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Colorpoint Shorthairs are the first cousins of the Siamese and the Cat Fanciers' Association is the only registry that recognizes them as a standalone breed. In all other registries, they are part of the Siamese and Oriental breeds. These cats are distinguished by their elegance in sixteen different "point" colors beyond the four Siamese colors. The Colorpoint Shorthair shares body style, personality, coat length, and pointed color pattern with the Siamese, but in the untraditional colors of red, cream, tortoiseshell, and lynx (tabby) points. Two separate schools of thought exist about the Colorpoint Shorthair: those who think that since these cats are pointed like a Siamese, they should be considered Siamese, and those who deem the Colorpoint a Siamese crossbreed. In fact these cats were initially created by crossbreeding Siamese with American Shorthairs, the same crossbreeding that created the Oriental breed of cats.
Colorpoint Shorthair is the name the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), a United States breed association, uses to refer to pointed cats of Siamese ancestry and type in colors other than the four "traditional" Siamese colors (seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac point). This name is also given to cats of Siamese ancestry in the four recognized colors whose eight generation pedigree show ancestors with other colors. In registries of other countries, however, "Colorpoint (or "Colourpoint") is the name given to cats of Persian type and pointed coloring, as in Himalayans.
In the CFA, a Colorpoint Shorthair cat may also be any of the four traditional Siamese colors; however, they may only be shown in the red point (also called flame point in Persian Family) or cream point, or any of the above colors in tabby point (also called lynx point) or tortoiseshell point.
In all registries except CFA, the Colorpoint Shorthair is not considered a separate breed but merely a color class in the Siamese breed.
The effort to produce a Siamese-style pointed cat in colors other than the traditional four began in England and in America in the 1940s, carried out by breeders who used foundation crossings between the Siamese, Abyssinian, and the red domestic shorthair. The American Shorthair also became part of the matrix. Initially, the Colorpoint breeders experienced setbacks and failures; in the effort to achieve the proper colors in the proper places, the Siamese body type was often sacrificed. The breeding was further complicated by the difficulty of working with the red coloration because it is a sex-linked color.
The Colorpoint Shorthair is a highly intelligent, playful, and people-friendly breed. They are extremely affectionate and outgoing and enjoy lounging around and playing with people, causing them to also be described as "extroverts". They can also be very sensitive with nervous temperaments, which do not adapt well to changes of environment or to strangers. Like Siamese, they can be extremely vocal and attention-demanding, feeling a need for human companionship. They have over 100 vocal sounds, much more than regular cats, making very unusual meows. Males are sometimes found to be overly aggressive towards other animals, will fight with other cats whenever they feel their territory has been invaded or just to express dominance.
The Colorpoint Shorthair comes in a variety of point colors. They include: Red Point (also called Flame Point), Cream Point, Cinnamon Point, Fawn Point, Seal Point, Chocolate Point, Blue Point, Lilac Point, Lynx Point (in any of the colors), Tortie Point (in any of the colors), and Torbie Point (in any of the colors). If a solid pointed kitten is born from "Colorpoint Siamese" parents, it is Registered as a "Colorpoint Siamese," because it is still genetically a Colorpoint.
CFA and CCA does not accept cinnamon points or fawn points as colour point shorthairs, they are considered to be pointed Oriental Shorthairs. CFA does not allow the cinnamon and fawn points to show, however they are acceptable in a breeding program. CCA does allow cinnamon and fawn points to be shown as Oriental Shorthairs.
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