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Characteristics, History, and Health


Persian Breeds

The Himalayan is part of the Persian Breed group and is known as one of the oldest breeds. They are sweet natured, gentle, and easygoing cats that get along well with others in a calm household. They share similar physical features with the Persian, such as a luxurious coat, and a flat face with big cheeks, and large, round eyes.

Main Info
Coat Pattern
Solid point, tortoiseshell, bicolor point, tricolor point, tabby or lynx point, smoke and shaded point
Coat Length
Health Issues
  • Prone to obesityProne to obesity
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Tear duct drainageTear duct drainage
  • Progressive retinal atrophyProgressive retinal atrophy

Main Characteristics of the Himalayan

A medium-sized breed of cat, the Himalayan is a friendly companion prized for its long, silky-soft coat. They are also referred to as the "colorpoint Persian", with points that may exhibit tabby, lynx, or tortoiseshell patterns in a range of colors including lilac, seal, blue, chocolate, flame, and cream.

Himalayan Origin

In the 1950s, early breeding programs involved crossing Persian cats with Siamese cats. Marguerita Goforth is credited as the person who helped perfect the modern- day Himalayan breed that we know today. The Himalayan inherited its luxurious coat from the Persian and its deep blue eyes and colorpoint features from the Siamese. Their long fur requires daily grooming and care to prevent matting, tangles, and hairballs. The Cat Fanciers' Association accepted the Himalayan breed in 1957. Some cat registries consider the Himalayan as simply a color variation of the Persian, rather than a separate breed of its own.

Himalayan Personality Traits

Himalayans are gentle, affectionate, and highly intelligent. They are known as lap cats, are easygoing and calm, and rarely vocalize. They can do well in apartments and other smaller spaces, and they get along best with other animals if they are introduced when young. They tend to bond strongly with one person in their human family and love to be near them as much as possible.

Himalayan Common Health Issues

Though many Himalayans tend to enjoy longer lives with few health problems, their close relation to the Persian does put them at a higher risk for polycystic kidney disease and progressive retinal atrophy. They also share the flat-faced (brachycephalic) features of the Persian, which can prevent proper tear drainage or increase the potential for breathing issues. Himalayans are also prone to obesity, so adequate playtime and a proper diet are important for keeping them at a healthy weight.

Himalayan Fun Facts

  • Mr. Jinx is a Himalayan cat, and the pride and joy of Jack Byrnes (played by Robert De Niro), in the famous movie "Meet the Parents". This cat, who knows how to wave and use the toilet, was one of the most memorable stars in the movie. Mr. Jinx was played by four different cat actors.

  • Beethoven, Mozart, and Bartók are a memorable trio of Himalayans belonging to Martha Stewart named after the famous composers, of course. They have appeared in Stewart's Kmart commercials, on her "Martha Stewart Living" TV show, and in her magazine.

  • Colonel Meow is the holder of the "Longest Fur on a Cat" Guinness Record. Colonel Meow sadly passed away in 2014, but his record was never surpassed. His fur was measured at 22.87 cm (9 in).

  • Luna the Fashion Kitty is presumably the biggest fashion star in the cat world, with a large following on Social Media. Her hooman parents post her daily outfits and share valuable information on cat care and rescue.

Himalayan Characteristics

12-15 years
Good with
Children, Dogs, Cats, Families
Shedding amount
Medium to High
Affection level
Activity level
Tendency to vocalize
Exercise needs


The International Cat Association (TICA) Himalayan Breed Introduction

FETCH by WebMD "What to Know About the Himalayan Cat"

VCA Animal Hospitals "Know Your Pet" Himalayan Cat