The Oriental Shorthair is a beautifully-shaped feline, marked with large flared ears atop a peculiar wedge-shaped head, and a long, slender set of legs, neck and body. An Oriental cat has one of the widest variety of colors in the cat kingdom, featuring more than 300 hues in an expansive color palette. The breed has an informal nickname, the Ornamentals because of their attractive coat colors and entertaining personalities to boot.
- 1 History of the Oriental Shorthair
- 2 Size of the Oriental Shorthair
- 3 Personality of the Oriental Shorthair
- 4 Oriental Shorthair Kittens
- 5 Breeding
- 6 Oriental Shorthair Health
- 7 Care of the Oriental Shorthair
- 8 Litter Box Training
- 9 Oriental Shorthair Nutrition
- 10 Coat Colors
- 11 Oriental Shorthair Grooming
- 12 Children and Other Pets
History of the Oriental Shorthair
It was said that the first Oriental came from England during the turn of the 20th century. British breeders were infatuated with the Siamese and sought ways on how they could add more color. Breeding between Russian Blues, Abyssinians and Siamese eventually led to the creation of the Oriental variety.
In the U.S., breeders came up with their own Oriental by crossing Siamese cats with Abyssinians and American Shorthairs. The Cat Fanciers Association recognized the Oriental as a registered breed in 1972 and in 1977, gave it full Championship status.
Size of the Oriental Shorthair
Orientals belong in the mid-sized category and can weigh anywhere between 5 to 10 lbs. The sleek physical attributes of these cats make them natural athletes. Their slim limbs are like tightly coiled springs that they use to jump up to high places from time to time.
Personality of the Oriental Shorthair
These cats are the entertainers in the feline kingdom. They can talk for hours on end in a raspy tone of voice. Give the Oriental a full crowd and they won’t hesitate to put up a show. These cats are highly energetic and can do lots of things that can surprise, amuse and entertain you, your family members and guests alike.
When the spotlights are off the Oriental is a caring and loyal pet. You can be sure that your pet will be there with you, observing your morning rituals and weekend hobbies. If you’re sitting down then they’ll be happy to occupy your lap. The Oriental loves to be beside their owners come nighttime.
Oriental Shorthair Kittens
The kittens may be of the short or long-haired variety, which is a distinctly separate breed. Most responsible breeders will not think of putting up their Orientals for sale until the litter is at least 12-16 weeks old. Make sure your house is kitten-proofed and that there won’t be any unsafe areas of dangerous items lying around when you bring an Oriental home. Socialize your kitten as early as possible so that they’ll become well-adjusted as they grow up to adulthood.
Oriental Shorthairs are popular among breeders because of their extensive color palette. Buying an Oriental means scouting out the best breeders and signing up on a waiting list, even for pet-type kittens.
A responsible breeder will make sure that the buyer is taught the basics of caring for an Oriental. Good breeders will have their litter and parents tested for genetic defects and will have complete health certifications they can show interested buyers. Visit the home of a breeder before making the purchase so you can see the Oriental in its natural environment.
Oriental Shorthair Health
Orientals may be slim in stature, but they are generally very hale and hearty. There are several conditions to look out for, though, including endocardial fibroelastosis and cranial sternum protrusion, which are the same predilections as with the Siamese cat.
There’s an inherited defect that can cause their eyes to become crossed. Dilated cardiomyopathy can reduce heart contractions, and liver amyloidosis is a hereditary disease that leads to liver failure. Have your cat checked by a qualified vet as soon as you pick them up as a safety precaution.
Care of the Oriental Shorthair
Orientals will need a high level of care coming from their owners or they won’t thrive in their environment. This means plenty of attention, care and playtime in the form of interactions with toys and things that stimulate your pet’s mind. Make sure to get a cat tree since Orientals love to constantly test their agility and be on high places.
Your Oriental may become cranky and unresponsive if left alone by themselves for long periods of time. You’ll need to dedicate lots of time and love to really get the most out of owning this type of breed. Do not allow your cat to go outside as they could get lost following their insatiable curiosity.
Litter Box Training
Kittens that are bought from responsible breeders will come well-trained in the litter department. It’s your duty as the pet owner to always clean up your cat’s mess. Scoop up the waste as soon as you see it and make it a point to replace the litter every day.
Oriental Shorthair Nutrition
Orientals should be given a well-balanced diet using both wet and dry foods according to their age. It’s best to establish a feeding routine to avoid an upset tummy and risk obesity. If you bought your Oriental from a breeder, get the feeding schedule and continue with it.
These cats will need up to 80 Kcals of food each day due to their energetic lifestyle. With proper care, diet and exercise, Orientals can live up to 12 fruitful, fun-filled years.
Oriental Shorthairs enjoy more than 300 unique colors and patterns, which is significantly more than any other cat breed. Some of the most popular hues include Seal, Champagne, Lavender, Cinnamon, Chestnut, Chocolate, Fawn, Platinum, Frost, Brown, Red, Cream, Ebony, Blue and White. Renowned patterns include Shaded, Smoke, Ticking, Tabby, Calico, Bicolor, Tortoiseshell and Solid.
Oriental Shorthair Grooming
The Orientals have short, glossy coats without underlying fur beneath. They shed very little and grooming is easy and hassle-free. Use a soft bristle brush or a stainless steel comb every week or so to keep your pet’s coat shiny and healthy. Your Oriental will be sure to enjoy the quality time as much as they like being groomed.
Check your pet’s ears and nails and clean or trim as necessary. Brush your feline’s teeth using toothbrush and vet-approved toothpaste. Don’t forget to visit the vet regularly for their health check-ups and vaccinations.
Children and Other Pets
The Oriental Shorthair is an excellent addition to an active family. Their love of attention will make them the darling of every family member in the house. Orientals also get along with other cats and even dogs without too much effort. Expect a lot of tumbling and horseplay when you bring an Oriental in a cat-filled home!