Colorpoint Shorthair: Cat Breed Profile

Colorpoint Shorthair
The Colorpoint Shorthair should look just like a Siamese with different colored points.

CarlSalonen / Getty Images

If you think the Colorpoint Shorthair looks a lot like the Siamese, you’re onto something. The Colorpoint Shorthair is essentially a Siamese of a different color. Colorpoints share many of the same physical characteristics of the Siamese, including body type, head shape, and coat length and texture, and temperamental characteristics, but Colorpoints come in additional pointed colors (a lighter body with darker “points” of color on the extremities, including the head, tail and legs). 

The four traditional pointed colors in the Siamese breed include seal (pale fawn body with dark brown points), chocolate (creamy white body with light-brown points), blue (blueish-white body with gray-blue points) and lilac (white body with pinkish-gray points). The Colorpoint Shorthair comes in 16 colors, including solid color points (red point and cream point), lynx points (seal lynx point, chocolate lynx point, blue lynx point, lilac lynx point, red lynx point, cream lynx point, seal-tortie lynx point, chocolate-tortie lynx point, blue-cream lynx point and lilac-cream lynx point) and parti-color points (seal-tortie point, chocolate-tortie point, blue-cream point and lilac-cream point). 

Just like its Siamese cousin, the elegant Colorpoint Shorthair is long and lean, with a fine bone structure and firm musculature. The distinctive wedge-shaped head is set off by large ears and accentuated by almond-shaped, vivid blue eyes. The close-lying short coat is glossy with a fine texture. 

Colorpoint Shorthair cats are outgoing, friendly and affectionate, tending to follow their favorite people all around the house. They are typically very vocal, with a loud and distinctive meow, which they use to “talk” to anyone who will listen. These sweet snugglers gravitate toward warm laps and fuzzy blankets, especially in the cold winter months. 

Breed Overview

Weight: About 6 to 14 pounds

Length: Up to 14 inches

Coat: Short, glossy, fine-textured and close-lying

Coat Color: 16 non-traditional pointed colors

Eye Color: Vivid blue

Life Expectancy: 8 to 12 years

Characteristics of the Colorpoint Shorthair

Affection Level  High
Friendliness  High
Kid-Friendly  High
Pet-Friendly  High
Exercise Needs  Medium
Playfulness  High
Energy Level  Medium
Intelligence  High
Tendency to Vocalize High
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Colorpoint Shorthair Cat

In the 1940s or 1950s, a handful of cat breeders attempted to create a Siamese cat with red points rather than the traditional seal, chocolate, blue or lilac colors. A red tabby American Shorthair cat was bred with a seal point Siamese. This litter was the beginning of the Colorpoint Shorthair breed. Red and cream Colorpoint Shorthairs were awarded championship status with the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1964, and other point colors and patterns (lynx) followed.

Various cat registries recognize the Colorpoint Shorthair differently. For instance, the Cat Fanciers’ Association and the Canadian Cat Association both recognize the Colorpoint Shorthair as an entirely separate breed from the Siamese. However, the International Cat Association recognizes it as a variation of the Siamese. 

Colorpoint Shorthair Cat Care

The Colorpoint Shorthair’s coat is exceedingly easy to care for. Weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush to remove loose hair and the occasional bath is just about all this breed needs. Shedding is fairly low and they are naturally very clean cats. Keep your Colorpoint Shorthair cat’s nails trimmed short and periodically look inside the ears for dirt and redness. If you see a little debris in the ears, use a gentle pet ear cleanser to clean the ears with a cotton ball and (never stick anything like a cotton swab into a cat’s ear). If the ears look inflamed or excessively dirty, or if your Colorpoint Shorthair is shaking his head or scratching his ears, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian.

There are a few ways you can help your Colorpoint Shorthair get enough exercise and indoor enrichment. First provide plenty of places to climb and perch like cat trees and kitty condos. Also, all cats need to scratch, which is a natural and enjoyable behavior. To keep your couch and rugs in good shape, give your Colorpoint Shorthair a variety of acceptable scratching places both vertical (like posts or cat trees) and horizontal (like cardboard or sisal scratchers that lie on the ground).

Common Health Problems

All cats can develop health issues throughout their lives, but as with all pedigreed cats, the Colorpoint Shorthair has some known congenital issues in its background. The Colorpoint Shorthair is prone to the same conditions as its close cousin the Siamese, including crossed eyes and other eye issues, a liver disorder called amyloidosis, dental problems, breathing issues like asthma and congenital heart defects. Reputable breeders test their adult cats for health issue and avoid breeding affected cats. Most reputable breeders also usually offer a health guarantee of some kind.

Diet and Nutrition

Colorpoint Shorthairs should be long and lean. Keeping your Colorpoint Shorthair at an ideal weight can prevent certain health issues like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, which can be compounded by excess weight. Feed your Colorpoint Shorthair measured amounts of cat food at regular times (twice a day for adult cats). Avoid free feeding (leaving food out all day), which can cause continuous snacking, contributing to an overweight cat. Ask your veterinarian or breeder for advice about the best food to feed your Colorpoint Shorthair cat.

Pros

  • Affectionate, friendly and outgoing 

  • Entertaining and talkative  

  • Low shedding

Cons

  • Doesn’t do well if left alone

  • Loud for a cat (lots of vocalization)

  • Needs a lot of attention

Where to Adopt or Buy a Colorpoint Shorthair Cat

If you’re thinking about buying a Colorpoint Shorthair kitten, consider going to a local cat show, which is a great way to connect with reputable breeders. Cat shows are lots of fun and you can see many different cat breeds all in the same place. To find a cat show in your area, do an internet search for “cat show near me” or visit http://www.catshows.us.  Some Colorpoint Shorthair mix cats, usually adults, might end up in rescue. Check with local cat-specific rescue groups or even local shelters.

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

If you like the Colorpoint Shorthair cat, you might also like these cat breeds:

Otherwise, check out all of our other cat breed articles to help you find the perfect cat for you and your family.