Do Himalayan Cats Change Color? Everything You Need to Know

Himalayan cats, also known as “Himmies,” are a unique breed that combines the characteristics of both Persian and Siamese cats. They have a distinct appearance with a long, luxurious coat, bright blue eyes, and a unique facial structure. These cats are known for their calm and gentle temperament, making them great companions for families and individuals alike.

History and Origin of the Himalayan Cat

The history of the Himalayan cat can be traced back to the mid-20th century when breeders in the United States began experimenting with crossbreeding Persians and Siamese cats. The goal was to create a cat that possessed the stunning coat of a Persian with the striking color points of a Siamese. The result was the birth of the Himalayan cat breed, which quickly gained popularity for its unique appearance.

The Myth of Color Change in Himalayan Cats

The Color Genetics of Himalayan Cats

To understand the color-changing myth, we need to delve into the color genetics of Himalayan cats. These felines have what is known as “point coloration,” which means their extremities (such as the ears, paws, tail, and face) have a darker shade compared to the rest of their body. This coloration is caused by a gene that regulates pigment production in the fur.

Understanding Point Coloration in Cats

Point coloration can be seen in various cat breeds, such as Siamese and Ragdolls. It is a result of a temperature-sensitive gene that causes the darker pigments to develop in cooler parts of the body. This is why the extremities of Himalayan cats have a darker color than their body. However, it’s important to note that this coloration is not permanent and can change as the cat grows.

Dispelling the Color Change Myth – Fact vs Fiction

Now, let’s address the color-changing myth surrounding Himalayan cats. While it is true that the color points of a Himalayan cat can darken or lighten as they age, this is not a drastic change. It’s more of a gradual evolution. The color points may become more pronounced or fade slightly over time, but the overall coat color remains relatively stable. So, it’s safe to say that Himalayan cats do not undergo significant color changes as they mature.

Distinguishing Features of Himalayan Cats

Coat Length and Texture

One of the most distinguishing features of Himalayan cats is their long and silky coat. This luxurious fur requires regular grooming to maintain its beauty and prevent matting. The texture of their coat is soft and fine, making them incredibly pleasant to touch.

Facial Structure and Expression

Himalayans have a unique facial structure with a flat face and a broad, round head. Their nose is short and snubbed, giving them a sweet and innocent expression. Their large, expressive eyes are a striking feature, typically a deep, vivid blue color.

Eye Color and Shape

Speaking of eyes, Himalayan cats are known for their stunning blue eyes. However, it’s important to note that not all Himalayans have blue eyes. Some may have odd-eyed or copper-colored eyes, which adds to their individuality and charm.

Caring for Your Himalayan Cat’s Coat

Grooming Requirements

Due to their long and dense fur, Himalayan cats require regular grooming to prevent matting and keep their coat in top condition. Daily brushing is recommended to remove loose hair and prevent tangles. Additionally, periodic bathing can help keep their coat clean and free from debris.

Dealing with Shedding

Like all cats, Himalayans do shed. However, their long fur tends to shed less compared to shorter-haired breeds. Regular grooming and a balanced diet can help minimize shedding and keep your home relatively hair-free.

Preventing Matting and Tangles

With their luxurious coat, Himalayan cats are prone to matting and tangles. Regular brushing not only helps maintain their coat’s beauty but also prevents painful tangles from forming. Take special care around their hind legs and tail, as these areas are more prone to matting.

Health Concerns in Himalayan Cats

Common Genetic Health Issues

Like many purebred cats, Himalayans are prone to certain genetic health issues. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are two conditions that can affect this breed. Regular veterinary check-ups and genetic testing can help identify and manage these health concerns.

Respiratory Problems

Himalayan cats have a unique facial structure that can contribute to respiratory issues. Their flat face and shortened airways can lead to breathing difficulties, especially in hot and humid climates. It’s important to provide a well-ventilated environment and monitor their breathing to ensure their comfort and well-being.

Eye Conditions

Due to their prominent eyes, Himalayans are prone to certain eye conditions, such as cherry eye, corneal ulcers, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Regular eye exams and proper care can help identify and manage these conditions to maintain your cat’s ocular health.

Frequently Asked Questions about Himalayan Cats

Are Himalayan Cats High-Maintenance?

Himalayan cats do require a bit more maintenance compared to some other cat breeds due to their long fur. Regular grooming and attention to their coat, eyes, and respiratory health are crucial to keeping them healthy and happy. However, with proper care and attention, they can thrive in any loving home.

Can Himalayan Cats Live in Apartments?

Yes, Himalayan cats can adapt well to apartment living. They are known for their calm and easygoing nature, which makes them suitable for indoor environments. Just make sure to provide them with plenty of toys, scratching posts, and vertical spaces to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated.

Are Himalayan Cats Suitable for Families with Children?

Himalayan cats are generally gentle and patient, making them suitable companions for families with children. However, it’s important to supervise interactions between young children and any pet to ensure everyone’s safety. Teach children how to properly handle and interact with cats, and always encourage gentle and respectful behavior.


In conclusion, while Himalayan cats do not change color in the dramatic sense as the myth suggests, they are still fascinating and beautiful creatures. Their unique breed characteristics, including their coat, facial structure, and eye color, make them a truly captivating pet. With proper care and attention to their grooming, health, and well-being, Himalayan cats can bring joy and companionship to their owners for many years to come. So, if you’re considering adding a Himalayan cat to your family, embrace their unique traits and get ready for a wonderful journey with these enchanting felines.

ThePetFaq Team