The Himalayan cat breed is actually a mix of two other breeds: the Siamese and the Persian. Its appearance is a Persian with Siamese coloring. Himalayans cope well with other pets and children. This breed tends to be quieter than their ancestor, the Siamese, but when they do choose to get vocal, their voice is much like the Siamese.
Himalayan Cat Breed History
This breed originated in Sweden in 1922, making its way to the United States in 1935. Breeders at Harvard Medical School began with a female Siamese and a black male Persian. Eventually, the litters were crossbred, which brought out the longhaired color pointed gene. Breeders continued to narrow the desired characteristics and in the 1950s they were successful in producing what is now the Himalayan cat breed.
Himalayan Cat Characteristics
Himalayans are medium to large in size with a short compact body and short, thick tail. They normally have the wide face and snub nose of the Persian and have blue eyes.
Their coat is long and dense and can have a variety of color point patterns such as lynx or tortoiseshell. They have a dense undercoat that must be combed daily to prevent matting.
Interestingly, the Himalayan’s nose and paw pad color match the color point of their coat. They are born a creamy white color and don’t develop the color points or full length of their coat until maturity.
Since they are related to Persians, Himalayans have most of the same health concerns as their ancestors. Some of the health issues to watch for include: tear overflow, constricted nostrils, polycystic kidney disease and cherry eye.
This breed has a sweet, loving nature and tends to get very attached to their people. They are considered a companion breed and reward those that love and respect them. Because of the close tie they form with their people, you should plan to keep them for their entire life as they do not tend to adapt well to being rehomed.
If you are looking for a longtime companion with a sweet loving nature, then the Himalayan may be the cat breed for you!
Source: ASPCA Complete Guide To Cats, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Cat, Cat Breeds and Cat Care by Alan Edwards