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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Oriental Shorthair Variety

Oriental (Shorthair Variety)

Origin: Siam (Thailand)

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Siam (Thailand)
Short, fine and glossy.
More than 300 different colors and pattern combinations, including tortoiseshell, shaded, smoke, and tabby -- there are 112 tabby combinations alone!
Special considerations: 
The Oriental Shorthair has the same basic look as a Siamese, with a svelte body, long, tapering lines, a wedge-shaped head, and medium-sized almond-shaped eyes.

The history of the Oriental Shorthair begins with the Siamese. Breeders from many different countries began to imagine Siamese cats "painted" in different colors. The most influential of these different-colored Siamese was developed in the 1950s in England, where breeders were attempting to produce a chocolate brown cat that was self-colored (meaning solid in color with no markings). This breed would eventually be called the Havana and came about from crosses between a chocolate point Siamese and either a black Domestic Shorthair or a Russian Blue. In the 1970s, the Havanas were imported to the United States and called Havana Browns. In 1974, when Orientals began to be developed in the U.S., most of these Havana Browns were reregistered as Orientals, as were Foreign Lavenders (whose development was similar to the Havana Browns).

In 1977, the Oriental Shorthair was accepted by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA). The breed standard of the Oriental is based on the Siamese standard but with many different colors and patterns added. The CFA made some changes to the breed in the mid-1990s. Oriental Shorthairs would often produce longhaired kittens in the same litter as shorthairs, but these longhaired kittens could not be shown as either Oriental Shorthairs or Oriental Longhairs, as they were a separate breed. In 1995, the CFA combined the Oriental Shorthair and the Oriental Longhair into one single breed called "Oriental" so that the offspring could be shown in the division to which they belong.

Orientals are active, talkative and extremely intelligent. They thrive on spending time with their owners and become very dependent on them. They are also playful and mischievous and can make just about anything into a game, including chasing a computer cursor or batting around a pen their owner is trying to use. They can be taught to answer to their name, but this doesn't mean that they will always come when called! Orientals like to keep busy with bouts of running, jumping and climbing.
At home: 
Orientals want to spend every waking moment with their owners -- from folding laundry to loading the dishwasher. Owners of this breed soon find that they have a loving shadow. This is not a breed that should be left alone for long periods, as it can become depressed and destructive. Orientals love heat and will race to find a seat on the heating vent or above the dryer. They also like to climb and will not be satisfied until they've come as close to the ceiling as possible. Orientals are "talkers" much like their Siamese cousins, and will carry out long, involved conversations with their owners and each other.
Orientals need a high-quality diet. They tend to prefer a few small meals a day rather than one large one.
Orientals love people of all ages, including children. They like other cats and do well with other pets, including dogs.
Orientals can live up to 15 years. They can have a tendency for dental problems, including peridontis, and liver amyloidosis.
Fun fact: 

Orientals have been called the Greyhounds of the cat fancy because of their long, muscular shape.

Grooming blurb: 
The short, sleek hair of the Oriental is easy to care for. Regular brushing with a rubber brush will keep his coat in shape.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader' discretion.