The Oriental Shorthair is a svelte cat with elegant features and a coat that comes in a variety of colors. These cats are intelligent, athletic, and articulate members of the Siamese family of cat breeds (which also includes the Siamese, Balinese, and Oriental Longhair). The Oriental Shorthair is often included on lists of hypoallergenic cat species.
The Oriental Shorthair is the product of the crossbreeding of many different cat species. Many domestic cat breeds became endangered in the aftermath of World War II. Breeders in England started incorporating Russian Blue, Abyssinian, and British Shorthairs into their Siamese lines in order to revive the breed. Non-pointed kittens were the result, and they were subsequently bred back to Siamese cats.
Following those crosses, Siamese-pointed kittens were made, as well as unique and elegant color variations that became the basis for the Oriental breed we know today. Each non-pointed color was given its own breed designation at first, but it was quickly discovered that the gene pool of these cats would result in an enormous number of color combinations.
The Oriental was first brought to the United States in the 1970s, and the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) awarded it championship status in 1977. Originally, only a short-haired variant existed, but subsequent crossbreeding in the United States resulted in the Oriental Shorthair and Oriental Longhair breed types.
In the United States, crossbreeding further extended the cat’s coat color variations, resulting in the approximately 300 different colors and patterns that occur today. Because of its vibrant hair, the Oriental is often referred to as the “rainbow cat.”
The breed’s rugged profile, wide-set ears, and long legs are highlighted by a sleek, silky coat that lies close to the body. The Oriental Shorthair does an outstanding job of self-grooming, but the coat is low-maintenance. Your pet, on the other hand, would enjoy a brushing now and then to remove some loose hair and stimulate the skin.
- Weight: 4 to 5 kg
- Coat length: Short
- Amount of shedding: Medium
- Color: 300+ colors
- Pattern: Multiple patterns include tortoiseshell, calico and tabby
The Oriental Shorthair is a great companion because it is outgoing and entertaining to play with and watch. They are gregarious by default and, unlike many other cat species, can withdraw if left alone for long periods of time.
These cats are thought to be very social, and they love interacting with humans, other cats, and even dogs. It’s also suggested that you get your Oriental a fuzzy pal to keep him company. Many Oriental cat owners say that when they get home, their cat will meet them at the door and continue to vocalize with numerous meows and chirps.
Unlike other cat species that may be shy around strangers, most Orientals love meeting new people and will eagerly seek attention by jumping into a visitor’s lap. This breed may become fixated on one human and avoid engaging with others on rare occasions, but this is the case rather than the norm.
- Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
- Active: High
- Intelligence: High
- Vocalize: High
Oriental Shorthairs are predisposed to the same health issues as their pointed ancestors due to a genetic heritage that is closely linked to the Siamese. The breed, on the other hand, is usually thought to be well.
Health conditions that have been observed in Oriental Shorthairs include:
- Bladder stones: Rock-like formations of minerals that develop in the urinary bladder.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy: It was linked to a dietary deficiency in taurine,
- Liver amyloidosis: May develop difficulty breathing or weakness in one or both rear legs, pale gum color, distended abdomen, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, abdominal pain, and collapse
- Mast cell cancer: Cause enlargement of the spleen and intestine.
- Crossed eyes: Caused by an imbalance of extraocular (outside of the eye) muscle tone.
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