What is a
pure bred (pedigreed) Siamese (Modern Siamese)?
In CFA, our Breed Council rules stipulate that a
Siamese cat (Modern
Siamese) eligible for registration in CFA must present an
8-generation pedigree that consists ONLY of registered
Siamese. This means that on an 8-generation pedigree, each
cat has only purebred, registered Siamese for its direct
ancestors. In some other registering organizations, cats
that show Colorpoint Shorthairs (tabby/lynx points,
red/cream points, or tortie-points) or Oriental Shorthairs
on their pedigrees are still registered as Siamese. This is
called a phenotypical registry, or one where the cat is
registered according to what it looks like, not according to
the cats on its pedigree. In CFA, which is a pedigree-based
registry, in addition to presenting a pure, 8-generation
pedigree, a Siamese may only be seal point, blue point,
chocolate point, or lilac point. These are the four classic
colors of Siamese.
Why do CFA Siamese only come in four
In addition to the above rules, for many decades, CFA has
only accepted the four traditional, or classic, colors of
seal point, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point.
These four colors are considered to be the only naturally
occurring colors in the purebred Siamese. Patterns such as
lynx or tortie, or solids such as red or cinnamon, are
evidence of hybridization, and are thus not accepted. Cats
exhibiting these colors are considered part of one of the
hybrid breeds developed by using the Siamese initially.
even pale fawn to cream, warm in tone, shading gradually
into lighter color on the stomach and chest. Points
deep seal brown.
ivory with no shading. Points milkchocolate color, warm in
bluish white, cold in tone, shading gradually to white on
stomach and chest. Points deep blue.
glacial white with no shading. Points frosty gray with
A truly distinguished
Our CFA Siamese have a long and valued history in the Cat
Fancy. Ours is one of the oldest naturally occurring breeds
and has historically been one of the most beloved. Our breed
has contributed to the establishment of at least seven other
breeds (the Ocicat and Havana Brown, while not true hybrid
breeds, were developed by using Siamese, among others) and
the Siamese (Modern
Siamese) has provided outcross support to others. This
distinguished standing of the Siamese is what motivates CFA
breeders to work to continue to maintain the sanctity of the
breed's purity by insisting on the continuation of the
8-generation pedigree registration and being ever-vigilant
in our efforts to protect our breed from the encroachment of
those who don't respect or understand its contributions to
the purebred cat world.
What are some of these hybrid
(Non Pedigreed) breeds?
The most common and popular hybrid breed of the Siamese
is the Oriental. This breed, originally only in a
shorthair version, was developed to imitate the Siamese in
type and personality but to come in a myriad of colors and
patterns. At the present time, there are well over 350
different color/pattern combinations possible in this breed.
The longhaired version of this cat is called the Oriental
Longhair and presents all the same color variations as
does the Oriental Shorthair.
Another popular hybrid of the Siamese is the Colorpoint
Shorthair. These cats also have the Siamese type and
personality, but only come in lynx point, tortie point, and
red/cream point (and in only the 4 classic Siamese colors,
plus the red factor).
The Javanese is a longhaired version of the
Colorpoint Shorthair, presenting the same colors and type,
but it is a separate breed.
The Balinese is often mistakenly called a
longhaired Siamese. It is a separate hybrid breed. It, too,
imitates the Siamese type and personality, and comes only in
the four classic Siamese colors.
The Tonkinese, which is a result of a cross
between Siamese and Burmese, is a hybrid breed which bears
little resemblance to the Siamese. It is a moderate cat
midway between the two original breeds.
Valere Hull, September, 2003