It would not be advisable to have a Colourpoint as a pet unless you are prepared to devote a lot of time to its grooming. Well cared for, the Colourpoint, or ‘Himmy’ as it is affectionately known, is an extremely beautiful cat, and makes a very affectionate and devoted pet. Show cats will be expensive but kittens that do not quite meet the standard for showing can be obtained more reasonably and will make excellent and charming companions just the same.
As for all longhaired cats, daily grooming is essential for the Colourpoint. If neglected, the undercoat will become matted into tight knots that in an extreme case might have to be cut out under anesthetic. Despite regular attention mats do sometimes form, particularly if the cat spends a lot of time outside, and in experienced hands a mat cutter, designed for dogs, can be used to cut through a mat to remove it rather than cutting it out and leaving a bare spot. But be careful not to cut the cat!
A wide-toothed comb can be used to remove knots, followed by a medium-toothed comb to remove dead hairs. Finally, the coat should be brushed with a long-handled, pure-bristle brush. Repeated daily, this will ensure a healthy coat and the cat will enjoy the process. A little dry grooming powder dusted into the coat before brushing will usually help to untangle the fur, but it should be brushed out thoroughly after wards. Inspection of the eyes for blocked tear ducts and the ears for mites completes the daily routine.
Origin and history
The Colourpoint or Himalayan is a ‘manufactured’ breed, specifically produced by breeders. It is not a Siamese with long hair, but a Persian with Siamese Himalayan colouring. Its production involved complex scientific breeding and took years to perfect into the correct Persian type. Breeders had been crossing Siamese with Persians for many years but had been getting only self-coloured shorthaired kittens as a result. Eventually, in the 1940s, a series of scientific experiments was made, crossing Siamese with longhaired Blacks and Blues. The resulting shorthaired self colour red kittens proved very use ful for breeding as they carried the genes required to produce the Colourpoint. They were mated together and back to their parents until Colourpoint kittens were produced. Further selective breeding back to longhaired Blacks and Blues to develop Persian type was carried out and the resulting cats, when mated back to Colourpoints, produced excellent, new generation colourpoints. Eventually, after 10 years of selective breeding, the long noses and large ears of the Siamese were bred out, but the Himalayan coat pattern, blue eyes and Persian type were fixed, and the lovely Colourpoints had arrived.
The kittens are born with creamy white fur and pink paw pads, noses and ears. The point colouration gradually develops over the first few weeks. They are charming little balls of fluff with plenty of energy and enterprise.