Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed

Oriental Shorthairs are slender cat breed with graceful features and a coat that comes in a rainbow of colours, with up to 300 colour combinations. They are part of the Siamese family of cat breeds and are bright, agile, and vocal. Oriental Shorthairs are very active, sophisticated and colourful cats in every sense. They are perfect for those individuals interested in an interactive and devoted feline companion.

They have a very affectionate nature and bond deeply with their families and individuals of all ages, including children, other cats and cat-friendly dogs. They love attention and affection and are frequently seen beside their human companion. They like to be of "assistance" to any family member and follow them throughout the day. They like warm places and can be usually found sitting on the lap of their human companion during the day and cuddling under the sheets with family members at night.

Oriental Shorthairs are known to be "chatty" cats. They demand love and attention and tend to get into mischief if they are left alone for long periods.

These welcoming cats are active, intelligent, friendly and love to play. Many of these cats are fetchers, as they love playing a game of fetch with their human companions for hours end while others entertain themselves with an empty cardboard box. They are known to remain kitten-like all their lives as they do not grow out of their love of play. These energetic cats excel at feline sports agility and are very interested in training.

Oriental Shorthairs are dedicated to their families and require companionship. Oriental Shorthairs is known to show affection to everyone and love a party as they would giddily jump from lap to lap, purring and asking for pets. Moreover, an Oriental Shorthair does not do fine being the only cat. They are excellent with kids, other cats, dogs.

They crave attention and loves to cuddle and sleep in a pile with their cat buddies or under the covers with their human companion. They are not ideal for people who want to live a quiet life and have a cat to stay still and look cute.

The Oriental Shorthair is frequently included on lists of cat breeds that are 'hypoallergenic.' Though no cat breed is accurately hypoallergenic, Oriental Shorthair does produce less of the Fel D1 protein that is accountable for triggering cat allergies.

Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

22-33 cm
3-6 kg
Life Span:
10-15 years
Affectionate, Highly Social, Vocal, Intelligent, Friendly, Active, Playful
Energy Level:
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws
  • Grooming: Once a Week 2/10
  • Shedding: Low 2/10
  • Hypoallergenic: Intensive 10/10
  • Activity Level: High 10/10
  • Playfulness: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to children: High 10/10
  • Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
  • Vocality: High 10/10
  • Intelligence: High 10/10
  • Independence: Low 2/10


The Oriental Shorthair is best characterized as a colour remake of the original "black and white" Siamese. The cat breed was developed using Siamese as the foundation breed and then crossing them with other cat breeds. The original motive was to widen the Siamese gene pool in the United Kingdom because so many breeding programs had been ravaged during World War II. Crosses with British Shorthairs, Russian Blues, Abyssinians and domestic shorthair cats produced litters without the pointed Siamese pattern. These cats were then bred back to Siamese.

In a few generations, cat breeders produced cats that looked precisely like Siamese, excluding the variety of colours and patterns they have and cats with the traditional pointed pattern. Cats with Siamese points were used in Siamese breeding programs, but the non-pointed cats became the basis for a new cat breed – the Oriental Shorthair. When these cats started to be imported into the United States in the 1970s, crosses with American Shorthairs were produced with more colours and patterns. A longhaired cat variety was also developed during this time. Today, Oriental Shorthairs come in more than 300 colours and patterns, including the pointed varieties. However, pointed Orientals are not recognized by all cat associations, and some even require them to be shown as Siamese.

In 1979, the International Cat Association's founding year, the Oriental Shorthair was one of the original breeds in the championship competition. TICA presently accepts all colours and patterns of the pointed category for shows.

Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

The Oriental Shorthair is a sophisticated looking cat. Their body, neck, legs and tail are elongated. They are medium-sized but well-muscled. This cat breed is a cat of extremes. Their head is a long triangle, ears are large, and their nose is long and straight. Oriental Shorthairs have almond-shaped eyes of a green, blue, or odd colour. The pointed variety ones have blue eyes.

Their coat is short, silky and lies close to their body. Presently, there are 281 different colours of Oriental Shorthair, each of which comes in either Shorthair or Longhair.


The Siamese and the Oriental Shorthair might be different in colour, but under their skin, they are alike. The Oriental Shorthair is chatty and opinionated. They will tell you precisely what they think in a loud, raspy voice.

Oriental Shorthairs are incredibly affectionate with their family. This cat breed like to be "helpful" to their human companion and follow them around from room to room to supervise them. When their human companion is sitting down, they will be in their lap, and at night, they will be in their bed, perhaps under the covers with the cat's head on the pillow.

Do not get an Oriental Shorthair if living with a chatty cat would drive you nuts. On the other hand, if you adore having a cat to talk to all day, an Oriental Shorthair can be your best pal. Just make sure you have time to spend with this friendly cat. Oriental Shorthair cats do not like being left alone for long periods of time. It is best to get two of this breed to keep each other company if you work during the day.

The Oriental Shorthair is brilliant, alert and energetic. They love to play. Keep their clever brain active with many puzzle and interactive toys, and their body exercised with teaser toys that they can run after. A big cat tree they can climb is also recommended. Many of these energetic cats are fetchers as they love a game of fetch with their human companion. They have their favourite toys like catnip sacks, rattle mice and wads of crumpled paper. They can entertain themselves for many hours with an empty cardboard box. They remain kitten-like all their lives as they do not outgrow their love of playing.

Oriental Shorthairs are excellent jumpers and enjoy heights. Because of this, perches and tall cat trees must be provided. Oriental Shorthairs enjoy playing and adore toys around the house for their entertainment and pleasure. Though their coat needs little care, the Oriental Shorthair links brushing with affection and will therefore enjoy being groomed.

As sophisticated as the Oriental Shorthair looks, they can be quite a lap cat. They are incredibly loving and will sleep next to their human companion in bed.

Choose an Oriental Shorthair if you look want to spend quality time with your cat. This cat breed is a devoted and loving feline. If given the right home, they will thrive for many years.

Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

When an Oriental Shorthair is appropriately socialized and trained at an early stage, they will thrive on being a well-mannered and well-rounded cat. These affectionate and approachable cats are very sociable and loving cats that get deeply devoted to their human companion.

Oriental Shorthairs are highly intelligent and adore the love and attention of being clicker-trained and taught tricks. They are active, intelligent, and sociable felines who love to play. Some Oriental Shorthairs are fetchers. They love to play a game of fetch with their human companion. Other cats can entertain themselves for hours with just an empty cardboard box. No furniture or high shelf is left undiscovered or unexplored from these curious, high leaping cats. They can perform at feline sports agility and are very easy to train.

Challenge their intelligent minds and keep them attentive by teaching them tricks and games. Give them many puzzle toys that will reward them with treats or kibbles when they learn how to manipulate them.

Coat & Care

Their short, fine coat is easily cared for and maintained. Brush or comb it every couple of weeks using a soft bristle brush to eliminate dead hair, then polish it with a soft cloth to make their coat shine.

Daily dental hygiene is still best, but weekly brushing is considered okay. Brush their teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Trim their nails twice a month or when needed. For their eyes, wipe their corners with a soft, damp cloth to eliminate any eye discharge. Make sure to use a separate part of the damp cloth for each eye to avoid the risk of spreading any eye infection.

Check the ears weekly. If their ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a vet-approved ear cleaner. If the ear has a foul odour, it is best to contact your vet for treatment.

Their litter boxes should always be clean as they are precise about bathroom hygiene. If it is left unclean, they tend to use other places in the house.

Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Oriental Shorthair is generally a healthy cat breed. Their life expectancy is between ten to fifteen years with proper care, a high-quality diet and regular exercise. However, this cat breed has the same health conditions as the Siamese that can also affect the Oriental Shorthair cats.

  • Crossed eyes
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – is a degenerative disorder of their eye retina.
  • Asthma/bronchial disease
  • Amyloidosis – is a disease that happens when a type of protein called amyloid is deposited in their body organs, mainly their liver.
  • Hyperesthesia syndrome – is a neurological problem that can cause cats to excessively groom themselves, which leads to hair loss and to act anxiously, especially when they are petted or touched.

Children & Other Pets

The outgoing and friendly Oriental Shorthair enjoys playing. That's why they are an excellent choice for families with children. They will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks effortlessly and loves the attention they receive from children who treat them well. However, always supervise younger kids to avoid accidents and won't hurt the cat by pulling their fur or twisting their tail.

Oriental Shorthairs are contented and delighted to live with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. But as always, it is best to introduce pets gradually and in controlled environments to ensure that they learn to get along well together.

Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Available Oriental Shorthair Kittens