The Himalayan is a result of artificial selection of favourable traits between the Persian and the Siamese, and is named for the similarity in colouration with many Himalayan species. The first deliberate cross between the Siamese and the Persian was made by a Swedish geneticist in 1924; however the colourpoint variation did not occur till the 1930s. The first dedicated breeding programme for the Himalayan took place in Harvard in 1930s, but it was not recognised as a breed by any major cat fancier groups at that time. It was finally recognised in 1955 as Longhaired Colourpoint by the GCCF in the UK due to the breeding programme undertaken by Brian Sterling-Webb. The CFA recognised the Himalayan as a separate breed in 1957 and having a standard identical to the Persian standard. Of late, some registries in the US have taken to identify the Himalayan as a variant of the Persian.
The Himalayan Persian is a gentle, well-tempered cat which is extremely social. It is also more active than the Persian and is extremely intelligent, making it an ideal indoor companion. This breed loves affection, and loves to be petted and groomed.
- Activity level: 2/5 (mildly active)
- Intelligence level: 3/5 (quite intelligent)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (quite curious)
- Friendliness: 3 /5 (quite friendly)
- Vocal: 4/5 (quite vocal)
Affectionately called a Persian in Siamese drag, the Himalayan Persian has the coat of a Persian with the point colouration of a Siamese. This cat has a round body on short legs, and has distinctive facial features – doll-faced and peke faced. Both the facial types exhibit a nose break.
- Fur: Being a cross between a Persian and Siamese, the Himalayan has thick Persian coat and Siamese colourpoint markings. Most colourpoints like seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, cream, tabby and tortie are allowed.
- Eyes: Round, big blue eyes distinguish this breed.
- Body structure: They are low to the ground with a large but cobby body structure, making it difficult for them to jump as high as other cats would.
- Facial features: They could be doll-faced or peke-faced but their nose leather is directly between their eyes.
- Weight: Females weigh 8lbs to 12 lbs and males are 12lbs or larger.
Being a longhair cat, the Himalayan requires extra attention to its grooming requirements. It should be brushed religiously everyday to keep its coat supple and tangle free. Also, regular bathing is also recommended to reduce oiliness on the fur and skin. While the Himalayan loves to play games, their tendency to laze around can lead to overweight issues and other complication. Therefore, daily exercise and activity has to be emphasised for maintaining the health of the Himalayan.
While generally considered to be healthy, the Himalayan is prone to PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) due to its Persian ancestry which can be detected by a Genetic Test (GT). If the presence of the errant gene is detected, the cat would have to be neutered in order to maintain its health. Moreover, its Persian genes can often result in runny eyes and respiratory problems, therefore necessitating the need for regular facial cleanup.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org