The Himalayan cat is a hybrid cat breed with a fascinating nomenclature, possessing traits that are a mix of Persian and Siamese cats. This breed neither belongs to the Himalayan mountains nor has been named after them. On the contrary, they have been named after the Himalayan Rabbits which have similar dark markings on their face.
The Himalayan cats also happen to be one of the most popular cat breeds in India. In this post, we’ll explore more about this breed’s appearance, temperament, diet, grooming needs, and more.
Height: 9-11 inches in both sexes
Weight: about 4-5 kilograms, with the males being slightly heavier.
Lifespan: about 9-15 years
Coat colors: blue, lilac, red (or flame), cream, chocolate brown, seal brown.
The Appearance of Himalayan Cat
Lovingly called “Himmy,” the Himalayan cats take after the Persian almost completely in appearance, except for their dark face and colorpoint coat (pale at the base, dark at the points). In fact, it is because of their colorpoint coat that they’re also referred to as the “Colorpoint Persian cats”.
Like the Persians, this breed also possesses a medium-sized, well-rounded body with relatively short legs. Their shoulders are broad, with a deep chest and a massive rump. To add to it, their long, voluminous coat makes them appear rounder than they actually are. Their short tail is relatively ordinary in comparison, falling straight down their back without any curve.
The most attractive part of the Himmies is their large, rounded, deep-set eyes that lend them a gentle expression. Despite the differences in their body color, all Himmies possess eyes colored in shades of blue (could range from the lightest to the deepest shade).
The Personality of Himalayan Cat
Have you ever met a cat who likes to play fetch? Well, meet the Himmy. Just like the Siamese cats, these playful felines also enjoy running around fetching things and can keep themselves entertained for hours. They’re docile, and sweet-natured and also enjoy being petted, cuddled, and pampered a great deal.
However, not every household is well-suited to this breed. Himmies are shy, and do well in a calm environment. They don’t like noise and highly stimulating surroundings can stress them out. This is also why they’re not ideal for families with younger children.
Caring for your Himalayan Cat
We’re sure you must’ve fallen for the Himmies already, but here’s what you need to know about their needs and maintenance.
The dietary needs of the Himmies are not that different from other cat breeds. Dry cat food is ideal for their daily meals, along with meat (chicken, and more preferably fish) occasionally. However, avoid feeding them uncooked meat since it could contain harmful bacteria. Although two meals a day with a gap of 12 hours is enough for the Himmies. Feeding them three meals is also okay as long as you’re cautious of the quantity.
Thanks to all the genetic variation within the Himalayan cat families, this breed generally possesses a robust constitution. However, there are some health issues that the Himmies are vulnerable to, which you need to be aware of before bringing them home.
Firstly, their flat faces can often lead to difficulty in breathing making them pant often. These long-haired felines are also prone to idiopathic seborrheoa, which is basically an inherited skin disease leading to increased production of oily substances from their pores, resulting in clumped hair and a strong, unpleasant odor. Apart from these, they’re also vulnerable to ringworms and heat sensitivity like most cats.
Grooming and maintenance
If there’s anything difficult or challenging about having a Himmy as a pet, it’s the grooming and maintenance of their long, silky coat. Their coat requires a thorough brushing daily, without its prone to matting. Their nails need clipping on a weekly basis as well.
Himmies also shed profusely all year long, even with daily brushing. So, if you want a cat hair-free house, this breed is certainly not the right choice for you.
And while brushing and nail clipping can be done at home, we strongly recommend taking your Himmies to cat spas for an elaborate grooming session once a month. It will not only protect the luster of their coat but will also be a treat for your pets as they really enjoy grooming sessions.
To sum it up, if you want a furred feline companion that’s not altogether aloof and don’t mind a little cat hair around your house, the Himmy is your ideal choice.