ALL CAT BREED PROFILES

Colorpoint Shorthair: Your Chatty Friend Who Won’t Leave Your Side

Colorpoint Shorthair sitting outside having a leash at her neck
Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

Cat lovers have varying preferences in their quest for the perfect cat. Over and above a cat’s physical looks, a cat’s personality is a key factor that cat lovers take into consideration when deciding which breed to adopt. Some felines are introverted and quiet. Other felines like the Colorpoint Shorthair are a ball of energy—very vocal and demanding.

If you fancy cats that take their companionship role pretty seriously, then the Colorpoint Shorthair may be your dream cat. These felines won’t let you get out of their sight. They are known to stalk their owners while engaging them in intense chats. Taking after their Siamese parents, these cats are loyal, friendly, extremely vocal, and explorative.

Colorpoint Shorthair kittens sitting in a basket

There is so much to learn about the Colorpoint Shorthair. This article will dig into the origin of this feline, their physical traits, and potential health problems. We will also discuss how to take care of this extroverted feline including how to groom them, their feeding schedule, and their play activities.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: Above Average

  • Grooming: Low Maintenance

  • Health: Good

  • All Around Friendliness: Good

  • Exercise Needs: Active; requires daily physical activity

Cat Breed GroupShort-Haired, Crossbreed
SizeSmall to Medium-Sized
Weight5 - 10 lbs
Lifespan12 - 17 years

Colorpoint Shorthairs trace their origin back to the 1940s. Breeders in the UK and the US sought to create a variety of pointed colors to diversify the four traditional colors found in Siamese cats. To achieve this, they crossed the Siamese with the Abyssinian, a red domestic shorthair, and the American Shorthair. The resulting initial breed, however, had their Siamese features greatly compromised.

The breed was therefore repeatedly crossed with pure Siamese felines and finally, the breeders achieved what they had been hoping for—Siamese felines with an array of pointed colors. In addition to the four traditional colors of the Siamese (blue, lilac, chocolate, and seal), 16 more point colors were found in the new breed.

Image of two colorpoint shorhair cats lying in bed together

The Colorpoint Shorthair has a great physical resemblance to the Siamese. Thanks to that, most cat registries (with the exception of the CFA) do not recognize this breed as an independent breed. They instead consider the pointed felines as variations of the Siamese breed.

However, the breed was officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1964 with the red and cream-pointed felines being accepted for championships. Later on, in 1969, Colorpoint Shorthairs bearing tortie and lynx points were also accepted by the CFA for championships.The Colorpoint Shorthair is a breathtaking beauty with blue, almond-shaped eyes. They are medium-sized, elegant, and muscular. Their head is wedge-shaped with large ears. They have slender necks and legs, and their tails are long and tapering.

colorpoint-shorthair-kitten sitting on a table near some stairs

The 16 color points on their faces, ears, tail, and feet offer a beautiful contrast to their light-colored bodies. Their bodies may appear in either cream or white color shades. They are donned in a short shiny coat that requires minimal grooming. Perhaps in full awareness of their dashing beauty, Colorpoint Shorthairs are extroverted, very vocal, and chatty. They are very loyal to their owners and will follow them everywhere.

Main Highlights

  • Colorpoint Shorthairs originated in the 1940s as a result of a breeding effort to diversify the four colors found in Siamese cats.

  • This new breed was achieved by crossing four cat breeds—the Siamese, the Abyssinian, the American Shorthair and red-colored domestic shorthairs.

  • Colorpoint Shorthairs have short coats that require minimal grooming.

  • Colorpoint Shorthairs are hypoallergenic. This means that they produce less of the protein Fel d 1 which triggers allergies in some people. The breed is, therefore, an ideal feline for cat allergy sufferers.

  • Colorpoint Shorthairs are excessively vocal. They are known to have over 100 vocal sounds.

  • These felines come in 16 point colors.

  • Most cat registries apart from the CFA do not recognize Colorpoint Shorthairs as an independent breed. They consider the breed as a variation of the Siamese cat.

  • Generally, Colorpoint Shorthairs are outgoing and extroverted, but male Colorpoint Shorthairs can be overly aggressive especially when he feels the need to protect his territory.

  • Seeing that these felines are extremely playful, they need lots of stimulating activities to keep them engaged. Owners, therefore, need to be ready to provide lots of perching places, stimulating toys, puzzles, and also spare some time to play with them.

  • Colorpoint Shorthairs are experts in detecting their owner’s mood. If they sense that their owners are distressed, they go out of their way to comfort them.

  • These felines require high-quality cat food to maintain their muscular body. A good diet will also ensure their glossy coat stays healthy.

Breed History

The Colorpoint Shorthair originated in the 1940s when breeders from England and America sought to diversify the colors found in the Siamese cats. These breeders brought on four cat breeds to achieve this. They crossed the Siamese, the Abyssinian, a red domestic shorthair, and the American Shorthair. The resulting breed was not what they had envisioned as the Siamese body type became compromised.

It took repetitive breeding of the new breed with purebred Siamese cats to achieve today’s Colorpoint Shorthair. In addition to the four colors of the Siamese, the Colorpoint Shorthair brought in 16 new pointed colors.

Image of a colorpoint shorthair cat sitting and looking up to the camera

The Colorpoint Shorthair was officially recognized and approved for championships by the CFA in 1964. Many other cat registries do not, however, consider it as an independent breed. They see it as a variation of the Siamese breed. Colorpoint Shorthairs share a great physical resemblance with Siamese felines. Only the 16 point colors on their face, ears, tail, and legs distinguish them from Siamese felines.

Size

These felines are medium-sized. They tend to weigh less than other medium-sized cats due to their slender frame. They weigh an average of 5 to 10 pounds. Colorpoint Shorthairs are elegant. They have long a neck, legs, and a long, tapering tail. Do not let their slim frames fool you; these felines are strong and have well-toned bodies.

Personality and Character

Colorpoint Shorthairs are outgoing and are considered extroverts. They are affectionate, friendly, and thrive on human company. They do not take it kindly when left alone. They get along well with other pets and children. These felines are also very loyal and loving to their owners. They love to follow their owners everywhere and are very demanding of their owner’s attention.

Studio image of an colopoint shorthair cat lying down

These felines are very vocal and posses over 100 sounds. They are also very opinionated and love to engage humans in endless chats. They are, therefore, ideal for owners who do not mind loud pets.

These felines are also very intelligent and can be taught dog-like tricks like playing fetch. They are very playful and enjoy stimulating games. They should be provided with lots of engaging toys and play activities. If these are not provided, Colorpoint Shorthairs will often resort to mischief and can get distractive around the house.

Health and Potential Problems

The Colorpoint Shorthair is generally considered a healthy breed. However, they are prone to a number of genetic ailments mainly attributed to their Siamese heritage. Not all Colorpoint Shorthairs will suffer the ailments. Most of these felines lead healthy lives. A few of them, however, tend to fall victim to the following diseases:

Potential Problem #1: Amyloidosis of the Liver

This feline disease occurs when deposits of a protein known as amyloid are collected in the liver. Amyloid is a solid, waxy deposit created from tissue degeneration. Once deposited in the liver, it affects the organ’s normal functioning. The symptoms of this disease are:

  • Appetite loss

  • Lethargy

  • Excessive thirst and urination

  • Painful joints

  • Swollen abdomen/limbs

  • Vomiting

  • Whitish eyes

This is a serious ailment that requires close veterinarian supervision in managing it. The vet may recommend fluid therapy, surgery, blood transfusion, and dietary changes as a part of the treatment.

Potential Problem #2: Pancreatitis

This is when a cat’s liver becomes inflamed. A healthy liver is responsible for the production of insulin and other enzymes that aid in food digestion. Once inflamed, these enzymes do not flow freely to the digestive tract.

A Colorpoint Shorthair cat lying on a white sofa

The enzymes instead tend to infiltrate the abdominal area. This abnormality causes a lot of havoc in the body with the enzymes breaking down body tissues. Common symptoms of this disease are:

  • Dehydration

  • Appetite loss

  • Weight loss

  • Fever

  • Labored breathing

  • Lethargy

If detected early, pancreatitis is treatable. Veterinarian care for this ailment may include fluid therapy, antibiotics, pain relievers, plasma transfusion, and dietary changes.

Potential Problem #3: Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This disease is caused by a degeneration of the cells in the retina. This leads to impaired vision or total blindness in the cat. The affected feline would have a normal vision at birth which degenerates with time. The symptoms of this disease are:

  • Inability to see at night

  • Blurred vision in bright light

  • Obesity

  • Uncomfortable reaction to light

  • Dilated pupils

If detected early, Taurine supplements can help improve the cat’s vision. Taurine is a type of amino acid that is critical for proper vision.

Potential Problem #4: Dilated Cardiomyopathy

This is a heart disease that is characterized by enlarged heart chambers, thus affecting their ability to contract. This compromises the heart’s efficiency in pushing out blood from any of the ventricles and may lead to heart failure.

cute-colorpoint-shorthair-kitten-in a studio

The symptoms of this disease include:

  • Paralysis

  • Appetite loss

  • Lethargy

  • Stress/depression

Veterinarian treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy may include blood thinners, kidney treatment, oxygen therapy, and dietary changes. Cat owners can reduce the risk of being haunted by this disease by ensuring their felines eat food rich in Taurine. Fortunately, most of the cat foods available in the stores have a sufficient amount of this essential amino acid.

Care Features

Colorpoint Shorthairs are very playful and need lots of daily stimulation. Owners should ensure that they provide perching places and climbing trees for these cats. These felines also need plenty of stimulating toys to keep them active. These felines are also very demanding of human attention, especially from their owners. Owners should, therefore, seek to be available to pet them and play with them as often as possible.

Since they do not do well when left alone, busy owners should ensure there are other pets the cat can interact with while they are away at work. If possible, owners should keep them in pairs as they will be each other’s perfect company.

A cute-colorpoint-shorthair-kitten-and his owner

Like all felines, Colorpoint Shorthairs should never miss any of their recommended vaccinations and vet appointments. As aforementioned, they are prone to a number of genetic ailments drawn from their Siamese parents.

It is therefore wise for owners of these felines to be proactive in early diagnosis of these ailments. Fortunately, these diseases have only been reported in a few of these felines. The majority of these cats lead healthy lives.

Feeding Schedule

Colorpoint Shorthairs are muscular and athletic. They, therefore, require high-quality feline food to maintain their muscular physique. They should only be fed with food that contains meat as the primary ingredient. Their short, glossy coats also benefit from high-quality food. Owners should also ensure that these felines have access to clean drinking water at all times. Obesity is not something you generally need to be worried about with this breed. On the other hand, you might need to worry more about them being underweight.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Colorpoint Shorthairs are beautiful to behold. They come in a variety of 16 colors that are splashed on their face, ears, legs, and tail. These colors are a variation of the four traditional colors found on the Siamese breed, and they include the following:

  • Lynx Points. These consist of seal, cream, blue, chocolate, lilac, and red lynx points

  • Solid Points. These include cream and red points

  • Parti-colors. (Consists of two or more different colors). These are lilac–cream, blue-cream, seal tortoiseshell, and chocolate tortoiseshell

Colorpoint Shorthairs have short, shiny coats that require minimal grooming. Weekly brushing is sufficient for their coat as they do not shed much. They will rarely require a bath. To bring out the sheen in their coat, run a chamois cloth over it.

Beautiful Colorpoint Shorthair cat lying down

Daily dental care using feline toothpaste and a soft cat brush is essential for healthy teeth. Their ears should also be cleaned weekly. Their owners should also ensure their litter boxes are kept clean.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

Colorpoint Shorthairs are very social and affectionate felines. They get along well with children as they are very playful and eager to learn new tricks. They also adapt well to other pets. Introduction to other pets should, however, be gradual and not rushedThese cats make for great family pets as they thrive on company and human attention. Large families with other cat-friendly pets are even more ideal.

Wrap Up

The Colorpoint Shorthair draws their heritage from four breeds. Thoughts to develop this breed started when breeders from the US and the UK sought to diversify the colors of the Siamese breed. Colorpoint Shorthairs are very identical to Siamese cats. The only remarkable difference is the varying pointed colors on their face, legs, ears, and tail. It’s no wonder that most cat registries (apart from the CFA) do not recognize them as independent breeds. They classify them as a variation of the Siamese breed.

These felines are beautiful and have short, shiny coats that require minimal grooming. They do not shed a lot and are hypoallergenic. Their body is athletic and muscular. They exude a warm personality—being extremely outgoing, playful, affectionate, and loyal. They are also very vocal, and some people may consider them annoying. New cat parents should be prepared to listen to their endless chatter.

Seeing that these felines are very active, their owners should ensure they have access to lots of stimulating play activities. They need environmental enrichment with places to perch, scratch posts, cat trees, and other stimulating toys.

Beautiful Colorpoint Shorthair cat looking at the camera

Though generally a healthy breed, there have been a number of diseases reported among this breed. These diseases are mainly genetic and linked to their Siamese ancestry. Cat parents who intend to adopt Colorpoint Shorthairs should, however, not be scared to adopt this breed since only a few of the felines suffer these diseases. The majority of Colorpoint Shorthairs are free of ailments.

Can you cope with a feline that never keeps quiet or do you prefer quiet cats? If you do not mind constant companionship and endless chats, then the Colorpoint Shorthair may be ideal for you. If you live in a noise-sensitive apartment complex and you need a cat that’s calm and mild-mannered, we have a suggestion for you. Please let us know what you think about this cat in the comments.

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.

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