Let’s talk Himalayan! No, we don’t mean the mountains or those popular salt lamps. We’re talking much cuter and fluffier!
For this month’s featured feline, we’re focusing in on the Himalayan cat. Whether you’re a “crazy cat person”, interested in becoming a cat person, or just curious about Himalayans, we are going to lay out all the facts and fun information you need to know about this pretty kitty.
Basic Characteristics of Himalayans
What do you get when you cross a Siamese with a Persian? The answer is the furry feline known as the Himalayan. Thanks to the breeding of two of the most popular cat breeds of all time, Himalayan owners get the best of both worlds.
This medium-size cat weighs in between 7-12 pounds but has physical features that can make her look larger. Under all that silky fur is a short body with thick legs, solid tail, and round head. Despite this round head, their faces are actually flat. Their thick, long coat may be from their Persian genes; however, the coloring of their coat, and those strikingly blue eyes, comes from their Siamese background.
Most of the fur can be anywhere between a creamy white and fawn color, but what really makes them unique are their color points, meaning their tail, ears, and face are typically darker and can come in a combination of different colors and differ depending on the cat. Some color points shades include red, chocolate, blue, and lilac, just to name a few.
Temperament of Himalayan Cats
If Himalayans were to be described in one word it would be “affectionate”. These cats are big cuddlers and are known to be very in tune with their pet parents. They tend to be talkative and have “conversations” with their owners.
Himalayans are laid-back for most of the time, but they will get an occasional case of the “kitten crazies” in which they will bolt around the room and roll all over the place in a playful manner. Himalayans are also very intelligent, making training relatively easy.
Remember Mr. Jinx from Meet the Parents? Jack Byrnes trained Mr. Jinx to come when called, wave, and, most notably, use the toilet. While most cat owners aren’t training their cats to use the toilet, many Himalayan owners have stated that they train their Himmies to do tricks! Got kids? Great because Himalayans typically love children as long as they’re not over boisterous!
Exercise for Your Himalayan Cat
Just like any living creature, Himalayans need a good balance between nutrition and exercise. The good news is they do not require more exercise than any other house cat. Be that as it may, they do enjoy playing and learning tricks.
Many pet parents say that their Himalayans love to play with toys, catnip, and scratching posts. Owners will score more points with their felines if they play games that spark their natural hunting instincts. If you find yourself at work all day, your Himmy will probably be fine keeping itself occupied, but you could always consider having a pet sitter stop by for playtime. Himalayans warm up to strangers quickly and wouldn’t mind having a play buddy while their pet parent is at work!
As you can imagine, all that lavish fur requires more upkeep than short-haired cats. It is recommended that Himalayans are brushed daily to help prevent those luxurious locks from becoming matted.
Pet parents may want to consider monthly baths to help keep the coat and skin clean and healthy. If you feel your cat may put up a fight when it comes to baths, consider taking her to a groomer. In addition to routine grooming, it is a good idea to wipe the eye area down with a clean cloth.
Himalayans are prone to excessive tear production which can result in tear staining due to their uniquely flat faces. Another thing to keep in mind is to brush your cat’s teeth to help prevent periodontal disease.
Vet/Medical Care for Your Himalayan Cat
Himalayans have an average lifespan of about fifteen years. It’s a pet parent’s responsibility to ensure that their pets maintain their best health in order to live a long and happy life. While relatively healthy animals, Himalayans do have some hereditary conditions that owners and potential pet parents may want to keep in mind.
One condition is brachycephalic, which refers to their flat-faced structure. This condition not only contributes to excessive tear production but can also cause breathing issues, especially when exposed to extreme heat. Himalayans also suffer from dental issues, such as dental malocclusions which is a misalignment of the teeth that could lead to other dental conditions.
Other predispositions to keep in mind include polycystic kidney disease and feline hyperesthesia syndrome. It is always a good idea to have a discussion with your vet about these health concerns.
Staying up to date with routine vet care and being proactive when you notice something is “off” with your pet can help prevent conditions from arising or getting worse. Vet bills can come with a hefty price so consider getting your Himmy pet insurance to aide in reducing vet costs.
So, Is a Himalayan the Right Cat for You?
Please consider all these attributes before getting a Himalayan, but keep in mind that every Himalayan is unique in their own way. If one or more of these features do not coincide with your current lifestyle, please consider a different breed.
A Himalayan from a breeder can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 or more. However, please keep in mind the Adopt, Don’t Shop option! Many purebred animals end up in shelters every single day.
As always, Space Coast Pet Services is available for any of your fur baby needs, including cat sitters and pet taxis. Contact us or visit our website today for a full list of services.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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