How to Determine a Himalayan Kitten's Color

The chocolate lynx point Himalayan pattern is an expression of the agouti (tabby) gene on the solid-colored markings.

The chocolate lynx point Himalayan pattern is an expression of the agouti (tabby) gene on the solid-colored markings.

When the Himalayan breed was created, it came only in four colors: seal, chocolate, blue and lilac. After flame and tortie point colors were added, however, the Himalayan developed a palette of 20 possible colors! But don’t worry-- identifying your kitten’s color is not as daunting as it first seems.

Determine if your kitten has a solid color mask or if he has one with a pattern. If your kitten has a fawn- or cream-colored body and brown hair that approaches black on his face, ears, legs and tail (the “points”), then he is a seal point. If he has an ivory-colored body with milk chocolate-colored points, then he is a chocolate point. If your kitten has a bluish-white body and medium gray-blue (slate) markings, then he is a blue point Himalayan. Both flame point and cream point Himalayans have creamy white bodies. However, the flame point should have deep orange markings while the cream point has buff-colored markings. Looking at your kitten's paw pads can help you decide whether your kitten is a seal or a chocolate point or whether he is a blue point or a lilac point. A seal point kitten will always have dark brown paw pads, while the chocolate point will have cinnamon pink pads. The blue point will always have slate gray-blue paw pads, while the lilac point will have lavender pink pads.

Determine the nature of any pattern the kitten displays. If your kitten has stripes, then he is a lynx point Himalayan. The lynx point Himalayan has heavy tabby markings overlaid on the solid colors of the mask, legs and tail. The seal lynx point has a light brown mask with dark brown markings and the blue point Himalayan has a silvery-blue mask with darker “blue” markings. The other colors should have mask colors as intense as their corresponding solid colors marked with darker tabby stripes. For example, the cream lynx point Himalayan has cream-colored points marked with darker cream stripes.

Examine your kitten's face, legs and tail. If your kitten has blotches of color, then you have a tortoiseshell or tortie point kitten. Cats with this coat pattern are usually female. Unlike the solid and the lynx Himalayans, the tortie point only comes in four colors: seal tortie, chocolate tortie, blue-cream and lilac-cream. The seal tortie has small patches of seal brown and flame red in his points. The chocolate tortie has small patches of chocolate and either red or cream. The blue-cream and the lilac-cream are exactly as they sound -- small patches of blue or lilac mingled with cream markings. If you are uncertain whether your kitten is merely a patchy solid color or if she is a tortie point, then (you know this is coming) check her paw pads! The Himalayan with solid points will always have solid-colored paw pads. Tortie points will have blotchy or “marbled” paw pads.

Look at the mask, legs and tail. If your kitten has both stripes and blotches, then she is a tortie lynx point kitten. It is possible to have a seal tortie lynx point, a chocolate tortie lynx point, a blue-cream lynx point or a lilac-cream lynx point kitten. No other combinations are possible at this point in time.

Tip

  • According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association website, there is no such thing as a pure red cat. For this reason, flame point Himalayans will always show a small amount of tabby striping even on “solid” cats. In order to be considered a flame lynx point, the Himalayan must have dark, distinct tabby markings.
 

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