Himalayan cats and Siamese cats are both highly popular breeds in the United States, and choosing between the two can be a challenging prospect! The most obvious difference between these breeds is their coat length: Himalayans have longer, fluffier coats than Siamese cats. That said, there are more differences between the two than meets the eye.
They have different personalities, with Siamese cats being more vocal and active and Himalayans being more laidback and quieter felines. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Himalayans were actually developed from Siamese cats, so there are distinct similarities within the breeds too.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at each breed and try to parse out what makes each one so unique. Let’s get started!
At a Glance
Himalayan Cat Overview
Unlike the Siamese cat, which is a natural breed, the Himalayan was created in the early 1930s by breeding Persians and Siamese cats to create a cat with the long, luxurious coat of the Persian and the blue eyes and pointed coloration of Siamese cats. The Cat Fanciers Association recognized the Himalayan as a distinct breed in 1957, then later reclassified the breed as a color variety of the Persian. Some other registries consider the Himalayan as a unique breed altogether.
Himalayans are medium-large-sized cats with thick, long coats, Siamese-like pointed coloring, and gorgeous blue eyes. Despite their size, they are gentle, friendly cats that get along with almost everyone.
Personality / Character
The personality of the Himalayan is similar to that of a Persian. They are sweet, docile, and quiet and love to be close to their owners. They truly are lap cats that enjoy attention and affection but prefer quieter households without too much noise or activity. While they are generally friendly animals, they reserve most of their attention for their human companions and can be wary of new faces, although they generally warm up quickly. They prefer peace and quiet and enjoy being petted gently on your lap, but they are also playful at times — when it suits them, of course!
Himalayan Cat Care
With their long, luxurious coats, Himalayans need daily grooming and brushing to avoid matting and knotting, making them high-maintenance felines compared with Siamese cats. Their coats tangle quickly and easily, and if you don’t have the time or are not willing to dedicate time to daily grooming, the Siamese may be a better option for you. Luckily, Himalayans generally love the attention that comes with grooming, which makes the process much easier and is a great way to bond with your feline.
Himalayans have the flattened faces of their Persian parents, so they are known to have respiratory issues at times. They may have difficulty breathing or swallowing and may not be able to perform strenuous physical activities. Their long coat also makes them more susceptible to skin issues, so you’ll need to groom them regularly. Lastly, their docile nature makes them far more susceptible to getting overweight because they are not as active as Siamese cats, so feed them only the most nutrient-dense foods and keep treats to a minimum.
Himalayans can make great family cats as long as children are taught to treat them gently and calmly, but they are more suited to singles, couples, and seniors. They are quiet, docile animals to have around, and they have plenty of affection to give and love being close to their owners. They need a great deal of grooming and maintenance, though, and this can be a big responsibility.
Siamese Cat Overview
One of the most popular and easily recognizable cats in the world, the sophisticated Siamese cat is affectionate, friendly, and playful and a wonderful family pet. The breed originated in Thailand and has been prized in the country for centuries, although they only made their way to the West in the late 19th century. These cats come in a variety of pointed colorations, but at first, only seal-point varieties were shown.
The breed has been developed to include several other points and patterns, and this unique coat, their striking blue eyes, and outgoing personalities are why the breed is so popular. In fact, Siamese cats have been used in the development of several other cat breeds, including the Balinese, Oriental, and of course, the Himalayan.
Personality / Character
Perhaps one of the most defining aspects of the Siamese cat’s personality is their vocal, talkative nature. If you want a quiet, docile cat, the Himalayan is definitely a better option, as Siamese cats are known to talk almost constantly! They are, like Himalayans, fond of their owners and form close bonds with their human family, often to the point where they will follow your every movement around the house.
They are fairly attention-demanding animals that do not enjoy being left alone for long periods, leading most Siamese owners to recommend keeping a pair of these cats rather than just one. They are highly intelligent animals that are easy to train, and their athletic, agile frame makes them great playmates too. They will benefit highly from toys and cat trees because they love to play and climb and will keep children thoroughly entertained with their antics.
Siamese Cat Care
Unlike Himalayans, Siamese cats have low grooming needs, and their short coats only need occasional brushing sessions to remove any dead hair. Brushing will also help distribute the natural oils in their coat and keep their coats healthy and shiny, as well as keep excess hair off your furniture!
Siamese cats are prone to several genetic health conditions and, in general, are more vulnerable to disease than Himalayans. Their wedge-shaped head can cause respiratory problems, as well as dental issues due to their teeth not having enough space, so regular brushing is highly recommended.
Siamese cats are also known to be somewhat picky eaters, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on their diet to make sure they are getting all the required nutrition. Their slender legs are prone to issues if they gain excessive weight, so good nutrition is one of the most important aspects of keeping these cats healthy.
Siamese cats are playful and athletic, love to be around their human family, and make ideal family cats. They are easy to care for with low grooming needs but are attention-demanding and don’t enjoy being left alone, so they will be all the more vocal when you come home! If you are looking for a quiet, docile cat that doesn’t demand attention, the Himalayan is likely a better choice. But if you want a playful, interactive, and social feline, the Siamese is a great option.
What’s the Difference?
Although the Himalayan was developed from the Siamese cat, there are certainly noticeable differences between the two breeds. Other than the long coat and flat face of the Himalayan, a stark contrast to the short-haired Siamese, there are crucial personality differences to take into account before bringing either cat home.
In general, both cats are friendly, social, and great as family cats, and either feline will make an ideal companion. That said, Siamese cats are far more attention-demanding than Himalayans, so if you’re away from home frequently, the Himalayan is the best choice. Siamese cats are also far more energetic and playful than Himalayans and will do better with young children, whereas Himalayans prefer a calm, quiet home environment. Lastly, although Siamese cats are affectionate and loving toward their owners, Himalayans are certainly more of a lap cat and will happily cuddle on the sofa with their owners for hours. Siamese cats, on the other hand, are a bit more energetic and enjoy playing and exploring more than cuddling.
Both the Siamese and Himalayan are wonderful cat breeds, and either one can make a great addition to your family!
- See Also: Open Farm Cat Food Review