Himalayan cats are born by cross-breeding the Siamese and Persian cats.
However, the very first Himalayan was the result of genetic research being conducted in the Harvard Medical School during the early 1930s.
The firstborn of this research was named Newton Debutante.
2. Himalayan Cats Got Their Name 25 Years Later
The crossbreeding of Siamese and Persian cats continued in the UK and the US after World War II.
An American breeder named this breed the Himalayan cat in 1957.
The name was given due to the cat’s uncanny resemblance to rabbits and the white-haired fox living in the Asian Mountain range of the same name.
Although the name only managed to stick around in the US as in the UK and Europe, the Himalayans are considered to be a breed of Persian cats albeit of a different color.
3. The Himalayans Even have a Nickname
The Himalayan cat has garnered many nicknames over the years like the Long-haired Colorpoint, Persian-Siamese and Himalayan Persian among others.
But the one nickname that they are widely known by is “Himmies”, a name given to them by cat enthusiasts and pet lovers.
4. With Himalayans, Appearances are Deceiving
People are quite confused about the Himalayan Cat’s height. While they do look large and round, the Himalayans are actually medium sized.
Their big boned skeletal structure and long body of hair give off a larger appearance that is contrary to their actual size.
They are built strong and can weigh anywhere between 9-14 lbs in males and 7-11 lbs in females.
5. Himmies Have a Pug Face
No, you didn’t read that wrong.
The physical traits of a Himalayan cat’s face are similar to that of a pug.
In fact, its face is one of its most distinct features.
It has an almost perfectly rounded head with the face pushed in.
But that’s just one of its face types.
The other one has a longer, more out and about nose, only positioned a little lower.
This one is called the “Doll Face” while the first one is commonly referred to as “Peke Face”.
Both types of faces carry wide pointed ears, blue eyes and face color matching the colored points of the body.
6. The Himalayan Cat has an Unbelievably Unique and Beautiful Fur Coat
The Himalayan was born as a result of the research that was being conducted into the color point genes of the Siamese cat.
What the world got out of it is a cat with the beautiful long-haired body of the Persian cat and the unique color points of the Siamese.
But what’s really strange is that a Himalayan kitten is not born with any color points.
However, by the time the kitten reaches the age of 2, the color points become fully visible on its body.
7. The Himalayans have Inherited Genes That are Prone to Sickness
This one is not a fun fact but it is something that a cat enthusiast or a cat owner should know.
There’s a list of Himalayan cat health issues since the Himalayan is not born of a Siamese alone; it also carries the genes of a Persian cat.
Unfortunately, those genes are susceptible to diseases like PKD and hyperesthesia syndrome, among others.
The existence of this gene can be detected early on in its life by running some tests.
If the results turn out to be positive, the cat needs to be neutered or spayed depending on its gender.
A well-cared-for Himalayan can live a fun and happy life of up to 15 years.
8. Grooming is a Himmy’s Favorite Pastime
The beautiful long hair on the Himalayans require daily brushing or you risk letting them get tangled.
Regular brushing also helps in limiting a Himmy from shedding its hair too much.
The task can be very time consuming though, partly due to the double coat of long thick hair it has.
I recommend using this slicker brush for your Himalayan. It’s super soft and keeps shedding at bay.
But the Himalayan enjoys getting groomed, so, you will have no issues brushing its hair while the cat just lays there on your lap or on the table.
Grooming the cat also involves giving it a bath on a bimonthly basis with a safe and quality shampoo. You should certainly check out the Earth Bath Shampoo. It’s natural, bio-degradable, and soap free; everything you want from a cat shampoo.
The monthly baths help in keeping its hair shiny and clean from the oil its skin disperses.
9. They have a Charming Personality
As if there wasn’t already enough to love about them.
This cat doesn’t just have great looks, but the Himalayan cat personality and temperament is also worth commending.
Like the Persian cats, it too enjoys lazing around the whole day with a calm and gentle demeanor.
And just like its Siamese ancestors, the Himalayan is quick to adapt to family life.
While the Himmy gets along well with house pets like other species of cats and dogs as well as all family members, it only truly bonds with its actual owner.
All of its loyalties and affections are only for the primary owner.
10. Himalayans are a Celebrity Among Other Animals
They have tasted stardom thanks to starring in successful Hollywood movies like Homeward Bound, Meet The Parents trilogy, Date Night and the Harry Potter franchise.
Himalayans have also been featured on the iCarly TV series as well as in some Japanese Anime.
11. They also have had Celebrity Owners
While quite a few celebrities have owned Himalayan cats, their most famous owner has to be Martha Stewart.
While she has actually had 7 Himmies, only 3 have been introduced to the world through her TV show and advertisements of her product line.
12. These Cats are Fun to Hang Around With
Unlike what most people think, Himmies aren’t all that lazy.
In fact, they are quite energetic and one of the most playful cat species around.
They are not only playful but can also be taught to perform tricks.
They love to roll on the floor, play with balls and even play fetch.
13. They have Quite a Few World Records to Their Name
A Himalayan named Colonel Meow was mentioned in the 2012 edition of Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest coat of hair.
Tinker Toy, another Himmy, holds the record for being the smallest cat in the world.
Another one, named Lux, held a record for being the heaviest cat weighing at 22 lbs.
14. As Playful as It is, a Himalayan Cat Cannot Jump
Cats like to jump around a lot.
This habit of theirs often proves to be destructive around the house.
Fortunately, no such worries are involved with keeping the Himalayans around the house.
Since they have short legs they are unable to jump. So, you do not have to worry about your Himmies shredding your curtains or dropping the jars from the top of the kitchen cabinet.
If you are planning to name your Himalayan Tornado, you may also want to reconsider.
15. They are the Perfect Cat for Indoors
Cats love to wander outside of the house.
This often presents a problem when trying to keep them indoors.
But with the Himalayans, this problem just doesn’t exist.
They are free from the desire of venturing outdoors.
Himmies would rather stick around the house, lounging here and there looking pretty.
16. Himalayans Hold One of the Lowest Cat Intelligence Scores
Yes, it is true.
An intelligence test was conducted by Animal Planet to rank different cat breeds and the Himmies got one of the lowest scores, getting only 3 from a total of 10.
Now, I understand that cats can be very uncooperative which means it isn’t easy testing their intelligence.
Some members of the same species also often show different behavior in the same situation making it impossible to judge their intelligence.
Nevertheless, this fact exists out there and it needed to be mentioned.
Whether you agree to it or not is entirely your choice.
17. Himmies are One of the Few Species of Cats to have Blue Eyes
Out of the many species of cats that exist in the world today, only a hand full have blue eyes and the Himalayans are one of them.
These beautiful blue eyes are a part of their Siamese gene and sparkle like crystals.
Take one look at them and it will be enough to melt your or anyone else’s heart in an instant.
There you are.
Hope you enjoyed reading these fun facts about the Himalayan cats.
If you know a few facts about them that you think are worth mentioning, let me know in the comments below.
Can Himalayan cats have white feet?
The Himalayan cat was created using the color gene of the Siamese cat to replicate its color points.
These color points include body parts like paws, ears, face, and tail.
And since Himmies carry the color gene, they have the exact color points like a Siamese.
So, a fully grown Himalayan cannot have white feet or paws.
However, kittens that are under the age of two do not show any color points and can have white feet.
Would it harm to trim the hair on my Himmy?
Generally, it would do the cat no harm.
But the long-haired coat is a big part of the Himalayan cat’s beauty and by trimming or cutting its hair you would be taking that away from it.
Instead of thinking about trimming down the hair on your Himalayan, concentrate more on its grooming.
Himmies love that.
And having frequent grooming sessions would also help you bond with your cat a lot better.
Can a Himalayan cat live in the same house with a dog?
The Himalayan is one of the calmest, sweetest and most docile species of cats.
It is very friendly and playful in nature and gets along very well with other species of house cats and even dogs.
But if the cat has been around for a while and the dog is a new addition to the family, keeping an eye on both of them wouldn’t hurt.
While Himmies are known for not showing aggression, you could have a hard time managing the dog’s behavior depending on its species.
How much do the Himmies cost?
The Himalayan cats are considered exotic pets.
Hence they carry an expensive price tag.
Depending on the color of their color points you are looking for, a kitten can cost anywhere between $500 to $1300.
Their price may also vary depending on if you are buying them from a pet store or directly from the breeder.
How many colors do they come in?
When they were first bred in the 1930s, the Himalayans could only be found in four colors.
These included lilac, chocolate, blue and seal.
Flame red and tortie were added later on to bring the total to six colors.
But they now come in a possible combination of 20 colors.