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The Himalayan - Colorpoint Persian

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One of the most beautiful branches of the Persian family tree is the Himalayan, or as they are referred to in Europe, the colorpoint Persian. A distinctive combination of Persian and Siamese, this feline blends the beauty of both breeds to achieve a stunning combination.

A Brief History of the Himalayan

With such gorgeous breeds as the Persian and the Siamese, it was only a matter of time before anyone would think to attempt a combination of the two. This idea, first attempted in the 1920s, was a wonderful one. However, the reality was far more difficult than anticipated.

The Persian’s long coat, and the Siamese’s blue eyes and distinctive colorpoint pattern all result from recessive genes, and only one out of sixteen kittens bred from these parents would have the desired appearance of a true Himalayan. Because recessive genes are responsible for these traits, both parents must show them for their offspring to have them as well. Just breeding a Persian and a Siamese won’t necessarily produce a Himalayan.

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After years of effort, sometime in the 1930s, breeders did successfully cross a Siamese and a Persian to yield a Himalayan that they named Debutante. Ironically, however, Debutante was not the result of an attempt to create a Himalayan. She was intended to “solve problems in cat genetics,” according to The Book of the Cat.

After years of effort, research, and breeding, in England, Canada, and the United States, the Himalayan, or colorpoint Persian, was named an official breed in 1958 by the American Cat Fanciers Association, and accepted in championship competitions.

 

Physical Description of the Himalayan

The most distinctive physical traits of the Himalayan are their long, soft fur and wonderfully colored blue eyes.

Most Himalayans have the solid body of a Persian and the coloring of a Siamese. Their bodies are light-colored with darker markings (points) on the ears, tail, feet, legs, and face, and most have incandescent blue eyes. Like Persians and Siamese, however, Himalayans are grouped into categories according to the colors of their points, and there are many different accepted colors and varieties. Some of these categories are listed below:

 

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  • Seal Point: This Himalayan’s fur is a pale shade cream color that fades into a lighter color on the chest and abdomen. The points are known as “seal brown” and their eyes are intensely blue adding to the distinction of this most sought after colorpoint.

  • Blue Point: This Himalayan has a bluish-white body that is a beautiful compliment to their blue points. They will have slate gray nose leather and paw pads.

  • Flame Point: The fur of this Himalayan is a creamy-white color that contrasts beautifully with their red points. Their vivid blue eyes against the light cream and bright red make quite a statement.

  • Chocolate Point: This Himalayan has chocolate-brown points and an ivory colored body. Their eyes are blue creating a beautiful contrast against their chocolate mask.

  • Lilac Point: This Himalayan's lilac-shaded fur is an intriguing shade of lilac with pink highlights. Their eyes are sky blue adding a gentle compliment to their soft coat coloring.

  • Lynx Point Pattern: Also with very blue eyes, this Himalayan has an “M” pattern on its mask and horizontal stripes that run across the cheeks. Striped legs and a striped tail, along with a white body (with a touch of color) and darker point color markings, complete an eye-catching picture. Lynx Point markings can be found in all color categories.

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In addition to these coloration variations, Himalayans can also be found in a Tortie Point, Blue-Cream Point, and a Lilac-Cream Point.

Personality Characteristics of the Himalayan

Like their parent breed, the Persian, Himalayans have a very quiet, relaxed personality, and they are gentle and not typically too rambunctious. The Himalayan is friendly and affectionate, occasionally showing some of the mischievous leanings of their Siamese side. Their easygoing nature makes them a compatible pet in households with other animals.

In creating the perfect blend of physical characteristics, breeders have found that the blend between the Persian and the Siamese also created a great personality. Himalayans have an endearing combination of playfulness and docility that make them a wonderful companion.

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Caring for Your Himalayan

As is especially important for longhaired cats, a good grooming habit should be established early. Regular brushing and occasional baths will keep your Himalayan from suffering from the tangles and matted fur that so many longhaired cats have problems with. Regular brushings will also help to prevent hairball issues.

While establishing your grooming routine, it is also helpful to accustom your Himalayan to other hygiene issues, such as face washing and ear cleaning. Protecting your cat’s eyes from infection is important, and a gentle wipe with a damp cotton ball goes a long way. When cleaning your Himalayan’s ears, again use a damp cotton ball and wipe only where you can see. If you notice your pet having more than normal discharge from the eyes, or a foul-smelling build up in the ears, be sure to make a vet appointment.

Another good way to protect your Himalayan from tangles, parasites, disease and injury is to keep them indoors. Regular vet checkups and vaccinations are also important, as well as a varied, balanced diet, plenty of clean water, and lots of love.


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If you are interested in adopting a Himalayan for your family,
please visit our Available Himalayan Kittens page.

Please visit our Past Himalayan Kittens page to see more
Himalayan "Bou Babies"!

 

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