What Are Himalayan Cats? [Where Do They Come From?]

Do you love big, fluffy cats? If so, you may have heard of the Himalayan cat breed. But where do they come from? We’re going to answer all these questions and several others more in-depth. 

The Himalayan cat, famous for its striking features and gentle nature, is a colorpoint version of the Persian, with some registries classing it as a standalone breed. Himalayan cats came into being after the successful breeding of Siamese and Persian cats.

Continue reading to discover the origins and history of the Himalayan cat. Discover what distinguishes them from other breeds, where their name came from, and if they are an ideal pet for you.

What Are Himalayan Cats?

The Himalayan cat, also referred to as a Himmy, Himalayan Persian, or Colorpoint Persian, is a long-haired cat similar to a Persian. A registry can class a Himalayan cat as a sub-breed of Persian or a long-haired sub-breed of Siamese.

They are very similar to Persian cats, except for their bright blue eyes.

The Himalayan cat combines the best features of two different breeds, taking the small ears, large eyes, and snub nose from the Persian cat while gaining the long coat complete with a striking array of colors from the Siamese cat.

Where Did Himalayan Cats Come From?

In the 1930s Dr, Clyde Keeler and Virginia Cobb teamed up to blend a Persian cat with a Siamese cat. After six years, Newton’s Debutante, the first true Himalayan kitten, was born. Cobb went on to publish an article outlining their progress in The Journal of Heredity.

In 1948, Jean Mill, an American cat breeder, and conservationist, was one of three independent breeders crossing Siamese and Persian cats to create the Himalayan.

By 1950, separate breeding efforts had begun, and in 1957, Mrs. Goforth was the first to receive breed recognition from the CFA for the Himalayan cat.

Though the cat was initially classified as a Colorpoint Longhair, it was recognized as a new cat in 1955.

How Are Himalayan Cats Classified?

The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) classifies the Himalayan as a color variation of the Persian cat rather than a separate breed, but they do compete in their own color division.

Other registries, such as The International Cat Association, classify the Himalayan cat as a distinct breed.

What Is The Scientific Classification Of The Himalayan Cat?

Scientific NameFelix Catus

How Did Himalayan Cats Get Their Name?

This breed of cat was named Himalayan in reference to its color, which matches the coloration of Himalayan animals, especially the Himalayan rabbit.

Where Are Himalayan Cats Descended From?

Researchers are still conducting studies on the ancestors of cats, such as the Himalayans.

While it’s most likely that humans created long-haired domestic cats through artificial selection of this trait, scientists have also suggested that Persian long-haired cats may have descended from Pallas’s cat.

The Pallas’s cat, also called a manual, is a small wild cat with long, dense, light grey fur. It has rounded ears, positioned low on the side of its head and a long bushy tail. This cat inhabits central parts of Asia.

What Do Himalayan Cats Look Like?

Himalayan cats tend to have rounded bodies with short legs, making jumping difficult for them. 

There are two main facial types for Himalayans. The first is known as traditional or doll face. Experts characterize a traditional or “doll face” by a physical appearance that barely differs from 19th-century photographs of the species.

In contrast, the Peke-face is the distinctive flat face of later breeding. It is named after the flat-faced Pekingese dog and registered as a distinct breed with the CFA.

The traditional Himalayan cat is less likely to experience health issues than the Peke-face, which can be inflicted with respiratory issues, dental problems, and cherry eyes.

The bulk of a Himalayan’s body fur is cream or white, but it has color points that come in various shades.

The male of the species is generally more prominent than the female weighing in at under 12 pounds, compared to the female’s lighter weight of around 8 to 10 pounds.

How Can You Tell If A Cat Is Himalayan Breed Or Mixed?

The first sign of a Himalayan cat is its striking blue eyes; they should also have colorpoints. If the cat lacks colorpoints, it is most likely a mixed breed.

Himalayans have a double coat with short hair underneath their long coat. If you can leave the cat for a couple of days without brushing and the fur doesn’t mat, it’s unlikely to be a Himalayan breed as these cats require daily grooming.

A surefire sign that your cat is not a pedigree Himalayan is a grey coat. If the cat is grey, it is a mixed breed.

What Do Himalayan Cats Look Like At Birth?

The litter of a Himalayan cat is generally between three and six kittens. A first-time mother is likely to have a smaller litter than an experienced mum.

Each kitten should be born with a pink nose and blue eyes; their fur will likely be cream, with colorpoint markings taking between 12 and 18 months to become visible.

What Is The Personality Of A Himalayan Cat?

Himalayan cats combine the curious nature of a Siamese cat with the sweet, easygoing personality of a Persian cat. They enjoy communication with soft voices and expressive eyes. 

These cats love to sit on your lap for a cuddle but are equally happy in their own company. You’re unlikely to find them climbing your curtains as their short legs aren’t built for jumping. Instead, they’re more likely to sit regally on a chair or cushion.

Himalayans are adaptable cats who can make themselves at home in any environment and be the ideal pet for single people, couples, or families.

What Color Is A Himalayan Cat?

Registrees recognize Himalayan cats in a variety of colors. The complete list is below:

  • Blue Point
  • Blue Cream Point
  • Blue Tabby Point
  • Chocolate Point
  • Chocolate Tabby Point
  • Chocolate Tortie Point
  • Cream Point
  • Cream Tabby Point
  • Lilac Point
  • Lilac Cream Point
  • Lilac Tabby Point
  • Red Point
  • Red Tabby Point
  • Seal Point
  • Seal Tabby Point
  • Seal Tortie Point

Is The Himalayan Cat Right For Me?

Before purchasing a Himalayan cat, it’s essential to understand the needs of this pedigree cat.

Grooming is the biggest challenge with a Himalayan because their hair type makes them particularly susceptible to fur matting. They require daily brushing, and experts recommend that you also bathe your feline friend once a month.

A Himalayan has the same exercise needs as many other cat types. A couple of twenty-minute play sessions each day where your cat gets to play and run around is sufficient. They don’t have any special exercise requirements, but it’s important to watch their diet in order to avoid obesity.

It’s essential to understand your cat’s health needs, and Himalayans are particularly susceptible to a variety of health problems. These include excessive tearing or staining of the eyes, cherry eye, abnormal eyelid (entropion), progressive retinal atrophy, dental issues, breathing problems, ringworm plus skin condition, and issues with their nervous systems. 

Experts class their health risks as moderate, and keeping regular appointments with your vet should help you maintain their optimal health.

Final Word

A beautiful blend of Persian and Siamese, the Himalayan, is a striking cat famed for its beautiful blue eyes and long fur coat. With a gentle nature and sense of playfulness, the Himalayan cat makes the perfect family pet.

Related Articles