Vital Stats:Life Span: 12 to 17 years
The Colorpoint Shorthair is a Siamese of a different color—non-traditional colors, that is. The breed was developed using Siamese as the foundation and then crossing it with a red American Shorthair to bring in a new color. That was successful and attractive, and the cats became the basis for a new breed: the Colorpoint Shorthair. Eventually, other non-traditional colors were created. The breed was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1964. The International Cat Association considers the Colorpoint a variety of Siamese, not a separate breed.
Colorpoints are medium-size cats that typically weigh 5 to 10 pounds.
The Siamese and the Colorpoint Shorthair might differ in color, but beneath the skin they are identical. The Colorpoint Shorthair is talkative and opinionated. He will tell you exactly what he thinks, in a loud, raspy voice, and he expects you to pay attention and act on his advice. Colorpoints are extremely fond of their people. They like to be “helpful” and will follow you around and supervise your every move. When you are sitting down, a Colorpoint Shorthair will be in your lap, and at night he will be in bed with you, probably under the covers with his head on the pillow.
Do not get a Colorpoint if living with a chatty busybody would drive you insane. On the other hand, if you enjoy having someone to talk to throughout the day, a Colorpoint can be your best friend. Just be sure you have time to spend with this demanding and social cat. Colorpoints do not like being left alone for long periods, and if you work during the day it can be smart to get two of them so they can keep each other company.
The Colorpoint is highly intelligent, agile and athletic, and loves to play. Keep his busy brain active with puzzle toys and his body exercised with teaser toys that he can chase and a big cat tree he can climb. He is fully capable of opening doors and drawers or rifling through your purse in search of something interesting or shiny to play with. Never leave him without any form of entertainment, or you will likely come home to find that he has reprogrammed your DVR to record only nature shows or at the very least decided that your toilet paper rolls and tissue boxes look better empty.
Choose a Colorpoint if you look forward to spending time with and interacting with your cat. This is a loyal and loving feline who will pout and pine if given little or no attention. In the right home, however, he thrives for years.
Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. The same problems that may affect the Siamese can also affect the Colorpoint Shorthair, including the following:
- Amyloidosis, a disease that occurs when a type of protein called amyloid is deposited in body organs, primarily the liver in members of the Siamese family
- Asthma/bronchial disease
- Congenital heart defects such as aortic stenosis
- Crossed eyes
- Gastrointestinal conditions such as megaesophagus
- Hyperesthesia syndrome, a neurological problem that can cause cats to excessively groom themselves, leading to hair loss, and to act frantically, especially when they are touched or petted
- Nystagmus, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary rapid eye movement
- Progressive retinal atrophy, for which a genetic test is available
The short, fine coat of the Colorpoint is easily cared for. Comb it every couple of weeks with a stainless steel comb or soft bristle brush to remove dead hair, then polish it with a soft cloth to make it shine.
Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection. Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.
Keep the Colorpoint’s litter box spotlessly clean. Cats are very particular about bathroom hygiene.
It’s a good idea to keep a Colorpoint as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Colorpoints who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.
Coat Color And Grooming
Except for color, the Siamese and the Colorpoint are indistinguishable, having a svelte but muscular body with long lines and a wedge-shaped head that is long and tapering from the narrow point of the nose outward to the tips of the ears, forming a triangle. The unusually large ears are wide at the base and pointed at the tip, giving them the same triangular shape as the head. Medium-size eyes are almond-shaped. The body is often described as tubular and is supported by long, slim legs, with the hind legs higher than the front legs. The Colorpoint walks on small, dainty, oval paws and swishes a long, thin tail that tapers to a fine point.
Colorpoints come in 16 colors and patterns, including red point, cream point and lynx point. The coat often darkens as the cat ages. Eyes are a vivid blue.
Children And Other Pets
The active and social Colorpoint is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks easily and loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect. He gets along with cats and dogs who respect his authority. Always introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.