Himalayan Cat Breed: Breed, Origin & More Information

Himalayan is a mysterious and elegant-looking cat breed; they are well known for their beautiful coats. These medium-sized cats can be friendly and are usually playful balls of fur.

The distinguishing physical features of Himalayan include their full volume luxurious volume coat that has a dense undercoat. The color of Himalayan coats is chocolate, black, cream, lilac, and blue. This breed has large and rounded eyes that are typically a deep or light blue shade. 

Himalayan
Himalayan

Quick facts about the Himalayan

Weight: 7 to 12 pounds Height: 10–12 inches
Life span: 9 to 15 years
Intelligence: high Temperament: social | affectionate
Playfulness: low Activity level: calm
Vocalness: infrequent Coat length: long
Shedding amount: normal
Good with: kids | seniors | dogs | other cats | families
Traits: They have long hair that requires lots of grooming, they are friendly to humans, other pets, and strangers. They tolerate being alone.

They have small ears that are tipped and muscular bodies with large-boned legs and rounded large paws. The tail of a Himalayan is typically short and proportional to their body. Adult Himalayans weigh between approximately 7 to 12 pounds.  

Himalayans need a lot of daily care because of their long fur. They will need to be brushed every day to avoid their furs becoming tangled as well as just to maintain the lushness of their coat. You will also need to wipe their faces daily as they are flat, and tear stains may appear if not cleaned regularly. 

This breed is great for families with gentle kids; while Himalayan’s love the attention from children, they do not enjoy rough play, which is important to keep in mind. They are gentle, enjoy the attention, and have a sweet and playful temper. 

Himalayans require a calm house environment; they do not like loud and busy noises. They do not require a lot of exercises, so any home size will be fine for this breed. 

Himalayan

Himalayan cats are a mixture of Persian and Siamese and first appeared around 1924. However, there is a rumor that the breed is descendants of Pallas cats which are small wild cats. 

The temperament of this breed includes calm and affectionate personalities that enjoy attention from people, specifically children. They are playful and enjoy playing games like fetch. They have a low to moderate intelligence level and are not very vocal. 

These cats usually have a lifespan between 9 and 15 years. While not all Himalayans are prone to genetic health problems, some may include respiratory issues, kidney disease, and ringworms because of their high-volume fur. This is why it is essential to regularly groom your Himalayan, and when you do, regular skin checks should be done. 

Shedding is common for the Himalayans, and they may often get fur balls as a result of this. So your Himalayan must be on a nutritious diet that agrees with their fur and does not cause too much shedding. 

Advantages:

  • Calm, gentle, and playful temperament 
  • Enjoy attention from people 
  • Do not require a lot of exercise. 

Disadvantages: 

  • Shed quite a lot 
  • Regular grooming required
  • They are prone to several health problems 

Origin

United States

Health

Dr. Adedapo Adisa:

Also called the long-haired Persian or the color-point Persian, the Himalayan cats are hybrid cats from carefully breeding Persian cats and the Siamese cats.

The Himalayan cats are ideally known for their excellent health with massive bones and fur that gives them their characteristic appearance. With a life expectancy averaging 8-15 years, the Himalayan cats are pretty hardy but still are faced with certain inherited medical conditions.

Because they are a hybrid of the Persian cats, Himalayan cats have been shown to have inherited the mutant gene (PKD1 gene) known to cause Polycystic kidney disease, a health condition that affects the kidneys.

Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited medical condition that affects Himalayan cats starting from birth. This condition is characterized by the multiple small fluid-containing cavities called cysts on the kidneys.

As the affected Himalayan cat age, the cyst does multiply and increases in size. This eventually prevents the kidney of the Himalayan cats from performing their normal excretory functions and finally damages the kidney.

Although some Himalayan cats carrying the mutant gene, PKD1 gene, do not show symptoms of having polycystic kidney disease, it is important to watch out for the following signs in your cats;

● Increased water intake.

● Increased urination.

● Painful or straining when the cat is peeing.

● Swollen abdomen in cats.

● Bloody urine. 

● Loss of appetite and weight.

● Swollen limbs.

It is important to report to your veterinarian if you have experienced any of the above symptoms in your Himalayan cats.

The vet might screen for the mutant gene (PKD1 gene) in the Himalayan cat’s DNA.

Other tests such as an ultrasound of the kidney, urinalysis, and other blood-related tests, can help confirm the diagnosis.

Early detection and treatments help in improving the chances of survival and the prognosis of polycystic kidney disease in Himalayan cats.

If the Himalayan cats have been screened to be positive, they should be stopped from participating in breeding programs.

Another health condition the Himalayan cats are also prone to is respiratory issues. The Himalayan cats are known to have a characteristic shot and flattened face, known as a brachycephalic face. 

The shortened and flattened facial anatomy have affected certain soft tissues along the respiratory tract, which might impair the way the Himalayan cats breed due to inflammation or narrowing of the respiratory tracts.

It is important to always provide a conducive environment for the Himalayan cats and avoid placing them in a high humid or less ventilated environment, as this could trigger respiratory issues in the Himalayan cats.

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