Himalayan Cats Health Problems

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The flat faces of Himalayans make for lots of health problems.
The flat faces of Himalayans make for lots of health problems. (Image: urban image by www.graphistenligne.com from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Himalayan cats, also known as Himalayan-Persians, resemble Persian cats with Siamese markings. This is because they were the result of careful crosses between Persians and Siamese. Unfortunately, Himalayans or “Himmies” are prone to all Persian health problems.

Face

Because the Himalayan has a brachycephalic or flat face, they can have breathing problems. They cannot get enough air to cool off by panting, like other cats can in hot weather, so they are more prone to heatstroke.

Teeth

Another complication of a flat face is dental malocclusion or not having the upper row of teeth meet the lower row. This can cause eating problems and promotes plaque, gingivitis and tooth decay.

Grooming

The combination of a very thick coat and a very flat face means that a Himalayan cannot groom its anal-genital area. Feces can get caught on the coat and must be removed by the owner, according to “ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats.”

Eyes

Also due to the flat face, Himalayans are prone to cherry eye and clogged tear ducts. The flat face narrows the tear ducts so that the eyes are almost constantly leaking fluid.

Other Problems

Himalayans, like Persians, are also prone to polycystic kidney disease, which is incurable. They also are prone to various skin problems such as ringworm fungal infections and seborrhea olesa, which can cause hair loss, itchiness and red skin.

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