The introduction of Siamese-type points into British Shorthair bloodlines was achieved through the so-called Himalayan gene responsible for this patterning, by means of crossbreeding involving Colourpoint Longhairs. These cats were chosen rather than Siamese because their body shape was closer to that of the British Shorthair. It has then been a matter of re-establishing their type, with such cats now showing no hint of their longhaired ancestry.
- BREED DEVELOPED: 1980s
- COUNTRY: United Kingdom
- TYPE: Shorthair
- BODY SHAPE: Powerful, cobby
- WEIGHS UP TO: 8kg/18lb
- PLUS POINTS: Attractive contrasts in the coat and affectionate nature
- WATCH POINTS: Males can be rather territorial
The Seal Point has the darkest point coloration, with these markings being present on the legs, paws, ears, face and tail. The mask itself should be clearly defined, with the body being a pale shade of fawn. Even so, the body colour is likely to darken as such cats grow older, particularly over the flanks, causing some unevenness, although this change is usually quite symmetrical. The points themselves, however, must be of an even depth of dark brown in mature cats.
Kittens are born almost entirely white, with the points starting to darken soon after birth. The large, round, blue eyes, characteristic of all Colourpoint British Shorthairs, are especially pronounced in this breed because of the dark coloration of the mask. Another feature which can become prominent is the jowls or cheek folds associated with adult toms. If they are neutered early however, before sexual maturity, their faces will not develop this feature.
The condition of the coat is of vital importance. It should be short and dense, yet crisp in texture as well. The fur of these cats must not be fluffy like that of their Colourpoint Longhair ancestors.
- Bandaging the paw of one of these cats can affect its colour, because the bandage warms the paw, and point coloration is temperature-sensitive.
- Breeders in mainland Europe have created a similar breed, called the Colour Pointed European Shorthair.
- Colourpoint Shorthairs in the USA are a totally different group of cats, resembling Siamese rather than American Shorthairs in terms of their type.