The Siamese ranks among the most instantly recognisable of all the cat breeds, and there are now many variations within this group. Tabby Points have grown in popularity over recent years because of their attractive looks — their distinctive markings provide a striking contrast to their basic coloration. In all other respects, however, they are typically Siamese, and are just as playful, equally demanding and as active as the traditional varieties.
- BREED DEVELOPED: 1 960s
- COUNTRY: United Kingdom/USA
- TYPE: Shorthair
- BODY SHAPE: Sleek, with large, pointed ears
- MAXIMUM WEIGHT: 5 .5kg / 12 pounds
- PLUS POINTS: Easy-care coat; intelligent and affectionate
- WATCH POINTS: Can be noisy; often keen bird-hunters
Siamese with tabby markings have been recorded in the West since at least 1902, but were simply viewed as curiosities, and no attempt was made to develop them into a distinctive group within the Siamese family. Their current popularity came about after Tabby Points were bred accidentally in 1960 from a Seal Point Siamese and a tabby cat.
The lineage was then developed by mating the Tabby Point kittens back to another Siamese, so as to re-establish the unmistakable appearance of the Siamese. It has since proved quite easy to develop the Tabby Points in a range of Siamese colours.
THE DARKEST VARIETY
As their name suggests, the tabby markings on these Siamese are confined to the points. Their pale body coloration is normally left unbroken by stripes, spots or other similar markings. The Seal Tabby Point remains the darkest variety, so its markings are therefore the most prominent. There is clearly defined, dark striping on the legs, and corresponding dark rings on the tail. The Tabby Point’s head also shows the characteristic patterning associated with the tabby. Not all groups recognise these cats as Siamese, however. The Cat Fancier’s Association in the USA describes them as Colourpoint Shorthairs.
- Tabby point kittens can be hard to distinguish at first, because of the absence of the markings.
- In the USA these cats are often described as Lynx-Pointed, because the markings are similar to those of the wild Lynx.
- Tabby and tortoiseshell patterning can be combined together, to create Tortie Tabby Point Siamese.