All About Himalayan Cats (The Much Loved Hybrid Breed!)

about himalayan cats

If you want to know all about Himalayan cats you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re thinking about adopting one, or just want to know if this is the right breed for you, this post will give you the information you need.

In this post you’ll discover all about this adorable breed and how it originated. We’ll cover personality, grooming tips, and any health issues himalayans may have. Plus, lots more.

How the himalayan cat originated

Himalayan cats weren’t named after a mountain range, but got their name from the himalayan rabbit! Both have similar colour points and markings.

The very first Himalayan was born in 1924, as a result of crossing a siamese with a persian. The male kitten was named Newton’s Debutante by the owners Dr Clyde Keeler and Virginia Cobb. It wasn’t until 1955 that the himalayan cat became recognised as a colour point longhair.

A Californian artist and cat breeder named Marguerita was given a cat to take of by a friend. The long haired seal point was so striking and beautiful, she decided to ask her friend’s permission to use her for breeding. The end result was a more refined breed with the long hair of a persian and colouring of a siamese.

Since the 1950s additional colour points have been recognised by the cat fanciers association. Today, they’re a very popular breed of cat that’s found it’s way into the hearts of many cat lovers!

The himalayan cat personality

Himalayans have the calm, laid back nature of a persian, combined with the chatty nature of a siamese. If you want a cat that loves cuddling and sitting on your lap then this is the breed for you. They’re not too demanding, but tend to favour one member of the household. Himalayan cats cat become very attached to their owners and sensitive to moods. If you’re feeling low, you may find your little himmy cuddles up close. However, this can vary as each cat has its own personality.

Though talkative, their voices are softer and more melodic than a siamese. You won’t need to worry about enduring noisy conversations from your feline friend!

This breed of cat doesn’t have an aggressive nature and so not good at defending themselves. If you want a cat that spends time outdoors you’ll need to find a different breed.

Himalayan cats have an inquisitive nature just like most siamese and will investigate your shopping bags and anything else you bring into the home. Himmies as they’re affectionately known, dislike loud noises. Though most cats fear sudden noise, this breed is very timid.

If you invite friends round your himmy hasn’t been introduced to, don’t be surprised if she runs and hides. These cats hate change and are not particularly good at adapting. Don’t worry if you have children, as the sweet, gentle nature of the himalayan cat makes them the ideal pet.

They don’t like rough handling though, so make sure you teach your child to handle the cat gently. I believe that growing up with pets makes you a kinder more sensitive person. Learning to treat animals with kindness and respect is very important.

What do himalayan cats look like?

himalayan persian cats

Himalayan cats have short, stocky bodies with beautiful long silky fur. As part persians you’ll notice they have small ears, and round heads with flat faces. Their snub noses with an almost pug like appearance makes them very sensitive to heat. It’s always a good idea to crank up the air conditioning in very hot weather, or have your fan set at max speed.

Himalayans have stunning blue eyes inherited from siamese genes. Once you set eyes on a himalayan cat you’ll be sure to fall in love! Coat colours and points vary, so you’ll need to do a bit of research if you have a specific idea of what you want.

It’s quite possible you’d need to wait at least six months before a kitten is born with your choice of colouring. However, once you’ve set your heart on a himmy the wait will be worth it. All himalayan kittens are born with white fur, and colour points start showing after a few weeks. The ears and nose are the first to develop points, followed by the feet and tail. The interesting thing is, its temperature that determines point colour. Warmer conditions produce lighter colours, and cool temperatures, darker colours.

Kittens born during warmer months of summer tend to have lighter points, whereas those born during winter show darker ones. So, bear in mind what season it is when looking for your perfect himmy!

Are himalayan cats hypoallergenic?

persian himalayan cats

No cat is truly hypoallergenic, but long hair cats such as the himalayan may cause more irritation than a short hair breed. However, it’s not just hair shedding that causes sneezing and runny eyes. A type of protein found in dander triggers the allergic reaction. The dead skin falls of as the cat washes itself, but this protein is also found in saliva and urine.

So to answer this question, himalayan cats are not hypoallergenic. If you have an allergy to cats you could try antihistamine products. Living with a cat allergy is possible by taking certain steps. These include washing bedding frequently, using a hoover with hepa filters such as the dyson, and keeping your bedroom a cat free zone.

Himalayan cat health problems

All cats can develop heath problems no matter what breed. If you’re looking for a cat that has a low risk of illness you may be better off with a moggie or non-breed. However, once you’ve set your heart on one of these stunningly beautiful creatures, health won’t be at the forefront of your mind! Yes, Himalayans do have a few health issues, but they’re all manageable.

Hairballs

As you probably already know, long hair cats are subject to the occasional hairball. Any cat parent to a long hair feline will be familiar with little balls of regurgitated fur. Himalayans though are at greater risk of blocked intestines. Unless you groom your cat regularly, those extra long hairs can form massive size hairballs!

Respiratory problems

You may think a pug nose looks cute, but it can cause serious breathing problems and infections. A flattened nose compresses sinuses and nasal passages. The result is a tendency towards obstructions in the upper airway. As previously mentioned, himalayan cats don’t tolerate hot humid conditions very well. Snoring, difficulty swallowing, coughing and wheezing are frequently experienced with this breed. Talk to your breeder about any respiratory concerns.

Polycystic kidney disease

If you’ve been a cat parent before, you may already be familiar with kidney disease. It’s usually a problem for older cats, but some breeds are more prone to it. If you’re thinking of adopting a himalayan cat you should be aware of polycystic kidney. disease. This disease causes cysts to form in the kidneys, and though not fatal it can make your cat suffer discomfort.

Veterinarians can drain larger cysts, but there’s no cure. Kidney failure can result in time, but this can often be managed with diet. Breeders are starting to eliminate the disease with DNA testing, but you need to talk to a breeder if you are concerned. Taking out pet insurance is always a good idea, saving you money in the long run.

Joint disease

Painful joints are mostly suffered by older cats, but persian breeds are more susceptible. Their stocky, heavy build puts weight on joints and ligaments causing sore and painful joints. There’s no cure, but diet and supplements may help ease symptoms. Keep your kitty comfortable by providing warm and easily accessible places to sleep.

Do himalayan cats shed hair?

do himalayan cats shed hair

As with all long hair cats you can expect some shedding. This breed though is known for its high amount of shedding. If you’re a fussy houseproud person who gets upset at a few hairs on the sofa, you’ll need to either find a short hair breed or enjoy grooming!!

Grooming himalayan cats

If you are considering a himalayan as a pet you’ll need to be prepared for lots of grooming! This will need to be done on a daily basis otherwise your cat will get knots and tangles. Don’t get this breed of cat unless you have the time for brushing and grooming.

At around six months old, himalayan cats develop an undercoat. This keeps them well insulated and warm. However, in the summer months brushing becomes even more important. Removing dead hair helps thin the himalayan’s very thick coat. Knowing how to groom your cat the right way is important. It’s essential to have the right tools to hand, and of course lots of patience as well as a good supply of treats!

Finding a good himalayan cats breeder

If you decide to adopt a himalayan cat there are two ways to go about it. Firstly, you could visit your local cat shelter. There’s always a chance of finding breeds such as persian and himalayan. However, if you’ve set your heart on a particular breed and colour point your best bet is to find a reputable himalayan cats breeder.

You’ll need to do plenty of research and look up himalayan cat breeders in your area. It may also involve travel, as your nearest breeder could be miles away. Before you make any decisions you need to find out a little bit first. There are some bad breeders with no concern about animal welfare.

If a breeder is reluctant to let you view the kittens or see where they’re kept, steer clear. Also, you need to be able to look at certificates, and proof of vaccinations. Take your time and don’t make hasty decisions based on your heart and not your head. A good idea is to contact the cat fanciers association, as they’ll be able to refer you to a reputable cat breeder.

Is a himalayan cat the right breed for you?

is a himalayan cat the right breed for you
Cat looking over the shoulder of a woman that is carrying it in her arms

Now you’ve learnt a little bit about the himalayan cat, is this a breed suitable for your lifestyle? In You’ve discovered how this breed originated, as well as how the himalayan cat’s famous point colours are created. You’ve learnt about this adorable cat’s personality and its calm, laid back nature. If you want a cat who’ll chat quietly to you without the raucous voice of a siamese, this is the breed for you. The himalayan cats inquisitive and loving nature will certainly win your heart.

As you’ve discovered, himalayan cats resemble persians in appearance, with long luxurious fur. You will need to devote some time each day for brushing your cat. If you work from home or have a young family, a himalayan will make the perfect pet.

I hope this article has answered some of your questions about himalayan cats, and helped you decide if if this is the right breed for you.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article please share. If you have any questions, or would like to share your experiences please leave your comments below.

Wishing you a purrfect day:)
Kathy

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6 comments

  1. Hello Kathy,

    Again another great post! I love the Himalayan breed. in fact, it is my favorite breed after Maine Coon. Oh, I would love to read a post about Maine Coon! But before I forget this question, are these diseases more common in this breed of cats? Or are they common in cats in general? Because some diseases are more common in certain breeds than others due to various differences in each breed.

    My friend’s cat is a Himalayan, she is the sweetest cat I ever met! So fun and always try to talk and communicate with us. She also always try to calm us down when I or my friend sad, angry or anything like that. She acts like a mom for us. Now, I am not sure about the allergy relation with this breed. But, I can tell you that my friend is allergic to many things but not to his cat.

    Thank you for this great article! I am a cat person and I love cats. I hope they don’t rule us one day hahaha.

    1. Thank you Mohammad 🙂 Nice to hear the himalayan is a favourite breed, and you’ll find a post on maine coon cats somewhere on this blog! It seems that polycystic kidney disease is more common in persians and exotic breeds of cat, but respiritory problems are mostly suffered by flat faced breeds. Their pug noses make it more likely these cats will suffer from infections and breathing problems. How sweet that your friend’s cat is so loving. It’s amazing how even non breeds try and communicate! It’s often been found that those with allergies to cats are often able to tolerate a himalayan! 🙂 Indeed, maybe cats will rule the world one day ha ha

  2. I’m fascinated about the fact that the coloring for this cat is dependent on temperature! Who knew?! Thanks for the detailed research about the Himalayan cat. For me, there are many pluses in choosing this breed in addition to it being beautiful. However, sounds like the upkeep and the fact that I live in Florida it may not be the best choice for me.

    You did an excellent job in outlining everything one needs to know about the Himalayan.

    Cheers!

    1. Thank you Jesse:) Yes, these beautiful cats are a crossbreed, with the looks of a persian and personality of a siamese. Glad you enjoyed my post 🙂

  3. I never knew Himalayans were crosses between Siamese and Persians! The more you know! Where I live, all the cats roam free around the neighborhood, so I think since Himalayans seem to be timid and more of an indoor type, it wouldn’t be right for me. But I enjoyed learning more about this beautiful breed! Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you Jesse:) Yes, these beautiful cats are a crossbreed, with the looks of a persian and personality of a siamese. Glad you enjoyed my post 🙂

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