Popularly known as the “Himmy,” the Himalayan cat is a hybrid breed of the Siamese and the Persian cat. It is a stunning feline, characterized by a long, silky coat of the Persian and the bright blue eyes, and pointed coloring of the Siamese cat. Often regarded as a “gentle giant” of the cat world, it has a serene, charming, and sweet demeanor, always cherishing their owners’ love and attention. However, this furball may be selective. It will love to lie on your lap and be petted but may be restrained with other people or guests.
Origin of the Himalayan Cat
Persian cats have been one of the most coveted cats among all the feline breeds. With breeders’ innate creativity, the Persians were outcrossed with the Siamese cats, creating the Himalayan cat. The purpose was to produce a cat with the former’s body but sport the markings of the latter. It took over ten years for a British breeder to accomplish the endeavor.
Its name was linked to Himalayan Salt Lamps, making others believe that the cat originated from the region, same with the Pallas’s cat. However, the Himalayan breed was, indeed, an intentional crossbreed of the Persian and Siamese cats. While the Himmies are registered in CFA, they are often considered a sub-breed of the Persian cat.
Physical Characteristics of the Himalayan Cat
- Length: 17 to 19 inches
- Weight: 9 to 14 pounds (Males), 7 to 11 pounds (Females)
- Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years
- Coat Color: White to fawn body, with different color points, such as seal, lilac, chocolate, red, blue, cream, lynx, and tortie.
- Type of Coat: Long
- Eye Color: Copper, Blue, Green
Himalayan cats are fairish-sized to large-sized cats, boasting a well-knit body and hefty bone structure. However, what stands out among these cats are their large, wide head and large, round, striking-blue eyes. Their tail is short, while ears are smallish. Another conspicuous feature of the Himmies is their thick, full, and long fine coat, which they got from their Persian ancestry, appearing lustrous and shiny.
Himalayan Cat Personality
Himalayan cats boast the perfect balance between the Persian and Siamese cats’ demeanor. They have the Siamese’ friendly disposition, matched with the Persian’s quiet, gentle, and calm behavior.
These Himmies will be happiest being snuggles and petted in quiet environments, making them strictly indoor cats. They detest loud sounds or drastic changes and may feel stressed when introduced to new conditions.
In their ideal environment, these furballs are docile and won’t cause too many issues in the household. Few exceptions would be claiming chairs or sofas as their own and reclining elegantly. Otherwise, they would be cheerfully climbing furniture, such as the refrigerator, where they can perch.
As affectionate breeds, they will relish all the attention given by their immediate families. They will love to sit in laps or simply be in their owner’s company. While they won’t demand attention and manage themselves, they will not be shy to produce quiet meows and stare at their masters whenever they feel morose. No doubt that these felines love people but, they can be selective. They will hide from strangers or feel restrained in the presence of guests.
When it comes to children, dogs, and other pets, Himalayan cats won’t mind them long as long as they are not randomly bopped or chased around. Otherwise, they can quickly become anxious and feel discriminated against. They can do great with older toddlers who would comb their hair, invite them to their tea party, or stroll them around the house in a baby buggy.
Caring for the Himalayan Cat
Just like their Persian relatives, Himalayan cats are a high-maintenance breed. They are meant for families willing to spend ample time each day to groom their long, silky coat. If not brushed daily, their fur can quickly mat and tangle. To avoid such mishap, it is best to use a wide-toothed comb to remove debris, dust, or dust from their coat and keep it manageable.
The good side is Himmies love the attention provided by their owners. With that, grooming activities would not be a pain to do and would serve as an enjoyable experience for both the family and these adorable furballs.
Other grooming needs include nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing. Himmies love to climb into chairs and furniture and onto their masters. Trimming their nails regularly not only keeps their paws and nails healthy but protects the fixtures and their owners as well.
Meanwhile, these feline’s pointed ears are susceptible to dirt and debris build-up, resulting in ear issues or infections. It is best to examine their ear weekly and use soft, cotton cloth or balls to clean them up. For their teeth, weekly brushing using vet-approved toothpaste is an excellent way to prevent them from developing periodontal disease down the road.
While they may have lower exercise needs, Himalayan cats have their playful side and would require a few minutes of playtime in a day. Bombarding them with cat playthings will keep them amused and entertained. However, given their natural, fun-loving demeanor, even a basic you, such as a paper ball, is enough to delight them for extended periods.
Himmies are generally sturdy but may be vulnerable to specific health issues, such as polycystic kidney diseases, ringworms, and respiratory problems due to their flattened faces. Regular consultation with the vet is a great way to detect or reduce the chances of such conditions.
With their sweet, gentle, and playful disposition, Himalayan cats are ideal for nearly all home types. However, they are a high-maintenance breed and would be happiest in families that would give them the utmost attention that they won’t demand, but they genuinely deserve.