If you’re looking for an oriental cat that combines the elegance and intelligence of a Siamese with a dazzling variety of colors and patterns, then you might want to consider the Oriental Shorthair. This breed is part of the Siamese family and shares many of its traits, such as its slender body, wedge-shaped head, large ears, almond-shaped eyes, and vocal personality.
Unlike the Siamese, which only comes in four color points (seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac), the Oriental Shorthair can be found in over 300 color combinations, ranging from solid black to tortoiseshell to tabby. That’s why this breed is sometimes called the “rainbow cat” or the “ornamental cat.”
This article will explore everything you need to know about the Oriental Shorthair cat breed, including its history, appearance, personality, care, health, and where to buy one. Whether you’re already an owner of this amazing cat or you’re thinking about getting one, you’ll find this guide helpful and informative.
|Up to 12 pounds
|Up to 18 inches
|White, black, gray, brown, orange (300 variations)
|Solid, shaded, smoke, and tabby
|Green, blue, gold, yellow; odd-eyes are possible
|Affectionate, playful, sociable, and vocal
|Good with Kids
|Good with Pets
History of the Oriental Cat (Shorthair)
The Oriental Shorthair has a long and fascinating history that traces back to the Siamese cat. The Siamese is one of the world’s oldest and most recognizable cat breeds from Thailand (formerly known as Siam) centuries ago. The Siamese was highly prized by royalty and nobility in Siam and was often depicted in ancient manuscripts and paintings.
However, after World War II, the Siamese breed faced a decline in numbers and diversity due to the war’s devastation and the lack of breeding records. To revive the breed and expand its gene pool, some English breeders decided to cross Siamese cats with other breeds, such as Russian Blues, Abyssinians, and British Shorthairs. The result was a variety of non-pointed hybrids that displayed different colors and patterns on their coats.
At first, these hybrids were given different names depending on their appearances, such as Havana Browns (chocolate), Foreign Whites (white), and Oriental Spotted Tabbies (tabby). But soon, breeders realized that these cats shared a common ancestry and type with the Siamese and decided to group them under one name: Oriental Shorthair.
The Oriental Shorthair was further developed by a group of New York breeders in the 1970s who wanted to create a more refined and elegant version of the breed. They introduced more colors and patterns into the mix by using American Shorthairs, Domestic Shorthairs, and other breeds. They also worked on improving the head shape, ear size, eye shape, and body structure of the Oriental Shorthair to match the modern Siamese standard.
In 1976, Peter Markstein presented the Oriental Shorthair to the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), which granted it championship status in 1977. Since then, the breed has gained recognition from many other registries worldwide and has become one of the most popular and diverse breeds. There are over 300 color combinations listed in the Oriental Shorthair standards.
The Oriental Shorthair is a striking cat that catches attention with its graceful and exotic appearance. It has a slender and muscular body that is medium-sized and well-balanced. It has a long neck, a long tail that tapers to a fine point, and long legs that end in small oval paws.
The head of the Oriental Shorthair is wedge-shaped and slightly longer than it is wide. It has large ears that are set wide apart at the top of the head and point slightly forward. It has almond-shaped eyes that are slanted towards the nose and are usually green in color (except for white cats or pointed cats that may have blue eyes or odd eyes). The nose is long and straight with no break or dip. The muzzle is fine and pointed with no whisker pinch.
The coat of the Oriental Shorthair is short, fine, glossy, and close-lying. It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns that can be divided into four main categories: solid (one color), shaded (lighter undercoat with darker tips), smoke (white undercoat with darker tips), and particolor (two or more colors). Within these categories, there are many variations, such as tabby (striped), bicolor (any color with white), tortoiseshell (black and red patches), and pointed (darker extremities).
The coat color and pattern may also affect the eye color of the Oriental Shorthair. For example, white cats may have blue, green, or odd eyes (one blue and one green), while pointed cats always have blue eyes. The Oriental Shorthair is truly a cat of many colors and can suit any preference or taste.
The Oriental Shorthair is not just a pretty face. This cat has a personality that matches its stunning appearance. The Oriental Shorthair is affectionate, playful, sociable, and vocal. This breed loves to be with its human family and other pets and will not tolerate being ignored or left alone for long periods of time. The Oriental Shorthair may even suffer from depression or separation anxiety if it feels neglected or abandoned.
The Oriental Shorthair is also very intelligent, curious, and athletic. This breed enjoys learning new tricks and games and can even be trained to walk on a leash. The Oriental Shorthair likes to explore its surroundings and often climbs high places or squeezes into small spaces. The Oriental Shorthair needs plenty of toys, scratching posts, and interactive activities to keep it stimulated and entertained.
One of the most distinctive traits of the Oriental Shorthair is its vocalization. This breed is a natural conversationalist and will express its feelings and opinions with a wide range of sounds. The Oriental Shorthair often “talks” to its owner with meows, chirps, and purrs. Some people may find this charming and amusing, while others may find it annoying or demanding. The Oriental Shorthair is not a quiet cat and will not hesitate to let you know what it wants or needs.
- The Oriental Shorthair is a beautiful and diverse cat breed that can suit any preference or taste.
- The Oriental Shorthair is affectionate, playful, sociable, and vocal and will provide you with lots of entertainment and companionship.
- The Oriental Shorthair is intelligent, curious, and athletic and will enjoy learning new tricks and games with you.
- The Oriental Shorthair is easy to groom and does not require much brushing or bathing.
- The Oriental Shorthair is generally healthy and can live up to 15 years or more.
- The Oriental Shorthair is not a quiet cat and will vocalize its feelings and opinions with various sounds that may be charming or annoying, depending on your preference.
- The Oriental Shorthair craves attention and interaction from its owner and other pets and will not do well if left alone for long periods of time.
- The Oriental Shorthair may be prone to some genetic diseases inherited from its Siamese ancestors.
- The Oriental Shorthair may have a tendency to overeat or gain weight, so the portion size and calorie intake should be controlled.
- The Oriental Shorthair should be kept indoors or supervised outdoors to prevent accidents or fights with other animals.
The Oriental Shorthair is a relatively low-maintenance cat when it comes to grooming. Its short coat does not require much brushing, although the cat will appreciate being groomed occasionally as a sign of affection. The coat may shed moderately, especially during seasonal changes. The Oriental Shorthair should be bathed only when necessary, such as when it gets dirty or oily.
The Oriental Shorthair should be kept indoors or supervised outdoors to prevent accidents or fights with other animals. This breed is not well-suited for harsh weather conditions and may be sensitive to cold or heat. The Oriental Shorthair should also be protected from sun exposure, as some colors and patterns may be prone to sunburn.
Diet and Nutrition
The Oriental Shorthair should be fed a high-quality diet that meets its nutritional needs. The diet should include real meat or fish as the main ingredient and should be free of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The Oriental Shorthair may have a tendency to overeat or gain weight, so the portion size and calorie intake should be controlled. Fresh water should always be available for the cat.
The Oriental Shorthair should visit a veterinarian regularly for check-ups and vaccinations. The veterinarian can also advise on preventive care measures such as spaying or neutering, dental care, parasite control, and microchipping. The Oriental Shorthair should also be monitored for any signs of illness or discomfort and taken to the veterinarian if needed.
Common Health Issues
The Oriental Shorthair is generally a healthy cat breed that can live up to 15 years or more. However, like any other breed, it may be prone to some health issues that may be inherited from its Siamese ancestors or common among all cats.
Some of the genetic diseases that may affect the Oriental Shorthair are:
- Progressive retinal atrophy
Some of the other health problems that may occur in the Oriental Shorthair are:
- Dental disease
- Urinary tract infections
The best way to prevent or treat these health issues is to provide the Oriental Shorthair with regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, and proper grooming.
Where to Buy an Oriental Shorthair Cat
The average price range for an Oriental Shorthair kitten or cat from a breeder or rescue group may vary from $400 to $2000, depending on the cat’s quality, coloration, and location. You should also factor in the costs of spaying or neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, and other expenses that may be required for your new pet.
The rarity or popularity of the Oriental Shorthair breed may differ in different regions or countries. According to some sources, the breed is more common in Europe than in North America. However, you may still be able to find a local breeder or rescue group near you by using some online resources such as:
The Oriental Shorthair is a beautiful and diverse cat breed that can make a wonderful companion for anyone who appreciates its elegance, intelligence, playfulness, and vocalization. This breed requires a lot of attention and interaction from its owner and other pets and will not do well if left alone for long periods of time.
If you’re looking for a cat that combines the charm and grace of a Siamese with a rainbow of colors and patterns, then you might want to consider the Oriental Shorthair. This breed will surely brighten up your life with its stunning appearance and lively personality.
More Cat Breeds
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How much are oriental shorthair cats?
The price of an oriental shorthair cat may vary depending on the breeder, the quality, the coloration, and the location of the cat. The average price range is from $400 to $2000, but it may be higher or lower depending on these factors.
Are oriental shorthair cats healthy?
Oriental shorthair cats are generally healthy and can live up to 15 years or more. However, they may be prone to some genetic diseases inherited from their Siamese ancestors, such as amyloidosis, asthma, and progressive retinal atrophy.
What is an oriental shorthair cat?
An oriental shorthair cat is a member of the Siamese family of breeds that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It has a slender, elegant body, wedge-shaped head, large ears, almond-shaped eyes, and a short coat.
How long do oriental shorthair cats live?
Oriental shorthair cats can live up to 15 years or more if they are well-cared for and receive regular veterinary care. Their diet, environment, genetics, and health conditions may affect their lifespan.
Are oriental shorthair cats hypoallergenic?
Oriental shorthair cats are not truly hypoallergenic, as no cat breed is. However, they may produce less of the Fel d 1 protein that causes allergic reactions in some people. They also shed less than some other breeds and have short coat that requires minimal grooming. Therefore, they may be more suitable for people with mild to moderate cat allergies.