The Oriental Shorthair, famous for its big ears and for being a Siamese cousin, is a cat with a great body, distinctive features, and a great personality. It is very intelligent and independent, creates unique bonds with their owners, and are usually very close to them. When he arrived in the United States he was loved by many people, being one of the most requested and popular by The Cat Fanciers Association. He has many qualities that all Cat lovers would love, if you are interested in this cat breed I invite you to keep reading.
Due to the great fame that Siamese cats had for their attractive and unusual color restriction or pointing in the United Kingdom, many breeders wanted to create a cat that would act and be like the Siamese cat, but would have a wide variety of colors and patterns, so in the 1950s British breeders started to cross the Siamese cat with British shorthair and with Russian blues, and the kittens born from these were crossed again with the Siamese. After several years and the crossbreeds made, a great variety of colors and patterns were born with the resemblance to the Siamese cat, being the colors the only way to differentiate them, so they decided to establish that all those that didn’t follow the original color restriction of the Siamese would be called Oriental shorthair or foreign shorthair. This new breed began to attract international attention, in the late 1960s American breeders delighted with the appearance of the Oriental cats for their Siamese similar features, decided to introduce it to the United States, but they decided to cross them with American shorthairs and Abyssinians to improve their appearance. Later this cat was introduced in The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and was recognized for registration in 1972 and granted full championship status in 1977. It started to gain a lot of popularity and was the most requested cat among the shorthaired breeds. Over the years a variation of new kittens was born but with a semi-long and long coat, designating them with their own name of Oriental Longhair, coming from crosses between an Oriental Shorthair and a Balinese, being these officially recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) and CFA in the 1980s. Despite the many crosses and a great variety of colors and patterns, all are accepted by the cat associations.
Features and Personality
Even though this cat comes from the Siamese, they currently have features that make them very different, they usually tend to say that the Cornish Rex has a similarity to the Oriental Shorthair because they have certain similar features, mostly in their ears. They have an approximate life expectancy of 8 to 12 years, but if they maintain very good health they can live longer. It is a Medium-sized cat that reaches about 11 Inches and reaches its adult size between 9 and 12 months of age. Its weight varies according to its sex, the female can weigh about 8 lbs and the male can weigh between 8 and 12 lbs. Its face is in proportion to its body in a triangular shape, it has almond shaped eyes that are usually green eyes but can be found in the blue eye too, you can even see oriental shorthair with each eye a different color. Its nose is long and somewhat straight, it has big and large ears, they are triangular in shape with a wide base with rounded tips and are straight, this feature is what calls the attention of this feline. Also, its neck is long and thin. Its body is slender but muscular with heavy bones, very agile and active, its extremities are long and fine, they give it a touch of elegance and its tail is long and thin and ends up pointed, its appearance gives the impression that it is a light cat, but in reality, it is heavier than it looks.
They have a short and fine coat, silky to the touch with a poor undercoat. This cat is one of the breeds that have a great variety of colors and patterns in their coat that are accepted by the associations. If you want your oriental shorthair to have a specific coat color or pattern that you like, you can be sure that you will find it. They have a great range of colors that can be white, blue, cream, red, ebony, platinum, fawn, chocolate, chestnut, brown, frost, cinnamon, lavender, champagne, seal. Their patterns can be a solid color, tabby, smoke, shaded, points, ticking, tortoiseshell, bicolor, tricolor.
This cat breed has a very loving and communicative personality, it’s a very vocal feature that they share with the Siamese family, be sure that they will let you know how they feel or if they want something specific since they tend to show their emotions well, their meows are strong so you should take this into consideration, from kitten they prove to be very communicative. They are very attached to their owners, they create special bonds with them, sharing every moment they can is very special for your cat. They don’t tolerate loneliness, if you live alone you must take into account this aspect since leaving them alone for a long time is not good for their health, so leaving them a furry companion would be a very good option. It’s a cat suitable for families and more with children, they like to play a lot and get along with them, they also get along with strangers. His socialization from a kitten is very important since it allows him to coexist well with more people and other pets, even if they are dogs. They like to exercise a lot, play outside or look for ways to spend their energy, they are very agile and flexible so they like to be jumping on trees or high places if they have access to a safe garden would be perfect for this feline, but if they live in apartments you don’t have to worry, you just have to dedicate time to activities and games that help them stay active. They are also very intelligent cats so you can teach them tricks or teach them how to use a harness from kitten, so they can get used to it and take long walks with your partner.
Oriental Shorthair has a slender body with long and thin legs that you should take good care of. Their weight is something that must be controlled so the type of feeding you want to give your cat must be under a lot of care. Their food should be of high quality and you can choose what type of food it can be if you want it to be dry cat food, pâté, homemade meals, it all depends on what they like and the lifestyle, metabolism, age of your pet. You can always ask your vet what kind of food is best for your pet. This cat breed tends to show quickly if it has more weight than normal, even if in a day that it has eaten in excess its belly will be noticed, you must try that your cat has a balanced food and watched because otherwise you will have an overweight pet and its paws are not designed to support much weight. Be very careful with the cat treats, these cats are lovers of snacks so they should not consume more than the established. Always remember to leave a plate with fresh, clean water every day to keep them hydrated.
Care and Health
Even if the oriental shorthair cat has a short coat you should brush it at least once a week to remove the dead hair, to avoid knots, and also to stimulate its skin, when it is molting season try to brush it more continuously to avoid seeing loose hair everywhere and to avoid making hairballs. Bathe him only when necessary or every few months, he should not be bathed so often. Always check his ears for dirt and clean them with special cat methods so as not to hurt them. You should be aware of their oral hygiene, you can brush their teeth twice a week with a toothbrush and special toothpaste for cats, their oral health is very important because this way you can prevent dental disease.
As I mentioned before they are cats that are very active, exercise is something fundamental for this feline, you have to look for ways to spend their energy, you can leave them toys that allow them to distract themselves or that stimulate them and allow them to develop curiosity. Also, high places are important for these cats, you can put high shelves in different places or scratchers of different heights. A lazy cat, that doesn’t have stimulation to play and only eats, can easily develop overweight and more in this breed, try to assume this responsibility, this aspect is one of the most important. Because they have a short coat they don’t tolerate cold weather, so they will look for the warm areas at home to rest so you can provide them with a special cat bed or blanket.
The health of this cat, in general, is very healthy and it lives a long time but as every feline, it can be prone to develop certain diseases. As the oriental cat is a close relative of the Siamese breed it tends to suffer the same diseases as the latter, one of the diseases that they are prone to developing is renal amyloidosis, through kidney disease, either by chronic infection or cancer, which is a fatal disease. Your vet will try to help your cat as much as possible to relieve their symptoms, but unfortunately, there is no cure. One of the most prominent pathologies in this breed is strabismus, due to a genetic flaw that affects the optic nerve causing the eyes to look crossed, although it is a condition of the nerve, it may not necessarily affect their sight . It may simply be an aesthetic defect, but the veterinarian is the one who determines this after a rigorous examination, you must also follow up because possible alterations may appear. Once a kitten with this defect has been detected, avoid breeding it as it is a hereditary disease and the next babies may be born with this pathology.
Oriental shorthair cats also suffer from progressive retinal atrophy, an eye disease that causes the gradual deterioration of the retina, and one of the main symptoms that can develop is night blindness, and over the years your cat will become visually handicapped. So be sure to have your pet checked by your vet every few times between the ages of 2 and 6 years to ensure this inherited disease is ruled out, and to make sure your cat’s kittens don’t inherit it. Also, they are prone to develop a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy where the heart muscle gets thinner as the heart enlarges, you can detect it in time if you take your pet to its established visits.
Always keep the continuous visits to the vet I recommend every 6 months to prevent any kind of disease or treat it on time, keep all their vaccines up to date and deworming as indicated by the doctor.
If you decide to have a domestic cat and in this case, an Oriental shorthair breed, find it through a reputable breeder. Getting a cat from a certified breeder assures you that it is a purebred cat with its respective documents, and has been raised in good conditions, and has been raised correctly with its mother, and has been fed in the right way. Also taking into account that they have not been separated from their mother before 12 weeks, so that they have learned the correct way of living and being a good cat. Also, when you get a cat through an honest breeder you can know if they were crossed responsibly or if they have some genetic disease or not, and more in these cats since they tend to be predisposed to inherit diseases.
If you are a cat lover and you are looking for a cat to keep you a good company at all times or if you want him to be part of your family, to get along with children, to be intelligent, active, and playful, the Oriental Shorthair is a tremendous option. If you have any questions or if you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.
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