Once treasured by the royal families of Thailand, the Siamese cat and its variations have remained a popular breed, both as a pet and in popular culture.
Collectively known as a Colorpoint Shorthair, the Red Point, or flame point Siamese shares a common ancestry with the traditional Siamese cat and remains a popular breed to this day.
And how could we blame people for loving this breed? Red Point Siamese affectionate, playful, and intelligent personalities are unique and lovable. This, coupled with their beautiful looks, make a great combination for a companion.
The term “pointed” is used to refer to cat breeds that have a generally pale torso or midsection, combined with dark extremities, such as the face, the ears, the tail, or the limbs. This term is generally used to describe cats that share a Siamese ancestry, albeit deviating from what is considered to be the traditional Siamese color range – pale with points of seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac.
In other countries, the term colorpoint is used to refer to cats from the Persian breed with pointed colorings, such as Himalayan Cats.
According to the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association), colorpoint cats can also refer to any breed which has red points (like the Persian family), cream points, tabby point (also known as Lynx point), and tortoiseshell point.
The Red Point Siamese
The red point, or “flame point” Siamese, was introduced into the breed during the 1930s and was achieved by crossing the pure-bred seal point Siamese cats with red tabby, or tortoiseshell short haired cats which carried orange genes.
Considered the rarest of the Siamese breed, it can be very difficult to achieve the look through breeding, especially due to the patterning of short haired tabby, which is a dominant trait.
As previously mentioned, their appearance is the result of generations of selective breeding, which took place all around the world. Specifically, it was this selective breeding that developed the elongated, slender look of the red point, as well as Siamese cats in general.
Traditionally, the look associated with most Siamese breeds includes a long neck, a slender tail, short, glossy, fine fur, and piercing blue eyes, traits which are commonly shared with the red point variation.
As kittens, red point Siamese can surprisingly look quite similar to their traditional Siamese cousins. Interestingly, red point Siamese cats are also predominantly male, with only 25% being born female.
The red point siamese can come in several colors and patterns, including red, apricot, cream, and tortoiseshell, all of which can appear quite similar if you are unfamiliar with their genetic history.
The beautiful colored points are also surprisingly sensitive to external factors, such as temperature and sunlight. The warmer the environment, the lighter the color of the points will be, although this can fluctuate seasonally.
The points also darken as they get older, meaning their appearance can change drastically in some cases.
Compared to some cats, their fur is fairly easy to groom, only requiring a comb every once in a while to reduce shedding and hairballs. Similarly, their nails only need trimming semi-regularly.
Generally affectionate and gentle cats, the red point breed is a dignified breed, known for their intelligence, as well as their social nature.
Whilst they usually form strong bonds with one person, they are considered to be the extroverts of the cat world, and are very comfortable around humans in general, enjoying the attention and affection they provide.
Largely active and fun-loving, some describe their behavior as more dog-like than that of a typical cat, and many red points maintain their energy and need for attention into adulthood. Their need for affection is so large that they are renowned for depression and separation anxiety when left alone for too long, something that is also more akin to the canine world than the feline.
In terms of gender and temperament, the females of the breed tend to be more temperamental and territorial, whilst the males are more laid back and prone to sleeping and relaxing.
Red points are specifically prone to gastrointestinal problems, retinal problems, lung problems, as well as neurological problems, caused primarily by the same mutated gene which causes their unusual and attractive color points.
This mutation, which also causes the bright blue eyes for which they are associated, means that there is a lack of communication between the eyes and the brain, stopping them from adapting to changes in light, as other cats have the ability to do.
It is thought that this persistent ocular trait is one of the reasons for their dependence and love for humans, as not only does their poor eyesight and adaptability mean they aren’t as efficient at hunting as their kin, but they are also vulnerable to nocturnal dangers, such as larger animals and traffic.
Diet & Exercise
Red points, like all cats, require at least 25% protein in their diet to make them healthy, fit, and nourished. If serving them cat food, then it should have at least one whole meat, like chicken, tuna, beef, or turkey – preferably listed as the main ingredient.
The red point is an active breed that loves to explore, and as such is better suited to larger homes, or indeed homes that have large outdoor space around them.
However, if you don’t have a large yard, or if your home is smaller, you can increase their exercise intake by spending more time playing with them during the day – either with a laser pointer or with their favorite toys. This will not only be good for their physical health but will also tend to their emotional needs as well.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about the red point Siamese, and their variations.
Despite their long history, Siamese of all kinds remains a popular choice for many cat fanciers today, and are firm favorites due to their loving natures, domesticated lifestyles, and their energetic personalities.
So, if you are looking for the perfect family cat, then the red point Siamese might just be for you!
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