A Very Friendly Hybrid Cat with Siamese Origins
Jon Crimes - Last Updated on January 25th, 2021
What you Need to Know about the Oriental Shorthair
The Oriental Shorthair cat is a member of the Siamese cat family.
This feline comes in a wide range of colors and patterns but is best known for looking like it is 'all ears'! There is also the long-haired variety with the only difference being the length of the coat.
The cat has an outgoing personality. They also have a reputation for becoming very attached to their human family.
They're probably more suitable for someone who has a lot of time to devote to their cat.
Appearance Matters. What does an Oriental Shorthair look like?
Oriental Shorthairs have very distinctive almond-shaped eyes and ears that can't be ignored! The Oriental Shorthair cat’s big ears really make this feline standout from the crowd.
Although slender looking, they are stronger than they look and have a muscular body.
The Oriental Shorthair size is comparable with most medium-sized cats. They can however be heavier than they look. Male cats can weigh up to 12 pounds with females being lighter and less than 8 pounds.
There are many different color and pattern combinations with this breed. These can be solid, shaded, or parti-color combinations.
Some of the most common colors include:
- Ebony black
Shaded colors are where the hair tips are colored only. Part-color has cream and red splashes on any of the above combinations. There are also bi-color variants. Think any of the above again but with a splash of white!
With the Siamese having its own long-haired version of the breed, it makes sense the Oriental does as well. The Oriental Longhair cat is different from the Shorthair in that it carries a pair of recessive genes. These affect the length of its hair only and you'll still find a great selection of colors with this variant.
It's all Personal. The Oriental Shorthair Personality
A sociable and intelligent feline sums up the Oriental Shorthair personality. They are also inquisitive, demanding, and develop strong bonds with their human family.
They have also been described as emotional cats and very vocal when they want to be. When happy, this emotion and sound resonate around the room. You know when they're content.
It's not only the many different colors of this cat that are unique. Their personality has many variations as well.
Regal and calm one minute can very quickly turn into plenty of energy. This can also include unlimited mischief.
Their curiosity often has no bounds and they will try to get involved with whatever you are doing. This starts with the Oriental Shorthair kitten and continues well into adulthood.
If the cat wants attention but you're too busy, they'll behave as if their feelings are hurt. When you give in, they'll repay you with love and quite often some witty cat 'conversation'.
Their vocal tone is softer than their Siamese relatives. But they are never lost for words.
You can expect them to be by your side pretty much constantly. They'll also sit by the door, waiting for you to come home.
Caring for your Oriental Shorthair
The Oriental Shorthair is easy to take care of. They have a coat that is short and only needs brushing once a week. They don't shed much hair and coat matting won't be a problem if they get that weekly grooming.
Their fur is quite thin but it's also sleek and shouldn't attract a lot of dirt unless they look for it! You also shouldn't need to bathe your cat very often either. Their natural oils are important in keeping their coats pristine. Frequent baths would affect this.
Are Oriental Shorthair hypoallergenic cats?
Their short hair and low coat shedding might be good for people with cat allergies. But is the Oriental Shorthair hypoallergenic? While no cats are hypoallergenic, this breed is a better choice than many.
Keep up with the weekly grooming to reduce potential allergic reactions.
Also, add some other activities into this weekly routine to take care of your new friend. Trim their nails when necessary and remove any dirt from the outside of their ears. If they have any natural discharge from their eyes, wipe away with a soft, damp cloth.
Start your grooming routine with Oriental Shorthair kittens. That’ll make it so much easier with the adult cat.
The Health and Happiness of your Oriental Shorthair
The breed is considered to be generally healthy. But genetically, they can develop the same conditions as the Siamese. These include:
- Dilated cardiomyopathy. Although relatively rare, this condition is where the muscular heart wall becomes thin. This results in the heart becoming enlarged, with heart failure being a worse case. Symptoms can be vague but look out for lack of appetite, lethargy, and rapid breathing.
- Liver amyloidosis. This condition is where a substance called 'amyloid' builds up in the cat's liver. Consult your vet if you observe any of the symptoms of this. These include lack of energy, vomiting, limb swelling, and an enlarged abdomen.
- Bladder stones. Bladder stones are rare. With a normal urinary tract, excess waste in the bladder will be passed as crystals. Where this doesn't happen, the crystals can grow into 'stones'. Symptoms that point to this problem include urine blood and difficulty urinating. Also, look out for excessive genital licking and urinating more than normal.
What is the Oriental Shorthair cat lifespan?
A healthy Oriental Shorthair can expect to have a lifespan of between 8 and 12 years.
Feline History. Where does the Oriental Shorthair come from?
The Second World War took a heavy toll on domestic cat breeds. This included the Siamese Crossbreeding programs began in an effort to reverse this problem. Out of these programs, the Oriental Shorthair was born.
Siamese breeders were resentful of the Oriental Shorthair. They didn't want the Siamese lineage interfered with. But this didn't prevent the breeding efforts, and the CFA accepted the Oriental in 1972. The breed gained full championship status in 1977.
The CFA also recognized the Bicolor Oriental Shorthair in 1985. This variant has the official Oriental color patterns with a few exceptions. It has added white to its legs, paws, face, and belly.