Colorpoint Shorthair: Cat Breed Profile, Characteristics & Care

Appearance, Personality, History, Care, & Helpful Information for Pet Owners

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

CarlSalonen / Getty Images

The colorpoint shorthair is a hybrid (mix) of the Siamese and the American shorthair, but most of its physical characteristics favor the Siamese. It is long, lean, affectionate, and very vocal. Only the cat's array of 16 non-traditional point colors reflects its American shorthair genetics. Some cat registries recognize the colorpoint as a unique breed, while others classify it as simply a variation of the Siamese.

Whatever its color or official designation, this friendly, outgoing cat is eager to be part of an active household where people have plenty of time to interact with their pet.

Breed Overview

Personality: Sociable, affectionate, playful, and talkative

Weight: Up to 14 pounds

Length: Up to 24 inches

Coat Length: Short hair

Coat Colors: 16 non-traditional pointed colors

Coat Patterns: Colorpoint, lynx

Eye Color: Blue

Lifespan: Up to 12 years

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: England and United States

Characteristics of the Colorpoint Shorthair

Colorpoint shorthair cats are outgoing, friendly, and affectionate. It is not uncommon to find them following their favorite people around the house. They are particularly vocal and known for using their loud and distinctive meows to “talk” to anyone who will listen—or who isn't paying attention.

Because they have short, sleek coats with minimal insulation, these sweet, cuddly cats gravitate toward warm laps and fuzzy blankets, especially in the cold winter months. 

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

In the 1940s, a handful of cat breeders in England and the United States attempted to create a Siamese cat with red points rather than the traditional seal, chocolate, blue or lilac colors. At some point during this time, a red tabby American shorthair cat was bred with a seal point Siamese, and this litter successfully launched 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 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 a separate breed from the Siamese. However, the International Cat Association recognizes it as a variation of the Siamese. 

Colorpoint Shorthair Care


The colorpoint shorthair’s coat is easy to care for. Weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush will suffice to remove loose hair, and the occasional bath can help maintain a high sheen.

Keep your colorpoint shorthair'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 a cotton swab into a cat’s ear). If the ears look inflamed or excessively dirty, or if your cat 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 (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 and horizontal (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 problems in its background. The colorpoint shorthair is prone to the same conditions as the Siamese, including:

  • Crossed eyes
  • Amyloidosis
  • Asthma
  • Congenital heart defects

Reputable breeders test their adult cats for health problems and avoid breeding affected cats. Most reputable breeders also usually offer a health guarantee.


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

The colorpoint shorthair comes in 16 colors, including:

  • Solid 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
  • Parti-color points: seal-tortie point, chocolate-tortie point, blue-cream point, and lilac-cream point

Diet and Nutrition

Colorpoint shorthairs should be long and lean, and keeping your cat at an ideal weight can prevent health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Feed your colorpoint shorthair measured amounts of cat food regularly (twice a day for adult cats), and avoid free-feeding (leaving food out all day), which encourages continuous snacking.

Ask your veterinarian or breeder for advice about the best food to feed your colorpoint shorthair cat.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Colorpoint Shorthair

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.

Sometimes, colorpoint shorthair mix cats, usually adults, can be found in rescue shelters. Check with local cat-specific rescue groups or search

Colorpoint Shorthair Overview

With all the loud, loving feline fabulousness of a Siamese and a rainbow of gorgeous coat colors, the colorpoint shorthair makes a delightful pet for attentive owners. This cat will thrive with nearly constant companionship from humans (including kids), other cats, or gentle dogs. Besides its neediness, this breed is low maintenance, requiring little in the way of grooming.

  • Affectionate, friendly and outgoing 

  • Entertaining and talkative  

  • Low shedding

  • Doesn’t do well if left alone

  • Loud for a cat (lots of vocalization)

  • Prone to a few genetic health problems

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

Otherwise, check out all of our other cat breed profiles.

  • Are colorpoint shorthair cats a specific breed?

    Most cat registries designate the colorpoint shorthair as a unique breed, but the International Cat Association considers it a Siamese variation.

  • How much does a colorpoint shorthair cat cost?

    A purebred colorpoint shorthair cat costs between $600 and $800.

  • Are colorpoint shorthairs noisy like Siamese cats?

    Colorpoint shorthairs are very vocal like their Siamese relatives, a trait that is considered wonderful by some cat owners and annoying by others.