|The modern typed Himalayan is
medium to large in size, the body is short (called cobby). The legs are short and strong.
structure is rather solid.
The head must be round (also when viewed in profile), the skull is broad with a well
rounded forehead and dome.
The ears are small and placed rather deep
For a detailed description of the body and the
head look at the Persian.
The coat colour is different, the Himalayan has a
Siamese pattern, i.e. it has points:
The face, the ears, the legs and the tail are coloured with colour,
the body is almost white. The body colour mostly has a very slight
tone of the colour of the points and might get darker shaded, when
the cat becomes older.
The Himalayan, often referred as Colorpoint, in former times up to 1950 called Khmer,
is a man-made breed, resulting from cross breeding between Siamese and long-haired cats done
by the Swedish geneticist T Tjebbes in 1924. This breeding program was continued in North America in
1931 breeding black Persians to Siamese and resulted in the first longhair pointed cat
born in 1936, named Newton's Debutante.
In 1931, Virginia Cobb (Newton Cattery) and Dr. Clyde Keeler
(Harvard Medical School) began an experimental breeding program to
find out the inheritance involved in producing a Colorpoint
Longhair. They crossed black Persians with Siamese, and got black
shorthaired kittens, which were bred together. The result was "Newton's Debutante", they also published an
article in the American Journal of Heredity that detailed the
"formula" by which she had been produced.
Siamese-Persian Cats, Clyde E. Kyler, Virginia Cobb, Journal of
Heredity, v. 27, No. 9, Sept. 1936
Crosses with Siamese Cats, K. Tjebbes, Journal of Genetics, V. 14, p.
In the 1950s a Colorpoint Longhair stray named "Bubastis Georgina"
was picked up by Brian Stirling-Webb (Briarry cattery).
Inspired by her looks, he began together with Mrs. S.M.
Harding (Mingchiu cattery) to develop this variety further.
bred by Brian Stirling-Webb
In 1955 the breed was recognized by GCCF as Colourpoint, as a colour
group in the Persians.
Breeding of pedigree Himalayans in the United States started in 1950.
In the 1950s Ben Borrett (Chestermere cattery), a rancher and cattle
judge in Southern Alberta, Canada, began a similar breeding program
to create a longhair colorpoint cat. He and his wife, Ann, imported
several colourpoint longhairs from Brian Stirling-Webb (Briarry
cattery). In 1957 they exhibited two of their imported cats of
Briarry cattery at an ACFA show in Calgary, and were asked to write
the breed standard for the Himalayan.
Marguerita Goforth, a California artist and cat breeder (Goforth
cattery), started her breeding program with a cat of a friend,
obtained from the San Diego Humane Society, which was a longhaired
cat with seal point coloring and named "Princess Himalayan Hope".
Mrs. Goforth used the standard of the Borretts.
In 1957 the Himalayan was recognized by CFA first as a separate
breed, using the standard made by Mrs. Goforth. In 1984 CFA combined
the Himalayans with the Persians.
In 1971 Mrs. Graziani (Jubilee cattery) Canada, who bred Himalayans
and Silvers in her cattery, had an accidental breeding between one
of her Himalayans and one of her Silvers. She kept one of the
offspring from this breeding, and bred that kitten back to a
Himalayan. From that breeding the first lynx-point (tabbypoint) -
"Jubilee's Daneena" - was born, who was shown in a cat show one year
In 1975 Carolyn Baker (Sandypaws cattery), Florida, discovered a
surprise in the litter of a "tortoiseshell" CPC (Colourpoint
carrier), when a seal point kitten from that litter (Pershima
Daffodil) developed ghost stripes, as she thought. However, as she
continued to grow up, the striping didn't go away as expected, but
became more and more distinct.
In 1982 the tabbypoint Colourpoint (seal and blue tabbypoint) were
recognized by CFA.