The Colourpoint British Shorthair Cat

Discover the Colourpoint British Shorthair, and how to choose a healthy one!


colourpoint British Shorthair kittens

The colourpoint British Shorthair cat is one of our favourites! We are fotunate to have some truly exceptional colourpoint cats, with vivid blue eyes...and they have beautiful kittens :)

The Colourpoint British Shorthair 

The colourpoint British Shorthair is an incredibly beautiful cat. Colourpoints come in every colour and pattern of British Shorthair cat that you can get: from blue to black, lilac to cinnamon, in bicolour, tabby and calico...if the colour exists, you can get it in colourpoint! Two factors unite them:

  1. Colourpoint cats have blue eyes (in fact, most colourpoint cats actually have silver eyes, a true blue eye is incredibly difficult to achieve)

  2. Colourpoint cats have paler bodies and darker extremities

If you can think of a typical Siamese cat, with darker ears, tail, face and paws...that is where the colourpoint British Shorthair comes from! Many years ago breeders crossed British Shorthair cats with Siamese cats to take the colourpoint gene from Siamese cats into the British Shorthair lines. We are very thankful to them for all of their hard work!

Unfortunately, Siamese cats have been bred to be a very extreme breed over the last 20 years, and the colourpoint British Shorthair cat can be an excellent alternative for anyone looking for a more traditional looking Siamese cat, in a less extreme, healthier breed. 

Personality differences

Because they have come from Siamese cats, allbeit many, many years ago, colourpoint cats are often thought to be a bit more finicky and quirky than the standard British Shorthair. For example, British Shorthairs (especially the boys) are known for being extremely easy going and bonding with every member of the family equally. Colourpoint British Shorthairs, on the other hand, often tend to bond more with one person than the rest of the family, and develop a strong preference for that particular person. Of course, there are also many examples where this does not ring true!

Additional Health Tests

If you are looking for a colourpoint British Shorthair, you need to know that colourpoint British Shorthairs require an additional genetic test:

  • All colourpoint cats should be genetically tested for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • PRA causes blindness 

PRA is caused by a mutation in the CEP290 gene that causes a defective protein to be produced. This protein causes Progressive Retinal Atrophy. The disease causes progressive degeneration of the photoreceptors (the rods and the cones) that are in the retina of the eye.

Cats who have PRA usually go blind as they age. The disease is not apparent at birth. Symptoms usually begin to show at around 1 to 2 years of age with total blindness setting in at around 3-5 years of age. BUT some cats may not develop it until they are much older, which is why it is so important that colourpoint British Shorthair cats are genetically tested for it.  Also, it is a recessive mutation so a cat must inherit one copy from each parent to develop the disease. This means that a breeder could breed a male and female who are totally disease free, and the kittens could all develop PRA by 2 years old. That is why genetic testing is so important.

So, if you are looking for a colourpoint cat, make sure your breeder has genetically tested all of their colourpoint cats for PRA. You can not draw any conclusions from the fact that the parents are not affected by the disease. A genetic test on the parents is the only way to be sure that your kitten won't lose her sight. 

Needless to say, we genetically test all of our colourpoint cats for PRA, and they are all negative.

colourpoint British Shorthair cat blue eyes
Our colourpoint boy with amazing eyes!

The genetics of the colourpoint British Shorthair

The colourpoint gene is a recessive gene. That means that a cat must inherit a copy of the colourpoint gene from both parents to be a colourpoint cat. Here are the probabilities of colourpoint kittens from the different possible combinations:

Parent 1 colourpoint + Parent 2 not colourpoint = no colourpoint kittens

Parent 1 colourpoint + Parent 2 colourpoint = 100% colourpoint kittens

Parent 1 colourpoint  + Parent 2 not colourpoint but carrier of the gene = 50% colourpoint kittens

Parent 1 not colourpoint but carrier + Parent 2 not colourpoint but carrier = 25% colourpoint kittens

(Of course, you can use the words mum and dad interchangeably, as the probabilities work the same whichever parent the genetic combinations belong to)

Colourpoint British Shorthair kittens 

Find out if we have any colourpoint kittens available.

Discover what makes our kittens so special - have a look at our philosophy and welfare pages.

Discover the silver tabby British Shorthair - another striking cat!