The Color-point Persian cat originated from the crossbreeding between the Siamese breed and the Persian breed. It is also known as the Himalayan cat. This selective breeding started in 1924 among geneticist and breeders. The breeding program was actually set up to determine and prove the type of breeds needed to produce a color-point longhaired cat rather than to create a new breed. The breeding program was abandoned once this goal was achieved together with the writings of relevant scientific papers. Brain Stirling-Webb of the Briarry cattery in the United Kingdom later learnt about the scientific findings and started the a process of development that has led to the present day Color-point Persian. He acquired a black long-haired cat that has a Siamese ancestor and cross it with a long-haired Siamese type queen. The litter of kittens that resulted from this mating all had long hair that is of a Persian type with a Siamese coat pattern. In order to gain recognition from the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), Stirling-Webb has to establish 3 generations of the color-point Persian breed. This was finally achieved in 1957 by out-crossing the offspring of the breed. Many decades of breeding has helped to develop and establish the phenotype and diverse gene pool of this breed. The Color-point-Persian now comes in 6 varieties of colors and 4 varieties of pattern; a combination of these varieties creates 20 different types of Color-point Persians that are recognized both in the U.K. and United States.
Physical appearance and attributes
This is a medium sized breed that usually weighs between 7 -12 pounds. It has a cobby type body that is low on the legs and deep in the chest. The shoulders and rump are equally massive with a short, rounded midsection and a level back. Color-point Persian has short thick legs with the forelegs showing a slight inward slant. They are heavily boned and extend into large rounded paws with the toes held firmly together. Complementing the cobby type body is a short straight tail, which it at a point lower than the rump.
Color-point Persian has a rounded and massive head that is set on a short thick neck. It is marked with gentle contour and a skull of great breadth. The broad jaws and cheeks contributed to the wideness of the face. Viewed in profile, the straight alignment of the forehead, nose and well-developed chin is evident. A nose break is also apparent between or slightly below the eyes. The nose length is as long as it is broad. Atop the head is a pair of small ears with rounded tip. They are tilted slightly forward and set far apart and low on the head. This complements the rounded contour of the head. The eyes of Color-point Persian is large and rounded. They are set wide apart and possess a fullness that gives it a sweet expression.
It wears a long, thin coat that stands off from the body. The length runs across the entire body and is of a fine and glossy texture. Adorning the neck is an immense ruff that continues into a deep frill between the forelegs. The tail also develops into a gorgeous plume that adds elegance to its disposition. The basic color of the cat is shown on the points, which include the ears, legs, tail and face mask. Point colors include blue, blue-cream, chocolate, chocolate-tortie, cream-totie, lilac, lilac-cream, red, seal and all of that in lynx.
Personality and temperament
This is a sedate yet affectionate cat that has a preference of cuddling by your side than climbing your home furnishing. Having a keen sensitivity, the Color-point Persian can be responsive to emotions and is capable of sharing both your joy and sorrow. Even though it is placid, the Color-point Persian - with its Siamese ancestral line - is slightly more talkative and active than the Persian breed which means it also carries a little more attitude and has more opinions. It does not, however, demand for attention like some cat breeds do, but would certainly thrive under human contact. This breed would enjoy a game of fetch and can make a toy out of a scrap of crumpled paper. Playful by nature, any toys would keep this cat entertain for hours. It has a sweet-temper that allows it to get along well with children and other family pets.
Care and health issues
A healthy, Color-point Persian can expect to have an average lifespan of 15 years. There are a few hereditary health issues that might concern this breed. They include polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which causes enlarged or dysfunctional kidneys as well as respiratory problems. The respiratory problem is a common problem among Persian cats due to its flattened face. Even if there is no respiratory problem, this flat-face feature also makes it sensitive to heat. Thus, it would help if this breed can be kept in a cool environment. DNA tests can be carried out to detect the PKD disease and this would help breeders to remove affected cats who from the breeding program. Thus, it is advisable to obtain a written health guarantee from qualified breeders when purchasing the cat to ensure that it is a healthy cat.
The beautiful long hair requires daily grooming to keep it in good condition. Do pay more attention to areas such as its ruff, between the legs and under its tail, where they are often neglected. Color-point Persian has a tendency to tear excessively, thus, it will be good to clean the corners of the eyes regularly with a damp cloth to prevent tear stains from forming. Its nutrition and food intake would also need to be controlled as it has the propensity to become overweight. Other basic grooming practices include frequent brushing of teeth with vet-approved toothpaste as well as nail trimming and ear cleaning whenever necessary.
The ideal home
The Color-point Persian is best suited for indoor living. However, there needs to be an adventure zone equipped with cat toys, cat trees and cat gym sets to satisfy its playful nature as well as to keep active. Outdoor spaces must be safe and escape-proof. This is a breed that prefers a serene environment, thus it would not be able to tolerate the play of boisterous children, but it would certainly appreciate the attention of a gentle child and snuggles of a friendly dog. This sweet natured cat does not demand for attention, but would return ten folds the affection that is shown to it. This breed is a joy to have for any family that is willing to care and to give it the necessary attention.