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13.06.2022

Himalayan Siamese cat—the facts

With the same colouring and markings as the Siamese, Himalayan cats can easily be mistaken for being from the same stock.

Apart from their build, there is little to distinguish one from the other—their dietary needs are similar, their personality is close, and their health can be subject to similar niggles.

Is there such a thing as a Himalayan Siamese cat, though? Read on and find out what exact breed is using you as a cushion! 

What exactly are Siamese Himalayan cats?

However similar they may look, Himalayans and Siamese have been recognised as separate breeds by the Cat Fanciers Association in the U.S. since 1957.

In the U.K., the Governing Council of Cat Fancy (GCCF) knows Himalayans as Colourpoint Persians and regards them as a sub-denomination of the Persian breed. 

Himalayans originated as crosses between Persians and Siamese cats, having a similar body shape to the Persian but with Siamese markings and the piercing blue eyes typical of the oriental breed.

“Yes, I know I’m beautiful!”

Source: Dan Dennis

The main differences between a Siamese and Himalayan cat

Himalayans and Siamese cats may share similar markings and colour variations, but their differences are greater than their similarities. The major differences in body shape, weight, and size can be seen here:

Characteristic 

Himalayan adult

Siamese adult

Average height

25.4–30.5 cm

20.3–25.4 cm

Average weight

3.2–5.4 kg

3.6–5.4 kg

Life expectancy

9–15 years

12–15 years

Grooming needs

High 

Low 

The Himalayan’s body is more akin to a Persian than a Siamese, and this is further exacerbated by the Himalayan’s long hair.

The Himalayan also has a slightly shorter average life expectancy than a Siamese, but this may be due to several hereditary conditions.

“Look into my eyes…..”

Source: Arafat Bachmid

Himalayan and Siamese kittens—do they grow differently?

The growth charts for both Siamese and Himalayan cats are fairly similar, and both breeds usually reach maturity at around 12 months.

Himalayan kittens are weaned at around 6–8 weeks, after which they start growing exponentially. The growth milestones you should expect a Himalayan kitten to reach are:

Week

Approximate weight

Week 1

50–150 g

Week 2

150–250 g

Week 3

250–350 g

Week 4

350–450 g

Week 5

450–550 g

Week 6–9

550–850 g

From 9 weeks onwards, Himalayans will continue growing steadily to their final weight—there is little you can do to influence the weight they will eventually reach as this is genetically pre-programmed.

What you can do is keep a close eye on your Himalayan kitten’s eating habits since they can go through short-term growth spurts that will require extra energy.

If your Himalayan kitten seems constantly hungry or is begging for food outside normal mealtimes, you should give in and feed them as they are probably in the middle of bulking up. 

Where do Himalayans get their personality?

While Siamese can be fairly energetic, friendly, and playful—with the occasional bout of biting, roughhouse behaviour, and shouting thrown in for good measure—Himalayans are much more akin to their Persian ancestors in their demeanour.

The result is a placid, friendly, and fairly chilled cat that will seldom want to venture outdoors.

In common with both their heritage breeds, Himalayans are generally:

  1. Family-friendly
  2. Trainable
  3. Comfortable with other pets

Family-friendly

Himalayans are happy to get along with every member of your family.

They are less prone to anxiety and resultant aggression than Siamese cats and are usually also comfortable around strangers—although they might hide initially to gauge the friendliness and potential as a cushion of any interloper.

Trainable

Similar to both Siamese and Persians, Himalayans are fairly trainable.

The biggest barrier you will face when attempting to train a Himalayan is that they enjoy their comfort and may not want to be roused for a game of fetch or tag.

Their relaxed way of life is interspersed with occasional bursts of kitten-like frenzied running around, though—this is the time to bond with and train your Himalayan.

Comfortable with other pets

There’s little need to worry about problems between a Himalayan and other pets in your household. Himalayans are generally chilled enough to live and let live, as long as they are allowed enough privacy.

What health worries do Himalayans have?

Himalayans are not the most low-maintenance cats and have several congenital health issues that you should be aware of.

The most common health problems your Himalayan could face are:

  1. Asthma and breathing difficulties
  2. Kidney issues
  3. Heart weakness
  4. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  5. Hair loss and hairballs

Asthma and breathing difficulties

Taking their facial features from their Persian ancestors, Himalayans have shortened faces, which can lead to breathing issues and upper respiratory tract infections.

As a further consequence of their flattened facial features, they can also develop:

  • Tear staining—a predisposition to tearing or welling up at the bottom of the eye
  • Corneal abrasions—the formation of ulcers and scar tissue around the eyes
  • Corneal sequestration—damage to the cornea that can require surgery and may cause impaired eyesight

Kidney issues

Himalayans’ kidneys are prone to developing the polycystic renal disease, in which the kidneys become damaged by cysts.

Kidney damage is irreversible but usually not noticeable until up to 75% of kidney function has been lost—by which time it is often too late.

You should monitor your cat’s drinking and urinating habits—if it seems like they are drinking too much and urinating too frequently, a check-up with the vet is a sensible precaution.

Heart weakness

Heart arrhythmia is common in Himalayans. The consequences can be catastrophic, but regular screening for heart murmurs or any other anomalies can detect problems before they become major.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Himalayans—in common with Persians and Siamese, as well as Burmese, British Shorthairs, Ragdolls, and Maine Coons—are highly prone to developing bladder stones and cystitis, particularly if they are neutered males.

While this condition isn’t usually life-threatening, it can be seriously painful, risking severe damage to the urinary tract if left untreated.

A vet appointment should be booked as soon as possible if you notice your Himalayan struggling to pass urine or showing pain while doing so.

Hair loss and hairballs

Himalayans—like other long-haired cats such as Norwegian Forest cats, Maine Coons, and Ragdolls—can shed excessively, particularly in spring and autumn.

Apart from causing untold mess, this can also lead to frequent problems with hairballs.

You may even find that your Himalayan sheds throughout the year due to central heating nullifying the changes in seasons.

“Do not disturb! I’m busy!”

Source: Pixabay

How should you feed your Himalayan?

With their health issues, it’s worthwhile spending some time choosing the best possible nutrition for your Himalayan.

All cats have similar nutritional needs, but with the diversity of food availablewet, semi-moist, dry, homemade, and raw—choosing the right products can be difficult.

As a rule of thumb, cats need very few ingredients in their natural diet apart from:

  1. Meat or fish
  2. Animal fat

Meat or fish

Animal protein contains the amino acids—like arginine or taurine—necessary for cats to:

  • Get energy
  • Build muscle
  • Keep skin and coat in top condition
  • Maintain organ function

Vegetarian or vegan diets are no substitute for meat-based ones, and good food with a high meat or fish content will help your Himalayan avoid:

The best sources of animal protein for cats—Himalayans included—are:

  • Salmon
  • Prawns
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Chicken (raw or cooked)
  • Pork, ham, or bacon (best served as treats because of the high fat content)
  • Liver
  • Beef

Animal fat

Animal fat—such as is found in good quality cat gravy or cat jelly—is a great secondary source of energy but, more importantly, gives the food taste cats go wild for.

Cats can be fussy, and the best food in the world will only have a beneficial effect if they like the taste. Animal fat is a great way to tickle a Himalayan’s taste buds and ensure that they enjoy the full nutritional value of the food you have chosen.

Are carbs, grains, or cereals good for Himalayans?

Carbs and cats are not a good combination.

Many commercial cat food manufacturers use carbs, grains, and cereals to bulk up their products and reduce costs, but these don’t provide any nutritional value to cats.

Even worse, calories from carbs that remain unused are rapidly stored as fatty cells, meaning that cats can start to become overweight through carb intake.

In a double whammy, carb intake also puts pressure on a cat’s system in an effort to manage blood sugar levels. High calorie ingestion from carbs forces a cat to release floods of insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check—this places strain on a cat’s metabolism, over time potentially leading to:

Healthy cat food should be grain-free and devoid of ingredients like:

The best of the best for your Himalayan!

Image (c) Untamed

Can Untamed help your Himalayan stay healthy?

Untamed is your best bet for keeping your Himalayan healthy and active!

Specifically designed to keep cats slim, active, and energetic, the taste of Untamed will also send your Himalayan into ecstasies. Every Untamed recipe is:

  • Packed full of meat or fish—Whether you choose Chocka Chicken, Tuck-in Tuna, Full-on Fishy, or any of the further varieties on offer, Untamed cat food contains twice the amount of animal protein as most commercial cat foods. Your cat gets all the nutrients needed for a healthy and happy life combined with a taste that is irresistible. Even cats who usually dislike wet food won’t be able to resist our delicious meals!
  • Formulated by vets—Regardless of whether your Himalayan is a kitten, a neutered male with a tendency to plumpness, a pregnant queen needing energy, or a senior looking for a nutritious diet for continued health and robustness, Untamed’s vet-formulated recipes deliver tailor-made amounts of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals
  • Good for cats and kind to the planet—Untamed is committed to keeping our environment as healthy as your cat, so we guarantee 100% recyclable packaging, cruelty-free and sustainable ingredient sources, and a carbon-neutral supply chain

The test is in how much your Himalayan loves our food, though—try Untamed and watch it get devoured!

Getting Untamed delivered to your Himalayan

No need to climb every mountain to get Untamed—getting our food delivered to you is easy! All you have to do to give your Himalayan the best is:

  1. Give us some info about your kitty
  2. Select products you want to get
  3. Order your first trial pack

Once your trial pack arrives on your doorstep, your Himalayan’s journey to health and happiness can begin. We’ll make sure you stay stocked up by delivering supplies of Untamed cat food every month.

If they could talk, Himalayan pilgrims who have already discovered Untamed would tell you to look out for:

Timeline 

The Untamed effect

Week 1

  • More verve and playfulness
  • Reduced stool volume

Week 8

  • Constantly high energy levels
  • Improved general wellbeing

Week 16

  • A shinier coat
  • Fewer hairballs

For life

  • Zest for life
  • Improved weight management