A lot of the cat breeds we have presently hail from Thailand, which was once known as Siam. The Siamese cat makes no exception, and the British took a liking to its body type but desired different colors. That led to the development of the Oriental Shorthair somewhere in the 1950s-1960s, as a result of crossing the Russian Blue and the British Shorthair. Americans, not far behind, sought the same result by crossing the Abyssinian and the Siamese or, alternatively, the American Shorthair and the Siamese.
Siamese breeders did not welcome the Oriental ones because they resented the entering of the Oriental Shorthair on an oversaturated market, but the Oriental proved to be very popular. Thus, in 1972, the Oriental Shorthair was registered with the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and later went on to achieve Championship status (1977). The long-haired Oriental was also accepted and given Championship status in 1988 and 1985, respectively. Nowadays, the Oriental Shorthair and the Oriental Longhair are among the most popular and beloved cat breeds.
Playful and curious, the Oriental Shorthair is not a solitary feline. On the contrary, it seeks out the companionship of both humans and other cats, and it does well in a group or a pair. That being said, this cat loves the attention, and without it, it will become fussy and cranky. It’s also very chatty and, due to its curious nature, doesn’t shy away from accompanying you in your everyday activities.
- Activity level: 5/5 (very active and extremely playful)
- Intelligence level: 4/5 (a sharp cat, with an inquisitive spirit)
- Curiosity: 5/5 (presents a healthy sense of curiosity)
- Friendliness: 4/5 (friendly with both humans and other cats, and is very good with dogs and children)
- Vocal: 4/5 (vocal, but soft-spoken)
The Oriental Shorthair is similar to the Siamese in body type and head, and it is slender and flexible, with a short coat that comes in many different patterns and colours. It has beautiful almond shaped eyes and a distinctive pair of large ears. It is very much a Siamese cat, except for its differently colored fur.
- Fur: The coat of the Oriental Shorthair famously comes in a wide selection of different patterns and colors (up to 300 styles). Its fur is short and easy to comb, and the most popular styles are chestnut, ebony, blue and pure white, coming in tabby, bi-color and solid patterns.
- Eyes: Large and almond-shaped.
- Body structure: A slender, but muscular body that is extremely elegant and flexible. A sleek body with good strength.
- Facial features: A triangular head similar to a Siamese, with almond-shaped eyes, a long and wide nose and big ears
- Weight: The Oriental Shorthair is a cat of medium size that can weigh anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds, on average.
Because it is a mixed-breed cat, the Oriental Shorthair has its share of health problems, mainly the ones that also afflict the Siamese. Hyperesthesia syndrome is one of them, and it is a neurological issue that manifests itself through a compulsive need of grooming, which in turns leads to hair loss. The cat may also suffer behavioural issues, acting particularly frantic when they are petted or touched. Another possible problem is Amyloidosis, a disease specific to the Siamese, which develops when amyloid, a protein, deposits itself in body organs. This occurs most frequently in the liver in Siamese cats.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org