Breed: Himalayan (Colourpoint Longhair) Cat
Lifespan: 14 – 15 years
Recommended for: life indoors
Himalayans have the heavy build and thick coat of the Persian but the coat colourpoints of the Siamese. They have large round blue eyes and a short nose. There are a wide range of colours available, the most common being sealpoint, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point. Other colours include red point, cream point, tortie point, blue-cream point, chocolate-tortie point, lilac-cream point, seal-lynx point, blue-lynx point, chocolate-lynx point and lilac-lynx point.
Himalayans are generally placid, home-loving cats, however, some can be demanding. They are not scared of strangers and can be easily stolen as they are very approachable and affectionate even to strangers.
Health and lifespan
The pushed in face of this breed leads to problems with the eyes and teeth. They can get discharge from their eyes because their tear ducts can become easily blocked. The pushed in shape of their face can also result in teeth becoming overcrowded which may require extra dental care. Being inclined to life indoors they should have a relatively long lifespan of 14 -15 years.
A diet of cooked meat, cheese, and good quality cat food is recommended by breeders. It will cost around $12 a week to feed an adult cat.
Female kittens may ‘call’ (come into season) at a very early age, some as early as five months so early desexing is recommended for pet kittens. Himalayans usually have litters of three to four kittens but may have up to six or eight. No kittening problems are reported with the breed.
Kittens sell for around $300 for pets, more for breeding or showing animals.
Daily brushing is important as the cat will shed hair profusely if the coat is neglected, and if they get fleas it can be a real effort to rid the cat of the pest. These cats like the indoor life and are not found to be destructive, rather they are more inclined to lie around looking glamorous than tearing up curtains.
Space and exercise
Himalayans are a breed recommended for life permanently indoors.
Kittens may be sensitive to strong soaps or perfumes so some breeders suggest prospective buyers shower before visiting new kittens. These cats are not suitable for families with young children as the cats can be easily intimidated. Sticky fingers also wreak havoc with the soft, silky coats. Avoid wearing dark coloured clothes when handling these cats – all that long white fur shows up.
These cats should be thoroughly combed each day with a steel comb. If this is not done, knots will form in the coat, causing the cat a lot of pain. Eventually the cat would have to be taken to the vet, anaesthetised and shaved. Regular bathing will keep the cat clean and keep its coat tangle-free. Some breeders recommend that the bathing routine being started at 3-4 weeks of age and continued fortnightly. It is also important to train kittens to enjoy being groomed, as a large cat, left untrained could be very difficult to manage.
Himalayans were bred by crossing white long haired Persian Cats with Siamese. It is thought that this cross first took place in 1924 and was followed by further trials in the 1930’s. In the 1950’s the type was established and in the early 1960s, was accepted as a breed by cat authorities. While Himalayans do not require breeding back to Siamese to retain the point markings, Persian backcrossing is allowed to enhance body type.
Companionship. Not renowned as a mouser.
For further information:
Capital Cats Incorporated
PO Box 404
Dickson, ACT, 2602
Phone: (02) 6241 3479
Himalayan Cat Club of NSW Inc.
Phone: (02) 9606 0773
NSW Cat Fanciers’ Association (CCCA)
PO Box 379
Phone: (02) 9834 6577
Cat Association of the Northern Territory
Mrs Heather Havens
PO Box 3870
Darwin, NT, 0801
Phone: (08) 8932 5225
Queensland Feline Association Inc.
Sec: Jenny Weekes
PO Box 1578
phone: (04) 3395 1013
Council of Federated Cat Clubs of Queensland
Secretary: Billie Lowe
PO Box 9139
Phone: 07 4634 5243
Feline Control Council of Qld
Secretary – Bernadette Roberts
PO Box 261
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy of SA
Secretary – Mrs Nell Evans
35 Bucknall Rd
Phone: (08) 8449 5880
Feline Association of South Australia Inc
Sec: Mrs Barb Kemp
65 Gray Street Plympton
Phone: (08) 8351 1676 or 0414 485 200
Cat Association of Tasmania (ACF)
Phone: (03) 6243 7521
Fax: (03) 6243 8660
Cat Control Council of Tasmania
Secretary Dr. John Grove
650 Blessington Road
Feline Control Council of Victoria
Phone: (03) 9281 7404
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy of Victoria
Secretary- Mrs D. Oates
4/170 Underwood Rd
Ferntree Gully, 3156
Phone: (03) 9752 4217
Fax: (03) 9752 2769
Cat Owners’ Association of WA Inc (CCCA)
PO Box 135
Phone: 08 9459 5798
Feline Control Council of WA
PO Box 915
Phone/Fax: (08) 9452 2885