Himalayan cats are among the most beautiful breeds in the world. The long, lush coat combined with striking blue eyes captivate and intrigue all those who see them. Many people take one look at this stunning creature and naturally want to know more. Here, we will examine the specifics of the breed so that people may understand there is much more to this gorgeous feline than what meets the eye. This breed requires some degree of care that is singular to this particular feline. While its demeanor and look make it an attractive choice, potential owners should consider the finer details before making the commitment to adopt or purchase.
The history of the Himalayan mountain cat is as unique as the feline itself. The breed is entirely man-made by a cross breed of Siamese and Persians. The efforts to produce a Himalayan was first attempted by Virginia Cobb and Clyde Keller in 1931. The intent was to create a breed that had the temperament of the Persian coupled with the appearance of the Siamese. The original name of the breed was a Colorpoint Longhair, but since the registries adopted it as a breed, the name was changed to Himalayan. While the breed it considered by some to be its own category, many organizations only recognize it as a subcategory of Persians.
Size and Appearance
Cat enthusiasts around the globe appreciate the show-stopping appearance that is the Himalayan cat breed. This is a large cat breed that is on par with the Persian build. The overall appearance of the feline is muscular with large bones. The weight of the feline can range from 7 to 12 pounds. Mainly, the thick fur is met with a large body. The legs are short and strong, and the tail is shorter than the average house cat. The most prominent features include the dense coat and vivid blue eyes. The coat can come in a variety of colors including lilac, fawn, chocolate, and much more. The Himalayan appearance is divided into two categories: extreme and traditional. The extreme look includes a flat face that is commonly associated with repertory. The traditional look includes typical cat features and face shape but still has the long coat and signature blue eyes.
Himalayan cat care requires a certain level of patience and attention. As mentioned, it is important to keep the face and eyes wiped clean. This is especially true for flat-faced Himalayans. The coat is, of course, another area of focus. It is critical that the owner brushes the feline once per day as the fur is prone to matting. A general rule of thumb is to bathe the Himalayan once per month to help ensure that their coat is kept clean and in good condition.
The Himalayan cat Personality and Temperament
Himalayan cats are known for their calm nature. This particular breed appreciates the presence of their owner but does best in an environment that is just as calm as this feline is. While they get along fine with small children and other pets, they appreciate the company of people and animals that are gentle and predictable. While Himalayans are friendly and seek out attention, they prefer the familiar company of family members or other trusted friends. They dole out affection, but only once you have been welcomed into their bubble of trust. While it is not a demanding breed, there is an expectation of care and attention that the cat will remind its owner with its sweet melodic voice. Many owners are pleased to find that this breed is not as adventurous as others. You will not find a Himalayan swinging from a chandelier!
Himalayan Cat Health Problems
As captivating as the Himalayan may be, it is not without health concerns. In fact, their appearance is a contributor to some of the health conditions that can plague the breed. For example, the flat face can be an area of concern. It is important that their eyes and nose are wiped clean daily to help curb breathing issues. Their thick coat can make them susceptible to overheating in hot temperatures. Additionally, their fur and feet pads must be kept clean since they are avid self-groomers. This breed is prone to weight gain. Establishing healthy eating habits and monitor food intake is important. Studies have also indicated that Himalayans are at higher risk for being born with a genetic disorder called Dermatosparaxis. It is considered a skin condition that leads to loose skin breaking away or becoming easily damaged.
Himalayan cats are subject to dispute over whether or not they are likely to cause more allergic reactions than other breeds. It is true that their long hair requires upkeep so that they do not shed. It is generally the saliva transformed into dander that causes allergic reactions in humans. While there is no foolproof way to ensure that a Himalayan will be hypoallergenic there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of a reaction. Things to do are:
- Steam clean fabrics and carpets
- Remove carpet if possible to reduce trapped hair
- Bathe your cat regularly
These things can help lessen the amount of fur and dander that you will surely come into contact if you live with a Himalayan. Remember, if you are prone to allergic reactions in cats, you may want to reconsider this particular breed before committing to owning one.
Himalayan Cat Facts
Himalayans are truly an interesting breed. Here are a few things that you may not know about Himalayans:
- Since 1981 Himalayans have won over 41 national awards
- There are over 343,000 registered Himalayans around the world
- Himalayans are sad to be one of the most people-oriented breeds
- Himalayans are ranked as the second most popular breed in the world
- Himalayans are fondly referred to as “Himmys.”
- Generally, this breed is not a jumper or climber
- lifespan for the Himalayan cat is 11-16 years.
- Oldest Himalayan cat record holder was 22 years old
Himalayans are certainly a gorgeous and personable animal that makes a wonderful pet and shows animal. However, the proper grooming and care are not for the faint of heart. Owning a Himalayan takes a considerable amount of time and attention to help maintain that beautiful coat. It is important for potential owners to study the breed and guarantee that it is a good fit for your lifestyle.