This week in our series on Getting to Know Your Cat Breed we are featuring the Himalayan cat. These beautiful cats are also known as Himalayan Persian, or Colourpoint Persian and is a subtype of Persian cats.
Life expectancy: 9-15 years
Size: The Himalayan is a medium sized cat, weighing between 8-12lbs. Their long bushy coat sometimes makes them look much bigger, but they are actually short, thick and heavy-boned.
Color: The Himalayan body coloring is various shades of white to fawn with color only on the facial mask and the feet, ears and tail. There are several acceptable ‘point’ colorings, including chocolate, blue, lilac, cream, tortie or red point. The most popular and most recognizable is the “Siamese” look, or seal point.
Origins: The Himalayan was first developed in the United States in the early 1930’s and gained Cat Fancier’s Association recognition in the 1950’s. The Himalayan is a specialty breed, bred specifically to bring in the color points and blue eyes of a Siamese, but the long, luxurious coat of a Persian.
Personality: Himalayans have much the same personality as Persians, serene but affectionate. (Getting to Know Your Persian Cat). They are wonderful lap sitters and more often found lounging with you than chasing after mice or a laser pointer. The love their families and enjoy being a part of the group.
They are known to be quite talkative and likely to try and have a conversation with you. Older children are best as toddlers can be a little too unpredictable for many Himalayans. They love attention but are not demanding, content until you notice just how beautiful they are and pet them lovingly.
Health Issues: All exotic cats like the Himalayan are prone to similar issues due to their facial structure (flatter faces). These include: difficulty breathing or noisy breathing, dental issues resulting from misaligned teeth and eye conditions such as cherry eye or excessive tearing. They are also prone to polycystic kidney disease (PKD). This is a serious disease, but one which can be genetically tested for, so be sure and ask your breeder.
Fitness/energy level: Himalayans are intelligent and while they are not overtly energetic, they do like to play. Challenge them with a puzzle toy or mental stimulation games to keep them from getting bored. Their energy levels are low, which matches their serene personality. They won’t be climbing the walls or your furniture.
The Himalayan’s long coat requires regular grooming.
Native foods for the Himalayan:
Beef, Rabbit, Duck, Tuna, Salmon
Good foods to feed your Himalayan:
Fun facts about the Himalayan:
The Himalayan’s nickname is “Himmie”.
The Guinness record for the cat with the longest hair is held by a Himalayan named Colonel Meow and measuring just 2.75 inches tall and 7.5 inches long, the world’s smallest cat was a Himalayan named Tinkertoy.
Himmies are well represented on the big screen having played Sassy (voiced by Sally Field) in the popular 1990s Homeward Bound movies and Mr. Jinx in the comedy hit Meet the Parents.