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Oriental Shorthair

The Oriental Shorthair cat is a member of the breed of the Siamese. It is also evident from their looks and anatomy that, they share their genes with the Siamese cats. With a triangular face, almond-shaped eyes and large, triangular ears, this breed appears in various colors and patterns.

The Oriental Shorthairs are mostly green-eyed, except that, their white counterparts are born with blue eyes. Their slender but muscular structure has given them the agility in movement and the ability to jump up to high places. This breed does not have much genetic difference with their longhair counterpart except that, the longhair has a longer and denser coat.

Quick Information/Description

Physical Appearance & Size

Weight:Male: 7-10 pounds; Female: 5-8 pounds
Litter Size:6 kittens

Colors & Patterns

Coat Type:Short, patterned, colorful
Colors:Shaded, smoke, parti-color/tortoiseshelltabby and bicolor (any of the above, with white)

Other Characteristics

Life Expectancy (Lifespan):13 – 14 years
Lap Cat:Yes
Personality Traits:Intelligent, affectionate, active, social
Good with Children:Yes
Country of Origin:USA
Competitive Registration/Qualification Information:TICA, FIFe, WCF, CFA, ACF, GCCF, CCA, AACE, ACFA/CAA


In the 1950s and the 1960s, the British breeders wanted a blue-eyed cats like the Siamese, that have diverse coat colors. It was then that the first Oriental Shorthair was developed by mixing the Siamese cat with the British Shorthairs and the Russian Blues. Soon after, the American breeders too would develop their own version of the Oriental Shorthair by crossing the Siamese with American Shorthairs and Abyssinians. Despite heavy oppositions from the Siamese breeders, this new breed gained quick popularity. Finally, in 1972, the breed was accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) as an independent breed and got its registration. In 1977, the Oriental Shorthair was granted full Championship status.

Temperament and Personality

These cats are not meant for owners who love a blissful life of quietude. The OS is characterized by liveliness and agility, affection and socialization. They would seek for your attention all day. They are garrulous, that would meow and chat with people.

They would love to play with their toys, or jump atop your refrigerator without much effort, or even fetch things for you. They can entertain themselves for hours with simple things like a discarded packet, and would hardly get bored. They are inquisitive and would roam around your house to see what is going on around. These cats do well with kids and other cats, or even dogs.

The Oriental would hop from lap to lap, seeking attention or to be petted or caressed. In fact, these felines do much better with other cats. However, some of the individuals would prove to be one-man cats that would stay away from visitors or some family members as well.

These cats make excellent pets for those who look for an interactive feline that would amuse and entertain its owner and give a constant company like one genuine friend.


The short hair of these cats does not demand much grooming, but because they shed a lot round the year, they need a good amount of brushing from time to time. This is to get rid of the loose hair, and thus maintain hygiene. Though, the cat would also love to get groomed just to enjoy the attention of the owner associated to grooming.

No ailments specific to this breed has been reported. However, it is always wise to get your cat’s health tested annually. This is specifically important at around age eight, which should include kidney and liver function checkups. Also, take care of their teeth.


Train the Oriental just like you would train any other cat. The intelligent feline is born social, and would easily pick up all that you would teach and train it. Also, you can urge your cat to meet new people. This should help them get rid of their characteristic shyness with new people, which might develop into their adulthood.


The energetic Oriental Shorthair needs a healthy diet every day. Ensure that your cat gets 80 Kcals per kg of its total body weight, per day. This should be enough, since they are not prone to overeating. However, if it is still hungry, your cat will soon let you know. But be sure, your cat doesn’t get fat.

Interesting Facts

  • The Oriental Shorthair cat has a good fetching instinct.
  • Their long-haired counterpart, the Oriental Longhair, has long hair only because they carry a pair of the recessive longhair genes, which the shorthair does not.
  • The alternative name of this breed is ‘Foreign Type’.

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