The Himalayan (a.k.a. Himalayan Persian, or Colourpoint Persian as it is commonly referred to in Europe), is a breed or sub-breed of long-haired cat identical in type to the Persian, with the exception of its blue eyes and its point colouration, which were derived from crossing the Persian with the Siamese.
Like Persians more generally, the Himalayan tends to have a round (cobby) body with short legs, which makes it harder for them to jump as high as other cats do. Since the 1960s, however, some have more of a Siamese-like body, and thus do not have this limitation, but may not be acceptable as show cats, depending on the specific breed standards of the organisation in question.
As with other Persians, there are two types of Himalayans, the traditional or doll-face, and the peke-faced or ultra-typed which has the more extreme squashed-looking facial features. The seal-point Himalayan in the photo to the left is doll-faced while the lilac-point in the title image is peke-faced.
Show Himalayans display a nose break as do peke-faced Persians, and have very large, round eyes with the nose leather directly between the eyes. Breeder or pet Himalayans generally have longer noses than the show cats, and may display a longer muzzle and smaller eyes than the show cats do. All three types of cat are Himalayans, however.
These cats are sweet-tempered, intelligent and generally very social and good companions. Because of their heritage from the Siamese cats they tend to be more active than Persians.
Himmies, as fanciers call them, are good indoor companion animals. They are gentle, calm, and sweet-tempered, but they possess a playful side as well. Like the Siamese, Himalayans love to play fetch, and a scrap of crumpled paper or a kitty toy will entertain them for hours. Himalayans are devoted and dependent upon their humans for companionship and protection. They crave affection and love to be petted and groomed.