Adopting a Himalayan Kitten: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About This Popular Cat Breed

Himalayan kittens are adorable and grow into large, beautiful creatures. Sometimes referred to as "himmies," the long-haired Himalayan cat has the potential to be a good addition to your home under certain conditions. Here's what you need to know about these stunning felines. 

History of the Long-Haired Himalayan Cat

The Himalayan breed has a short history, covering less than 100 years. Speaking of breed information, there's an ongoing debate about their status. The International Cat Association and American Cat Fanciers Association accept them as a breed. On the other hand, the American Cat Association views the Himalayan as a part of the Persian family. 

The first Himalayan was Newton's Debutante, and he was born in 1931. The breed is a cross of a Persian and Siamese cat. The breeding program was started by Virginia Cobb and Clyde Keeler to create a cat that had the thick fur of a Persian with the color patterns of the Siamese. 

It worked. The Himalayan kitty has small ears, huge round eyes, and a tiny push-button nose. Its coat develops in a wide range of colors, including cream, flame, tortoiseshell, and lynx points. Further research and work were conducted in the 1950s, and a new breed was born. 

Personality & the Himalayan Cat

The Himalayan cat is quiet with a laid-back and lazy personality. They are somewhat playful but don't expect these kitties to turn your living room into a half-pike in the middle of the night.

Instead, you're more likely to find them cuddled up in your bed next to you. However, don't let that fool you. The Himalayan is okay home alone and chilling by her or himself. 

These felines are also fine with being the only pet in your home. As long as the other pets are personable, the breed will co-exist without a problem.

Don't forget to give them some cat toys and treats to keep them active. You'll still see plenty of bursts of energy that helps keep them slim and healthy as they age. Another area you can consider safe is children.

Himmies are good with kids and will be just as happy to play and cuddle up with a child as an adult.

Care & Diet for Large Himalayan Cats

As with all pets, nutritious meals with high-quality organic cat food and regular activity are essential to maintaining a healthy weight. The Himalayan cat is prone to certain diseases.

One concern is polycystic kidney disease or PKD, which can develop before age one. Regular screenings can catch this condition early and start treatment to prolong life. Additionally, himmies with the flattened-face appearance have a greater chance of developing breathing issues.

Take your Himalayan cat to the vet for annual check-ups. Seniors may require twice-annual appointments to watch for age-related ailments.

Grooming Thick Himalayan Cat Fur

Regular grooming is essential with thick Himalayan cat fur. The thickness can easily lead to mats and entanglements, which look poorly and can cause hygiene problems for your pet. Comb them daily with a stainless steel comb to remove clumps of fur and reduce shedding.

If their hair gets out of control, a visit to the groomer might be necessary. Chances are your himmie won't be happy when they have to shave off areas and let them grow back in. However, the good news is that the fur grows back just as thick and luscious. Unlike short-haired cats, your Himalayan feline might need more grooming help, including regular baths to remove dander and remove odor from their thick mane.

The Himalayan's nails grow long and sharp, quickly. Keep an eye on their eyes and the areas surrounding them. This breed can experience excess tearing that can cause staining and build-up that's unpleasant for your kitty.

You don't need to put them in the bath for this issue. A warm washcloth to your cat's face daily can keep them clean and everyone happy.

Weekly or bi-weekly trimming can prevent their nails from getting out of hand. Start this routine as a kitten to help them get used to daily grooming, monthly baths, and weekly nail trimming. Additionally, don't skip dental care. Brush your himmies teeth two to three times weekly. Also, take them to the veterinarian for regular check-ups and oral hygiene. 


If you don't mind the daily grooming needs of the thick Himalayan cat fur and want a constant companion by your side, consider adopting one (or two) of these gorgeous, loving pets. They're friendly with people, kids, and pets and pleasant to be around.

Himmies won't crowd you but still enjoy regular attention. Don't worry. If you're not giving them enough pets, they'll jump into your lap to let you know when it's "me time." Just make sure to take these beauties to the vet regularly to watch for common health problems.

With the proper care, your fluffy fur-baby will live a long, healthy life. 

What is a Himalayan cat?

The debate over what a Himalayan cat is isn't over yet. The distinct cross between Persian and Siamese breeds puts the feline in the middle. Some experts give the long-haired Himalayan its own category, while others consider them part of the Persian variety.

Do Himalayan cats shed?

Yes. The Himalayan is a long-haired kitty that's guaranteed to leave its fur everywhere he or she goes. However, you can reduce shedding with the proper grooming techniques and find a happy medium with your beautiful and large Himalayan cat. For help keeping up with the daily care needs of these stunning pets, consider a grooming service.

How big are Himalayan cats?

A full-sized Himalayan feline appears plump and round, but much of that is fur. With proper nutrition and activity, the average weight should be between 7 and 12 pounds. However, male cats can weigh slightly more. The Himalayan kitty is medium to large in appearance with a wide-set chest and average-size paws and tail.

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Written by Leo Roux

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