The Himalayan is one of the most popular cat breeds in Europe and Asia. Not surprisingly, her beauty and affectionate character conquer anyone. As a result of crossing the Persian and the Siamese, it has inherited the best of each of these races. It is, therefore, a stout kitten with short and wide legs. All this results in a robust appearance.
Their blue eyes and colorpoint pattern correspond to the received genes of the Siamese , as well as their intelligence and curiosity. Despite claiming more care than other breeds, their beauty and friendly company are well worth it. In the following lines we summarize everything you should take into account if you are interested in this beautiful breed.
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Characteristics of the Himalayan cat
As we say, its body is short as are its limbs. Their nose is small and flat, like that of the Persian, which leads to certain health complications, as we will discuss later. His corpulence is increased by the concurrence of a broad chest and by the length of his cloak.
- Origin Europe (Sweden)
- Medium size
- Weight from 6 to 10 kg males and 5 to 8 kg females
- Short, soft and dense hair. Color Gray or bluish silver, soft and shiny. The Siamese’s colorpoint pattern tints its legs, tail, face, and ears blue, lilac, red, or chocolate brown. The rest of the coat is white or light cream. Tortie or tricolor specimens can also occur
- Head shaped like a triangular prism, broad in the eye area
- Small, wide-set ears
- Large, round, deep blue eyes
- Short, hairy tail with a rounded tip
- Estimated lifespan of 18 years
- Difficulty taking care of it medium
Character and behavior of the Himalayan cat
These cats are extremely docile and affectionate. Without a doubt, a trait they share with their Persian predecessors. They get along wonderfully with children, strangers, and other pets that live in the home . They are calm and playful. Therefore, they do not thrive in noisy environments.
From the Siamese they have inherited their curious temperament and intelligence. They are cats that quickly learn what they are taught. They are not meowers and enjoy playing with humans. They are not excessively active and stand out for their skill as hunters. They adapt perfectly to small flats.
Care required by the Himalayan cat
These kittens need more care and attention than other breeds. This is due to its morphology. The shortening of his face and the length of his hair require weekly care and periodic supervision by the veterinarian. Due to its tendency to obesity, you should provide it with a quality diet and rationed in 2 doses throughout the day.
You should brush his coat at least 3 times a week. In the shedding months you should do it daily using a soft bristle brush. In this way, you will avoid knots and the accumulation of dead hair that causes trichobezoars. It will be necessary to bathe him every 2 months to prevent tangles, as well as a professional haircut .
If you can’t tolerate baths, use dry cleaning shampoos or wet wipes. Clean your eyes with physiological saline daily and monthly with a warm infusion of chamomile. Dry with sterile gauze. His ears should be cleaned every month to prevent irritation with a sterile tissue. Clean your teeth with a specific paste.
This breed tends to develop certain inherited diseases . This is the case of polycystic kidney disease that causes kidney failure. When presenting a flattened face, deformities can arise that cause breathing difficulties, as well as eye and jaw disorders.
To prevent this, it is recommended to go to the vet on a regular basis from 12 months of age to perform ultrasounds and thus keep possible alterations under control. If you don’t brush his long hair regularly, grooming will swallow the dead hairballs and they could clog his digestive system.
If you notice that he tries to regurgitate them, offer him paraffin oil or cat malt . In the most serious cases, if you notice a possible choking, you should go to the specialist as soon as possible and increase the frequency of brushing. Annual visits are more than advisable in this breed to prevent the prevalent pathologies from worsening.
History of the breed and fun facts
Do you know that although its name may suggest otherwise, this breed is originally from Sweden? In 1924 breeder Virginia Cobb and Harvard Medical School researcher Dr. Clyde Keeler laid the groundwork by studying the gene responsible for the colorpoint pattern in cats . The result obtained was not what was expected.
In 1930 studies were resumed in Sweden. Thus, Debutante was born a long-haired kitten that was crossed with her father. The resulting litter was long-haired kittens with blue eyes and darkened legs, tails, ears, and faces. In 1957 the breed was recognized in the USA.
In Europe it did so somewhat later, at the end of the 60s, where it is considered a variety of Persian. Its name is due to its resemblance to the fur of the Himalayan rabbit. There is no doubt that they are beautiful, friendly and intelligent cats that make themselves love, don’t you think?