1. Native To North America
Whenever we talk about cats, we like to know where they originated from. The origin is marked by the area as well as the breed of their descendants.
Himalayan Cat Quick Facts
- Scientific name: Felis catus
- Weight: 7 to 12 pounds
- Average Lifespan: 10- 15 years
- Origin: North America
- Fun Facts: The Himalayan cats do not climb on counters, curtains, and other surfaces, like other cats.
There are various reasons for learning about the geographical origin. One popular one is because you want to know whether the name has anything to do with the origin.
Often times, it actually does. The Himalayan cat has its ancestry in the United States, that is, North America.
The history surrounding how these cats were bred strongly points to the fact that the cat’s breeding started in the United States.
Attempts to breed the cat also began in England. The Himalayan’s breeding efforts were suspended during World War II.
When it comes to cat history, sometimes you find different stories placing the cat’s origin in different places.
With the Himalayan cat, at least the region is narrowed down to North America despite the fact that some still claim that the cats are native to the United Kingdom.
2. Interesting Relatives
When you look at a Himalayan cat, it is very easy to confuse it with a Persian cat. They look similar to an extent, especially in the bodily features.
This is not a far-fetched notion as the two are actually relatives. The Himalayan cat was bred from the Persian and the Siamese cats.
Since the cat descends from two other breeds, it is not a wonder then that the Himalayan possesses characteristics common to the Persian and the Siamese cats.
Like their Persian relatives, the Himalayan cats have thick bodies with thick legs and a heavy bone structure. To differentiate them, they have blue eyes.
We would like to believe that there is a great story about how these cats were bred in the past.
However, the truth is that those who bred Himalayan cats had a goal. They wanted a long-haired cat with Siamese characteristics.
The fact that these cats became this beautiful was a happy coincidence.
3. Blue Eyes
Let’s be honest. Everyone likes blue eyes. They have this piercing effect. You feel like they can see into your soul.
Other times, you feel like you are staring at the sky or the ocean. Basically, there is something captivating about blue eyes.
Now that you are used to blue eyes in humans, what about a nice pair on your feline friend?
It’s simply amazing: blue eyes plus long fur! What more could you ask for in a cat? Their eyes make them stand out from other cat breeds.
They also expose their kinship with the Siamese cat. In some parts of the world, the Himalayan is thought to be a color point variation of the Persian breed.
With the blue eyes, it makes it easy to refute this claim. Otherwise, how is it that only the color point variation has blue eyes?
This helps to distinguish this breed because of the Siamese-like trait.
4. Easy Going
When getting a cat, most people imagine a playful pet that likes attention. This is true of some breeds.
The Himalayan cat, for example, is calm but also playful. It can easily switch from one mood to the other.
However, the change is not forced but comes naturally. If you want someone to pet and just sit on the sofa with, the Himalaya cat is a good choice.
The cat will jump onto your lap and fall asleep whenever it wants some attention and affection.
It will also easily fall asleep in its corner with no mind that you are in the room. One of the reasons the Himalayan is good for children is its easy going nature.
It is not violent or aggressive. It can play with children and also retreat to its space whenever it wants to relax.
This might be a disadvantage to the cat if your children are rough.
5. Loves Attention
Himalayan cats are a peculiar lot. One moment they are on your lap waiting for you to pet them.
The other moment they are relaxing away from you like you do not even exist. If you are sensitive, this cat might just hurt your feelings with such behavior.
Even so, this is common of many cats. They like to have human companionship and attention but still want their own space.
Try ignoring them and you are back to square one. They will be begging for your attention. This, however, is not a foolproof plan.
Whatever the case, the Himalayan cat likes attention. It will jump in bed with you as you sleep through the night.
This cat specifically likes to spend time together when you are in one position.
It will not jump on your shoulders and follow you in and out of every room as you walk around the house like other cat breeds.
6. Less Active
One of the most common perceptions about cats is that they are lazy. How many pictures of cats just basking in the sun have you seen on the internet?
How many videos of cats dozing when they are standing are available online? A whole lot! The Himalayan cat does not seem to veer away from this stereotype.
It is not really active. Although it can be a bit playful, it prefers to curl up in a corner and just relax. This is why you need to be strict about exercise and diet.
Otherwise, it is rather easy for the cat to grow obese and completely inactive. The Himalayan cat is also not much of a jumper.
This is not part of its temperament but a consequence of its body shape and size.
Since it has heavy bones and short, thick legs, the cat is unable to jump to high heights.
You will, therefore, find it at ground level.
7. High Maintenance Hair
Picture the difference between someone who has long hair and one who has short hair. The one with long hair requires regular maintenance.
The same applies to the Himalayan cats. They are considered a long-haired cat breed. Therefore, you need to regularly take care of their fur.
The Himalayan’s long coat is nice to pet. However, it also means that there is a lot more shedding. This forces you to vacuum your home often just to get rid of the hair.
This is only a small price to pay for the joy of petting your feline companion. Another role you have to take up is that of brushing the Himalayan’s fur often.
This is fun, sure. However, it is more about maintaining the fur. If you fail to comb the hair regularly, it easily gets knotted.
This leads to a shabby look and a lot of shedding when you eventually comb it out.
8. Color Point Coat
Himalayan cats are commonly referred to as color point cats. As the name suggests, this is because their true color is confined to the points of their bodies.
This includes the ears, the feet, the tail and the face in some cases. The rest of the fur on their bodies is mostly cream or white.
Another unique thing about the Himalayan cats is that they come in different color points. There is a blue, chocolate, red, cream, seal and lilac.
Each of these variations has the particular color variations on the points in their bodies. The color on each cat depends on the parents colors.
While most of the colors are popular, the chocolate and lilac color points are the hardest to find.
This is because both of the mating cats must have the gene which is autosomal recessive.
This way, the kitten will definitely have the gene passed on and manifested in the color of their points.
9. Distinct Face Shapes
There are different types of Himalayan cat breeds based on the shape of the face. One variation has a round face and is referred to as ‘doll face.’
It is very common. In fact, most people know the doll face as the Himalayan cat. This is probably because it is the traditional-faced variation.
The other variation of this cat breed is the one that has a flat face. This cat is known as the Extreme Himalayan.
The name makes you picture a very tough cat that is the coolest in the litter box. However, this has nothing to do with the name.
The Extreme Himalayan also has small ears and large round eyes. Breeders prefer to have the doll faced cat than the flat faced one.
This is because the flat face has implications on the cat. It causes a lot of tearing. This excessive tearing causes the cat to strain.
10. Health Issues
It’s undeniable that Himalayan cats are quite beautiful. You definitely want to domesticate one of your own if you are considering a cat.
However, just like with other breeds, the Himalayan cat is prone to a number of health issues.
Most of these health issues are actually hereditary. You therefore need to be careful where you get your Himalayan cat from.
This will minimize the chances of getting a sick cat. This breed is prone to polycystic kidney disease as well as some eye and teeth conditions.
This is as a result of the shape of their heads.
One thing to always remember is that all cats have their own potential health issues. This should not discourage you from getting the breed.
You will only need to take care of the cat and ensure that the diet is rich and that your cat exercises.
This reduces the probability of getting sick.