The Himalayan cat is essentially identical to the Persian cat, with the major exception between the two being point coloration and eye color. The Himalayanis generally considered to be a breed separate from the Persian cat, but is essentially just a color variation of the Persian. The Himalayan is said to have been introduced when a Persian cat was crossbred with a Siamese cat, which resulted in the offspring having the body type of the Persian and the point coloration of the Siamese.
With a round and stubby body, complete with short legs, the Himalayan cat is not much of a jumper. However, some do tend to be born with a body type that favors their Siamese ancestor and allows them to be a long leaner and lankier.
There are two primary types of Himalayans: the traditional Himalayan and the Peke Himalayan. The primary difference between the two is that the Peke Himalayan tends to have much more in the way of a squashed face, making it more closely resemble the squashed-faced Persians.
Many cats who descend from Persians tend to inherit many of their health problems. In the case of Himalayans, they tend to inherit the traits that can lead to the development of polycystic kidney disease. However, there is a simply genetic test that can help breeders to determine which cats are carrying the gene for polycystic kidney disease so that these cats can be neutered instead of passing on this undesirable trait to their offspring.
Known to be sweet, calm, even-tempered, and intelligent, the Himalayan is a very sociable companion who thrives on the attention they get from their owners. Because of their longhaired coats, they require a fair amount of grooming in order to keep their coats free from tangles and in good condition.