Himalayan cats are sure to catch your eye. These easygoing beauties are recognizable by their long colorpoint coats, slightly squashed faces, and sweet personalities. You might not come across another cat as laid-back and affectionate as a Himalayan.
One of the driving forces behind breeding the Himalayan cat was to create a very specific look for their long, silky coats. 20 different coat colors are accepted by cat associations across the world, which was not always the case.
Regardless of the coloring, the coat of a Himalayan is a beautiful and sought-after trait. Many people fall in love with the Himalayan’s unique coat, but before long it’s their personality that enamors you.
What are the origins of the Himalayan cat?
Himalayans are the result of breeders wanting a cat with a colorpoint pattern like the Siamese and the long, gorgeous fur of the Persian. In the 1930s, breeders Clyde Keeler and Virginia Cobb created just that.
Both the long hair and colorpoint pattern are considered recessive genes, so in order to pass it along, both parents had to have both genes. Keeler and Cobb mated a female Siamese and a black-coated Persian male, then a black-coated Persian female and male Siamese.
From the first litter, they took a male, and from the second, they took a female. The result of these two mating together was a cat with long hair and colorpoint patterning.
For a long time, the Himalayan standards were very tough to change. Through much dedication from breeders, more colors have been established and accepted over the years. No matter what coat color your Himilayan is, they will be a sweet and gentle-natured best friend to you and your entire family.
What does a Himalayan cat look like?
The Himalayan is loved for their long hair and colorpoint coat. These two traits alone often stand out on a cat, but together, they’re even more captivating. These cats are medium or large in size, but with their long hair, they look even bigger.
This breed is big-boned and usually weighs between 7 and 14 pounds. It’s important to note that the Himalayan is regarded as a lazier cat breed. They have low energy and love to lay around, sunbathe, and relax (don’t we all?). Because of this, your Himalayan might gain weight easier than other cat breeds. It’s essential to maintain their weight through plenty of playtime and healthy meal portions.
Himalayans have a rather round appearance. Their heads, faces, and bodies are round. Like the Persian, their noses are considered “snub noses” because they are shorter than other cats’. They have a strong, broad chest and thick, sturdy legs. Despite their size, they are truly gentle giants.
What is the Himalayan pattern?
Himalayans have a very specific pattern. If you see one without colorpoint patterning, it’s likely you didn’t actually see a purebred Himalayan.
When talking about the Himalayan pattern, we refer to when the cat has a body color that is typically one color, with minimal shading, lighter than their points. Their points refer to their face, ears, tails, and paws, usually darker than their body.
If you’re looking for a specific coat color but don’t know what it’s called, we’ve got them all covered here!
What colors do Himalayan cats come in?
While all Himalayans have a distinct colorpoint pattern, their colors can vary. One thing to note: All Himalayans have blue eyes.
Some of the different colors that the Himalayan cat comes in are:
When you think Himalayan cat, the seal point coloring might be the first to cross your mind. It’s the most common coloring for a Siamese, which is why it might be so familiar. These cats have a cream-colored or pale beige base color, with dark brown, almost black points. The points, nose leather, and paw pads should all be dark brown.
On a chocolate point Himalayan, the body color is an ivory shade with milk chocolate-colored points. The eyes of a chocolate point Himalayan are bright blue, which contrasts beautifully against their face mask. Their nose leather and paw pads are a cinnamon-pink color that will subtly fade into the coloring of their legs and face.
The lilac point Himalayan is a beautiful and unique-colored cat. Their base color is a purple-white color with grey-pink points. These cats have a less obvious distinction between their body color and their point color, but you’ll see that their nose leather and paw pads are a lavender-pink color.
The body color of a blue point Himalayan is a bluish-grey with cool tones. The points are a darker shade of blue, with nose leather, paw pads, and eyes that are blue, too.
Red / Flame
Red point Himalayans have a creamy base color with orange or red points. The shade of orange or red can vary, making it lighter or darker. The nose leather and paw pads will be coral pink.
The body of this Himalayan is a white cream color, with the points often described as buff cream. The distinction isn’t as obvious, but their nose leather and paw pads will be coral pink. White cats seem to show dirt (and other messes) easier than their peers, so keeping their litter box clean is vital.
The body of a blue-cream Himalayan is a cream color with a tint of blue, and blue points with patches of cream. The nose leather and paw pads can be blue or pink.
This cat has a creamy base coat with lilac points with patches of cream. They have lavender-pink nose leather and paw pads.
Chocolate-tortie Himalayans are ivory-colored with chocolate points, marked with patches of red and cream. They have cinnamon pink or coral pink nose leather and paw pads.
The body color of these cats is creamy white, with dark brown points that have unbridled patches of red and cream. They will either have dark brown or coral pink nose leather and paw pads.
What are the Himalayan lynx patterns?
The Himalayan lynx pattern is recognizable by the tabby “M” marked on the forehead, which is echoed in the stripes that go throughout their points—can you say fashion icon? Their bodies will remain one solid color.
The body of this Himalayan cat is beige, but their points are beige-brown, ticked with darker brown tabby markings. Their paws are seal-brown, but their nose leather could vary from seal brown to brick red.
Their body is bluish-white with light, almost silvery, blue points ticked with darker blue tabby markings. Their paw pads are blue, but their nose leather can be blue or rose-colored.
Red / Flame lynx
This cat has a creamy white body with orange points, ticked with red tabby markings. The nose leather and paw pads are coral pink.
The body is a white color, with cream-colored points ticked with darker cream tabby markings. The nose leather and paw pads are coral pink.
Seal tortie lynx
Their body is creamy-white with beige-brown points with dark brown tabby markings, spotted with patches of red. Nose leather and paw pads can be seal-brown, brick red, or coral pink.
The body of this cat is a bluish-white with points of blue that are ticked with dark blue tabby markings that have patches of cream. Their nose leather and paw pads can be blue, rose, or pink.
Their body is ivory, with milk-chocolate points ticked with darker chocolate tabby markings. Their nose leather and paw pads can be cinnamon pink or coral pink.
This cat’s body is a white-purple color with frosty grey points that are ticked with darker lilac tabby markings. Their nose leather and paw pads are a lavender-pink.
Their body is an ivory color with milk-chocolate points, ticked with darker chocolate tabby markings and patches of red. Their nose leather and paw pads are cinnamon pink or coral pink.
Their body is a white color with a hint of purple, points that are pale frosty grey-pink, ticked with darker purple tabby markings that have patches of cream. Their nose leather and paw pads are lavender-pink or coral pink.
Taking care of a Himalayan
Himalayans are known for their majestic coats, so make sure you take care of that award-winning fluff. You’ll want to keep it tangle-free, nice, and clean with frequent brushing.
If you can keep up with your Himalayan’s hygiene needs, as well as provide them with proper nutrition and enough physical activity, your Himalayan will stick beside you for many years to come.
Himalayan cats aren't just beautiful creatures—they are kind, gentle, and so very affectionate, making them a great companion to have around.