Himalayan Persian (Himalayan, Colourpoint Persian)
The Himalayan is a stunningly beautiful breed with the physique and temperament of the Persian but the colour pattern and saturated blue eyes of the Siamese. Some cat associations consider it as the colour point variation of the Persian, while others treat as a distinctive breed. By now it has found favour with thousands cat fanciers throughout the world and became an active participant of cat shows.
Photo: © Colbetz kennel (colbetz.net)
The Himalayan is a man-made breed, which purports that it was created purposefully by mating the Persian with the Siamese. The point is that one day breeders resolved to introduce the colour points and deep blue eyes of the Siamese to the Persian. They started to implement this goal in 1931 and firstly they researched the transfer mechanism of the colour-point gene. Through several years of tries and errors cat breeder Virginia Cobb and Harvard Medical School scientist Clyde Keeler selectively bred the longhaired cat with the typical colouration of the Siamese.
In the 50s of XX century British and North American breeders also got an idea of developing the Persian-Siamese hybrid. They based their work on the achievements of Cobb and Keeler so they quickly scored a success. Eventually they bred the resulting cat back to the Persian in order to strengthen the characteristics of a newly-invented breed.
Presently the Himalayan is only partially acknowledged as a separate breed. The Cat Fanciers Association gave its full recognition in 1957, but in 1984 the registry reconsidered this decision and attributed the breed to a colour variant of the Persian. It hasn’t yet gained recognition as a unique feline variety with such reputable cat registries as the American Cat Association and the International Cat Association.
However the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts, the American Cat Fanciers Association, and the Traditional Cat Association categorise this cat separately from the Persian. Regardless of all debates about its status the modern Himalayan enjoys a wide-spread popularity as a pedigreed cat.
The Himalayan is an average-sized cat with amiable, calm and pleasant disposition. This cat is pretty exacting in its likes and dislikes and usually develops particularly strong attachment to one or two family members. It can adorn any home just with its presence and likes nothing more than to rest comfortably in a lap of its favourite person. This cat prefers the company of polite and careful children, which wouldn’t dress it up like a doll and organise with it too rough games. The breed also tolerates other non-canine pets as long as they don’t invade its private space.
The Himalayan is an averagely sociable cat, which commonly requires some time to fully trust a strange person. It’s known for its rather laid-back attitude although occasionally it tends to let off steam by battling its toys or running around the house. This cat hates changes in its daily routines so the owner should try to respect its lifestyle habits. In return it will abide the rules of behaviour, which the master has set for it and won’t play pranks in his absence.
This mild but smart cat responds reasonably well to basic training, which is based on verbal encouragement and treats. Actually it always welcomes a chance to satisfy its natural curiosity and please its owner. If you want to have an affectionate and quite cat with gorgeous coat and biddable personality then the Himalayan is definitely the right choice for you.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· breathing difficulty;
· dental malocclusions;
· excessive tearing;
· eyes problems;
· feline hyperesthesia;
· heat sensitivity;
· polycystic kidney disease;
· predisposition to ringworm;
· seborrhea oleosa.
The Himalayan requires very extensive grooming. It’s the proud owner of a lustrous long coat, which needs daily combing with a stainless steel comb in order to prevent mats and tangles from developing. The owner should bathe the breed member frequently and thoroughly because its dense fur tends to attract dirt and debris.
Some Himalayans are also prone to excessive tearing and so their faces should be washed regularly to reduce unpleasant staining. The rest care includes such common routines as nail clipping and teeth brushing. Examine the cat’s ears weekly for the signs of redness or nasty smell, which could be the symptoms of infection. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a damp soft tissue.