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Himalayan Cat Breed Info | Get to Know the Characteristics

himalayan cat breed

The Himalayan cat breed is a crossbreed of the Persian and Siamese cat. It is, essentially, a combination of a sub-breed long-haired Siamese cat and a color-point Persian cat. Research also reveals that a Himalayan cat and a Persian cat are almost the same breed. 

Most people find it difficult to differentiate between a Himalayan and a Persian cat. Note that a Himalayan cat breed has a longer coat than a Persian cat. Furthermore, the coat color is significantly different between the two species. Features like the feet, ears, facial mask, and tail are also different. The Himalayan cats have distinct blue eyes like the Siamese cat. 

Himalayans have a few other names. The Himalayan Persian, Colourpoint Persian, or Himmy (also known as Himmies). 

It is a friendly and lovable companion for many pet lovers and family members. The Himalayan cat breed is the best choice for your kids at home because of its massive fur and energetic nature. Learn more about Himalayan cats and why you should consider choosing this breed as a house cat.

Himalayan Cat Breed Characteristics

The Himalayan cat breed are featured on our top 10 cats suited to indoors, and with good reason. They are mostly calm and gentle with the occasional burst of energy. Here are the basics about the Himalayan cat breed:

A white Himalayan Persian Cat that has been clipped
  • Body: A Himalayan body size varies from medium to large. It is a well-rounded short cat that is not overly fat. The shoulders are massive & broad, and the chest is deep. Not to mention, a Himalayan has a muscular and sturdy bone structure. The body length of the cat is approximately 17-19 inches.
  • Height: A grown Himalayan cat ranges between 10 to 12 inches in height.
  • Weight: An average Himalayan cat weighs between 8 to 12lbs (female) and 12lbs (male).
  • Coat/fur: The fur is dense from the head to the tail. Also, the coat is long and gives full coverage all year.
  • Colour: Their entire body distinguishes from a few point areas. Some areas, like the ear, tail, facial mask, legs, and feet, are darker than other body areas. The coat color is usually plain, with subtle point areas assuming a deep pigmentation. Mature cats, however, have darker shades than kittens. Most common coat colors to observe:
    • Tortoiseshell
    • Silver
    • Seal
    • Lilac
    • Red
    • Golden
    • Frost
    • Flame
    • Fawn
    • Cream
    • Cinnamon
    • Chocolate
    • Brown
    • Blue
    • Black
  • Ears: The ears of a Himalayan are open, small, and round and fit symmetrically on its contour head.
  • Eyes: They range from deep blue shade to medium or light blue. The eyes are somewhat large & round and give the face a unique and attractive look. A few Himalayan cats have copper and green eyes. 
  • Head: The size of the head ranges from medium to large. Its facial mask is round and broad. The cheeks give the face a fluffy adorable look. On the other hand, the eyes, nose, and chin run in a straight line. Its face is chubby. All facial parts fit on the chin, giving it an excellent muscular structure.
  • Legs and paws: Himalayans have a sturdy structure from the chest to the legs. The paws and feet are large and straight to give the cat a sturdy appearance.
  • Tail: Himalayans have a straight and short tail with full coat coverage. Also, the tail is proportional to the body size and length.
  • Life expectancy: According to Cat Associations, like FIFe, TICA, ASPCA, and ACFA, the life expectancy of a Himalayan cat is 8-11 years or 9-15 years. 

Affection level High 
Attention needs Moderate 
Friendliness High 
Friendliness (to strangers) Medium 
Docile level High 
Outgoing High 
Attentiveness High 
Kid and pet-friendliness High 
Grooming High 
Playfulness Moderate 
Energy level Medium 
Mischievous Low–moderate 
Amount of shedding High 

History of the Himalayan 

The parent breeds of the Himalayan cats exist naturally in the United States. The Persian cat and the Siamese were, however, not human-engineered interventions. 

Breeders wanted a combination of the Persian cat with the Siamese cat breed. Thus, in 1924, the crossbreeding process began. In 1935, a long-haired pointed pattern breed was born. 

A black Persian female was crossed with a Siamese male and vice versa, resulting in the Himalayan breed. But it still needed to be officially named a Himalayan cat. 

Later in 1957, major Cat Fancier Associations (CFA) recognized this breed as the Himalayan cat. The name was adopted from the colored Himalayan rabbit. 

Since then, the Himalayan cat has progressively existed and has been recognized as a unique breed for over 80 years. 

Himalayan Cats as Indoor Family Pets 

Himalayans are calm and a perfect choice for indoors. You do not have to worry about continuous meowing unless something is wrong. 

Himalayan kittens are playful. It would help if you introduced cat chasing games and laser toys for your Himalayan when they are indoors to keep them entertained. Chase games will also help your cat stop scratching the carpet and sofa material. 

Similarly, always create time to bond with your Himalayan. These particular cat breeds are affectionate by nature. 

Living needs 

Himalayans do not need particular environments at home. They are comfortable around family members and other pets. 

As the parent, you can put a cat tree inside the house for them to enjoy a peaceful environment independently. 

Install a hammock close to the window for your Himalayan to view birds and watch the outside world. 

Lastly, install an air conditioner in the summer months. Remember that Himalayans have excess fur, which can be uncomfortable for them when the temperatures are high. 

Grooming Tips for Your Himalayan Cat 

Daily grooming is encouraged, particularly brushing due to their long hair. 

A Himalayan cat looks beautiful when groomed correctly. Its silky soft coat gets entangled, matted, and dirty quickly. Especially cats with a dominant bright color like cream. Hence, it is necessary as the pet owner to groom your Himalayan cat frequently (daily).  

Here are tips for grooming the Himalayan long-haired cat. 

Fur brushing 

Brush the fur daily. Begin the daily routine when your cat is still a kitten to adjust the entire process efficiently. 

Use a wire slicker brush or a wide-toothed comb to brush her hair. Brush the back, then proceed to the sides. 

Carefully brush the belly, chest, and tail. In the case of matts, tangles, and hairballs, use stainless steel greyhound comb. Hold your cat close and start at the bottom of the knots. Proceed outwards and upwards to loosen the fur.  

Nail clipping/trimming 

Himmies are extremely polite cat breeds; you do not need to worry about scratches and bites while trimming the nails. You should, however, cut the nails every 3-4 weeks. 

Use a guillotine-style pet nail trimmer, trim the white areas at the tip without touching the pink areas. 

Eye Cleaning 

Use a wet towel or a tissue to clean around the eyes, then pat dry with a dry towel to remove any moisture or teardrops. 

Ensure that the eye is dry and free from reddish-brown discoloration.  

Regularly trim and brush fur around the eye with the necessary eye-grooming tools to avoid tear duct stains or eye infections. (But this is only advisable if you know how to handle the eye grooming tools). 

Ear Cleaning  

Cat’s ears are sensitive. So, remember to be gentle. Check their ears for mites, excessive wax, or an odor when sitting on your lap. If any of these are present, speak to your vet about the best way to clean them. 

Dental Care and Hygiene 

Tooth disease will often be painful and discomforting to your cat. Talk to your vet about the best way to care for your cat’s teeth. 

Dental hygiene reduces long-term teeth problems like gingivitis, tooth resorption, and periodontitis. 

Take your Himmy to the vet if you observe symptoms like drooling, difficulty in eating, and bleeding. These are the most obvious signs of dental disease. 

Pro Tip: Use cat toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. 

Vaccinations and Exam check-ups 

As the parent, occasionally take your cat to the veterinarian at least once a year for the recommended vaccination and exam check-up. 

Litter box maintenance 

Himalayan cats are indoor pets and do not survive well outside. Thus, keeping their litter tray clean and maintaining proper toilet training hygiene is necessary. 

Replace the litter box content daily and regularly deep clean it to maintain proper hygiene. 

Common Health Problems 

Fortunately, Himalayans are immune to inherited health problems from their parent breeds. Himmies are considered a healthy breed. 

Nonetheless, they are vulnerable to a few underlying health conditions. 

Here are a few common health issues with the Himalayan cat breed. 

Polycystic Kidney Disease 

Himalayan cats are susceptible to bacterial infections. This can lead to cyst development in the kidney leading to PKD. The good thing is that the disease is curable and not life-threatening.  

Ringworms 

Because of their long-haired coat, Himmies are vulnerable to ringworms. Regularly grooming their coat and checking your cat’s skin integrity is essential, even with an indoor cat.

Respiratory Problems  

The flat face and long fur along the facial mask of a Himalayan make breathing and swallowing difficult. Also, an obese cat will have difficulty in breathing.  

Poor grooming can cause heat sensitivity, Seborrhea oleosa, and fungal infections on the cat’s skin.  

Diet & nutrition 

Do not overfeed your cat to avoid becoming overweight. Remember that obesity can lead to physical inactivity and respiratory complications.  

Feed your Himalayan protein-rich diet like chicken, fish, lean meats, or turkey. 

Importance of a protein-rich nutrition 

  • Maintain its weight  
  • Strong muscular and bone formation 
  • Provides the necessary vitamins, fiber, and minerals needed for the body 
  • Improves skin conditions 

Welcome a New Himalayan Cat to Your Home

These cat breeds are also among the best indoor pets because they are calm, friendly, and affectionate. Himalayan cats, however, require keen and proper body maintenance. 

Himalayan cats are known for their long fluffy coats. The Himalayan kitten is the perfect combination of a cute and chubby pet. 

Himalayan cats are child-friendly and get along well with other pet roommates, so introducing a Himalayan breed cat to your home should be a simple process.

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