WHO’STHATCAT? BY KIM CAMPBELL THORNTON
If the Himalayan looks familiar to you, there’s a reason. You might assume that he’s a Persian of a different color, and, in a sense, you would be correct. The Himalayan is a Persian masquerading under an assumed name.
Called the Himmie for short, the Himalayan is a sweet cat with
an eye-catching appearance and an interesting history. This beauty was born of a science experiment, but he’s no Frankencat.
Living with a Himalayan
With the pushed-in face and long, fluffy coat of the Persian
and the pointed color pattern of the Siamese, Himalayans have
what some consider the best traits of two well-loved breeds.
They are sweet and calm with a quiet voice, love human attention, and generally get along well with other pets.
Because of their love of people, Himalayans can be good
family cats. They do best in homes with older children who
won’t handle them roughly.
Himalayans are on the less active end of the feline
activity spectrum, but they love to play and have been
known to flip for fishing-pole toys. They can learn tricks like
sit, shake, and lie down.
Himalayans weigh 7 to 14 pounds, and they can have a long life
span of 15 to 20 years.
Things you should know
You should love playing hairdresser if you want one of these cats. The
Himalayan needs daily combing and brushing to stay beautiful and
tangle-free and reduce the incidence of hairballs. During shedding
season, twice-daily grooming may be necessary to keep the fur
from flying. A weekly bath doesn’t hurt, and it’s a good idea to wipe
the eyes daily to prevent tearstains.
Because of the Himmie’s long hair, it can take time for the
points to fully develop.
Potential health problems that can affect the Himalayan are
polycystic kidney disease (PKD), progressive retinal atrophy
(PRA), and hereditary congenital or juvenile cataracts. Their
flat faces may predispose them to brachycephalic syndrome: breathing difficulties related to narrow nostrils,
an elongated soft palate, or a narrow trachea. The tear
ducts may overflow as well.