The Himalayan cat is one of those “types” of cats that when you look at them, you’re almost afraid to touch them because they look too pretty. It’s as though you don’t want to mess up their hair. That is, of course, if we’re talking about an adult Himalayan cat, in which case there is a chance that you can keep your hands off them.
When it comes to a Himalayan kitten,… good luck not picking them up because those “suckers” are just WAY too cute to leave alone! They’re also too appealing to generally not adopt right there on the spot. But, just because a Himalayan kitten is probably the cutest thing that can exist on planet Earth doesn’t mean that you should necessarily run out and get one (it just probably means that’s what you should do!). You see, there are a lot of factors that should be considered before an individual decides to adopt a particular cat breed.
Factors such as:
- How “active” do you want your cat to be?
- Do you prefer “needy” cats or “independent” cat breeds?
- Do you have any young kids or other pets at home? How important is it to you that “everyone” gets along?
- Are you looking for an “indoor” only cat? Or will your ideal cat be one that also ventures outdoors?
- How much “work” are you willing to commit to ensuring your pet will be healthy and clean?
- Ect, ect…
These are just a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself before you adopt any particular cat breed. But don’t fret. This is why we chose to write this article so that you can get a better idea of what it might be like to own a Himalayan cat so that if you ever do get a chance to adopt one, you won’t be disappointed if you do.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Himalayan Cat Breed Fast Facts
Country of origin: United States and United Kingdom
Size: Medium to large
Weight: 9 to 12 pounds
Eyes: Round (blue)
Shape of Head: Round
Life Span: 15+ years
Origin of the Himalayan Cat Breed
The Himalayan came to be when folks in the late 1920s and early 1930s decided to try to “create” a Persian cat with all of the color points and remarkable blue eyes of the Siamese cat breed. Now, while it’s certainly possible that this “goal” may have been accomplished by others before this time, most cat fans generally consider the kitten named “Newton’s Debutante” to be the first “official” example of what would eventually become the Himalayan cat breed.
Despite the natural beauty of these little guys, the breed didn’t begin to take off until a concentrated effort began in both California and Britain to start breeding these cats for the sole purpose of “perfecting” the breed and one day getting them “officially” recognized by the various cat organizations. And when we say “Concentrated effort,” we mean it because, within a concise amount of time, these “professional” breeders were able to take what was at “best” a rather “rag-tag” approach to creating the Himalayan cat breed to an actual fully recognized breed by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1957.
Much to the…
The chagrin of many Persian cat owners worldwide. This is why, some 24 years later, the CFA decided to “reclassify” the Himalayan cat breed in 1984, essentially stripping the species of its classification and simply making it a “subset” of the traditional Persian breed. Either way, at the end of the day, we here at IndulgeYourPet don’t care one way or another about how these guys are “classified” because it doesn’t change the fact that they are gorgeous!
Spoiler alert…. The Himalayan cat looks like a Persian cat. Still, unlike your “classic” Persian, these guys tend to have a bit of a “rounder” body and slightly shorter legs, causing many folks to compare the body of a Himalayan to that of a traditional Siamese. And while all Himalayans will have the color points associated with a Siamese, beyond that, you’re going to find quite a bit of variation within the actual Himalayan/Persian breed.
There are two types of Himalayans: the traditional or doll-face Himalayan, which will look very similar to the traditional Persian, and the extreme facial type, often referred to as peke-faced or ultra-typed, where the conventional features of the Persian cat breed are exaggerated. Both, however, will have round blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and short/thick necks. Their bodies will also be large and muscular, particularly when paired with their fluffy short tail.
And as we’ve already…
As mentioned, Himalayans will tend to have relatively short/thick legs, adding to a more “compact” look. It should also be noted that while the Himalayan cat was “theoretically” designed to look like a longhaired Siamese cat, today, they will come in a variety of colors, including:
- seal lynx,
- and many more.
It is believed that there are over 19 different colors that a Himalayan cat’s coat can be while still being “considered” a true Himalayan as long as one thing remains constant, which is… They all have to have blue eyes!
Now you’ve got to figure that if breeders have chosen over the years to create 19 different versions of this “subset” of the Persian breed, chances are these are pretty amazing animals! This brings us to the next topic we want to discuss: the personality and temperament of the Himalayan cat.
Temperament and Personality
In general, Himalayan cats are quiet. They like to relax on just about anything comfortable, including your couch, favorite office chair, or even your chest, while sleeping at night! They’re also a pretty “laid back” cat breed, which makes them perfect cats for those with young children because while they do enjoy interacting with people and playing games, they’re not likely to get too upset if they’re awakened by a beautiful afternoon nap by a child looking to have some fun!
That said, however…
You’ll want to make sure that your child knows how to play “well” and not get too “rough” with your Himalayan because often, little kids can forget that these animals are living creatures and not super cute stuffed animals! As an intelligent breed, your Himalayan will likely enjoy having their brain “challenged.” So, you’ll want to be sure and give him toys that will make him think. These little guys will enjoy a good “riddle” much more than chasing some “fake mouse” on a string!
And while it’s true that your Himalayan may occasionally choose to follow you around the house, they’re not the type to burst your bubble. They’re okay with simply being in the same room as you, and they won’t distract you all day, demanding your attention at all times.
Potential Health Concerns
As with any pedigree cat breed that has been “selectively” bred to exhibit specific characteristics of physical traits, you can expect that they will also suffer an increased risk of developing certain inheritable diseases. This is particularly the case with the Himalayan Persia,n which has been highly “modified” over the years. For this reason, as you look to adopt a healthy Himalayan kitten, you will want to be sure that you only work with reputable Himalayan cat breeders who specialize in Himalayan Persians.
You’ll also want…
Specifically, ask your breeder about the following conditions so you can do everything possible to avoid purchasing a kitten at a higher risk for developing any of these conditions. Medical Conditions which can affect the Himalayan Persian cat breed include:
- Brachycephalic syndrome is a term used to describe difficulty breathing due to how a particular breed’s facial structure is designed.
- Polycystic kidney disease (PKD). This is a hereditary condition caused by enlarged kidneys or kidney dysfunction. Kidney failure may occur.
- Sensitive to heat. Please keep them in cool places, and don’t let them stay outside for too long.
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
- And obesity (Not necessarily a Persian problem, but let’s face it, these cats do tend to live a pampered lifestyle).
Now, knowing that any of these health issues may arise in your cat, let’s talk about something that some people will ignore but is pivotal to have, in our opinion.
We here at IndulgeYourPet are always amazed at how thoroughly someone will research a particular cat breed before they ultimately decide to adopt a specific cat while, at the time, not researching “insuring” that animal. Let’s face it: there are few of us out there nowadays who have an “emergency fund” set aside to pay for any sudden medical bills that may occur if their pet suddenly becomes sick or injured.
This is why…
We wrote our Best Pet Insurance Companies article so that our readers could get a quick “idea” of some of the pros and cons of owning a pet insurance policy and a general “idea” about what one might cost per month.