Himalayan (cat)

Himalayan (cat)
Sonny Bunny.jpg
A Lilac point "peke"-type Himalayan
Alternative names Colourpoint Persian
Origin United States
Common nicknames Himmy
Breed standard
CFA standard
TICA standard
AACE standard
ACFA standard
CCA standard
Cat (Felis catus)

The Himalayan cat is a breed of long-haired cat identical in type to the Persian, with the exception of its blue eyes and its point coloration, which were derived from the crossing of the Persian with the Siamese. Although similar breeds have existed for hundreds of years, the Colourpoint Persian, as they are commonly referred to in Europe, was only begun in the 1950s.[1]

While the Himalayan is considered a breed separate from the Persian by The International Cat Association, it is grouped together with the Persian and Exotic Shorthair (shorthaired version of the Persian) under a "Persian Breed Group standard".[2] The Cat Fanciers' Association considers the Himalayan a color variation of the Persian rather than as a separate breed, although they do compete in their own color division. It was for the color that the breed was named Himalayan: a reference to the coloration of Himalayan animals, in particular the Himalayan rabbit.[3]


Body Type

A seal point Himalayan

Like Persian cats, the Himalayan cat tends to have a round (cobby) body with short legs, which makes it harder for them to jump as high as other cats do. Some do have more of a Siamese like body[citation needed], though, and can jump as high as seven feet[citation needed].

Like the Persian, there are two types of Himalayan Cats, the Traditional or Doll Face and the Peke or Ultra-face with the more extreme 'squashed' faces. The seal point himalayan to the left is a doll faced himalayan while the lilac point in the title image is a peke or ultra face.


These cats are sweet-tempered, intelligent and generally very social and good companions. Because of their heritage from the Siamese cats they tend to be more active than Persians.

Red (Flame) Point.

Himmies, as fanciers call them, are perfect indoor cat companions. They are gentle, calm, and sweet-tempered, but they possess a playful side as well. Like the Siamese, Himalayans love to play fetch, and a scrap of crumpled paper or a kitty toy will entertain them for hours. Himalayans are devoted and dependent upon their humans for companionship and protection. They crave affection and love to be petted and groomed.[4]

Health Issues

Due to their Persian ancestry, some Himalayans may have the gene that causes Polycystic kidney disease, (PKD), but a genetic test can reveal which cats carry the PKD gene, so that they may be spayed or neutered.


A Blue point Himalayan

Like many long-haired cats, Himalayans need to be brushed daily to keep their coats looking their best and healthiest. In addition, they may need their face wiped daily, depending on the cat. Bathing a Himalayan is also recommended by some breeders, to help reduce the amount of oil on the cat's fur and skin. The fur on the body of a Himalayan is white or cream, but the points come in many different colors: seal (or black), blue, lilac, chocolate, red (flame), and cream. The points can also be tabby or tortoiseshell-patterned. The chocolate and lilac point Himalayans are the most difficult to produce, because both parents must carry the gene for chocolate/lilac to produce a chocolate or lilac kitten, as the trait is autosomal recessive

Facial Features

Chocolate point

Show Himalayans display a nose break as do show Persians (the "Peke" or "Ultra-Face" variety), and have very large, round eyes with the nose leather right between the eyes. Breeder or pet Himalayans generally have longer noses than the show cats, and may display a longer muzzle and smaller eyes than the show cats do. All three types of cat are Himalayans, however.

Colourpoint Classification Definitions

Cream point

Blue Point:

  • A cat whose blue coat color is confined to the points: the feet, ears, tail, and face mask.[5]

Chocolate Point:

  • Chocolate color on the points (face mask, ears, tail, and legs), as opposed to the darker seal brown.[5]

Cream/Flame Point:

  • These colors can be very close. There are hot creams and light reds. If both parent cats are definitely dilutes (blue, cream or bluecream), the offspring cannot be a flame point.[6]

Seal Point:

  • Sealbrown color on the points.[6]

Himalayan cats in the media

  • Hector is a Brown Himalayan Cat with a Purple Tie,a Grey Head Band , a 1980s hair style and a New jersey accent in the 1984 Heathcliff cartoon TV Series. The character was voiced by Danny Mann.
  • Mr. Jinx was the pet Himalayan cat in the movies Meet the Parents (2000) and Meet the Fockers (2004).
  • In the spoof film Date Movie (2006), Mr. Jinxers is a parody of his Meet the Parents counterpart.
  • In the movies Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) and Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996), one of the main characters is a Himalayan cat named Sassy (voiced by Sally Field).
  • The main character of the anime/manga Prince of Tennis, Ryoma Echizen, owns a playful, mischievous and surprisingly smart Himalayan cat named Karupin (or Kalpin in the English translation), to whom he's very attached.
  • In the popular Korean drama Couple or Trouble the main character, Anna Jo, owns a million-dollar Himalayan cat named Princess who is featured in every episode, from being pampered by Anna Jo to appearing in another character's nightmares.
  • Martha Stewart owns three Himalayan cats, all named after famous composers: Beethoven, Mozart and Bartok. The cats have been featured in her commercials for Kmart, on her television show, Martha Stewart Living, and in her magazine, such as the cover of the February 1999 issue.
  • Webkinz[1], an online game where characters can play with the plush pets they have purchased, has a Himalayan cat as one of their stuffed animals.
  • In Flipping Out, Jeff Lewis' two Himalayan cats, Monkey and Stewie, are often featured.
  • In the TV series iCarly, in the episode "iMove Out", the cat Harmoo, a Himalayan cat, plays a part
  • a Himalayan cat named Goma and his blog was featured in the Animal Planet show Cats 101 in 2009.


  1. ^ Work to develop the colorpoint Persian, or Himalayan, began in the U.S. around 1950. http://www.cfa.org/Client/persianhimalayan.aspx
  2. ^ TICA Persian Breed Group Standard
  3. ^ "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". "The CFA and the ACFA recognized the breed in 1957 under the name Himalayan, named for the color pattern found in other animals, such as the Himalayan rabbit." 
  4. ^ Helgren, J. Anne (1997). "6: The Recognized Breeds". Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds. Barron's Educational Series, Inc.. p. 134. ISBN 0-7641-5067-7. 
  5. ^ a b http://www.iams.com/iams/en_US/jsp/IAMS_Page.jsp?pageID=CBG
  6. ^ a b http://www.cfainc.org/articles/hints-color.html

External links

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