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Himalayan cat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A red-point peke-faced Himalayan
Other namesHimalayan Persian
Colourpoint Persian
Longhaired Colourpoint (obsolete)
Siamese–Persian (obsolete)
Common nicknamesHimmy
Origin United States

 Iran (Persia)

Breed standards
Recognized only as a variant of Persian by some organizations, not as a separate breed.
Domestic cat (Felis catus)

The Himalayan (short for Himalayan Persian, or Colourpoint Persian as it is commonly referred to in Europe), is a breed or sub-breed of long-haired cat similar in type to the Persian, with the exception of its blue eyes and its point colouration, which were derived from crossing the Persian with the Siamese. Some registries may classify the Himalayan as a long-haired sub-breed of Siamese, or a colorpoint sub-breed of Persian. The World Cat Federation has merged them with the Colorpoint Shorthair and Javanese into a single breed, the Colorpoint.


Work to formally establish a breed with combined Persian and Siamese traits, explicitly for the cat fancy, began in the United States in the 1930s at Harvard University, under the term Siamese–Persian, and the results were published in the Journal of Heredity in 1936,[1] but were not adopted as a recognized breed by any major fancier groups at the time. Brian Sterling-Webb independently developed the cross-breed over a period of ten years in the UK, and in 1955 it was recognized there as the Longhaired Colourpoint by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).[2]

California cat breeder Jean Mill took a series of graduate classes in genetics at the University of California, Davis. By 1948, she was one of three breeders independently crossing the Persian and Siamese to create the Himalayan cat.[3]

Separate US-based breeding efforts had begun around 1950,[2] and a breeder known to sources simply as Mrs. Goforth received breed recognition from the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) near the end of 1957 for the Himalayan.[2] Early breeders were mostly interested in adding Siamese colouration to long-haired cats, and therefore reinforced the stock by outbreeding to Persians only to retain the Persian trait dominance.[2] However, by the 1960s, some were re-introducing Siamese stock and producing less "Persian-style" cats,[2] In the 1980s, a concerted effort to re-establish the breed along more formally Persian lines ultimately caused the breed to be merged into Persian as a variant in some registries (e.g. in 1984 by CFA), and a decline in the "old" or Siamese-like specimens.[2]


The Himalayan is considered a colour variant of the Persian and not a separate breed by the Cat Fanciers' Association and the GCCF.[4][5] The Himalayan is considered a separate breed by the American Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association.[6][7]


A 3-year-old male seal-point doll-faced Himalayan

The Himalayan resembles the Persian in type, conformation, and coat length and texture. The Himalayan does not resemble the Siamese in type.[8]


The Himalayan is medium to large in size with a cobby body and low legs.[8]


The Himalayan's head is round and massive with a round face and a thick neck. The nose is snubbed and pushed in.[8]


The ears of the Himalayan are small and round tipped and slightly pointed forward.[8]


The eyes are large and round and spread well apart. Pointed Himalayans have blue eyes, non-pointed Himalayans have copper eyes except for the silver and golden tabby which have green eyes.[8]


The Himalayan has a long and thick coat all over the body including the tail and ear and toe tufts.[8]

Coat colours[edit]

The Himalayan comes in most colours with prohibited colours being mink and sepia.[8]


Like the Persian, the Himalayan is a brachycephalic breed which predisposes it to health issues such as respiratory infections, epiphora, corneal abrasions, ulcers, and corneal sequestration.[9] Himalayans are also suspecitible to polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary condition that results in cysts growing in the kidney.[9] Himalayans have a higher incidence of feline asthma.[9] In a review of over 5,000 cases of urate urolithiasis the Himalayan was under-represented, with an odds ratio of 0.37.[10] A study of cats presented to the University of Missouri-Columbia Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital that underwent radiography found 4 Himalayans out of a population of 16 to have hip dysplasia, higher than the 6.6% average for all cats.[11]

Himalayans are predisposed to dermatophytosis (ringworm).[12]

The Himalayan is predisposed to urticaria pigmentosa, a type of benign mast cell disorder.[13]

Idiopathic facial dermatitis, also known as facial dermatitis of the Persian and Himalayan cat is a type of dermatitis only observed in the Persian and Himalayan cat. It's characterised by greasy skin, debris adhering to the folds of the face and nose, ceruminous otitis externa, secondary bacterial folliculitis and Malassezia dermatitis, and pruritus. Onset is at 10 months to 6 years.[14]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the CBS television detective series "Tucker's Witch" (1982), a Himalayan cat named Dickens is the familiar to witch Amanda Tucker. Amanda Tucker has a telepathic link with Dickens, who provides her and her husband with clairvoyant clues to help them solve mysteries. Dickens is featured prominently in the show's opening and closing credits.[15]
  • In the spoof film Date Movie (2006), Mr. Jinxers is a parody of his Meet the Parents counterpart.[16]
  • In the movies Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) and Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996), one of the main characters is a Himalayan cat named Sassy (voiced by Sally Field).[17]
  • The main character of the anime/manga Prince of Tennis, Ryoma Echizen, owns a Himalayan cat named Karupin (or Kalpin in the English translation).[18]
  • Martha Stewart owns three Himalayans, named after composers: Beethoven, Mozart and Bartók. The cats have been featured in her commercials for Kmart, on her television show, Martha Stewart Living, and in her magazine, such as the cover of the February 1999 issue.[19]
  • A Himalayan named Luna The Fashion Kitty became a social media phenomenon in 2011 with a popular Facebook page, a website, and several media references.[20]
  • A Himalayan-Persian named Colonel Meow became an Internet celebrity in 2012, and entered Guinness World Records 2014 as the cat with the longest fur.
  • Mr. Jinx (also known as Jinxy, or simply just Jinx) from the Meet the Parents trilogy is a seal-point peke-faced Himalayan with an all-black tail.[21]
  • The "narrator" of David Michie's series of books that begins with "The Dalai Lama's Cat" is a Himalayan cat.[22]



  1. ^ Keeler, Clyde E.; Cobb, Virginia (1936). "Siamese–Persian Cats". Journal of Heredity. 27 (9). American Genetic Association: 339–340. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.jhered.a104243. ISSN 0022-1503. First page is available online at http://jhered.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/27/9/339/
  2. ^ a b c d e f Berg, Linda (1999). "The Himalayan Persian". CFA.org. Alliance, Ohio, US: Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA). Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2004.
  3. ^ Hamilton, Denise (10 March 1994). "A Little Cat Feat: A Covina woman's efforts at cross-breeding wild and domestic felines are paying off handsomely". Los Angeles Times. p. 2. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Persian Standard" (PDF). Cat Fanciers' Association. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  5. ^ "Persian Standard" (PDF). Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  6. ^ "Himalayan Breed Synopsis". American Cat Fanciers Association. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  7. ^ "Himalayan Breed". The International Cat Association. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Himalayan Standard" (PDF). American Cat Fanciers Association. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  9. ^ a b c "Himalayan Cat". Long Beach Animal Hospital. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  10. ^ Albasan, H.; Osborne, C. A.; Lulich, J. P.; Lekcharoensuk, C. (2012). "Risk factors for urate uroliths in cats". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 240 (7): 842–847. doi:10.2460/javma.240.7.842. PMID 22443437.
  11. ^ Keller, G.G.; Reed, A.L.; Lattimer, J.C.; Corley, E.A. (1999). "Hip Dysplasia: A Feline Population Study". Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound. 40 (5). Wiley: 460–464. doi:10.1111/j.1740-8261.1999.tb00375.x. ISSN 1058-8183. PMID 10528838.
  12. ^ Hnilica, Keith A.; Patterson, Adam P. (2016-09-19). Small Animal Dermatology. St. Louis (Miss.): Saunders. ISBN 978-0-323-37651-8.
  13. ^ Rhodes, Karen Helton; Werner, Alexander H. (2011-01-25). Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion. Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 389. ISBN 978-0-8138-1596-1.
  14. ^ Rhodes, Karen Helton; Werner, Alexander H. (2011-01-25). Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion. Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 476. ISBN 978-0-8138-1596-1.
  15. ^ "Tucker's Witch – "The Good Witch of Laurel Canyon"". Cinema Cats. July 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  16. ^ "Date Movie 2006". Cinema Cats. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  17. ^ "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey". IMDB. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  18. ^ "Karupin". My Anime List. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  19. ^ "Fluffy Himalayan Cats". The Martha Stewart Blog. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  20. ^ Lilit Marcus (2011-11-07). "Meet Luna, the Fashion Kitty - Bitches in Stitches - Racked National". Racked.com. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  21. ^ Sandler, Corey (2007). "Animal Planet Live!". Econoguide Walt Disney World Resort Universal Orlando, 5th Edition. Globe Pequot. p. 307. ISBN 978-0-7627-4169-4.
  22. ^ "The Dalai Lama's Cat Series by David Michie". www.goodreads.com.

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