In 1950, the Siamese was crossed with the Persian to create a breed with the body type of the Persian but colorpoint pattern of the Siamese. It was named Himalayan, after other colorpoint animals such as the Himalayan rabbit. In the UK, the breed was recognized as the Colorpoint Longhair. The Himalayan stood as a separate breed in the US until 1984, when the CFA merged it with the Persian, to the objection of the breed councils of both breeds. Some Persian breeders were unhappy with the introduction of this crossbreed into their ''pure'' Persian lines.
The CFA set up the registration for Himalayans in a way that breeders would be able to discern a Persian with Himalayan ancestry just by looking at the pedigree registration number. This was to make it easy for breeders who do not want Himalayan blood in their breeding lines to avoid individuals who, while not necessarily exhibiting the colorpoint pattern, may be carrying the point coloration gene recessively. Persians with Himalayan ancestry have registration numbers starting with 3 and are commonly referred to by breeders as colorpoint carriers (CPC) or 3000-series cats, although not all will actually carry the recessive gene. The Siamese is also the source for the chocolate and lilac color in solid Persians.
Himalayans make great indoor pets. They possess the best characteristics from the Siamese and the Persian. Their activity levels lay between that of the Siamese and Persian, so they’re equally happy to play as they are to relax, making them great family pets. They are loyal and affectionate cats who require lots of attention and love but tend to play favourites among their owners. They are very social, sweet and intelligent, and have been known to be quite talkative.
Himalayans usually weigh around 5 kg, but females may weigh less and males may weigh more. They generally stand between 25 and 30 cm tall and an avarage Himalayan Persian cat has a lifespan of 9 – 15 years.