In creating the Colorpoint Shorthair, the intention was to produce a breed closely related to the Siamese, but in a variety of point colours other than those commonly seen in the Siamese. To achieve this, British and American breeders began a selective breeding program, crossing Abyssinians with red Domestic Shorthairs and of course, Siamese. The results varied, although a consistent breed was eventually achieved and this became known as the Colorpoint Shorthair, a breed that falls within the Oriental breeds section as recognised by the Cat Fanciers Association. This registry is the only one to acknowledge the Colorpoint Shorthair as an independent breed in its own right.
There are two views on the classification of the Colorpoint Shorthair. Some believe it is purely a variation of Siamese, while others consider it a hybrid cat, with contributing American Shorthair blood. In appearance, structure and temperament, the Colorpoint Shorthair is very similar to the Siamese, with the only real variation being in terms of its coat. Unlike the Siamese which is observed in four traditional coat colours (including blue, seal, lilac and chocolate), the Colorpoint Shorthair is observed in far more, from red point and cinnamon point, to cream point, lynx point and tortie point. When it comes to appearance and structure, the Colorpoint Shorthair boasts an agile, athletic build, with long legs, upright triangular ears, and a wedge-shaped head.
Generally speaking, the breed is highly active, inquisitive and intelligent, benefiting from both physical and mental enrichment. If housed indoors, the Colorpoint Shorthair will enjoy a variety of interactive toys, scratching posts and plenty of human companionship to lead a happy and fulfilled life. A very vocal cat, this is not one for those wanting a quiet animal. Besides this, the Colorpoint Shorthair is playful – making it a great breed choice for families with children, affectionate, and animated. Typically, a healthy Colorpoint will weigh roughly 10 pounds, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years.
This breed is usually very healthy and resilient, although there are documented cases of endocardial fibroelastocis and protrusion of the cranial sternum in the Colorpoint Shorthair.