Himalayan and Persian cats share many similarities. In fact, the Cat Fanciers Association identifies Himalayans as a type of Persian. However, the breeds do differ in several ways, including their history, color and personality traits. These two also differ in a few physical characteristics as well, but both are considered indoor breeds as neither would survive long outside without human intervention.
History & Health Differences
Persian cats have a longer recognized history than do Himalayans. Persians were shown at the first cat show held in 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London. That same year the breed became registered with the CFA. The Himalayan cat originated through efforts to combine the markings of Siamese cats with the body shapes of Persian cats during the first half of the 20th century. The CFA recognized Himalayans as a separate breed in 1957, but in 1984 changed the Himalayan to a type of Persian. Unfortunately, both breeds are prone to similar health problems, including polycystic kidney disease and breathing problems. Both also can suffer from progressive retinal atrophy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, urinary tract problems and liver shunts.
Personality & Physical Differences
Himalayans and Persians do share similar personalities. However, Persians are less active than Himalayans, who are more demanding of attention than Persians. Both cat breeds are devoted to their owners and make good companions. Physically, both cat types are similar. According to the American Cat Fanciers Association breed guidelines, Himalayan cats should be similar to Persians in "type, conformation, coat length and texture." In terms of coloration, Himalayans may be pointed and, in that case, would resemble a Siamese cat in its eye color, coloring and coat pattern. Other Himalayans share their eye and coat coloration with Persian cats.
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