Are Himalayan Cats Persian? A Comparison of Breeds and Characteristics

Himalayan cats, also known as “Himmies,” are a breed that originated from crossbreeding Persian cats with Siamese cats. The goal was to combine the luxurious coat of the Persian cat with the striking blue eyes and color points of the Siamese cat. This crossbreeding led to the development of a breed that has the physical characteristics of a Persian cat but with the color patterns and blue eyes of a Siamese cat.

Persian Cats

Persian cats, on the other hand, have a long and illustrious history. They are one of the oldest known cat breeds and have been treasured for their beauty and elegance for centuries. Persian cats were first documented in the 1600s and were brought to Europe from Persia (now Iran) by traders. Over time, selective breeding led to the development of the distinct Persian cat breed we know today.

Physical Characteristics


One of the most notable features of both Himalayan and Persian cats is their long, luxurious coat. Both breeds have a thick, dense, and silky fur that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep it looking its best. The main difference lies in the color patterns. Himalayan cats have color points on their ears, face, feet, and tail, similar to Siamese cats, while the rest of their body is a lighter shade. Persian cats, on the other hand, come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including solid, shaded, smoke, tabby, and more.

Body Structure

In terms of body structure, both Himalayan cats and Persian cats have a stocky build with a broad chest and short legs. They have a rounded head with a flat face and a cute, pushed-in nose. However, it’s worth noting that there are two distinct types of Persian cats: the traditional or doll-faced Persian with a less extreme facial structure and the modern or peke-faced Persian with a flatter face.

Temperament and Personality

Himalayan Cats

Himalayan cats inherit many of their personality traits from their Persian and Siamese ancestors. They are known for being gentle, affectionate, and calm. Himalayans are often described as lap cats, enjoying the company of their human companions and seeking out cuddles and attention. They have a sweet and docile nature, making them great companions for families and individuals looking for a relaxed and devoted furry friend.

Persian Cats

Persian cats, too, have a reputation for their calm and gentle demeanor. They are known for their laid-back and easygoing nature, preferring a peaceful and quiet environment. Persian cats are independent but also enjoy the company of their human family members. They are not as active or playful as some other breeds, but they make up for it with their affectionate and loving nature.

Grooming Needs

Both Himalayan cats and Persian cats have high grooming needs due to their long and dense coats. Regular brushing is essential to prevent matting and keep their fur in good condition. Daily brushing is recommended, especially during shedding seasons. Additionally, periodic bathing and routine eye and ear cleaning should be part of their grooming routine. Due to their facial structure, both breeds are prone to tear staining, so regular cleaning of the face is necessary.

Health Considerations

Common Health Issues in Himalayan Cats

Himalayan cats, like their Persian counterparts, are prone to certain health issues. Their flat faces can lead to breathing difficulties and eye problems, such as excessive tearing, eye infections, and corneal ulcers. They are also susceptible to polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic condition that affects the kidneys. Regular veterinary check-ups and responsible breeding practices can help minimize the risk of these health issues.

Common Health Issues in Persian Cats

Persian cats, due to their brachycephalic (flat-faced) structure, are prone to similar health issues as Himalayans, including respiratory problems and eye conditions. Additionally, they are more prone to dental issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease, due to their short, wide jaws. Regular dental care and a balanced diet can help maintain their oral health.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Both Himalayan cats and Persian cats are known for their low activity levels. They are not particularly energetic or playful compared to some other cat breeds. They prefer a cozy spot to curl up and relax rather than engaging in high-energy activities. However, it is still important to provide them with environmental enrichment and interactive play to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent obesity.

Compatibility with Other Pets

Himalayan cats and Persian cats are generally known for their peaceful and tolerant nature, making them compatible with other pets, including dogs and other cats. However, proper introductions and gradual integration are essential to ensure a harmonious relationship among furry family members. Supervision and monitoring of interactions are important, especially in the initial stages.

Training and Intelligence

Both Himalayan cats and Persian cats are intelligent creatures, but they may not be as eager to please or as trainable as some other breeds. They have an independent streak and may require patience and positive reinforcement techniques during training sessions. However, with consistent and gentle guidance, they can learn basic commands and tricks.

Choosing the Right Breed for You

When deciding between a Himalayan cat and a Persian cat, there are several factors to consider.

Lifestyle and Living Situation

If you lead a busy and active lifestyle with limited time for grooming and maintenance, a Persian cat may be a better choice. Their coat requires less daily attention compared to Himalayan cats. On the other hand, if you have more time for grooming and appreciate the striking color points of a Himalayan cat, they might be the breed for you.

Time Commitment

Both Himalayan cats and Persian cats require regular grooming and care, so it’s important to consider the time commitment involved. If you have limited time for grooming, you may need to enlist the help of a professional groomer.


If you or someone in your household has allergies, it’s important to note that neither Himalayan cats nor Persian cats are hypoallergenic. However, some individuals with allergies may find that they have fewer symptoms with these breeds compared to others.

Availability and Cost

Both Himalayan cats and Persian cats are popular breeds, but availability may vary depending on your location. It’s important to find a reputable breeder or consider adopting from a rescue organization. Additionally, the cost of purchasing a purebred cat can be higher compared to adopting a mixed breed cat.


In conclusion, while Himalayan cats and Persian cats share some similarities, they are distinct breeds with their own unique characteristics. Whether you choose a Himalayan cat or a Persian cat, you can expect a loving and loyal companion. Consider factors such as grooming needs, health considerations, activity levels, compatibility with other pets, and your own lifestyle when making your decision. Both breeds have their own charm and will bring joy and happiness to your home.

ThePetFaq Team