Persian & Exotic Cat
The Himalayan is one of the most popular of all Persians. The Himalayan is shown in the following point colors: chocolate, seal, lilac, blue, red, cream tortie, blue-cream, chocolate-tortie, lilac-cream, seal lynx, blue lynx, red lynx, cream lynx, tortie lynx, blue-cream lynx, chocolate lynx, lilac lynx, chocolate-tortie lynx and lilac-cream lynx. Color is restricted to the facial mask and extremities with the body of various shades of white to fawn.
Himalayans were developed by breeding Persians to Siamese to combine the Siamese point coloring with Persian type. After many years of cross breeding they were approved as accepted color variations of Persians. All must have deep vivid blue eyes as eyes other than blue are a disqualification.
Keeping the Persian indoors also keeps it safe from transmission of disease and parasites, as well as the dangers of urban life. With an annual trip to a trusted veterinarian, and good nutrition and care, the Persian can live as a family member for easily 15 years, and some surpassing 20 years. Persian breeders dedicate themselves to breeding healthy cats, availing themselves of the latest in veterinary screening procedures to test for any heritable disease conditions. A well-bred Persian is a hardy and healthy cat and is not more prone to illness and respiratory infections than other breeds. However, the large eyes do mean that a certain amount of tearing is normal, and a daily face wash is recommended.
Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) and regular claw trimming are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council
The Himalayan (a.k.a. Himalayan Persian, or Colourpoint Persian as it is commonly referred to in Europe), is a breed or sub-breed of long-haired cat similar in type to the Persian, with the exception of its blue eyes and its point colouration, which were derived from crossing the Persian with the Siamese. Some registries may classify the Himalayan as a long-haired sub-breed of Siamese, or a colorpoint sub-breed of Persian. The World Cat Federation has merged them with the Colorpoint Shorthair and Javanese into a single breed, the Colorpoint.
There is little or no information from the literature or early pictorial representations to indicate how ancient the four main groups of cats are; these being the two varieties of tabby, the single coloured black or white, and the sex-linked orange (marmalade or tortoiseshell cats). In addition, there are other breeds of cat that are more closely controlled by humans, such as the Manx, the Persian, Siamese, and Abyssinian, to name but a few.
The Cat Fanciers' Association considers the Himalayan Persian simply a color variation of the Persian rather than a separate breed, although they do compete in their own color division. It was for the color that the breed was named "Himalayan": a reference to the coloration of Himalayan animals, in particular the Himalayan rabbit. It has been suggested that the Persian long-haired cats are descended from Pallas's cat, Felis manul, a wild cat that inhabits central Asia and which is unmarked with spots or stripes and has very long soft fur. There is, however, no osteological or other evidence for this and it is more likely that the long-haired domestic cats are the result of artificial selection for this characteristic by humans.
Tests are still being done to discover the ancestors of cats such as Himalayans. An example of this research and experimentation is in that of the following: A rare color variant of the American mink (Neovison vison), discovered on a ranch in Nova Scotia and referred to as the ‘‘marbled’’ variety, carries a distinctive pigment distribution pattern resembling that found in some other species, e.g., the Siamese cat and the Himalayan mouse.
Work to formally establish a breed with combined Persian and Siamese traits, explicitly for the cat fancy, began in the United States in the 1930s at Harvard University, under the term Siamese–Persian, and the results were published in the Journal of Heredity in 1936, but were not adopted as a recognized breed by any major fancier groups at the time. Brian Sterling-Webb independently developed the cross-breed over a period of ten years in the UK, and in 1955 it was recognized there as the Longhaired Colourpoint by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).
Separate US-based breeding efforts had begun around 1950, and a breeder known to sources simply as Mrs. Goforth received breed recognition from the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) near the end of 1957 for the Himalayan. Early breeders were mostly interested in adding Siamese colouration to long-haired cats, and therefore reinforced the stock by outbreeding to Persians only to retain the Persian trait dominance. However, by the 1960s, some were re-introducing Siamese stock and producing less "Persian-style" cats, In the 1980s, a concerted effort to re-establish the breed along more formally Persian lines ultimately caused the breed to be merged into Persian as a variant in some registries (e.g. in 1984 by CFA), and a decline in the "old" or Siamese-like specimens.
Like Persians more generally, the Himalayan tends to have a round (cobby) body with short legs, which makes it harder for them to jump as high as other cats do. Since the 1960s, however, some have more of a Siamese-like body, and thus do not have this limitation, but may not be acceptable as show cats, depending on the specific breed standards of the organisation in question.
As with other Persians, there are two types of Himalayans, the traditional or doll-face, and the peke-faced or ultra-typed which has the more extreme squashed-looking facial features. The seal-point Himalayan in the photo to the left is doll-faced while the red(flame)-point in the title image is peke-faced.
Show Himalayans display a nose break as do peke-faced Persians, and have very large, round eyes with the nose leather directly between the eyes. Breeder or pet Himalayans generally have longer noses than the show cats, and may display a longer muzzle and smaller eyes than the show cats do. All three types of cat are Himalayans, however.
Blue point: A cat whose blue coat color is confined to the points: the feet, ears, tail, and face mask.
Lilac Point: A diluted, brighter version of blue point. Body color is whiter and brighter than on a blue point cat.
Seal Point: Seal brown color on the points.
Chocolate Point: Chocolate brown color on the points (face mask, ears, tail, and legs), as opposed to the darker seal brown. Body color is whiter and brighter than on a seal-point cat. One distinction between the chocolate point and seal point is the color of their paw pads. The chocolate point will have pink paw pads, whereas the seal point will have dark brown paw pads.
Red or Flame Point: If both parent cats are definitely dilutes (blue, cream or bluecream), the offspring cannot be a flame point.
Cream Point: Flame and cream colors can be very close. There are hot creams and light reds. Body color is whiter and brighter than on a seal point cat.
The bulk of the fur on the body of a Himalayan is white or cream, but the points come in many different colors: Seal (or Black), Blue, Lilac, Chocolate, Red (Flame), and Cream. The points can also be Tabby, Lynx, or Tortoiseshell-patterned.
The Chocolate and Lilac point Himalayans are the most difficult to produce, because both parents must carry the gene for Chocolate/Lilac to produce a Chocolate or Lilac kitten, as the trait is autosomal recessive.
Due to their Persian ancestry, some Himalayans may have the gene that causes Polycystic kidney disease, (PKD); however, a genetic test can reveal which cats carry the PKD gene, so that they may be spayed or neutered.
Like many long-haired cats, Himalayans need to be brushed daily to keep their coats looking their best and healthiest. In addition, they may need their face wiped daily, depending on the cat. Bathing a Himalayan is also recommended by some breeders, to help reduce the amount of oil on the cat's fur and skin.
A seal point Himalayan lounging.
Himalayan cats are good indoor companions. By and large, they are sweet-tempered, intelligent, and generally very social, but they can be very moody at times. Because of their heritage from the Siamese cats, they tend to be more active than Persians. They possess a playful side as well. Like the Siamese, most Himalayans love to play fetch, and a scrap of crumpled paper or a kitty toy will entertain them for hours. Himalayan cats are devoted and dependent upon their humans for companionship and protection. They crave affection and love to be petted and groomed.
About the Exotic
As spectators at the show walk by the cage they look quizzically at the cat and say, “It looks like a Persian but it has short hair. The sign says Exotic. Exotic what?!”
With today’s busy lifestyles the cat has become a popular pet. Cats are best kept indoors and do well in an apartment or a house. The popularity of the Persian has been evident for many years. The Persian represents the largest class in shows and boasts the largest number of cats registered each year in CFA. However, Persians require daily grooming to maintain their beautiful coat. For busy people who like the look of a Persian but don’t have time for the daily grooming demands, the Exotics are the best kept secret of the cat fancy.
They are bred to meet the Persian standard in every way with one very special exception: the coat has a thick, dense, plush, short coat. The Exotic coat is unique to the breed and gives them a soft, rounded, teddy bear look. Their wonderful coat requires much less combing than a Persian’s and will not mat or tangle. Because of the ease of grooming for this special breed, Exotics are sometimes affectionately referred to as the lazy man’s Persian.
What is it like living with an Exotic? Are they like Persians, or do they resemble their shorthaired ancestors? Over the years, as the type and coat have changed, so has the personality of the Exotic. As the Exotic’s line of Persian ancestors became longer and longer, their temperament has become more and more Persian like. Indeed, there is no longer much difference in the temperament of the two breeds. Exotics have a quiet, endearing nature. Their voices are seldom heard.
The Exotic is an ideal breed that produces a quiet, sweet, peaceful and loyal companion. They are easy going and not much seems to disturb them. In general, they are extremely affectionate. They quietly beg for your attention by just sitting in front of you with an irresistible look focused on your eyes. They will jump in your lap to curl up for a nap or push their wet nose right into your face. Some like to sit on your shoulder and hug you when you pet them. They may or may not sleep with you as some prefer cooler places like the bricks on the hearth or the tiled floor. An Exotic is very comfortable to have in your home. They give you privacy and are not constantly demanding attention. They will, They are just as playful and fun loving as other breeds. They will jump until exhausted trying to catch a toy on a stick, or they will sit and carefully study how to get the toy down from the top of the bookcase where it was placed when you stopped playing with them.
When people call for a pet kitten, they almost always ask for a female, thinking that a girl will be sweeter and more loving. Many also believe that males will be more aggressive and prone to spray. However, neither assumption is correct. Male Exotics are, in general, more affectionate than females. Females can be somewhat more aloof. They always seem to have more important things to do than cuddle with their owner. Exotics mature later than most other breeds, and since all pets should be neutered and spayed at an early age, problems related to spraying and other adult urges need never be a concern.
Exotic kittens exhibit the same level of activity as do Persian kittens. Some breeders say that the Exotic kittens do everything first: open their eyes, climb out of the box, start eating, etc. Adult Exotics enjoy simple pleasures, like watching water drip from a faucet or chasing paper balls around the house.
The easy going nature of the Exotic allows it to fit into your home at any age. Exotics stay playful as adults and bring pleasure for many years. All things considered, the Exotic is a wonderful addition to any family. Adorable to look at, peaceful and clean, what more could you ask for the perfect pet. The Exotic is really the “best of two worlds.”
Pricing on Exotics usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/ premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.