Oriental Shorthair – Background, Facts, Features, Care, and Health Issues

Oriental Shorthair

Have you ever seen domestic cat breeds wandering here and there in your streets, above your house, or anywhere? Oriental shorthair belongs to this breed, originating from the Siamese Cat. So, it has a similar body and head to a Siamese Cat, and the difference lies in the variety of fur colors. Though calm, this domestic breed isn’t wild. Unlike other cats, its head is triangular, having long ears. Its body is long, muscular, and lean. Their eyes are green in color.

Oriental Shorthair is an intelligent and social pet; the most exciting fact is that it is a vocalist animal. These cats are good athletes and love to play fetch wherever they are – outdoors or indoors. Please don’t go to their slim and thin body; these cats are highly energetic and can jump over higher places to play. You can easily pet them as they love human attention. They can’t live isolated and prefer living with other cats and dogs, too.

Oriental shorthairs are named so because of the difference in coat lengths from Oriental Longhair cats. Not surprisingly, these cats can live longer for about 15 years. Moreover, these cats are not rare, just like other breeds, and if you have decided to take these cats home, don’t hesitate to contact a professional and trustworthy breeder.

A Brief History of Oriental Shorthairs

Oriental Shorthairs

Vicky and Peter Markstein have a significant role in producing the breed of Oriental Shorthair in New York, America. In 1971 & 1972, they did this task on the basis of zebra-like patterns and solid-colored breeds of Siamese. The breeders did breeding at Solitaire Cattery of Angela Sayer and Patricia White. Many cat breeders developed this breed in America, but its genes belong to Thailand.

The popularity of this breed started in 1976 at the Annual Cat Fanciers Association. Peter Markstein presented his breed of Oriental Shorthair along with Havana Brown, presented by Joe Bittaker. Moreover, the Annual Cat Fanciers Association accepted Oriental Shorthair to present these cats for a championship competition 1977. Its popularity continued increasing and was at its peak in 1997.

Appearance of Oriental Shorthair

Oriental Shorthairs cat

Oriental Shorthair is an average-sized cat that weighs about 8-12 pounds. But it looks taller just because of its slim appearance. Siamese and Oriental Shorthair distinguish from each other due to the variety of coat patterns and coat colors. Oriental comes in lavender, blue, ebony, and patterns like smoke and tortoiseshell. Its fur is gleaming, smooth, and short.

You can maintain its smoothness when you brush it regularly. The good thing about adopting these cats is that you can’t be allergic to them and can avoid sneezing and blubbing. Moreover, almond eyes, a long nose, eye-catching cheekbones, and other unique facial features fix its face in your mind.

Nature of Oriental Shorthair

It can be your good friend as it is a talkative breed and can communicate well. On that note, it also starts crying, just like a blast. This cat loves talking when it has to know what will happen, where to go, or what you are doing. It doesn’t have a phobia of being social with other animal fellows and humans. So, it also shows affection and love to its cousins and owners.

Habitat Needs

If you live alone in an apartment, Oriental Shorthair can be your buddy. It can give you company, just like a human friend. But in addition to apartments, it can also live in houses full of family members. It will be attached to all members equally. It needs space to play and do hyperactivities. Also, try to have more than one because they can live and play better together. Whenever you are not home, it will find its partner and be offended when you don’t find it.

Its scratching and stretching quality helps it climb heights and attack any cat tree when needed. You must take it outside or give it proper space so it can use its ability to play in open and vast areas. Otherwise, you’ll find it in kitchen cabinets or on top of your freezer.

Health Issues of Oriental Shorthair

Health Issues of Oriental Shorthair

Oriental can live longer than 15 years if you do THE BEST health care. What you should do is deal calmly with several health issues of Oriental. These are as follows:


There is a chance of acquiring a severe illness called “Amyloidosis.” It is a condition in which an abnormal protein – Amyloid, is formed and ultimately deposits in the organs and tissues of the Oriental. It will lead to the failure of its organs and will face death. It is an inherited disease that starts showing symptoms before the cat turns 5. Moreover, no technique developed yet can pre-detect this disease to start the treatment.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy – PRA

Secondly, “Progressive Retinal Atrophy” is another genetic ailment that affects Oriental badly. Under its effect, Oriental has vision loss, ultimately leading to blindness. Its symptom starts showing in a kitten of seven months old, and it completely loses vision at the age of 4 or 5 years. You can do tests to find out the disease, but unfortunately, there is no treatment available.

Flat-chested Kitten Syndrome

It is the most common disease in Oriental Shorthair as well as Longhair. In this disease, some developmental issues affect some parts of the cat’s body. It fails to feed its young ones and acquires breathing issues, leading to weight loss. Some cats overcome this disease, but others fail to survive. To live a healthy and happiest pal, your kitten must be fit and have a proper visit to Vet. The most common diseases that surround Oriental are obesity and dental illness.

Care for Oriental Shorthair

Proper care involves various steps. These are as follows:

Exercise and Mental Growth

The care involves motivating your cat to do its gym along with you regularly. Moreover, make a chart and schedule your appointment with your veterinary physician so that he may examine your cat regularly. It reduces red flags to some extent.


Talking about its coat, it is known for its easy brushing and maintenance as compared to Oriental Longhair. Hair-shedding occurs once a year, which is due to regular brushing of the smooth fur. This is not its hairs that need much grooming, but its ears do. Due to its large size, its ears need proper checkups to remove dirt or wax. It would be best to do it on your own by cleaning your ears with cotton buds dipped in hot water. While washing its face, don’t forget to brush its teeth.

Trim its nails to avoid irritating tapping sounds and scratches to your body. Because it loves to cuddle, it may leave marks when you are playing with it. Don’t ever forget to clean its litter box because it will spread foul odor and lousy sight if you don’t clean it regularly. It also comes under hygiene and cleanliness, which may lead to the elimination of many diseases. Over and above that, try to use innovative cat toys to keep it playing, which leads to a fit and healthy body.


Each age requires a different diet, so always consult a veterinarian to follow specific advice. Toddlers need very light food. It gets nutritious and healthier with the age of your cat. Moreover, due to obesity issues, do not keep an open food for it. It doesn’t usually drink much, but make sure whatever it drinks must be fresh and clean. Try to change tasty food for it!

Vaccinations and Immunizations

Whether you adopt a kitten or an adult Oriental shorthair, vaccination is a must. Always remember to make a health chart to keep its record. It would be best if you did compulsory vaccinations for:

  • Calicivirus
  • Feline Distemper
  • Rabies
  • Feline Herpes Virus

Additional and non-core vaccinations are an option. It’s up to your Vet what they advise. But these are good in covering issues like Feline Leukemia. If your cat gets fleas, take it to the doctor because there is proper medication for it. But getting heartworms doesn’t offer ant treatment. But you can work on its precaution: visit a doctor to assess its symptoms.

Fun Facts About Oriental Shorthair

Some interesting facts about Oriental are as follows:

  • All these cats are colored breed, but the one with white fur doesn’t have green in their eyes.
  • Almost 300 color combinations are available in a coat of Oriental.
  • Oriental’s fur can change color when exposed to sunlight; copper or brownish patches become visible over blue and black coats, and brown-colored coats give pale yellow patches under the sun.

So, over to you now! Cat lovers will never stay behind in getting one Oriental breed. The jack-of-all-trades breed can give you proper attention and company. It can also act like your therapist and be your partner in lonely times, and vice versa. You can also share your experience of having this breed in the discussion box below.