If you're thinking of getting a Himalayan, be prepared for lots of love. Most of these laid-back longhairs don't have a mean bone in their blue-eyed, bi-colored body. Himmies make good pets for singles, couples and families. They also get along well with other cats and good-natured dogs.
As a flat-faced cat breed, some people might think the Himalayan looks "angry" or mean, compared to conventional cat faces. Don't judge this hairy kitty book by its cover. A cross developed in the 1930s between the Siamese and Persian breeds, Himalayans have the Siamese coloring and the Persian hair. Himmies also exhibit the Persian temperament, which is less excitable than the higher-strung Siamese. While Himmies didn't inherit the loud vocalization of the Siamese -- a polite way to describe constant meowing -- they can be demanding. If your Himmie wants your attention, he will let you know.
Calm and easygoing, most Himmies don't get upset easily. They don't tend to be "scaredy-cats." If you're looking for a lap cat to purr contentedly while you watch TV, the Himmie fills the bill, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association. The CFA notes that Himmies like being around their people, so this might not be your best choice of cat companion if you aren't home a lot.
Don't buy or adopt a Himmie as a barn cat or put him outdoors. This breed should live indoors, as a companion and part of the family. Bred for beauty, not work, Himmies like to spend the day lounging about. Most Himmies aren't destructive, but keep your cat's nails trimmed and provide a scratching post to prevent damage to furniture or curtains. Himmies aren't exactly lazy, but tend to have bursts of high energy. Keep her occupied with toys and play with her regularly to ensure those energy bursts don't occur at an inconvenient time, such as 3 a.m.
One caveat: don't buy or adopt a Himmie if you don't like to groom your cat. Himmies, like their Persian cousins, need regular brushing. Failure to comb or brush the hair frequently causes formation of mats or knots, which can be painful. You may have to acclimate your cat to regular bathing. In this sense, Himmies are high-maintenance.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.