A Hybrid Cross Between the Persian and the Siamese
Jon Crimes - Last Updated on January 25th, 2021
What you Need to Know about the Himalayan
Himalayan cats, or Himmies, are affectionate, mild-mannered pets that are a real joy to be around. These beautiful long-haired cats have features and coloring, which often have them being described as a Siamese and Persian mix, which makes sense as they were originally bred from these two breeds.
Ok, they don’t have a very long history (more about that later) but just look at that face!
Appearance Matters. What does a Himalayan look like?
Some people refer to the Himalayans as the snub nose cat. This is a phrase, though, that doesn’t do the breed the justice it deserves.
They’re medium to large in size and generally stocky in appearance. What stands out is the long, luxurious coat, and those stunning blue eyes.
Siamese-like pointed coloring completes the look of this attractive animal and surely the envy of the whole cat world!
What colors do the Himalayan come in?
Aside from its other stunning attributes, the Himalayan is quickly identified by its coloring but with some variations to its points!
Himalayan kittens are a gorgeous ball of white or cream ‘fluff,’ but as they develop over the next few months, they start to show ‘point colors’ on their fur.
These Himalayan cat colors are dependent on the animal's genes, and you should get a good idea from the cat's parents on how they’re likely to look when they grow.
There can still be a few surprises, though!
Here are some of the main fantastic point colors that your cat could develop:
- Chocolate Lynx
- Lilac Cream
The Seal Point is the one that really gets us thinking ‘WOW’, but it’s probably closely followed by the Blue Point.
It's all Personal. The Himalayan Character
The Himalayan cat is affectionate but can also be quite selective to whom they come to for strokes and fussing!
They’ll absolutely adore lying on your lap and generally ‘being with you’. Expect them to be more reserved around guests, though and to find excuses to go somewhere a bit quieter.
Quiet environments, with minimal disturbances or changes in their surrounding, are best for your Himmie.
Can Himalayan cats be left alone?
Definitely, your cat will be happy staying at home alone.
They also shouldn’t show some of the more mischievous traits that other breeds do, like jumping on counters or damaging curtains!
They are ‘on the floor’ cats, which is great news for your furnishings.
That’s not to say that the Himalayans don’t like playtime, and you should factor in a bit of play during the day when you’re back at home.
Is the Himalayan a good family cat?
The Himalayan is a great cat for large or small families and also for a single person house.
They do like interaction, so family members can take a turn in giving those all-important ‘strokes’ and playing with your cat’s favorite toy mouse, of course!
Because of its larger size and robust appearance, the Himalayan is often thought of as aggressive looking.
They can be demanding attention, but that's the same with most cats.
Do Himalayan cats make a lot of noise?
Himalayans are not particularly vocal. This is great news if you appreciate a bit of peace and quiet now and again.
Whereas some cat breeds have a demanding meow, expect a more melodious tone with your Himmie.
Caring for your Himalayan
Are Himalayan cats easy to train?
You should start training your Himmie as a kitten. Catch them early, and toilet training in the litter tray and some basic tricks shouldn't be a problem.
Be aware that they can be quite docile in nature, so some persistence might be required.
Do Himalayan cats shed the hair?
Himalayan cats do shed hair and quite a lot of it. That’s the price for having such a gorgeous coat!
This is taken care of by building a few minutes each day into your routine to groom your cat. As with a lot of cats, once they’re used to the ‘brush’, they will quite happily sit on your lap and be groomed.
They might even start demanding it!
Other Himalayan Caring Tips
After daily hair brushing (don't forget to watch those tangles and mats), pay attention to your cats' eyes!
The Himalayan is a breed that is very prone to ‘eye tear staining’.
This is easily taken care of, though, with a daily wipe of the face and area around the eyes with a warm (not hot) washcloth or with some cat-eye wipes.
This is another activity that is best started with your kitten, as early as possible.
The Health and Happiness of your Himalayan Kitten
As with other cat breeds, the Himmie is prone to certain health issues.
- Kidney disease. This is where fluid can form in the kidneys. Look for symptoms like vomiting, poor appetite, and drinking excessively.
- Cherry eye. Yes, this is a condition associated with the eye and causes the eyelid to become inflamed and swell.
- Entropion. It happens when the eyelid rolls inwards and causes irritation or injury to the eyeball. Look for your cat rubbing or scratching in the eye area.
- Ringworm. Common fungal skin irritation with cats and something that long-haired cats are quite susceptible to. Look for round patches of rough skin that have a red outline or bald patches.
How long do Himalayan cats live?
Be prepared, your Himalayan cat life expectancy could be as much as 22 years!
That’s the oldest one on record but expect for anything between 9 and 15 years.
Feline History. Where does the Himalayan come from?
Breeding efforts were interrupted during World War 2, and it wasn’t until 1955 that Brian Sterling-Webb requested recognition for a new variety of long-haired cats from the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCGF).
The Himalayan was born, but it wasn’t until 1957 that the individual breed was accepted as being distinct from its Persian ancestor by The Cats Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
It's now not unusual to see Himmies in the top 25 cat and kitten awards.
Questions people often ask about Himalayan kittens
+Are Himalayan cats good Pets?
+Can Himalayan cats be left alone?
+Are Himalayan cats Hypoallergenic?