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Oriental Short-hair Cat – Cat Breeds Guide


The Oriental Short-hair, or simply called as the Oriental cat is considered to be the first and original Oriental Cat that is among the top most popular domesticated feline breeds in the world today. Oriental Short-hairs are so admired that is recognized in all predominant feline registries. These cat associations either recognize the short-haired Oriental as a distinct cat breed, a division of the Oriental Cat Breed or under the Siamese Cat Family.

Official Name

Oriental Short-hair


Oriental Short-hairs are commonly associated with the ancient cats that first appeared in the Kingdom of Siam in South East Asia. In reality, the modern Oriental Short-hair can trace its roots in Great Britain, where the breed was originally developed in the 1950s and the 1960s. This short-haired Oriental appeared together with long-haired variety, but it was the first of its kind to be recognized as a distinct feline pedigree.

Quick FAQs

Size: Oriental Short-hair cats are small to medium-sized hybrid breeds.

Coat Type: Oriental Short-hair cats will come in two coat varieties, short-haired and long-haired or medium-length coats.

Body Type: Orientals Short-hairs have svelte type bodies.

 Grooming Requirement: Oriental Short-hairs cats will require very little grooming attention and can be groomed once every month.

Vocal Tendency: Oriental Short-hairs are cats that will be very vocal and naturally talkative

Energy Levels: Oriental Short-hairs are known to have very high levels of activity.

Time Alone: Oriental Short-hair cats need 4 to 8 hours of “alone time” every day.

Care: Oriental Short-hairs will need adequate human attention and can be handful.

Recognized by

Recognizes Oriental Shorthair as part of the Siamese Breed Group:
The International Cat Association

Recognizes Oriental Shorthair as one of two divisions of the Oriental Breed:
Canadian Cat Association
Cat Fancier’s Association

Recognizes the Oriental Shorthair as a distinct and separate breed:
American Association of Cat Enthusiasts
American Cat Fancier’s Association
Canadian Feline Federation
United Feline Organization


The Oriental Short-hair is technically the first Oriental breed that was developed and also recognized. The modern short-haired cats of Oriental-lineage can trace their roots in the United Kingdom. Here, the first hybridization to produce the Oriental Short-haired cat commenced sometime during the 1950s. Breeders in England and all across Great Britain crossed the popular and elegantly looking Siamese cats with local domestic short-hairs and British Short-hairs. Russian Blue lineages were also added to the foundation stock.

A decade later, USA cat fanciers of the Siamese cats followed suit, using their own local domestic short-hairs and American Short-hairs in the hybridization. As there were very little Russian Blue cats available in North American during the ’60s, US breeders decided to replace the Russian Blues with the Abyssinian cats.

In 1972, Oriental Short-hairs was accepted for registration. Five years later the CFA granted this hybrid full Championship Class status. After its full recognition in 1977, the Oriental Short-hair’s popularity rapidly spread all over the world. It eventually surpassed most other short-haired cat breeds in popularity during the 1980s, showing momentum as it consistently ranked at the top of the most popular cats within the short-haired breed category.


The Oriental Short-hairs are full of enthusiasm and packed with high energy. These cats can quickly change moods; it is in their nature to do so as short-haired Orientals are a curious bunch. Don’t be surprised to see these cats acting haughtily like royalty, and then quickly changing into a more zesty type of cat that is full of curiosity. Some consider these cats as “diva” like behaving as if the world revolves around them. They require more attention as these cats crave human companions. Overall these cats are very loving, affectionate and very intelligent cats will be dependent on their chosen human owners.


Oriental Short-hair cats are basically Siamese-like in appearance. The main difference is that Oriental Short-hair cat breeds come in a huge variety of coat colors and patterns. The Siamese four colors look very dull and very little compared to the Oriental Short-hair cats having more than 300 color and pattern combinations when it comes to the coat area.

All Oriental cats are basically Siamese-type, very lithe yet also very muscular.

Oriental Short-hairs have svelte and long bodies that have noticeable firm muscles and fine bone structures. The body is sleek and tubular.

Head, Ears and Eyes
Oriental cats have long tapering wedge-shaped heads. These cats have strikingly large ears that are pointed and will be wide at the base All Oriental Short-hair cats possess almond-shaped eyes that are medium in size. Eyes are slated towards the nose and will complement the lines of the wedge-shaped head and ears. Eye color will be green but white-coated short-haired Orientals, also known the Foreign White Short-hair, will display blue, green and even odd-eyed colors.

Coat and Tail
The Oriental Short-hair cat’s tail is thin at the base and tapering to a fine point. These short-haired Oriental cats have short and fine coats that are glossy in appearance and satin-like in texture.

The possible coat colors and patterns for the Oriental cat breed are over 300 in number.


Considered to be generally healthy, Short-hair Oriental cats are known to be affected with the same genetic problems that are common to the Siamese defect known as protrusion of the cranial sternum. There is also a serious genetic anomaly known as endocardial fibroelastosis to watch out for.



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