Appearance and features:
Orientals are fine boned and feature a long, tubular style body but with a longer silky coat. They have a long head shaped like a wedge, forming a triangle. The ears are pointed, set wide on the head and very large and the eyes are almond shaped. The neck is slender, the tail is long and the legs are thin and long.
This is a medium-size cat weighing 8 to 12 pounds.
The range of possible coat colors includes everything from self-colored (black, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, caramel, fawn, red, cream and apricot), tortoiseshell, smoke (silver undercoat), shaded or tipped, tabby or white. The preferred eye color for Oriental is green; except for the whites, which may have green or blue eyes, or be odd-eyed (two different colored eyes).
While the breed’s genetic roots are ultimately in Thailand
, it was formally developed principally in the US. The breed was developed using Siamese
as the foundation breed and then crossing them with Russian Blues
, British Shorthairs
and domestic shorthairs produced kittens without the pointed Siamese pattern, which were then bred back to Siamese. The original intent was to broaden the Siamese gene pool in Britain because so many breeding programs had been devastated during World War II.
The Oriental Shorthair is an active cat that likes to play. If the owner does not have the time to do so, it will find a toy to play on its own. This breed enjoys jumping and does it really well, without breaking any objects due to its agility and elegance. The oriental longhair is extremely intelligent and are ideal companions for people who like their pets always around. Some have been know to follow their owners everywhere. They are very loyal and most get along well with other cats, especially if they are of the same breed group. These cats are not adapted to a life of living alone and prefer an interactive home. Some Oriental tend to gravitate to one person in the home. Oriental Shorthairs, like their cousin breed the Siamese, have loud and expressive voices that are used often. They are smart cats, with some being quite willful in getting their own way. Many Orientals take to leash training quickly if started young. They have been known to open cabinets, doors and even refrigerators. This breed group is often recommended for more experienced cat keepers.
Orientals health issues are the same as those for Siamese
and include an inherited neurological defect that causes crossed eyes; hereditary liver amyloidosis, which can lead to liver failure; and dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition that reduces the heart’s ability to contract. Bladder stones and mast cell cancer have also been reported in the breed.