The Himalayan

 The Himalayan is a Persian-type cat with a short face, heavy body and long, thick coat. This breed arises from the Persian cat, with Siamese bloodlines introduced (about 60-70 years ago) to get the striking ‘pointed’ coloration.

 Like all long-haired cats, they need frequent brushing and regular grooming. They tend to have gentle dispositions and make very good pets.

Hereditary Cataracts, both of which can be seen in kittens as young as 2 or 3 months of age. This might appear as a cloudiness on the front of the eye.

As a ‘brachycephalic’ (a short-faced ) breed, Himalayans can have upper respiratory issues and ‘epiphora,’ which is the tear-staining right below the eyes seen in many short-faced breeds (dogs and cats). Their shortened faces predisposes them corneal abrasions and ulcers. They’re also known for ‘Corneal Sequestration,’ a complication of corneal damage, sometimes requiring surgery and usually leading to long-term scarring and impaired vision.

Himalayans are susceptible to hereditary kidney problem known as Polycystic Kidney Disease (Polycystic Renal Disease). Early symptoms include excess drinking and urinating, so always monitor your cat’s water consumption and urine output. This disease is diagnosed with a blood panel and urinalysis. Ultrasound confirms the diagnosis and gives us the degree of pathology.

Heart disease can also occur, so a routine yearly exam can help detect this by listening to a murmur or irregular heart beat. This type of heart failure can be catastrophic and even lead to immediate death with no symptoms at all.

Himalayans have a higher than usual incidence of Feline Asthma, possibly from genetic susceptibility. Watch it breathing while at rest, and have an exam done if there is labored breathing or coughing.

They can also get a urinary problem causing bloody urine. This problem can be present without you noticing it, so daily litter pan cleaning and observation is important, and be on the alert for straining to urinate and excess licking of genitalia. It could be a condition known as FLUTD ( Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease). This can become serious, especially in the male. It could also be a sign of a stone in the bladder.

Himilayans are long-lived, and need constant monitoring for problems. One of the best ways to increase its life span is to keep its weight down and get the teeth cleaned every 6 months. We do this by performing a non-anesthetic dental.

All of these possible problems emphasize the need for yearly exams and routine diagnostic tests to catch problems early. Many of the diseases of this breed are found in the Diseases section of our web site.