Himalayan cats derive from a cross between the Persian and the Siamese. These medium-sized cats have piercing blue eyes and point coloration similar to their Siamese parent. However, their luxurious long hair resembles that of the Persian. With their stunning looks and kind temperament, they are one of the most popular cat breeds in the world and are affectionately called Himmies by cat lovers.
They have stunning coats that come in plenty of patterns
The Himalayan’s most stunning feature is undoubtedly the coat. Long, lavish hair and colorful patterns make this cat a striking beauty that will steal your heart. The possible color points are blue, lilac, seal, chocolate, red or flame, and cream. Additionally, the points can be solid or lynx. The solid is fully colored, while the lynx is usually striped.
They are friendly and docile
If you are used to thinking of cats as moody and sometimes aggressive animals, getting a Himmy will quickly change your mind. Himalayan cats are sweet, calm, affectionate, and love to spend time with their humans. They are very sociable and will often ask for pets, but they tend to prefer the company of people they know. A quiet home is a perfect environment for them since they don’t like loud noises and changes.
They are a little lazy but love to play
Himalayan cats truly enjoy their beauty sleep. These fluffy felines spend many hours resting and being comfy. They are indoor cats, and even if they like to spend a little time in a garden or a balcony, they very much prefer the softness of a pillow or the warmth of human bodies. When they are properly rested they will look for you and ask to play. Among their favorite games are fetch, playing with a string, or exploring the world around them.
They aren’t exactly agile
With their round bodies and short legs, Himmies aren’t very agile felines. Under their long fur is a solid and sturdy body that doesn’t allow them to jump as high as other cats. They can weigh from 8 to 12 pounds, which is quite a lot for such small animals. Nonetheless, they love comfortable high places, especially in the winter, so be prepared to pick them up and put them there if they ask.
A Himalayan’s diet
A cat’s diet varies based on age, size, and activity levels, so it’s better to consult your veterinarian. Follow their advice closely, as indoor cats are prone to weight gain. Always have a water bowl next to the food and change out the water daily, as cats prefer fresh water. Because of their long fur, you might want to consider a type of food that prevents hairballs.
Himalayan cats need to be groomed daily. It’s important to gently brush them to keep their coats free from tangling and matting. Use a sturdy, wide-tooth comb and enjoy the human-cat bonding that comes with grooming. Himalayans can sometimes tear a bit more than usual which can cause dark stains around their eyes. To avoid this, wipe the corner of their eyes with a soft cloth.
Unfortunately, Himalayans are prone to some health problems, as pedigreed cats can often be. The most worrying illness is polycystic kidney disease, for which there’s a genetic test. While not life-threatening, it can cause a lot of pain to your cat and lead to the development of infections. Individuals with flattened faces can have respiratory issues, while all Himalayans have a predisposition to ringworm because of their long fur.
A brief history of Himalayan cats
Despite their name, it was Harvard University where the selection of a Siamese-Persian mix began in the 1930s. Despite many attempts, it took quite a long time before the Himalayans found their current look. In 1957, they were finally given their name and recognized as an independent breed. However, in 1984, they were reclassified as a sub-breed of the Persian cat. Despite this loss in status, they remain a super popular pedigreed cat that can be shown with a number of associations.
Doll-faced or peke-faced?
Himalayans have a round head with large and attentive blue eyes. They can be either doll-faced or peke-faced. In the peke-faced individuals, the nose is slightly up-turned and their features are squashed-looking, like in the Persian. The doll-faced cats, instead, resemble more the Siamese or the tabby and are more traditional looking.
They are quite pricey
Like other famous breeds, Himalayan kittens are quite expensive. Be ready to spend between $500 and $1,000 if you want to purchase one. Luckily, they’re quite easy to find. However, it’s always better to adopt a rescue, so do get in touch with your local shelter and see if they have Himalayans available before you contact a breeder.