himalayan cat

Himalayan Cat

The Himalayan cat, or "Himmie" for short is a cat known for its sparkling blue eyes and unique markings on their luxurious coats. The Himalayan cat is often regarded for its striking appearance and obvious beauty.

 

The Himalayan may at first appear standoffish but once they are comfortable with you, they'll be affectionate, making great family cats. They are known for their easygoing nature and quiet disposition.

 

History of the Himalayan Cat

 

The Himalayan Cat is also commonly referred to as the Himalayan Persian. It is a breed or sub-breed of the long-haired cat identical in type to the Persian, with the exception of its blue eyes and its point colouration, which were derived from crossing the Persian with the Siamese.

 

Unlike these two other breeds, which are both considered natural breeds, in other words not being created through human intervention, the Himalayan is a man-made breed. They were developed by crossing Siamese and Persian cats which explains the colour of their coat and their distinctive blue eyes.

 

This was not an easy combination to create with it taking cat breeder Virginia Cobb and Harvard Medical School researcher Clyde Keeler years to develop longhaired cats with the distinctive color-points of the Siamese. The first official kitten to be called a Himalayan was named Newton's Debutante.

 

The Himalayan cat was recognized as a breed in its own right by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1957. However, in 1984, the association decided to reclassify the Himalayan as a color variety of the Persian. Numerous cat associations agree with the aforementioned one but there are others that classify the Himalayan cat as separate from the Persian.

 

The Himalayan may have lost some of its standing to Persians, but the Siamese is no longer a part of the Himalayan breeding program. Whatever its name today, the Himalayan cat is among the most popular of pedigreed cats.

 

Appearance

 

The Himalayan's head is large and round head.  The eyes are also round and always blue eyes.  They have a short nose, full cheeks, and small ears with rounded tips. The head is supported by a short, thick neck and a deceptively robust, muscular body, a body type known as “cobby.” A Himalayan’s legs are short, thick and strong with large, round, firm paws. The tail is short but proportional to the length of the cat’s body.

 

The Himalayan cat, just like the Persian has two types; the traditional or doll-face, and the peke-faced which has the more extreme squashed-looking facial features.

The Himalayan is a medium-size cat and usually has a weight range of seven to twelve pounds.
himalayan kitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: CatTime

 

Coat

 

A Himalayan's coat is one of its most distinctive features, being long, thick and shiny. The fur is long all over the body with an immense ruff around the neck and between the front legs. They have a full tail.

 

The Himalayan is bred in an eclectic variety of colors; chocolate, seal, lilac, blue, red, cream tortie, blue-cream, chocolate-tortie, lilac-cream, seal lynx, blue lynx, red lynx, cream lynx, tortie lynx, blue-cream lynx, chocolate lynx, lilac lynx, chocolate-tortie lynx and lilac-cream lynx.

 

Their body is various shades of fawn to white with color only on their face, feet, ears and tail. Unlike the Persian, the Himalayan’s eyes only come in one variety; a deep, vivid blue.

 

Personality

 

As has been established, the Himalayan has many things in common with the Persian and their personality is no exception. They are laid-back, docile, sweet and enjoy being petted by those who are able to recognize their superior qualities. They are just as happy sitting on your lap as they are playing with children who are willing to gently groom them. They are affectionate but sometimes discriminating.

 

The Himalayan cat is most comfortable around family members and people they've spent time getting to know. They are quiet cats who like routine and a calm home where little changes on a daily basis. Himalayan's will let you know if they need something, whether this be food, someone to play with or a toy.

 

Their gentle temperament means they are highly unlikely to jump on your kitchen counters, climb up your curtains or perch on top of your furniture. They are very content being left home alone and don't require constant attention, being very happy just adorning a chair, bed or sofa.

Health and Care

 

Himalayan's are prone to numerous health problems, mostly related to their "squashed" facial structure. These include:

 

  • Breathing difficulty or noisy breathing caused by constricted nostrils
  • Dental malocclusions, meaning the teeth don’t mesh well together
  • Feline hyperesthesia syndrome, a nervous system disorder
  • Seborrhea oleosa, a skin condition that causes itchiness, redness and hair loss
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Excessive tearing
  • Eye conditions such as cherry eye, entropion and progressive retinal atrophy
  • Predisposition to ringworm, a fungal infection
  • Polycystic kidney disease, for which a genetic test is available

 

Upkeep

 

A Himalayan's coat is one of its most distinctive feature and needs daily grooming to keep it long, shiny and tangle-free. It is also recommended that you give it a bath at least once a month.

As mentioned earlier, excessive tearing can sometimes be a problem with the Himalayan. It is therefore a good idea to wipe the corners of the eyes on a daily basis to prevent under-eye stains from forming. To prevent periodontal disease (gum disease), you should brush their death either daily or at least once weekly.

Due to their tranquil temperament, it is best to keep a Himalayan as an indoor-only cat. They are not hunters and don't enjoy confrontation so would fare poorly against other cats, dogs, or other dangers that the outdoors present. A Himalayan's beautiful coat and startling blue eyes also mean it's at a higher risk of being stolen so it's best to keep an eye on it if it does wander outside.