Congratulations, reader! Taking the first step to become a responsible pet owner requires research, and it’s essential to learn about a specific cat breed and whether it will be a good fit for your family. Every cat breed has unique features and common traits, so it’s important to know the differences when adopting a specific cat breed.
Himalayan cats are boxy with a thick and lush fur coat, making them look like adorable balls of fluff. They have a distinctive flat face, round eyes, and short legs. Himalayan cats are large, social, energetic, and quite popular as a cat breed. But do Himalayan cats make good pets?
In this article, we will discuss whether or not Himalayan cats make good pets, their care level, and whether or not they are suitable for a family environment. Let’s dive in!
Do Himalayan Cats Make Good Pets?
While exploring whether Himalayan cats make good pets, we must clarify that this question is subjective. An animal might make an excellent pet for one family and a wrong choice for another family. So, what makes a pet a good fit?
Yes for most families, but not for all. Pets, especially Himalayan cats, require veterinarian care, grooming, activity, social care, and a good environment.
Other factors that may affect a pet’s ability to be a part of your family are size, shedding, life expectancy, and ability to interact appropriately with children or other animals in the home. Couples and single people will also do well if they have the time to dedicate to the grooming needs of a long-haired cat.
We’ll break down the details on Himalayan cats for you so that you can learn more about these fluffy, gentle, and cuddly long-haired cats.
Himalayan Cat Facts
Size: Males weigh over 12 pounds, and females usually weigh between 8-12 pounds
Shedding: High Tendency
Life Expectancy: 8-11 years
Health: Some Genetic Concerns
Grooming Needs: High
Activity Needs: Moderate
Social Needs: Moderate
Environment Needs: Moderate Size
Breed Fact: Considered part of the Persian breed
Our section above was just the fast facts about Himalayan cats; now let’s discuss the specifics of caring for Himalayan cats. As we’ve mentioned, Himalayan cats are larger, longer, and heavier than some other cat breeds.
Perhaps of most concern to prospective cat owners are the needs of the coats of Himalayan cats. These cats are high maintenance when it comes to grooming. They need daily grooming in the form of brushing and have high rates of shedding compared to other breeds of cats. Combining these facts can rule out some families as a good fit for a Himalayan.
Experienced cat owners are used to what we call “the zoomies” but Himalayan cats tend to have completely random bursts of energy. These running, leaping, and energy bursts are almost a kitten-like activity level at times. Otherwise, the Himalayan cat breed is relatively easygoing.
The life expectancy of Himalayan cats is also lower than the average indoor domesticated cat, with 8-11 years compared to 10-15 years, according to Hill’s Pet. Some other sources cite that Himalayan cats can also have a life expectancy of 10-15 years.
As a specialty cat breed, Himalayan cats can be expensive. The cost of a Himalayan cat depends on the cat’s age, size, and coloring, and they can be one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world, depending on these factors. As far as price goes, there is a broad range from $200 to $4,000 per Himalayan cat, according to Spruce Pets.
If you are looking for a Himalayan cat to have as a pet, your typical household Himalayan cat could cost you up to $1,500. You also may have to spend additional money on shots, supplies, and potentially a spay/neuter for your pet, so make sure to include these items in your budget for a new pet.
If you don’t plan on purchasing from a breeder, you can also find Himalayan cats available for adoption at local animal shelters or rescues. These adoptable animals are more likely to cost much less than purchasing a Himalayan cat from a breeder.
Regarding the cost of maintaining a Himalayan cat, you are likely to spend roughly $1,000 per year on your cat’s care. This figure includes cat food, cat litter, toys, grooming, and veterinarian visits.
Young children and Himalayan cats are not the best mix, as these cats prefer to relax and enjoy quiet time. Older or well-behaved children would be more suitable for Himalayan cats. Otherwise, young children should be supervised by adults when interacting with this pet at minimum.
Your Himalayan cat will also likely be opposed to the high energy of large dogs, and they may have an anxious temperament that can cause them to be aggressive when fearful. It’s best to avoid putting a Himalayan cat in stressful, noisy, and high-energy situations. They are usually fine with other cats when properly introduced.
Otherwise, Himalayan cats are lovely additions to the family. These cats usually form strong attachments to their family members, and they might have a favorite family member. Like most cats, Himalayan cats also like to cuddle frequently but on their own terms.
Due to the nature of the breed, there are common health issues that are associated with Himalayan cats. The adorable pushed-in nose of Himalayan cats can be seen as a medical defect, which is known as brachycephaly or short-headedness. The condition can lead to breathing issues, including asthma, and can be dangerous to these cats when they are engaging in physical activity.
Another common condition in these cats is polycystic kidney disease (PKD) which can start at birth and worsen with age. This problem generally does not affect many Himalayan cats purchased from breeders as they test for the condition. However, you should be aware of it as a risk factor for the breed.
Finally, Himalayan cats have a risk potential for progressive retinal atrophy, which can result in the deterioration of the retina. Cats with this condition can lose vision from this disease, which may result in total blindness.
Can Himalayan Cats Be Left Alone?
Absolutely! Himalayan cats are known for their independent nature and can handle being left alone for reasonable periods. However, they do enjoy companionship, so make sure to spend quality time with them when you’re around. Having interactive toys or a window perch can help keep them entertained while you’re away.
Does the Himalayan Shed?
Yes, Himalayan cats do shed, but their long, luxurious coats may not show shedding as much as other breeds. Regular grooming, including brushing their coat, will help manage shedding and prevent matting. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to bond with your furry friend!
What Two Breeds Make a Himalayan Cat?
Himalayan cats are the delightful result of crossing Persian and Siamese breeds. They inherit the stunning blue eyes from the Siamese side and the luxurious long coat from the Persian side. This unique blend creates the striking appearance that Himalayans are famous for.
What is the Cat Fanciers Association?
The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) is a renowned organization in the United States that’s dedicated to the well-being of cats and promotes responsible cat ownership. They’re also responsible for setting breed standards and hosting cat shows where Himalayan Persians and other breeds can strut their stuff!
Tell Me About Himalayan Cat Health Problems
Like any breed, Himalayan cats can have some health concerns. Due to their flat faces (a trait from their Persian ancestry), they might experience breathing difficulties and dental issues. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper care can help manage and prevent these problems.
Fun Facts About Himalayan Cats
Did you know that Himalayan cats are named after the majestic Himalayan mountains, even though they don’t come from there? Also, Martha Stewart is known to be a fan of these fluffy felines! Their striking appearance and gentle personalities make them a popular choice among cat enthusiasts.
Why are Himalayans Considered a Popular Cat?
Himalayans are a popular choice for cat lovers due to their stunning blue eyes, luxurious coats, and sweet personalities. They are affectionate, gentle, and often enjoy lounging around in style. Their Siamese heritage gives them an added touch of playfulness and curiosity.
What’s the Deal with Point Coloration in Himalayans?
Himalayan cats, just like Siamese cats, have a “point” coloration pattern. This means their extremities, like their ears, face, paws, and tail, are darker in color compared to their body. It’s a charming feature that adds to their unique and elegant appearance.
These gorgeous cats make excellent pets for the right families. As long as you are fully prepared for all your new Himalayan cat has to offer, you should have an enjoyable experience with this breed. Be sure to source from a responsible breeder or rescue and ensure your new cat is fully health certified. Cat owners should be prepared to take on plenty of grooming and potential health concerns while weighing the benefits of these kind, playful, and beautiful cats.
Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC. She has a tuxedo adult cat and has had him since he was a baby kitten. Before her cat Finnegan, Lisa had had two FIV-positive cats for over a decade. They inspired Lisa to invent a cat enclosure and a portable catio so they could safely sit outside and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Lisa had a Poodle and a parakeet growing up. She currently loves to pet-sit for her neighbors’ dogs and cats.
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