential to help them stay healthy and active. Occasionally surprise your cat with a treat. Make sure to not overtreat them as it can be dangerous for their health.
If you cannot dedicate a certain amount of time to your cat’s grooming, you should not get a Himalayan cat. Unlike some other cat breeds, Himalayans have a long and thick undercoat that gets tangled easily.
This breed requires proper brushing once in two days to get rid of tangled knots and hairballs. You can use a wired brush or a stainless steel comb and, with light strokes, brush the whole body including the tail.
Himalayan cats also need their nails to be trimmed for their hygiene. Sharp and big nails can be dangerous for your cat as well as for the people around. If your cat is lazy and do not really use a scratching post, you still have to trim its nails once a week.
Your cat’s oral hygiene is equally important. Brush its teeth regularly to prevent them from serious dental issues. It is more feasible that you start brushing the cat’s teeth at an early age to make it used to it.
In addition to this, your cat’s ears and eyes should always be clean. Wipe its eyes to prevent them from infections. If your Himalayan cat’s eyes frequently stay teary, pay a visit to wet and get them checked immediately.
You can also take your cat to a proper salon or grooming center once in a while for its proper bathing and grooming.
Facts About Himalayan Cats
If you are a cat lover, especially a Himalayan cat, you will have some basic information regarding it, such as the common traits. Beauty and personality are two things that most people know about Himalayan cats, but there are some hidden and interesting facts that you might not know.
The Himalayan cats tend to live for 9 to 15 years or more, depending on their health and activity. They grow about 7 to 12 pounds in weight and 10 to 12 inches in height.
Himalayan vs. Persian Cat
Although Himalayan is a Persian breed, they are not exactly like Persian cats. Both the cats have long hair and thick fur. A Himalayan cat has large round eyes in blue color and comes in different point coloration.
Unlike Persian, the Himalayans can have a variety of colors, including brown, fawn, cinnamon, red, seal, cream, lilac, black, blue, silver, and tortoiseshell. Moreover, the Himalayans are not as vocal as the Persian cats.
The Himalayan cats are a very popular breed. In 2012, a Himalayan cat made his position to the Guinness book of world records for having the longest hair. They also made a notable appearance on the big screen, including in movies and TV shows.
Himalayan Cats as Emotional Support Animal
Because of its loving and sweet personality, they can be a great emotional support cat. People suffering from mental and other personality disorders require emotional support from loving companions. The Himalayan cats can serve this purpose in the best way.
They are a lap cat, and their purr can be extremely soothing for the patients when they are having anxiety and other attacks.
Getting a Himalayan cat as your emotional support animal is not arduous. You just require an ESA letter written from a mental health expert to enjoy all the rights given by the state.
The Himalayan cats are beautiful, strong, and lovable creatures. Their unique looks and cool temperament distinguish them from other breeds, making them the best pets. If you crave entertaining companionship and therapy, getting a Himalayan cat would be the best option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Himalayan cats affectionate?
Himalayan cats are remarkably affectionate. They are smart, loving, and devoted furry creatures that can be great pets. They are considered the best lap cats and prove to loyal companions.
Do Himalayan cats like to cuddle?
Himalayan cats are cuddleable, but they are not overly demanding. They are super affectionate and devoted towards their owners, because of which they make amazing pets. Your Himalayan cat can sleep in bed with you and be all comfortable.
How much do Himalayan cats cost?
A Himalayan cat can cost around $500 to $1300. As they are a hybrid breed of Siamese and Persian, they cost a little high than other breeds.
Do Himalayan cats shed hair?
Himalayan cats have a long undercoat, and they shed a lot of hair in the season. They require proper brushing and grooming as they easily get their hair tangled, resulting in knots, which can be really painful when removed.
Do Himalayan cats like cold?
Himalayan cats have a thick coat and long hair that helps them survive in cold weather. However, when the season changes, they tend to shed almost half of their fur to help their body stay cool in summers.
Are Himalayan cats high maintenance?
Himalayan cats are very high maintenance. They require proper grooming to look clean and fresh. If you cannot spend time taking care of your Himalayan cat, getting it would be a mistake.
Are Himalayan cats deaf?
Himalayan cats are not deaf genetically. However, in some conditions, they can get deaf like other cat breeds but are not generally deaf.
Are Himalayan cats lazy?
Himalayan cats are not naturally lazy, but they like to stay calm and quiet. However, they are not couch potatoes and can be very active when playing.
Do Himalayan cats like dogs?
Himalayan cats can be easy around dogs if they are not being chased. They are of an extremely sweet and friendly nature and can not cause harm to people or animals around them unless they feel threatened.