Learn the characteristics and behaviour of the Himalayan cat
A lovable cat, the Himalayan can be both a quiet companion and energetic playmate. This breed is generally friendly
Himalayan at a glance:
With her massive bones and fur, the Himalayan can appear to be rather large.
Male: large: >12 lbs.
Female: medium: 8-12 lbs.
Blue, Copper, Green
Longevity Range: 8-11 yrs.
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Tendency to Shed: High
Colors: Chocolate, Seal, Lilac, Blue, Black, Flame, Red, Cream, Tortoiseshell, Frost, Silver, Golden, Brown, Fawn, Cinnamon
Less Allergenic: No
Overall Grooming Needs: High
Cat Association Recognition:
ACFA , FIFe, TICA
Physical characteristics of Himalayan cat:
Cobby, firm, well-rounded mid-section, in proportion. Medium to large in size. Back short and level. The chest is to
be deep; equally massive across the shoulders and rump with a short, well-rounded abdomen and ribs; boning
heavy, sturdy and in proportion. Musculature firm and well developed, not overly fat.
Round, broad, smooth domed, with great breadth. Should be medium to large in size and in proportion to body. Jaws
broad and powerful with perfect tooth occlusion.
Cheeks should be full and prominent. Overall sweet expression. Chin strong, full, well-developed, fitting into the
face. Nose almost as broad as long with open nostrils. Muzzle should be short, broad and full. In profile short, snub
nose, definite break directly between eyes. Forehead, nose, and chin in straight line. Neck short, thick, and well-muscled.
Small and round tipped, not unduly open base. Set wide apart, fitting into contour of head.
Large, round, and full. Set level and far apart giving a sweet expression to the face, eye color has equal importance to
size and shape. Deepest blue preferred, but light to medium blue is acceptable.
Legs & paws
Legs: large bones, well-developed and with firm musculature. In front view, the forelegs should be short and straight from breadth of chest adding to sturdy appearance, not to have a bull dog appearance. When viewed from the rear, the legs should be straight. Feet round and large.
Short and straight. In proportion to body length.
Long all over the body. Full of life. Dense undercoat giving the coat full volume. Ruff should be immense. Seasonal
variations in coat shall be recognized.
Himalayan cat personality:
“Himmies,” as they are sometimes called, are wonderful indoor cat companions.
They are gentle, calm, and sweet-tempered, and possess a playful side as well.
Like the Siamese, Himalayans love to play fetch, and a scrap of crumpled paper or a kitty toy will entertain them for
hours, or until their next nap.
Himalayans are devoted and dependent upon their humans for companionship and protection.
They crave affection and love to be petted and groomed, which is fortunate, since every Himalayan owner will
spend part of each day doing just that.
Like their Persian siblings, they are docile and won’t harass you for attention the way some breeds will.
They possess the same activity level as the Persian, and they are not vocal like the Siamese.
The general health of the Himalayan cat:
- Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Although they are beautiful and sweet, Exotics are prone to a number of potential health problems, most commonly related to their facial structure:
- Breathing difficulty or noisy breathing caused by constricted nostrils
- Dental malocclusions, meaning the teeth don’t mesh well together
- Excessive tearing
- Eye conditions such as cherry eye, entropion and progressive retinal atrophy
- Feline hyperesthesia syndrome, a nervous system disorder
- Heat sensitivity
- Polycystic kidney disease, for which a genetic test is available
- Predisposition to ringworm, a fungal infection
- Seborrhea oleosa, a skin condition that causes itchiness, redness and hair loss
Himalayan Cat Care:
The most important thing to understand about caring for a Himalayan is the need for daily grooming. That long,
beautiful coat doesn’t stay clean and tangle-free on its own. It must be gently but thoroughly combed every day, and
regular bathing—at least once a month—is a good idea.
Another factor to consider is the litter box issue. Litter may become lodged in a Himalayan’s paws or coat. If the cat
and the litter box aren’t kept scrupulously clean, a Himmie is more likely than most to just stop using the box.
Excessive tearing can be a problem in this breed, so wipe the corners of the eyes clean daily to prevent under-eye
brushing is better than nothing.
It’s a good idea to keep a Himalayan as an indoor-only cat. He’s not a scrapper and would fare poorly against other
cats, dogs, coyotes and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors. Himalayans who go outdoors also run the
risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.
Children and other pets:
Himalayans aren’t the best choice for a houseful of boisterous children and dogs, but they have no objection to
being the object of a gentle child’s attentions or to rubbing along with a friendly dog who doesn’t chase them or
otherwise cause them anxiety.
History of the Himalayas:
The idea of creating a Persian cat with the pointed pattern of the Siamese had long been desired by breeders.
Working toward this goal, Persian cats with colored points, called Himalayans, were produced in the United States
in the early 1930s thanks to the efforts of Marguerita Gorforth, Virginia Cobb, and Dr. Clyde Keeler. In 1935, after
British breeders had visited the United States to see the Himalayan, a breeding program to produce these cats also
began in England. The breeding program had to be stopped during World War II but was reinstated afterwards.
In the mid 1950s, the Himalayan was accepted for recognition. The first United States champion was Goforth’s
LaChiquita, who gained this title with the American Cat Fanciers Association. By the 1960s, every United States
registry had accepted the Himalayan for recognition in the show ring.
Recently, some United States registries have incorporated the Himalayan into the Persian class. In these registries,
this breed is considered a pointed Persian, but is sometimes called a Persian-Himalayan or Himalayan-Persian as
well as just Himalayan. The Himalayan has always been known as the Colorpoint Longhair in Britain.
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