The Himalayan cat is an ideal house-cat, naturally well mannered, sweet, quiet, and not overly energetic. Himalayans have the long hair of a Persian cat with the coloring of a Siamese cat.
These kitties are not just beautiful! They are also incredibly gentle and affectionate. If you’re looking for a cat that equally enjoys playing, affection, and cuddling in your lap, this is the breed for you. Himalayans are striking with their bold eyes and coloring, often used as models for Mother’s Day cards, cat t-shirts, and even commercials and TV shows.
The Brief History of the Himalayan Cat
Persians are the oldest and most popular cat breed according to the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA). Persians were bred with Siamese cats to create a new breed called the Himalayan.
The goal was to have a cat with the body of a Persian but the markings of a Siamese Cat. The Himalayan Persian is a colorpoint Persian cat, the long hair combined with the coloring of Siamese cats. A British cat breeder created the Himalayan breed for over ten years. The breeder used selected Persian and Siamese cats to create a unique hybrid. The cat breed was CFA registered in 1957.
The name is most commonly associated with Himalayan Sat lamps, leading many to believe the cats were from the same region. While the Persian Himalayan breed originated in England, there are also cats, like the Palla’s cat, from the Himalayans.
Himmies are a CFA registered breed but are also considered to be a variety of Persian cats. They are often affectionally described as a Persian cat in Siamese drag. Persian and Siamese cats are considered to be natural breeds; people did not create them.
The Himalayan breed was an intentional cross-breed of the Persian and Siamese cat breeds. The CFA decided in 1984 that it wasn’t a standalone breed but rather a sub-breed of the Persian cat.
The Appearance of this Fluffy Hybrid
Himmies have the long hair of Persian kittens combined with the coloring of Siamese cats. These cats are built more like Persians and are a medium-sized cat breed. Persians are known for their beautiful long, shiny coats and unique faces. They have large heads, with rounded features, prominent cheeks, small snouts (some are flatter than others), and tiny rounded ears. They are also rather short and stocky.
Siamese cats have more angular facial features and have striking blue eyes. Their bodies are long, as are their legs. Their tail is long and thin, often swishing back and forth. Siamese cats have fine hair and come in many different color varieties.
The combination of Siamese and Persian physical characteristics creates a special cat. Himmies typically have blue eyes and a long coat. Some have more traditional Siamese markings, like a darker face and ears that slowly fades into the coat, while others are nearly pure white.
Average Size and Weight of Himalayan Cats!
Himmies are medium-sized cats; they weigh between 7 to 12 pounds usually. Males can occasionally be larger and weigh over 12 pounds healthily.
Himalayans look bigger than they are because they have larger frames and a lot of hair. They are prone to weight gain and need to be fed a proper diet to stay healthy!
Coats and Colors Explained!
The CFA recognizes many different color varieties of Himmies including lynx point, tortie point, cream point, flame point, blue point, and tabby. The different coat variations are a result of crossbreeding Persians with Siamese cats.
These breeds are very different, a White Persian does not look like a Siamese, but together, they create incredibly unique cats and kittens. These cats look very domesticated if you’re searching for a cat that looks more exotic try the Kurillian Bobtail.
What Are Their Grooming Requirements?
Most long-haired cats like the Himmies do require a little more grooming than cats like the British Shorthair or American Wirehair.
If you wear a lot of dark t-shirts, prepare to go through many lint rollers! Brush your Himmie daily to keep their fur tangle-free. Their fur is prone to matting and needs bathing once a month. They are prone to tear-stains and may need cleaning on the face often. Flat faced cats need a little more attention to cleaning of the face.
Temperament and Personality: What to Expect!
Himalayan cats are infamous for their personalities and sweet dispositions. These kitties will cuddle for hours and even let you dress them up in t-shirt baby sized.
Many people describe the personality of a cat like having Asperger’s Syndrome. Himmies have their own personality traits, they are not quite Persians and not quite Siamese. They have social characteristics of a Siamese paired with quiet, gentle, sweet disposition of a Persian.
A Himalayan cat enjoys being petted and cuddled in a quiet environment. These cats need to live indoors. They do not like loud noises or change. If you enjoy having lots of guests over or move around a lot, the Himmie may not be the breed for you. They become stressed in a new environment and hide from strangers. When in their ideal environment they are loving and enjoy playing with their favorite toys.
Himmies are docile cats who won’t be getting into too much mischief. They will, however, happily climb on the furniture and claim any chair as their own.
These cats do not mind well-behaved dogs and children who are quiet and calm. Himmies do not like being chased around the house and they can easily become very anxious. They tend to become very attached to their owners and demand lots of attention.
What is this Himalayan / Persian Cat’s Lifespan?
Himalayan cats have a long lifespan compared to other felines. They can live 15 years or longer. Persians and Siamese are among the longest living cat breeds.
The lifespan of a cat is about more than just the breed. Some of the oldest living cats were mixed-breed Tabbies from a shelter. Himmies need to have enough exercise and be fed a proper diet to make sure they live long and happy lives. If a Himmie is overweight is can shorten their lifespan.
List of the Breed’s Potential Health Issues!
Himalayans are generally a very healthy breed with few health problems. Mix-breed cats, in general, tend to have fewer health issues compared to exotic and other pure-bred cats. There are some tests the veterinarian can run to make sure your kitten is healthy. A responsible breeder should do this and have the records available when you go to look at your new kitten.
- Polycystic kidney disease: This is a hereditary condition where the kidneys are enlarged and do not function properly. It can occur in cats as young as three years old, but it is more common in older cats around 7 to 10 years as old. Responsible breeders test for this condition and only breed cats that are PKD negative.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy occurs in Persians, kittens start showing symptoms around 4 to 8 weeks of age, and it quickly progresses to blindness as they age.
- Breathing issues: Himalayan cats are considered flat-faced breeds and may develop breathing issues as a result. Even if they do not have breathing issues, they need to be kept out of the hot weather as they are more prone to overheating.
Himalayan Cat for Sale!
You can find Himalayan kittens and cats for sale through the CFA or local Persian or Himalayan clubs. Talk to your local veterinarian about local breeders in the area that have excellent reputations and health records.
How Much do Himalayan Kittens Cost?
Himalayan kittens cost between $600 and $1000 depending on the coat colors and the bloodline.
Adult Himalayan Cat Price!
Adults are typically less expensive than kittens. They might not be as readily available as kittens though.
What to Look for in Reputable Cat Breeders!
Responsible cat breeders should be very knowledgeable about their cat breed. You should be able to meet at least one of the parents on-site and be able to see other kittens in the littler.
The parents should have vet records and any papers regarding their bloodlines. Kittens should come with a health guarantee and a full examination as well as their first set of shots from the veterinarian.
Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter About Himalayan Kitten Rescues!
You can find Himmies both adults and kittens through your local purebred shelters and Himalayan rescues. Shelters are full of kittens and cats that would make great pets.
If you’re looking for a kitten or cat, always check the local shelter first before you start contacting breeders. You may be able to find pure-bred kittens for a fraction of what a breeder would charge.