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Unveiling the Majestic North American Himalayan Cat Breed

Have you heard of the North American Himalayan cat? Originating from the Kashmir region, this large feline breed is known for its majestic looks, laid-back personality, and long, thick coats.

In this article, we will delve into the physical characteristics, personality, and care needs of this unique breed.

Origin and Name

As its name suggests, the Himalayan breed comes from the mountainous regions of Asia, particularly in the Kashmir area. This breed was first introduced in North America in the 1930s and became an instant hit due to its distinct looks and gentle temperament.

The Himalayan breed is known for its round face, short legs, and prominent nose. Its long, thick coat comes in various colors such as blue, chocolate, and lilac.

One interesting fact about this breed is that its coat color is determined by temperature!

Physical Characteristics

The Himalayan breed can be classified as a large cat breed. These cats typically weigh between 8 and 12 pounds and can grow up to a foot tall.

They have a sturdy, muscular build, but their short legs make them appear stocky.

Their most defining characteristic is their long, thick coat.

This coat requires regular grooming as it easily tangles and mats. It is also important to clean their eyes regularly as they are prone to eye discharge.

Personality and Temperament

Himalayan cats have a reputation for being intelligent, laid-back, and peaceful. They are not particularly active and prefer spending their time lounging and being petted.

These cats dislike loud noises and prefer a quiet environment. It’s not uncommon to find them hiding away from boisterous toddlers or noisy music.

Grooming and Care

Regular grooming is essential for a healthy and happy Himalayan cat. Their long, thick coat requires daily brushing to prevent tangles and mats.

A metal comb and slicker brush are perfect for removing loose fur.

You should also clean their eyes daily as they are prone to eye discharge.

Use a damp cloth or a cotton ball to wipe away any gunk around their eyes. Bathing is also necessary, but should not be done too frequently.

A good rule of thumb is to bathe your Himalayan cat once every few months, or when their coat becomes dirty or greasy.


In conclusion, the North American Himalayan cat is a majestic breed that requires regular grooming and a peaceful environment. These cats are perfect for those who want a laid-back and affectionate companion.

If you are considering adopting a Himalayan cat, be prepared to commit time and effort to their grooming needs, and give them the quiet and peaceful environment they crave.


The North American Himalayan breed is generally healthy, but like any other breed, it is prone to certain health issues. They are particularly susceptible to eye infections, respiratory problems, and dental issues.

As such, it is important to ensure that your cat receives regular check-ups from a veterinarian.

One health issue that Himalayan cats are particularly predisposed to is polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

This is a hereditary disease that affects the kidneys, causing cysts to form and eventually leading to kidney failure. Symptoms of PKD include weight loss, increased thirst and urination, and lethargy.

Cats with PKD often require medication and/or a special diet to manage the disease. If you are considering adopting a Himalayan, it is important to consult a veterinarian to check for any signs of PKD.

History and Background

The development of the North American Himalayan breed is rooted in a combination of the Siamese markings and the color-pointed Persian. In the 1920s, a Persian breeder named Virginia Cobb bred a Siamese cat with a Persian, creating a cat with Siamese markings and long, soft fur.

This new breed was initially called the “Siamese Longhair.”

The breed gained popularity over the years and eventually evolved into the Himalayan we know today. In the 1930s, American breeders decided to breed the Siamese Longhair with the Persian breed to improve its long, flowing coat.

This resulted in the development of the “Colorpoint Longhair,” which was eventually renamed the Himalayan after its Himalayan-like appearance.

Controversy and Recognition

The North American Himalayan breed was met with controversy early on in its history. Some breeders argued that this breed was unnecessary, a result of splitting the Persian and Siamese breeds.

Fans of the breed, however, contended that the Himalayan was its own unique breed, with its own distinct characteristics.

Despite the controversy, the Himalayan breed gained recognition from major cat associations.

In 1957, The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognized the Himalayan as a new breed. The American Cat Fanciers’ Association (ACFA) and the United Feline Organization (UFO) also recognized the breed, cementing its place in the cat world.

In conclusion, the North American Himalayan breed is a beautiful and distinctive cat breed that is generally healthy but prone to certain health issues. Regular veterinary check-ups are vital in maintaining your cat’s health.

The Himalayan breed’s history is rooted in both the Siamese and Persian breeds, and while there was initial controversy surrounding its creation, it has since gained recognition from major feline associations. The North American Himalayan breed is a majestic and distinct feline breed recognized for its unique physical traits, including a large size, short legs, and a long, thick coat.

Himalayan cats are generally healthy, but prone to certain health issues such as PKD, eye infections, and respiratory problems. Additionally, this breed is laid-back, peaceful, and requires regular grooming.

This article sheds light on the origin and development of the breed, as well as the recognition and controversy surrounding it. The key takeaway is that Himalayan cats require regular vet check-ups and grooming to stay healthy and happy.

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