In the 1940’s in England and the U.S. an effort was started to get a Siamese-style pointed cat, but in more colors than the traditional four (seal, chocolate, lilac and blue). The breeders tried crosses of the red Domestic Shorthair, Abyssinian and the Siamese. At first, there were a lot of setbacks and failures and things were not working so well. In trying to get the right colors in the right places, the immense body type was lost. A further complication was the red coloration because it is a sex-linked color.
Once the colors and patterns were established by line breeding, the lines were then crossed back to the Siamese to regain the body style, personality, coat texture, and length. While technically a hybrid, this breed has a gene inheritance from the Siamese based on a 10 generation bloodline bred back to the Siamese after the right colors had been reached.
No matter how much the breeds are alike, some of the Siamese breeders didn’t like the new colors and wanted to keep their lines “pure”. So for CFA registration purposes, the breeders with the new colors then took the name “Colorpoint Shorthair.” The breed was accepted in the CFA in 1974
although some U.S. associations extend the Siamese standard to include the new colors, because it is less confusing. In Britian, the governing council for the cat fancy calls the Colorpoint Shorthair a Siamese, but are given a different breed classification number, showing that they too have doubts about it being a Siamese.
The Colorpoint Shorthair is a very active, loving, outgoing, intelligent, very vocal pet. They love being with their owners and being petted and pampered. Although a generally healthy medium sized breed, they can suffer from the same things the Siamese do, like endocardial fibroelastosis.
By: Linda Eastabrooks
Former AKC Breeder