Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cat Breed Facts: Colorpoint Shorthair

The origins of the Colorpoint Shorthair begin with the Siamese. Experiments were often initiated with the hope of introducing new colors into the Siamese breed. As these experiments could only be done by outcrossing with other breeds, this infuriated Siamese purists. However, one of these ‘experiments’ resulted in the personable Colorpoint Shorthair.

The Development of the Colorpoint Shorthair

Breeders truly began to introduce new Siamese colors in the 1940s. Red, cream, tortie, and tabby points were among the first colors to arise during this time. In Great Britain, these cats were not recognized as Siamese, but offered the name Pointed Foreign Shorthairs. Breeders refused to accept this designation. The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in the United States refused to recognize them at all.

In 1964, the CFA voted to recognize the new colors under a separate breed, the Colorpoint Shorthair. England’s solution to the ‘naming problem’ of the Colorpoint Shorthair was to recognize these ‘non-traditional Siamese’ under a new breed number.

While some associations recognize Colorpoint Shorthairs as Siamese, most breeders and enthusiasts agree that these cats have developed unique traits and characterizes that do indeed warrant a distinct breed.

Some Breed Standards for the Colorpoint Shorthair

The standards for the Colorpoint Shorthair are fairly strict, as with most other breeds. It is easy to have a cat that is penalized or even disqualified, so those seeking a show cat should approach the purchase of a potential kitten with care.

General: The Colorpoint Shorthair is a refined and lithe cat with tapering lines. The ideal cat is similar to the Siamese, but with its own distinctive coloring.

Head: Medium in size, the head should be a long tapering wedge. It should be very triangular in shape, unbroken by the whiskers. An allowance should be made for jowls in adult males.

Ears: The ears of a Colorpoint Shorthair should be very large and pointed. They should be quite wide at the base and continue the lines of the head.

Eyes: All Colorpoint Shorthairs must have blue eyes, the brighter the better. The eyes should be almond shaped and medium in size.

Body: Graceful and long, the Colorpoint Shorthair is a combination of fine bones and firm muscles. The legs should be long and slim, while the paws are dainty and oval.

Tail: The tails of all Colorpoint Shorthairs should be long, thin, and taper to a fine point.

Coat: Fine textured and glossy, colors for the coat of Colorpoint Shorthairs vary and may include solid, lynx, or parti-color points. The coat should be short and lie close to the body.

Penalties: Any cat with inconsistent pigmentation of the nose leather or paw pads will be assessed a penalty in competition.

Disqualifications: Any of the following will result in disqualification: any eye color other than blue, kinked tails, incorrect number of toes, or malocclusion resulting in an overshot or undershot chin.

Colorpoint Shorthairs have budding personalities and a bright and open expression. They make wonderful companions but are generally not recommended for young children.

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