The longhaired Himalayan resembles the Persian, with a large, short, heavy body that is low to the ground. Pampered pet or successful show cat, the Himalayan is one of today's most popular Persian colours with its distinctive "pointed" coat pattern and pretty blue eyes.
Himalayans were developed by breeding Persians to Siamese to combine the Siamese point colouring with Persian type. Offspring were bred back to Persians to keep the
Persian look while maintaining the colour points. The name comes from the colour pattern found on rabbits and goats originating in the Himalayan Mountains of Asia.
The existence of the Himalayan is largely attributed to the British Cat Fancy with the world's first official "Colourpoint Long Hair" being approved by Britain's Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in 1955. An Englishman, Mr Brian Stirling-Webb, had developed the breed at this time.
Mr Stirling -Webb began by crossing pure Siamese with pure longhairs to produce a series of short-haired, black and blue self-coloured "hybrids". Hybrid was then mated with hybrid and from these litters there came a few special kittens. They had Siamese patterned points, long fur and blue eyes. Nothing like it had ever been achieved before. There was no other variety of longhaired or semi-longhaired cat with this colouring at this time. These were the original Himalayan or "Colourpoints" the term used in the United Kingdom.
In appearance like other varieties of Persian, this is a breed recognised by its large chunky build with lots of short features. Himalayans have short, well-rounded cobby bodies and short, thick legs with a short, bushy tail. They also have a short, strong neck supporting a very large and round head. All Himalayans have deep vivid blue eyes.
Like the Persian, the Himalayan is also a longhaired cat with a long, flowing coat sometimes measuring six to seven inches long. The breed is said to be easier to groom than its Persian cousins. With a topcoat inclined to silkiness, and an undercoat somewhat not as woolly, the Himalayan coat is much less prone to matting. Nevertheless like all longhairs, the Himalayan requires daily grooming to help rid the coat of dead hair and ensure it is kept tangle free. A bristle brush and a wide-toothed comb are part of the essential grooming kit, with a fine toothed comb for the grooming of ear tufts and facial fur. Bathing with a tearless shampoo is essential for the show cat to keep the coat in flowing show condition.
In personality, the Himalayan is a friendly, affectionate and mischievous cat. Easy going, gentle and friendly with humans and other pet animals, a Himalayan makes an adaptable pet. They are extremely playful cats always in the middle of all their human's activities, and express themselves with a wonderful melodious voice. Their quiet disposition, sweet pansy-faced expression and appealing blue eyes have make the Himalayan one of the most beloved of all pedigree cats. Himalayan owners find the breed irresistible and usually have more than one Himmie in their household.
The Himalayan is found in a variety of point colours including blue, lilac, chocolate, seal, red and cream, as well as tortie and lynx versions of these colours. Point colour is restricted to the extremities (face, ears, legs and tail), with a light body of various shades of usually white to fawn. Himalayan eyes are expressive, large, bold and round always found a vivid, deep blue.
Atlantic Himalayan Club CFA affiliated club dedicated to the Himalayan.
Himalayan Cat Fanciers Club CFF affiliated breed club for the Himalayan Cat.
Colourpoint Society of Great Britain Promote the beautiful Colourpoint (Himalayan) breed, and offer help and advice to members.
Colourpoint Cat Club GCCF affiliated club promoting the interests of the Colourpoint (Himalayan).
Guide to Owning a Himalayan Cat by Coleman McDonald.
All About Himalayan Cats by Joan Brearley, Joan McDonald Bearley.
Himalayan Cats : Everything About Acquisition, Care, Nutrition, Behavior, Health Care, and Breeding by J. Anne Helgren.
Colourpoint longhair and Himalayan cats: genetics, breeding and care of these and other pedigree cats by S. M. Manton.
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