If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know that they can exhibit a wide range of emotions, anywhere from sweet and cuddly to crazy and, at times, a bit unpredictable. Himalayan cats are no exception to this rule, but what’s interesting about this specific breed are the differences between one Himalayan to the next. This guide will tell you if you are thinking about owning a Himalayan, or even if you already own one!
An Overview of Himalayan Cats
The Himalayan is a rather large breed of cat, with females typically around 8-12 pounds, and males usually 12 and above. Part of this weight can be accounted for by the Himalayan’s large bones and a heavy coat of fur.
As far as eye color goes, Himalayan cats can have three varieties of color: Blue, Green, or Copper.
Generally, the Himalayan cat is fairly a long-lived feline, averaging between 8-11 years of life. Their coats are long and straight and come in several colors, including chocolate, seal, lilac, blue, black, flame, red, cream, tortoiseshell, frost, silver, golden, brown, fawn, or cinnamon. Brushing and combing of your pet Himalayan’s fur will be very important, as it can quickly mat and cause issues for your pet’s health.
This long hair Himalayan breed is probably not the best bet for those with allergies, as they have very long coats that shed easily.
Interestingly enough, cat breed is recognized by the ACFA, the FIFe, and the TICA, even though it wasn’t even around until the 1930s.
The History of Himalayan Cats
Himalayan cats are, in essence, Persian cats with colored points, and they were developed in the United States in the early 1930s by Marguerita Gorfoth, Virginia Cobb, and Dr. Clyde Keeler.
Genetically, a Himalayan cat is created through the mix of Siamese and Persian cats; from the Siamese side, the Himalayan obtains its color, and from the Persian, they obtain their fluffy coat and build!
That being said, the idea of creating a Persian cat with pointed ears like that of the Siamese had been around for many years and was replicated in England in 1935 after British visitors encounter the Himalayan on a trip to the US. England then instituted a breeding program to produce Himalayans, although the effort was halted during World War II, and later reinstated!
The first cat of this breed to be accepted as a Himalayan was the United States champion Goforth’s LaChiquita in the mid-1950s, where she won the title with the American Cat Fanciers Association. By the time the 1960s rolled around, Himalayan cats were recognized by every United States registry.
As of recent years, many United States registries have incorporated the Himalayan into the class of Persian cats, considering them “pointed Persians”, or sometimes Perisian-Himalayans or Himalayan-Persians. In Britain, the Himalayan has long been known as the Colorpoint Longhair. Coat color definitely varies.
What Do Himalayan Look Like?
Now that you know a little bit about the history of the Himalayan cat, now we’ll delve into more specifics about the breed, including their looks, personality, and how you can make sure your Himalayan leads the happiest, healthiest life possible.
As mentioned above, the Himalayan cat comes in a wide variety of colors, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a few defining characteristics.
As far as their build goes, Himalayan cats are medium-sized, although, with their thick coats of fur and large bones, they can sometimes appear as massive as a Maine Coon cat.
Those who observe Himalayans will note they have are an “extreme looking breed”, as their bodies are short and thick, with muscular legs and a short neck. Their tails are short and usually fluffy, and their ears are small.
Himalayans have round heads and large eyes; in contrast, their faces are flat, and when viewed in profile, their noses change direction so you can see the cat’s nose better.
The Himalayan’s fluffy coat is thick and full, and the fur, although lustrous and glossy, is also quite fine.
The Personality of Himalayan Cats
As is the case with many cats, Himalayan cats are generally mild-tempered, except when they exhibit bursts of energy. One second you might find them sleeping in a spot of sunlight, only to have them explode in a fit of running, rolling, and zooming around the room.
At night, your Himalayan will generally sleep beside you, curling up at your legs or even against your back. Likewise, they have been known to love sitting in their owner’s laps, at least while they’re in the mood.
Himalayan cats are also generally friendly with everyone they meet, even strangers.
Care of Himalayan Cats
In order for your himalayan kitten to remain happy and healthy, you’ll have to help them out by encouraging lots of movement. This is especially true for Himalayans, as they are not known for their love of exercise.
To help with this, you’ll need to play with your beautiful cat! This can be done through a variety of means, including interactive toys, chase balls, or even attack catnip mice. This should occur daily, even if your cat doesn’t seem up to play for the day!
Furthermore, this cat breed also needs significant coat maintenance due to their long hair in order to maintain their health. In fact, this breed of cat must be brushed and combed daily in order to keep their coats healthy and tangle-free.
Because of their flat faces, this kitty also requires careful cleaning, as tears will deposit themselves onto the cat’s face and stain their fur.
Before becoming the owner of any animal, especially one who can be high maintenance like the Himalayan, it’s important to do a significant amount of research! Although our guide contains the basic information about Himalayan cats, this is by no means a complete guide to caring for your cat! Use this as an outline, and make sure you pay attention to your cat’s specific preferences and quirks. And, when in doubt, it is never a bad idea to ask your vet any questions you may have.
How do I know where to find a good Himalayankitten? Always do your research and look for a reputable breeder preferably someone whom you can check references.
What types of Himalayancatbreed make good show cats? Color point is very popular in the cat show circuit.
What are pedigreed cats? Typically they are cats that have been bred to have certain breed behaviors and specific physical characteristics.
Is the Himalayanbreed similar to the Siamesecat? Yes, in that Himalayans can be bred from Siamese and Persians.