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When you hear breeders of Siamese cats referring to a "Seal Point" or "Blue Point" Siamese, what is this word "point" referencing??? What does it mean? What is the difference between Seal Point, Blue Point, Tortie Point, Red Point?

The "points" are referring to the color of the cat's body and the different (darker) color of the extremities: the ears, face, tail and feet. These darker extremities are the points (or color points) on the coat. The unique and quite interesting fact about these points is that they are called "thermo-sensitive". This means that the darkest colors of the Siamese are a direct result of the temperature of the underlying skin in a particular area of the cat. It is a genetic mutation that doesn't allow pigment to form on the warmer areas of the body as it does on its slightly cooler extremities (ears, face, tail, & feet).

When Siamese kittens are born they are pure white (we call them polar bears!) due to the consistent temperature of their mother's womb. It is one of the most exciting things for a breeder of Siamese, to watch their colors come in, a bit of speculation every day, "What have we got? What have we got!!?" until the color becomes evident. A bit of smudginess on the nose, then their ears become tipped with a bit of color, then their little paw pads start turning from pink to a smoky hazed color. This process becomes even more fun in the case of Tortie Points. You will know of course, quite soon, that you have a "Tortie" from the uneven speckled nature of the nose leather and paw pads, but because of the random pattern of the "Tortie", each kitten's coat is unique and it is so much fun to watch these colors evolve. Also with a solid colored point like a Seal, each day you will see the color deepen and become richer, more beautiful, but in the Tortie, there are new colors coming into view consistently throughout the first year of the cat's life or longer! It seems there is something brand new every day! This "coloring of the points process" starts to happen immediately, visible from the second day of the kitten's life!

The different colors of the "points" have come about because of natural diluting and modifications of the "natural" or "foundation" Seal Point genes. To give a good picture of the history of the Siamese colors I'd like to include the following excerpt from the book Siamese Cats by Regan:

"Seal Points are what many people have in mind when they think of Siamese cats. They were the first variety to be brought to Europe and America and have through the years remained the most popular...

Blues were for some time considered poor-quality Seals. They began to gain acceptance after a while however and at shows they competed against Seals in the Siamese division. In 1932 the Boston Cat Club Show became the first in America to judge a separate class for Blues.

Two major theories have been proposed to explain the development of Blue Point Siamese. The first suggests that since blue color is a dilute of black it is certainly possible that color-diluted offspring (Blues) could, occasionally, be naturally produced by black (Seal) parents. Seals with no Blue or Blue-carrying traceable ancestors sometimes produce a Blue kitten even today, and this is after many, many years of selective breeding in their lines.

The second theory holds that matings in the wild between Seal Point Siamese and silver-blue Korats produced offspring that carried both color factors.

Subsequent offspring could have, in turn, appeared as Seal Point Siamese, Korats and Blue Point Siamese. This theory, however, remains conjecture as no one has reported publicly the results of a detailed breeding program between the two breeds mentioned.

The history of the Chocolates parallels that of the Blues. Considered inferior Seals, early Chocolates were often neutered, were regularly disqualified or prevented from competing at shows and were scorned by Siamese breeders and exhibitors. The breeding of Chocolate Points did not receive serious attention until after World War II when Brian Sterling-Webb, a noted British fancier, helped to establish the color. The governing Council of the Cat Fancy in Great Britain recognized the variety in 1950, and several U.S. associations followed suit over the next few years.

Since chocolate or light brown is a diluted form of black offspring of this color could, in nature, be produced by Seal parents just as Blues could. Matings in the wild between Seal Points and self-brown cats of which we have no record could produce offspring whose subsequent matings would produce Seal Point Siamese, Chocolate Point Siamese and self- browns.

Chocolate Points do not always breed true and Lilacs occasionally appear in Chocolate litters.

Lilac or Frosts are dilutes that first began to appear in Blue litters in North America in the early 1950s. By 1954 they had been recognized by the American Cat Association (ACA) and the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) and became, therefore, the first Siamese variety to be recognized in America before it was recognized in Great Britain. No Lilacs, in fact, were even born in Britain until 1955. Although Lilacs were originally bred from cats which had both chocolate and blue in their ancestry, the Lilac color of the points like the chocolate of the Chocolates but unlike the blue of the Blues, does not tend to spread to the coat.

The first serious efforts to develop new Siamese varieties were made in the late 1940. Many fanciers, on both sides of the Atlantic, opposed these attempts and held that a new breed was being developed rather than new varieties of on established breed. Eventually the new varieties were accepted by some as just that, while others classified them as a new breed, which came to be known, in the United States, as Colorpoint Shorthair. In Great Britain the new color varieties were classified as "Siamese Any Other Color." "Other", of course, referred to any color other than seal, blue, chocolate or lilac.

Red Points were produced by breeding Seal Points with self-red or red tabby shorthairs and then mating the resulting offspring with Siamese... Red Points are sometimes bred with Seals to keep the correct color contrast between the points and body.

Creams first appeared in litters with reds after that variety began to be seriously bred. This is only proper since cream is a simple dilute of red... The American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) accepted the variety in 1979."

Torties were the result of the female kittens involved with the subsequent breeding of Reds to the other four colors producing the Tortie Point (paralleled to the Seal Point), Chocolate Tortie (paralleled to the Chocolate Points), Blue Cream (paralleled to the Blue Points) and Lilac Cream (paralleled to Lilac Points).

Let me now provide you with the CFA breed standard to give a detailed description of the different colors to accurately paint a picture of the differences in these colors.

SEAL POINT: body even pale fawn to cream, warm in tone, shading gradually into lighter color on the stomach and chest. Points: deep seal brown. Nose leather and paw pads: same color as points. Eye color: deep vivid blue.

CHOCOLATE POINT: body ivory with no shading. Points: milk-chocolate color warm in tone. Nose leather and paw pads: cinnamon-pink. Eye color: deep vivid blue.

BLUE POINT: body bluish white, cold in tone, shading gradually to white on stomach and chest. Points: deep blue. Nose leather and paw pads: slate colored. Eye color: deep vivid blue.

LILAC POINT: body glacial white with no shading. Points: frosty grey with pinkish tone. Nose leather and paw pads: lavender-pink. Eye Color: deep vivid blue.

RED POINT: body clear white with any shading in the same tone as points. Points: bright apricot to deep red, deeper shades preferred with lack of barring desirable. Nose leather and paw pads: flesh or coral pink

CREAM POINT: body clear white with any shading in the same tone as points. Points: pale buff cream to light pinkish cream lack of barring desirable. Nose leather and paw pads: flesh to coral pink.

SEAL-TORTIE POINT: body pale fawn to cream shading to lighter color on stomach and chest. Body color may be mottled with cream in older cats. Points: seal brown randomly mottled with red and/or cream. Nose leather and paw pads: seal brown; flesh or coral pink mottling desirable.

CHOCOLATE-TORTIE POINT: body ivory, may be mottled in older cats. Points: warm milk-chocolate randomly mottled with red and/or cream. Nose leather and paw pads: cinnamon; flesh or coral pink mottling desirable.

BLUE-CREAM POINT: body bluish white to platinum grey, cold in tone shading to lighter color on stomach and chest. Body color may be mottled in older cats. Points: deep blue-grey randomly mottled with cream. Nose leather and paw pads: slate colored; flesh or coral pink mottling desirable.

LILAC-CREAM POINT: body glacial white; mottling if any in the shades of the points. Points: frosty grey with pinkish tone, randomly mottled with pale cream. Nose leather and paw pads: Lavender-pink; flesh or coral pink mottling desirable.

Point Color Chart:

Siamese



NOTE: the word "point" is understood in all colors.

PARENTS
OFFSPRING
Seal X Seal Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac
Seal X Blue Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac
Seal X Chocolate Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac
Seal X Lilac Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac
Seal X Chocolate Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac
Blue X Blue Blue, Lilac
Blue X Lilac Blue, Lilac
Chocolate X Chocolate Chocolate, Lilac
Chocolate X Lilac Chocolate, Lilac
Lilac X Lilac Lilac


Sex-Linked Red Color Combinations Chart:

Color Point Shorthair



NOTE: the word "point" is understood in all colors.

MALE
FEMALE
Male Kittens
Female Kittens
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Red Red
Cream
Tortie
Chocolate-Tortie
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Seal
Chocolate
Cream Red
Cream
Tortie
Chocolate-Tortie
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Blue
Lilac
Cream Cream Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Seal
Tortie
Blue-Cream
Chocolate-Tortie
Lilac-Cream
Red
Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Tortie
Blue-Cream
Chocolate-Tortie
Lilac-Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Blue
Tortie
Chocolate-Tortie
Red
Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Tortie
Blue-Cream
Chocolate-Tortie
Lilac-Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Blue
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Cream
Blue
Lilac
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Blue
Lilac
Chocolate
Tortie
Blue-Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Red
Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Tortie
Chocolate-Tortie
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Chocolate
Lilac-Cream
Chocolate-Tortie
Chocolate
Lilac
Red
Cream
Chocolate
Lilac
Tortie
Chocolate-Tortie
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Lilac
Tortie Red
Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Tortie
Chocolate-Tortie
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Lilac
Chocolate-Tortie Red
Cream
Chocolate
Lilac
Chocolate-Tortie
Lilac-Cream
Lilac
Chocolate
Lilac
Blue-Cream Cream
Blue
Lilac
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Blue
Lilac
Lilac
Lilac-Cream Cream
Lilac
Lilac-Cream
Lilac
Red Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Tortie
Blue-Cream
Chocolate-Tortie
Lilac-Cream
Red Tortie
Blue-Cream
Chocoloate-Tortie
Lilac-Cream
Red
Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Red
Cream
Tortie
Blue-Cream
Chocolate-Tortie
Lilac-Cream
Red Cream Red
Cream
Red
Cream
Red Red Red
Cream
Red
Cream
Cream Seal
Chocolate
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Tortie
Blue-Cream
Chocolate-Tortie
Lilac-Cream
Cream Blue
Lilac
Blue
Lilac
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Cream Tortie
Chocolate-Tortie
Red
Cream
Seal
Blue
Chocolate
Lilac
Red
Cream
Tortie
Blue-Cream
Chocolate-Tortie
Lilac-Cream
Cream Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Cream
Blue
Lilac
Cream
Blue-Cream
Lilac-Cream
Cream Red Red
Cream
Red
Cream
Cream Cream Cream Cream


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