The Himalayan is the ?pointed? version of the beautiful Persain. Originally called ?Malayan Persians? the first breeding program started in 1924 did not take off initially, but was revived in the 1930s.Description:Contemporary, ?ideal? show Himalayans bear little resemblance to their ancestors. The earlier Himalayan breeders had no choice to breed Siamese to obtain the pointed allele; this brought the tendency to favor fine boning, straight profile, larger ears, wedge-shaped heads, close-set eyes, longer bodies and a long narrow tail ? all completely undesirable in the Persian. Now, the standard dictates that the cat should be firm in flesh, not fat, and well-balanced physically and temperamentally, giving the impression of robust power. The cobby body is well-rounded; the boning is sturdy, large and in proportion to the body. The muscles are firm and well-developed. The back should be short and level. The tail should be short, yet in proportion to the body; the plumbed tail of the Himalayan should be short., carried without curve at an angle lower than the back, but not trailed when walking. In front view, forelegs should be short and straight, adding to a sturdy appearance, but not with a bulldog look; viewed from behind the legs should be short. The chest is to be deep, equally massive across the shoulders and rump with a short, well-rounded midsection.The feet are large and rounded with short toes, toe tufts are desirable. The coat of the Himalayan should be full of life. The downhairs are dense, making the coat stand off from the body. The hair should be long all over the body, including the shoulders. The ruff should be immense and continue to a deep frill of hair around the neck between the front legs. In Himalayan type, the head should be broad, round shape, massive, with great breadth of skull and a domed forehead. In profile, a staight line is seen from the forehead, nose and chin. The underlying bone structure is round, the cheeks full and prominent. There should be a sweet expression to the face. This is very important , as the cat should be pleasant to look at, never mean or frowning in appearance. Jaws are broad and powerful with perfect tooth occlusion. The short nose should be as broad as it is long, with a definite break between the eyes. Some prefer a deep nose break and a turned up nose. Others prefer a break with the nose taking a slightly downward turn. As long as the standard does not specify which is correct, either is acceptable. Yet it must be remembered that the nose must fit in a straight line of the dome and chin, therefore the shorter, turned-up nose would be best to meet this requirement. The chin is full, strongand well-developed fitting into the round face. The neck should provide adequate support for the massive head and should be short, thick, well-muscled and powerful. The small ears are set wide apart and low on the head always fitting into the rounded contour. The ear furnishings should be long and curved. The eyes are large, round, full and expressive and are set wide apart. It was thought that breeding to a Persian with a week eye color would improve the deep blue color so greatly desired in the Himalayan. This proved untrue. To improve the eye color, the Himalayan should be taken to a Persian with the deepest eye color possible, such as a copper-eyed Persian.Himalayans have a very thick, woolly undercoat, causing the hair to be thick and plush. This, however, goes hand in hand with matting. They have to be combed and brushed constantly to keep their hair from matting, and they have to be bathed often. Do not plan to own a Himalayan unless you have adequate time to give to grooming.
The idea of Himalayan may be traced to a geneticist in Sweden in 1922 who set about to introduce the pointed allele into the Persian gene pool Longhair whites were bred to Siamese. Longhair whites were bred to Siamese. Whether this was successful is unknown, as records of the results are unavailable. In 1924 there were reports of pointed longhairs, called Malayan Persians, but these cats soon disappeared from the record. The Himalayan as we know it today developed in the 1930s in Britain and North America.The breeding in the United States combined Siamese with smoke, silver tabby and black Persians. These crosses produced several shorthaired kittens. Two of the kittens were mated to produce a longhaired black female who was mated to her sire. This mating produced the first longhaired pointed kitten, named Debutante, born in the United States in 1935. It took five years to produce Debutante who was very Siamese in type. The breeding experiments in the United States were done primarily to gain more knowledge of domestic feline genetics. Breeders in Britain were to work toward establishing a new breed. It took years of hard work to produce the necessary three-generation pedigree. In 1955 Himalayans received a breed number and a standard; in 1957 they were granted championship status. By the 1960s all cat organizations recognized them as a separate breed.
The Himalayan temperament is very sweet and loveable. They are calm cats who spend a fair amount of their time sleeping and playing when not eating. Though their curiosity is fully intact, they seldom run, jump or climb. They can have a surge of energy and suddenly romp like a kitten , but for most part they are content with a very quiet life. They are quiet cats and are will suited to apartment life where less vocal cats are appreciated.
Southern Alberta Cat Fanciers - Rene Copeland