Persian vs Himalayan Cat: A Quick Comparison (w/ Pictures)

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ


persian vs himalayan cat

If you are in the market for a new feline pet, two choices that may confuse you are Persian and Himalayan cats. These cats look a bit similar, not to mention that they also share resembling characteristics.

For this reason, getting to know more about the feline options you have is ideal. It will help you understand the personality of the breed you are eyeing, as well as the requirements it may need once you bring it home.

Take a look at the table below for a quick comparison of Persian vs Himalayan cats.

Persian Himalayan
Origin Persia (what Iran called itself before changing its name in 1935) A cat mix between Iran’s Persian cat and Thailand’s Siamese cat
Lifespan 12 to 18 years 8 to 11 years
Average Size 8 to 10 inches 8 to 10 inches
Temperament Enjoys attention


Thrives on being alone

Enjoys playing with its caretaker

Appearance Has long fur with either white, gray, or orange colors Has a long, luxurious coat with the color markings of Siamese cats

Keep reading to understand the differences between Himalayan vs Persian cats.

Breed History of Persian Cats


Persian cats are one of the oldest breeds of felines, although their history is quite a mystery. As its name suggests, this breed came from Persia (which is now modern-day Iran), where people call it Shirazi cats.

This breed was imported into Europe in the early 1600s, where they were valued for their majestic appearance. These felines instantly became famous among the wealthy and aristocrats.

The Europeans created a breeding program for Persian cats in the early 1800s. This program aimed to refine the breed better, thus making them more elegant.

The resulting breed had a more luxurious coat, rounder head, and shorter muzzle.

Today, Persian cats have long, silky fur, a calm temperament, and an affectionate nature. They also have a variety of colors and patterns.

Breed History of Himalayan Cats


Himalayan cats were created in the 1930s by crossbreeding Persian and Siamese cats. This resulted in a cat with a beautiful coat of Persian felines with the distinctive color patterns of Siamese species.

Breeders Virginia Cobb, Marguerita Gorforth, and Dr. Clyde Keeler were the first to breed Himalayan cats. In 1935, their breeding efforts were adopted in England.

Back then, feline breeders did not recognize the Himalayan cat as a separate breed. Instead, it was considered a color variant of the Persian breed.

It was only in the 1950s when Himalayan cats became a separate breed recognized by feline associations.

Difference Between Persian and Himalayan Cats


1. Origin


As mentioned, Persian cats are believed to have come from Persia, hence the name. On the other hand, Himalayan cats are a mix of Siamese species from Thailand and Persian felines.

The first attempt to crossbreed Persian and Siamese cats were recorded in the US in the 1930s.

2. Life expectancy


Persian cats have an average lifespan of 12 to 18 years, while Himalayan cats can live for 8 to 11 years. But with proper care and a healthy lifestyle, these felines can easily exceed their lifespans.

Several factors, such as diet, genetics, exercise, and vet care, affect the lifespan of these felines. You also need to protect them with an appropriate environment to keep them physically well.

3. Size


Persian and Himalayan cats are medium to large-sized felines. Male Persian cats weigh more than 12 lbs on average, while females weigh 8 to 12 lbs.

Meanwhile, a male Himalayan cat’s size is smaller, with an average weight of 9 to 12 lbs. The female ones only weigh 7 to 10 lbs.

Both feline breeds can grow between 8 and 12 inches.

4. Appearance

  • Persian


Persian cats are popular for their long, gorgeous fluff, chubby cheeks, and snub nose. They have muscular bodies and solid legs, making them not the best jumpers.

Unlike other felines, Persian cats prefer sitting on the couch while it relaxes.

The fur of these felines has two layers – the undercoat and the topcoat. So, they tend to shed quite heavily. Persian cats also come in a variety of color patterns, with orange, black, cream, white, and gray being among the most prominent.

  • Himalayan


Meanwhile, the doll-faced Himalayan cats are almost identical to Persian felines in terms of body and facial build. The only difference is that these cats are mostly cream in color, with dark brown feet, tails, and ears.

Some cats also come in colors other than cream and dark brown. There are black Himalayan cats, while other colors include blue, lilac, silver, and gold. And although you can find Himalayan cat orange fur, it’s not an officially recognized color and more likely a result of cross-breeding with other species, such as the domestic shorthair.

5. Cat price


You may be wondering which is expensive and which is affordable.

The prices of Persian kittens can range from $1,300 to $5,000. This price range varies depending on the cat’s fur color.

For instance, white Persian kittens are more expensive than colored ones.

Unlike Persian, Himalayan kittens are more affordable, as they only cost $200 to $2,500.

6. Personality

  • Persian


Persian felines are docile in nature. They are gentle and quiet and would prefer to only give their attention to the people they trust. Training them is pretty easy, not to mention that they groom themselves frequently. In addition, they get on well with other cats and dogs as long as they are introduced properly and given time to adjust to each other.

That said, they’re very high-maintenance, picky with their food, and demand a lot of attention from their owners. You’ll need to pay careful attention to their health, as they’re susceptible to eye diseases due to their flat face and short nose.

  • Himalayan


The Himalayan cat’s personality is a bit similar to the Persian cat, considering how the Himalayan cat’s attitude came from its parents. It’s affectionate, intelligent, and loyal but would also do well when left alone for some time. They also do well indoors, provided that you give them plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

However, Himalayan cats are prone to kidney problems, particularly polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which has no cure as of now. Their health issues mean you’ll have to prepare a special diet for them depending on their body size and age.

Plus, they shed a lot. And as they have long and thick coats, you’ll have to groom them frequently to prevent the fur from tangling.

Which is Better: Himalayan or Persian Cats?

The choice between a Himalayan and a Persian cat ultimately comes down to personal preference and lifestyle. Both breeds are beloved for their affectionate and gentle nature, as well as their luxurious coats and unique appearance.

In any case, you must be ready for the health issues that may arise. As mentioned above, Persian cats are susceptible to eye problems, whereas Himalayan cats may suffer from incurable kidney disease.

Pros and Cons

1. Persian cats

  • Affectionate, friendly, and loving to their caretakers
  • Highly sociable
  • Clean cats, as they love grooming themselves
  • Can live with other pets
  • Easy to train
  • Require frequent grooming
  • High-maintenance
  • Needs lots of attention
  • Picky eaters
  • Prone to eye diseases

2. Himalayan cats

  • Playful and affectionate
  • Does well in being alone
  • Does not require any time outside the house
  • Has a great temperament
  • Intelligent
  • Susceptible to kidney problems
  • Requires frequent grooming
  • Sheds excessively
  • Requires a special diet depending on its age and weight

Frequently Asked Questions


Are Himalayan and Persian cats the same?

Persian and Himalayan cats are different feline breeds. However, they are somewhat related, as the Himalayan cat is half Persian and half Siamese.

Years ago, breeders considered Himalayan cats as a type of Persian feline. But today, these felines are considered different breeds despite their DNA similarity.

So, how to tell if my cat is a Himalayan?

Himalayan cats are popular for their pointed coat pattern. Meaning their ears, face, tail, and legs are darker than the rest of their bodies. In addition, they tend to have round blue eyes, with small ears and noses that are smaller than other breeds.

What are some Persian cats’ similar breeds?

Apart from Himalayan cats, Siberian, Ragdoll, Asian semi-long hair, and Ragamuffin cats look similar to Persian cats. The primary reason is that these felines have long and thick coats.

Are there Himalayan cat short hair?

Himalayan cats have long hair. However, a designer breed called the Himalayan Siamese cat has a medium-length coat, as it is a result of breeding the long hair Himalayan cat and short hair Siamese cats together.

If you want a short hair color point feline, a Siamese cat is an excellent choice.


Considering the difference between Persian vs Himalayan cats, it is clear that both make fantastic pets. So, deciding whether to bring home a Persian or Himalayan cat boils down to personal preference.

However, it is important to note that both cats require serious care and attention. This way, your pet can live a comfortable life.

Another thing worth noting is that both cats can live a long life, meaning you will live with them for years. For this reason, you need to be a patient and dedicated caretaker of your new pet.

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