With the same body type and long, silky coat as the Persian, the difference between them: Himalayans sport the Siamese pointed pattern. The long hair of the Himalayan keeps the points soft.
Himalayans are medium-to-large with short, thick legs and a heavy-boned, cobby body. Their heads are round and massive, necks are short and thick. Himalayans have large, round eyes set far apart, short, stubby noses and small, rounded ears that are set far apart and sit low on the head. Tails are thick and short. Males weigh 9 to 14 pounds, females weigh 7 to 11 pounds. Himalayans are solid, round cats. They are not — and should not be allowed to get — fat.
There are two distinct head shapes: Extreme and Dollface. Dollface Himalayans have lower placed noses. The Extreme is the type shown in the show ring. Many Dollface Himalayan breeders contend that Dollfaces lack the health problems found in the Extreme type.
The Himalayan coat is long, flowing and thick. Coat color ranges from white to beige. A clear, uniform color is found in the youth, as a Himalayan ages, their coat will develop subtle shadowing that will continue to darken throughout your Himmie’s life. The point color comes in all shades. (The Siamese is no longer allowed in Himalayan breeding programs.)
Himalayans were first bred in 1950 by an American. Soon after British breeders began crossing Persians and Siamese. For many years, Persians and Himalayans were considered separate breeds. While trying to establish a good gene pool, Himalayan kittens were consistently bred with Persians. Purist Persian fanciers were not happy; they wanted to keep their bloodlines pure. In 1984, both breeds were united; Himalayan breeders wanted their bloodlines to be pure too. Controversy remains and not every cat fancy organization distinguishes the Himalayan as a distinct breed.
Though all the hair of a Himalayan might be a turn off for some, converted Himalayan owners plead “no contest;” the Himalayan personality makes up for it. Himalayans are the most poised, loving, sweetest cats ever to pad around the planet. Himalayans are regal, sedate and so-so-so affectionate. Cuddling is their go-to activity. They are also quite responsive to your moods and emotions. When you’re happy, so are they. If you’re sad, they’re there to pick you up. They crave affection and love to be petted. Himalayans tend to be more playful than Persians. Himalayans love to fetch. Some breeders claim Himalayans talk more than Persians, but that might be a difference due to a particular bloodline.