Himalayan Cats Are Gorgeous!
Where Do Himmies Come From?
Himalayan cats, or “Himmies”, were developed in the mid-1900s by crossing Siamese cats with Persians. Their pointed coat patterns and blue eyes come from the Siamese heritage, and a large variety of colors are accepted including seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, flame, tortoiseshell, blue-cream, cream, and lynx points.
The Persian heritage gives Himmies a flat face with large, round eyes and small ears, and long silky fur on a heavy-boned, short body. They must be groomed regularly to prevent the undercoat from matting. They love people, are affectionate and curious, though they are also calm and laid back.
2 Head Types
Two distinct head types exist – extreme and traditional.
The extreme head type (“Peke”) is the current breed standard and show quality, with an extremely flattened face and snub nose that sits high.
The traditional type (“Doll Face”) has a longer nose that sits lower, so its face is not as flattened. This had previously been the breed standard, and though no longer show quality, doll face Himalayans are still popular pets. Some breeders also prefer doll face Himmies, as they believe the extreme type increases the risk for breathing difficulties and protein discharge from eyes.
Although the Cat Fanciers’ Association originally recognized the Himalayan as a unique breed, in the 1980s this was changed to a colorpoint variety of Persian. The International Cat Association recognizes the Himalayan separately from the Persian. Siamese cats are no longer part of breeding programs, so beware of breeders advertising Siamese-Himalayan and Siamese-Persian crosses as purebred.