Of the 700+ cats that our rescue places per year, a great majority are Himalayans. These cats are known for their sweet nature and charming personalities. It is extremely important that people considering this breed understand the responsibilities that come along with a Himalayan; these cats are high maintenance.
Himalayans are known for their full, beautiful coats and round, flat faces. This breed is unfit to live outdoors due to physical makeup. The flatter face requires much care and attention – daily cleanings of the eyes and tear ducts is necessary to reduce risk of infection. Their coats range from silky and fairly easy to extremely full, cottony and difficult. Many people skirt around the grooming issues by keeping their cats in short “lion cuts.” This is a cute, hygienic way of maintaining these cats and many seem much happier (and cooler) this way. This does require regular grooming fees (ranging from $35-$50+ depending on where you live). People who keep the coats full should plan for DAILY combing/brushing to keep the fur clean and mat-free. For more information on grooming, please go to our “Grooming” page.
Himalayans can have significant health issues resulting in significant care costs. Because of their shortened faces and poor breeding practices, many have bad teeth which will require regular cleaning and perhaps some extractions. Their ears also need regular cleaning in order to avoid infections. In addition, they are very susceptible to joint issues (slipping kneecaps and early arthritis), heart problems, eye ulcers, and Polycystic Kidney Disease. Nostrils can be too small for the cat to breathe and require laser surgery to open them up. In fact, our rescue provides this surgery on a regular basis.
These breeds are best for families and people new to cats because of their laid-back, easy-going personalities, provided, of course, that the new owners are prepared for the care requirements attached to these cats.