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The Oriental Shorthair is closely related to the Siamese cat breed with its origins in Thailand. However, the breed was developed in both the UK and the USA between the 1950s and 1970s. Since then, they have become a popular cat breed around the world.
Oriental Shorthairs have a distinctive look with large ears and long, muscular bodies. They are active, social, and loud cats who are extremely intelligent, too. These people-oriented pets quickly become the centrepiece of any home and find happiness when involved in family activities.
Meet the Oriental Shorthair
The Oriental Shorthair’s unique appearance makes them instantly recognizable. They are medium-sized and weigh between 8 and 12 pounds once fully grown. Their bodies are long, slender, and athletic, and their legs are long, too, giving them a wildcat look.
They have wedge-shaped heads with almond-shaped eyes, long noses and prominent cheekbones. Their extra-large ears are undoubtedly their most distinctive feature, though. The structure of their faces can sometimes make them look standoffish, but their friendly personality is quite the opposite. Their eye colour may be green, blue, gold, or yellow.
As their name suggests, these felines have a short and sleek coat and come in various colours and patterns. They may be a solid colour or have bicolour, smoke, marble, or tortoiseshell patterning. The most common shades are brown and grey, but other possible colourings include black, cream, tan, lilac, orange, and white.
The temperament of an Oriental Shorthair
Like their Siamese Descendents, Oriental Shorthair cats are social, active, and super friendly. The Siamese’s loudness has also passed down to these kitties, making them one of the most vocal breeds. They love to use their meow to communicate every want and need to their owner and simply just chat with you, too. Therefore, their presence is always known, and they won’t let you forget that they are around.
Oriental Shorthairs are very people orientated and love to receive attention from their owner. This can be in the form of interactive play, petting, or simply a vocal response to their “chatting”.
These high maintenance kitties will let you know once they’ve entered a room and will not rest until you have sufficiently acknowledged them. While this may be annoying for some people, they make excellent companions to people who live alone and need a companion to bring more life into the home.
Oriental Shorthairs also make very devoted pets, and they develop a strong attachment to their owners. They dislike being left alone, and if they are in a home where the owners are out most of the time, they will suffer. After a while, they may exert their unhappiness through destructive behaviour.
They have moderate energy levels and a natural curiosity. They love to explore, jump and climb, and they adore playing games and learning tricks with their owners. As they are so intelligent, they learn tricks and commands quickly and have impressive skills for puzzle games.
10 reasons to add an Oriental Shorthair to your family
- They are social butterflies - Oriental Shorthairs have an impressive confidence level around other people, including strangers. They will greet your visitors at the door, play with the kids, and quickly make friends with your other pets.
- You will never feel lonely with an Oriental Shorthair - If you live alone and miss companionship, this cat will fill that hole. They will follow you everywhere, chat with you, and snuggle up with you at night.
- They are super intelligent - You can teach an Oriental Shorthair many tricks and dog-like commands, which they will pick up quickly.
- They do not pick favourite humans - Oriental Shorthairs show equal love to all household members, rather than attaching themselves to one person, like some breeds.
- They have low grooming needs - Their short coat is easy to maintain, and they do not require any grooming, except a weekly brush.
- They are big purrers - As Oriental Shorthairs love attention and affection so much, you will instantly notice a deep, satisfying purr whenever you pet them. This vibrational sound is exceptionally calming to us humans!
- They will greet you at the door - Oriental Shorthairs have the dog-like trait of welcoming you at the door when you arrive home. You will always sense how happy they are to see you, so no matter how bad your day has been, they will brighten it with their loving energy.
- You can find them in every colour and pattern - There are approximately 300 varieties of colours and patterns of Oriental Shorthairs existing today, so it’s easy to find a unique-looking one.
- They will entertain you with their climbing antics - This cat loves to climb, and you will often find them perching on top of the fridge or climbing up the curtains!
- They make gorgeous crossbreeds, too - You will find many beautiful mixed-breed Orientals that all have their own unique look about them. The most common are Oriental Shorthair & Abyssinian, Oriental Shorthair & Domestic Shorthair, and Oriental Shorthair & Bombay.
Best homes for an Oriental Shorthair
The Oriental Shorthair is not for everyone, but a beautiful companionship develops when these loyal and loving felines find their perfect humans. They will thrive in a home where their owners are often home, so this kitty is ideal for someone who lives alone and works from home.
As they are so confident and social, they do well in large family homes and busy environments. They are excellent with both children and other pets and do not get anxious around strangers. All these cats need is regular human interaction, so as long as you can provide that, your Oriental Shorthair will thrive. However, we also recommend getting them a cat buddy if you don’t have any existing pets, so they have a friend to play with when you are busy.