Things You'll Need
Vaccines and deworming
Himalayan cats are gorgeous long-haired cats with the body and coat of a Persian, and the colored points of a Siamese cat. Some registration societies include them in the “Persian Division” for showing and breeding purposes, while other registries give Himalayans their own division. Whether you’d like to breed for family and friends, or start your own cattery and make a business of it, Himalayans are a charming and elegant cat you’ll enjoy.
Purchase the best queens (females) you can afford. Exotic colors like lynx (tabby), flame, cream, and tortie (tortoiseshell) point will be more expensive than the common colors such as chocolate, seal, and blue point. Look for a stocky body, a flat expressive face, and good coat. A Himalayan should always be charming and good-tempered.
Flat faces (brachycephalic, or short head) mean that your vet should check for eye, jaw, tooth, and breathing problems. Between 30-40% of Persians and related breeds have polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which makes the kidneys enlarge and eventually fail, according to the Feline Advisory Bureau. Genetic testing can tell if your Himalayan carries PKD or not.
Champions close up in the pedigree are important if you plan to show your kittens or sell them as show prospects. Check the registry or registries for which your Himalayan kitten is eligible. The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) is the largest registry, but there are many others.
You can purchase a tom (male) or buy the stud services of one to use when your queen is in heat. Select a tom who complements her in pedigree, conformation, color, and temperament.
A Himalayan’s pregnancy should last about 63 days. Your vet can either palpate (feel) for pregnancy at about 21 days, or do an ultrasound test to confirm pregnancy and estimate how many kittens. Three to four kittens are a usual litter size for a Himalayan.
Prepare a safe, quiet place for queening (giving birth). Your Himalayan may look restless in early labor, and contractions may be seen and felt once she is in active labor. Kittens should arrive head first in an amniotic sac, or occasionally, breech (rump first). First-time queens may not know they should clear the membranes away from the kitten, so you can assist her and gently stimulate (rub) the kitten once the face is out of the sac. Resist helping unless needed.
Supplement your queen's food with a diet approved for lactating (nursing) cats. Some owners shave their Himalayan’s belly to make finding the nipples easier. Work with your veterinarian to determine a worming and vaccination schedule so your kittens will be ready for their new homes after weaning.
Submit all registration paperwork quickly so it will be ready when a kitten is sold. If you’re interested in a long-haired cat that looks more like a Siamese than a Persian, then check out the Balinese breed.
If no kittens arrive after an hour of labor, or if the mother or kittens look sickly after birth, consult with your veterinarian.
Cognac's first published article appeared in 1985 in a dog breed publication. Since 1993, her writing has appeared on websites ranging from science fiction, pets, health, GLBT, humor, business, and most recently equine sites. She is a Registered Nurse with a BS in Business Management.