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What are the distinguishing features of a Himalayan kitten?

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Quick Answer

Himalayan kittens are born with a fluffy, creamy white coat and have blue eyes. The Himalayan cat is available in more than a dozen color variations, but they all consistently have blue eyes and the point coloration of a Siamese cat. Individual color points won't usually show up until they're at least a few weeks old and the coat begins to grow out. Facial contours may be flattened or more rounded depending upon the preference of the breeder.

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Full Answer

Due to the wide variation in color and facial features, one Himalayan cat may look very different from another. The Himalayan is a medium-size cat, normally having a weight range of 7 to 12 pounds, but due to their long coat and large bone structure they can appear much bigger than they really are. Their long coats require daily brushing, and unlike most cats, it's recommended they are bathed regularly. They are known for being very affectionate, gentle with children and are generally considered to be good family pets.

Himalayan cats, or "Himmies" as fanciers call them, were developed by breeding Persians with Siamese. Breeders began to develop this animal in 1931, at first just to determine how the distinctive Siamese color point gene was passed on. This experiment resulted in a new breed of cat with the long hair of a Persian and the color points and blue eyes of the Siamese. By the mid 1950s, the Himalayan was accepted for recognition as an official cat breed.

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