Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Ability to Adapt:
Need for Grooming:
The Himalayan Cat has the appearance of the Persian, but it’s dressed up in Siamese color points. This is a medium-sized breed that has a well-boned body and long fluffy coat which makes it appear larger than it is.
The Himalayan has a round large head, full cheeks, short nose, and small ears with rounded tips. The vivid blue eyes and long, silky coat which comes in many color points, are the traits that make the Himalayan so popular!
This is a gentle, affectionate, and docile cat that loves its family. But they aren’t so fond of strangers and need some time to accept them.
This is a sedentary breed with kitten-like bursts of activity! While they love their people they aren’t demanding and will spend time napping while you are busy with daily chores.
Where Did Himalayan Cat Breed Originate?
The Himalayan is a cross between Persian and Siamese breeds. Breeders wanted to bring color points and the blue eyes of the Siamese Cat and pair these traits with a long silky coat of the Persian cats. In 1931, the breeders started to work towards this goal.
For starters, they simply wanted to determine how the color point gene was passed on. A cat breeder, Virginia Cobb, and Harvard Medical School researcher Clyde Keeler started a selective breeding program.
After several years, they were able to develop a longhair cat with the distinctive color points of the Siamese. The first Himalayan kitten was named Newton’s Debutante.
In the 1950s, British and North American breeders became interested in the color point longhair cats.
They used the same approach as Cobb and Keeler and then bred those cats back to Persian Cats to establish the breed type.
Once their efforts paid off and cats bred true, the breeders started to seek the recognition for the new breed.
In 1957, the Cat Fanciers Association recognized the Himalayan as a distinct breed. However, in 1984 the organization decided to classify the Himalayan as a color variety of the Persian.
Furthermore, The American Cat Association and The International Cat Association consider the Himalayan as a color variety of the Persian.
On the other hand, the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts, the American Cat Fanciers Association and the Traditional Cat Association consider the Himalayan a separate breed.
In Britain, the Himalayan has always been known as the Colorpoint Longhair.
What Does the Himalayan Cat Look Like?
The Himalayan is a medium-sized cat with a well-boned and cobby body. Their short and thick legs prevent them from jumping very high.
The Himalayan has a large round head that comes in two types. The traditional, or doll-face cats have a longer muzzle, and slightly smaller eyes.
On the other hand, peke-faced cats have more extreme squashed-looking facial features. Both head types come with full cheeks, vivid blue eyes, and small ears.
This breed is easily recognizable thanks to the long and thick coat that comes in many different color points.
As far as the size standards are concerned, the Himalayan must be a medium-sized breed with a cobby appearance. The body should be heavily boned, but at the same time well-balanced.
Himalayan Cat Colors
The Himalayan’s long coat comes in color points. Hence, the face, legs, and tail are of a darker color than the body.
The body comes in various shades from white to fawn. The color points found in this breed include Seal, Chocolate, Blue, Lilac, Red, and Cream. The points can additionally be Tabby, Tortoiseshell or Lynx patterned.
Himalayan Cat Personality Traits
The Himalayan is an affectionate, docile, sweet, and quiet breed. They love their family and can be discriminating when it comes to strangers.
Generally, a Himalayan will need some time to warm to guests and will pick only a special few. This is an extremely affectionate breed. However, they aren’t attention-seeking and demanding cats.
Your Himalayan will happily nap in a convertible pet bed while you are busy doing other things.
This isn’t a vocal breed. However, they may occasionally talk in a pleasant and musical voice.
These cats aren’t good at jumping and prefer being on the ground or snoozing on the sofa.
The Himalayan is a sedate breed that enjoys peace and quiet of daily life. They aren’t fans of hustle and bustle, and therefore they are best suited for people with calm lifestyles.
Although they aren’t particularly active, they have kitten-like energy bursts. In mere seconds a Himalayan can go from sleeping to running around the house and rolling on the floor.
The Himalayan is a calm cat that can’t match the energy levels of smaller kids. However, if a child recognizes the cat’s need for petting and gentle handling, it will bask in the attention.
Generally, this is a breed that doesn’t ask much except for regular meals, little play with a feather teaser toy and lots of love.
The Himalayan is a docile and easy-going cat that likes to receive affection but will never demand it. Your cat will enjoy sitting on your lap when you are around. And when you aren’t at home, the Himalayan will rule over the entire home from the coziest chair.
While extremely loving, they reserve their affection for family members and a few people they can trust. This breed thrives in calm and serene environments where they can lounge and be admired whenever you are around.
Himalayan Cat Behavior
The naturally well-mannered Himalayan doesn’t need much to thrive and rarely develops any serious behavioral problems.
Regular meals, fun toys, and love are all that it takes to keep this breed content.
However, if your cat’s needs aren’t met, she may end up scratching your furniture or peeing outside the litter box.
In these cases, try to spend a bit more time with your cat and make her feel adored.
Are Himalayan Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
The Himalayan is a highly adaptable breed. They conform to the needs of their owners and will settle nicely into new environments. This calm and gentle cat adjusts to new situations if she is adored and well cared for!
Being a low energy breed, the Himalayan will spend its days sleeping on the coziest pieces of furniture. Thus, you will have to stimulate your cat to move around.
Invest in an electronic bird toy to keep your cat exercised and engaged. The Himalayan needs to be active every day to stay in good shape.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
The docile and quiet Himalayan isn’t the best choice for homes with small energetic children. They like to lounge around and love to be petted which isn’t a thing most small kids know how to do.
However, the Himalayan gets along nicely with children who understand its calm nature and desire for admiration. This breed gets along with pets that are willing to give her time for beauty sleep.
Your Himalayan will occasionally rub against a dog or other cats, if they don’t want to play.
The Himalayan is a low energy breed that likes to rule over her household from a soft chair. Hence, you will have to engage your cat in play to keep her in good shape.
Keep your cat occupied with an action toy when you aren’t around. When you are around, play with your cat for 30 minutes every day to keep her fit and healthy.
General Health and Potential Risks
Like people, cats can also suffer from inherited diseases. The sweet disposition of the Himalayan comes at a price!
They are at risk of developing certain health problems, which are mostly related to their facial structure.
- Breathing Problems: Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is the term used to describe various breathing problems found in short-nosed breeds. Flat faced cats can experience partial obstruction of the upper airways because of the narrowed nostrils, overly long soft palate or collapsed larynx. The treatment is unnecessary if a cat isn’t exhibiting clinical signs. The breeders advise potential owners to get a doll-faced Himalayan which has a longer muzzle and lower chances of developing this type of problems.
- Dental Malocclusion: This is a condition that occurs when the top and bottom jaw don’t fit together neatly. This condition usually starts when a kitten’s baby teeth start growing and progresses once the adult teeth set in. Mild cases aren’t treated, but in some cases, extractions are necessary.
- Cherry Eye: This condition occurs when a pink mass protrudes from a cat’s third eyelid. The cherry eye can happen in both eyes and is usually followed by swelling and redness. Treatment can vary and might include topical anti-inflammatory drugs or the surgical replacement of the gland in the eye.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease: This is a hereditary disease that causes a cat to be born with small cysts in the kidneys. As the cat grows, so do the cysts and in time they disrupt the kidney function causing renal failure. Genetic testing for this disease is available. Thus, check if your cat has been tested.
Himalayan Cat Lifespan
This breed has an average lifespan of 9-15 years. To prolong your cat’s life expectancy, keep her active and on her ideal weight.
Since they can develop hereditary conditions, get your cat from a reputable breeder. Make sure that your cat is tested for polycystic kidney disease and if not, ask the breeder to get a cat tested before you bring her home.
The Himalayan has a long, thick, and shiny coat of fine texture. The coat is the signature trait of this breed and needs daily care.
This breed can develop mats and tangles on hair very easily. Thus, it is important to brush the coat daily with a stainless steel grooming comb. This way you will keep the coat in pristine condition.
Furthermore, you should bath your cat once a month to keep her coat clean and loosen the dead hair. Use a proper cat shampoo to keep the coat spotless.
Himalayan Cat Shedding
The Himalayan’s thick and long coat tends to shed a lot. It is best that you use a slicker brush to remove loose hair. You should groom your cat regularly, otherwise, your house will be full of cat hair.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Himalayan Cat. Read on to learn more about this sweet and loving breed!
How Much is Himalayan Cat Price?
The exact price of a Himalayan kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. In general, you can expect to pay from $600 to $1200 for a purebred kitten.
Pet quality cats are at the lower end of the price spectrum, but if you want a show quality cat, be prepared to pay more.
How Big Do Himalayan Cats Get?
As with all other cat breeds, males are larger and usually weigh from 9-14 pounds. Females are smaller and weigh from 7-11 pounds.
The Himalayan isn’t an active breed, and it can become obese in no time! Feed your cat with weight management dry cat food in order to keep her at ideal weight. Additionally, keep your cat active by providing her with lots of toys.
Are Himalayan Cats Good Pets?
With its affectionate and docile nature, the Himalayan is an ideal pet for people of all ages. They are generally friendly towards everyone, especially their owners and family members.
Are Himalayan Cats Vocal?
While not completely quiet, the Himalayan isn’t a cat that will chat and meow until your ears fell off. They are known to meow on occasion, but they have soft and musical voices that are pleasant to hear.
Do Himalayan Cats Like to Be Held?
The gentle and affectionate Himalayan is an ideal choice for a lap cat. They like to be held, petted, and cuddled, but won’t demand any physical contact if you are busy doing other things.