Skip to main content

What’s the difference between a Himalayan and a Persian cat? Get the facts

The Himalayan Persian cat is a beautiful cat that can make a fantastic pet. But there’s a lot of confusion around what a Himalayan is, exactly. If you’re looking for a Persian cat, you might find the Himalayan’s characteristics highly desirable, and it’s easy to see why. Himalayans are a type of Persian, and after learning more about this type of cat, you might be tempted to narrow your search down from a Persian to looking specifically for a Himalayan cat. Before you decide on what type of cat you want to add to your home, check out all that the Himalayan has to offer.

Himalayan cat sitting in a grassy yard

Are Himalayan and Persian cats the same?

According to Mondou, Himalayans are a type of Persian cat. They’re sometimes called colorpoint longhairs. While the Himalayan isn’t a breed, it is a subset of the Persian breed. They’re also highly popular.

Related Videos

The Himalayan is a medium or large size and features a stocky body and bright blue eyes. They have a long, dense coat with a significant undercoat.

The Himalayan is most defined by its coat color. All Himalayan kittens are white when they’re born, but once they’re a few days old, their ears, face mask, paws, and tail become a darker color. Himalayan cats’ coats stay white or cream.

Himalayans also have a highly desirable temperament. While they behave much like Persians, Himalayans tend to be a little more active, but they’re still plenty calm. These cats tend to like to play, but they’re also more than happy to relax and enjoy some quiet time. Some Himalayans can get stressed when their household is busy, so they’re not always a great choice for families with young kids or highly active pets, like dogs. They tend to be quieter cats and don’t meow loudly. Instead, they tend to relax quietly in the background.

How do I know if my Himalayan cat is Persian?

Any Himalayan cat is naturally a Persian cat, because the Himalayan is a subset of the Persian breed.

Are Himalayan kittens expensive?

According to AdoptaPet, adopting a Himalayan can cost $75 to $150. Buying a Himalayan kitten can cost $600 to $1,300. Factors like the breeder you buy from, the cat’s bloodlines, and the cat’s color will all affect its cost, too.

Whether you decide to adopt or buy a Himalayan kitten, make sure that you budget for the other expenses that come with owning a cat. Necessities like food, flea and tick treatments, grooming, and vet care can all add up. Just like Persians, Himalayans require significant grooming, so make sure that you’re up for the task of giving your new cat the care he will need.

Himalayan cat lying on a white blanket

What is a Himalayan cat a mix of?

Mondou explains that the Himalayan cat owes its origins to a United States breeding program that started in the 1930s. The program focused on crossing a Siamese with a Persian in an effort to get the characteristics of a Persian cat with the coloring of a Siamese.

By the 1950s, there was renewed interest in this distinctive-looking cat. The UK recognized it as a Persian cat, and the American cat associations recognized the color as the Himalayan cat in 1957. Multiple cat associations in Europe consider the Himalayan as a color of Persian cat today, while others, including the American Cat Fanciers Association and the Canadian Cat Association, consider the Himalayan to be a breed.

If you’re thinking of bringing home a new cat, there’s a lot to consider. You’ll need to make sure that the cat has the right temperament for your home, and that your lifestyle will work with the cat’s preferences. For example, Himalayans tend to be a little quieter and more reserved than other breeds, so they’re often most happy in quieter homes. You’ll also need to be prepared for the care that the cat will require, in particular, the daily grooming that will help to keep his coat from getting matted. Keep in mind, too, that each cat’s personality and habits can vary. It’s best to take the time to get to know your new cat, to be honest with the breeder or rescue about what you’re looking for in a cat, and to make sure that the cat truly is the right fit for your home and family.

Editors' Recommendations

The most common annoying cat behaviors, explained
Common cat behavior or bad cat behavior? Here's what to know and how to deal
A gray cat in foliage

Cats are a bit of a mystery. Unlike dogs, which have the reputation of being human’s best friend, our feline friends seem to view us as a necessary evil. We clean their boxes, fill their water dishes, and buy them trees to climb on so they can get away from us.

And also unlike dogs, cats are natural-born predators — known for being so bad for the ecosystem that it’s best to keep them inside. The arrangement can cause some friction, but we love our cats anyway. When a pet starts doing something out of the blue, we may worry it's not common cat behavior. Is a cat peeing outside of a litter box cause for concern? What about when your kitty starts scratching everything? Consider this cat behavior guide a decoder to your cat’s antics and what — if anything — you can do about them.

Read more
What you can do to help your cat after surgery and show your pet how much you love them
Here's how to keep your kitty feeling safe, comfy, and calm post-op
A cat at the vet

You love your kitty. Sometimes, that means agreeing to send them in for cat surgery. Whether it’s a standard spay or neuter procedure, necessary dental work, or something more worrisome like removing a cancerous tumor, you’ll want to ensure you give your furry friend some extra TLC post-operation.

Your feline friend may also need you to be patient with them. Cat behavior after surgery can vary from pet to pet, but they may be slightly shyer, lethargic, or easily irritated for a while. The good news is that your cat should go back to normal — and hopefully wind up as an even healthier version of themselves soon. Knowing what to prepare for can ensure your cat feels safe, loved, and comfortable after surgery.

Read more
Are urinary tract infections in cats possible? What cat parents should know about this condition
What to know about prevention and treatment of UTIs in cats
Gray cat in a cat bed

UTIs are a common and pesky condition in humans. It’s short for urinary tract infection. A UTI is an infection of a part of the urinary system, like the bladder, kidneys, or urethra, as the name implies. UTIs can involve painful burning sensations when peeing. They affect about 10 out of 25 women and 3 out of 25 men at least once, according to the Urology Care Foundation.

Cat parents may wonder: What is the rate of urinary tract infections in cats? Unfortunately, it’s not zero. Cats can get UTIs. The good news is that cat health experts don’t commonly see the issue when treating felines. However, it’s still good to think about the urinary tract when approaching your cat’s health.

Read more