Welcome to another episode of SiteVs. In this comparison, we will look at two similar-looking cats yet so different in many characters; the Persian cat vs the Himalayan cat. Both cats are viral because of their appearance and temperament.
Let us look at how these cats differ and who will win this feline battle.
History and Origin
The Persian cat is known for its long and silky hair with a round face. Their exact origin is unknown, but it is believed that their ancestor is an African wild cat. Documents about these cats were found in the year 1620 in Khorasan province, Iran, and the Ottoman empire, Angara (now Ankara), Turkey. The Persian cats were imported from these places to Italy, and France respectively.
Similar to the Abyssinian cat, the Persian cat made its official appearance in the Crystal Palace Show, 1871. A variant of the Persian cat called the Traditional Persian or the Doll-face is a widely popular cat.
Though there are many mutations and inbreeding techniques, all the Persian cats retain most of their physical characteristics. They primarily differ in the appearance of the shape of their face and nose.
The Himalayan cat is the progeny of the Persian cat. It is a product of a crossing between the Siamese cat and the Persian cat. Since there are no significant differences between these two except the coat color, the Cat Fanciers’ Association does not consider the Himalayan cat as a separate breed.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association merged this breed into the Persian cat. Many breeders did not like the introduction of the crossbreeds into the pure bloodlines of the Persian cats. Since then, the CFA has set up a separate registry for Himalayan cats so that the breeders can differentiate them from their ancestral Persians.
Similar to the Persian cat, the Himalayan cat also has a traditional, doll-faced variant.
Since these two cats are genetically related and do not have many differences, it is quite common to get confused to distinguish between the two. These two cats have a rounded body, ears far-apart, and shortened muzzle.
The significant difference between these two cats is the color, known as Color-Points. Another noticeable difference is the eye of the Himalayan has only one color variant; blue. The Persian cat has different eye colors such as copper, green, and blue.
The coat color specifications of a Persian cat according to the CFA are:
- Solid silver and golden
- Shaded and smoke
- Calico and bi-color
The Colorpoint variations of the Himalayan are:
The chocolate and lilac Himalayan is due to the autosomal recessive gene; hence it is difficult to produce these two color variants.
The Persian cat and the Himalayan cat are known for their long and silky coat. Both the cats weigh more or less the same; 7 to 12 pounds.
Behavior and Temperament
The Persian cat is an independent cat than the Himalayan. Since they do not frequently hop on your lap, they are considered as dignified cats. They aren’t that kid-friendly, and you should be careful if you have kids because they get agitated soon.
If you are a former owner of cats such as the American Bobtail or Wirehair, you can see an opposite behavior in terms of temperament. The Bobtail and Wirehair are extremely attached to the family, whereas the Persian and Himalayan are not.
The Persian cats aren’t pet friendly too. Though it is not a compulsion, you must note that these cats require special attention if there are other pets in your home. They are calm, lazy, and do not need regular exercise. Persian cats have moderate vocalization. They shed a lot and require regular grooming.
As you know, the Himalayan cat has many physical similarities with the Persian cat. But they are quite the opposite of their behavior and temperament. The Himalayan cats are extremely friendly with kids and other pets.
The Himalayans or Himmies are very affectionate and depend on their humans. Even though their energy level is moderate, they tend to play a lot and require moderate exercise. Similar to the Persian, the Himmies shed a lot and require daily grooming.
As the Himalayan cat shares its gene pool with the Siamese, they socialize a lot. They even love to play the fetch game. But note that they can be very moody sometimes.
The Persian cat and the Himalayan cat do not have a prey drive, and it is ok to have other smaller pets. You many not have trouble considering the hunting instincts between the Persian cat vs Himalayan cat. But note that no two cats are the same. Because of their feline genes, it is advised to be cautious with other smaller pets. Provide them with toys that inhibit the prey drive. You can arrange an indoor climbing tree or wall shelves to manage their physical activity. You can also make them play with the laser dot.
Health and Lifespan
The common health problems in both the cats are due to their brachycephalic head. Their short nose and muzzle will cause shortness of breath. A condition called Entropion (inward folding of eyelids) is observed in Persian cats.
The female Persian cats show a higher rate of stillbirth because of a common condition known as Dystocia (obstructive labor). Other common health conditions seen in the Persian cats are:
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD – Development of multiple cysts in kidneys)
- Trichiasis – Abnormal position of the eyelashes resulting in infections
- Shortness of breath
- Heat sensitivity
The Himalayan cats do not have other severe health conditions but may suffer from some common diseases such as:
- Polycystic Kidney Disease
- Skin infections
- Respiratory problems such as shortness of breath
The Persian cat and the Himalayan require regular bathing to remove the excess oil on their coat and skin.
The average lifespan of the Persian cat is 12.5 years, whereas, for the Himalayan cat, it is 15 years.
Diet Requirements and Care
A cat’s diet depends on age, sex, and activity. As the Persian and the Himalayan are less playful, a balanced diet will be helpful. The long coat of these cats may result in hairballs. Make sure you provide food that maintains the natural texture of their hair and prevents hairballs.
They tend to overeat and may result in obesity. Since both cats are susceptible to diabetes, make sure don’t overfeed them, and exercise them properly.
Which one is Best for You?
These two cats are trendy, and you can get them quickly from your local breeders. The Persian cat is ideal for beginners or for those who stay at the office for more extended periods. As the Persians are independent, it is suggestible for first-timers.
The Himalayan cat is also suggestible for first-timers, but they get bored if you leave them alone. If there are other smaller pets or people who stay at home, the Himmies are suggestible. As they are more affectionate and loyal cats, they are excellent as companions.
If all the conditions are met, both the cats are suggestible for first-timers as well as experienced owners.
Did you make a choice between the Persian cat vs the Himalayan cat? Let us know which one you chose. We would love to hear your story.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.