The Oriental Shorthair is a rare breed in the Netherlands. It can be recognized by a specific characteristic, namely its triangular head. This breed is extremely intelligent and is known for its extreme physical characteristics. The Oriental Shorthair has a lot in common with the Siamese. An Oriental Shorthair is actually a Siamese with a different coat. This was also the goal of the breeding program. If you want to take this cat into your home there are a number of things to take into account. Do you want to know what these things are? You can read it in this article!
Ancestry: a special cat from England
The Oriental Shorthair was developed in England in the 1950s. By crossing the Siamese with other Shorthaired cats, a wide range of Oriental Shorthairs was created. The Siamese is a popular breed and was especially bred in the early twentieth century. Breeders wanted to breed a Siamese that had different coat colours than the standard Siamese. The goal was to make a Siamese with a solid coat colour. After years of breeding this succeeded. Nowadays we call a Siamese with a solid coat colour an Oriental Shorthair. The difference between the Siamese and the Oriental Shorthair is mainly in the coat colour and the eyes.
In addition to the plain coloured Oriental Shorthair, there are also other varieties known, each of which has been given its own name. For example, there is an Oriental Shorthair with the name Foreign White. To develop this cat a siamese was crossed with a white shorthaired cat, which resulted in an Oriental Shorthair with a white coat and green or blue eyes.
In 1977 the Oriental Shorthair was recognized as a true breed by the CFA, after which the popularity of this breed grew rapidly. It was not until 1995 that the longhaired variety was recognised.
The character: active but sensitive
Just like the Siamese, this cat is very active and playful. Playing is very important for the mental health of this breed. He also likes to interact and play with children. This makes him the ideal family cat.
Besides playing, this cat also likes to hunt. Make sure he gets the opportunity to do so. Besides the fact that they are active and playful they can sometimes seem a bit bossy. This is normal with this breed. The Oriental Shorthair is also very intelligent. You can teach this cat to walk on a leash. You can then walk with this cat, just like you can with a dog. It is wise to learn this at an early stage. The Oriental Shorthair has a strong will of its own, so it can be difficult to learn this at a later age.
The Oriental Shorthair is social and does not like to be alone. Leave this cat alone for a long time is therefore not really an option. When you buy this breed it is important that there is always someone in the house. This is often the case with families with children. The Oriental Shorthair is a very affectionate cat and likes to go to his owner. It is important that you, as the owner, make enough time to play with this cat. If you don’t do this, it is bad for the health of the cat and can lead to problems.
Appearance: a triangular head
One of the most important external features of the Oriental Shorthair is its triangular head. The head itself is triangular, but also the ears are pointed and in the shape of a triangle. The ears are placed in line with the triangular shape of its head. This makes it look like an elongated triangle. The nose of the Oriental Shorthair is long and straight. The eyes of this cat can appear in different colours and give the cat a powerful expression. Its legs are long and slim, but strong. Also the body of this cat is quite long, just like its tail. The tail of this cat is thin from the base and tapers to the tip.
So in general this cat is quite tall and slim compared to other cats. This gives the cat an elegant appearance. Furthermore the Oriental Shorthair has a fairly normal bone structure but is still very strong. Its hips are narrower than its shoulders, which also contributes to the elegant appearance of this cat.
The coat of the Oriental Shorthair is, as the name suggests, short. The coat feels soft and is close to the skin of the cat. The coat is fine and dense. Because the Siamese has been crossed with many different short-haired cats, the Oriental Shorthair exists in many different colours and patterns. This cat can have a solid colour, but can also be bicoloured. The most common colours are:
The pattern can also vary a lot from cat to cat. The different patterns this cat can have are:
So a lot of combinations are possible. Are you curious about all the colours and patterns of the Oriental Shorthair? Then take a look at the breed standard.
Education: socialisation is essential
As with most breeds, the socialisation period is crucial for a cat’s health. This applies to both physical and mental health. During the socialisation period it is important that the kittens get used to human touch as much as possible. It is also important that the kittens can spend enough time with their mother. This has a big influence on the mental condition of a cat and can prevent many health problems.
It’s also important that the kittens are not alone, but also interact with other animals. Because of this they get used to “real life” and the step from the nest to a owner’s living room is a lot smaller. Moving kittens or cats is generally something many cats don’t like. This has to do with the territory. Cats always mark their territory. When they are taken out of their territory they often experience stress. They feel less safe. When they don’t handle the kittens well during the socialisation period this can lead to even more stress during the transfer. You want to prevent this and therefore it is important to buy the cat from a good breeder.
The socialisation period of a cat often consists of two periods. The first one lasts up to seven weeks, the other up to fourteen weeks. It is really advisable to buy a kitten only after the second socialisation period. This way he has had enough time to get used to human touch. Besides that he has had enough attention from the mother and after the 14 weeks he is really ready to go out on his own.
The care: relatively simple
One of the biggest advantages of Oriental Shorthair is its short hair. The coat of the Oriental Shorthair needs little care. Because of the short hair the chance of tangles is very small, so problems with the skin of this cat are almost non-existent. Two or three times a week combing away the loose hairs is sufficient.
Cats tend to be overweight. This can sometimes be difficult to see because some breeds have an enormous amount of coat. This is not the case with the Oriental Shorthair. As soon as the belly gets thicker you can clearly see this. This allows you to take immediate action and adjust the diet. It is important to keep a close eye on this, because an Oriental Shorthair is not built to hold a lot of fat.
It is also important to buy enough attributes for your Oriental Shorthair. This is important because this cat loves to play and jump a lot. It is therefore wise to buy scratching posts and benches. In this way your Oriental Shorthair can use his energy in a healthy way. Also toys are important for the Oriental Shorthair. This is especially important when no one is at home. This way the Oriental Shorthair can still enjoy himself while waiting for his owner to return home.
All in all, it is fairly easy to take care of an Oriental Shorthair. Provide enough activities and a balanced diet. If you have this under control your Oriental Shorthair will live a happy life.
Nutrition: animal proteins
When it comes to cat food, one thing is essential: animal protein. Animal protein is the most important nutrient a cat needs. Its intestines are made to best digest this nutrient. In addition, a cat needs animal protein because it contains a full spectrum of amino acids. Vegetable proteins do not contain all these amino acids. The body makes some amino acids itself, but not all of them. So the amino acids that the body doesn’t produce have to come from food. So meat is important, but fish is also good. Make sure you have a balanced diet with a combination of dry and wet food. Also make sure that the diet is “complete”. This means that the diet contains all essential vitamins and minerals.
If you buy food with sufficient animal proteins and vitamins and minerals your Oriental Shorthair will lead a healthy and happy level.
Diseases that are common in this breed
The Oriental Shorthair is quite susceptible to hereditary diseases. These disorders can reduce the life expectancy of your Oriental Shorthair. The most common disorders are:
- Hereditary congenital deafness
There are a number of other hereditary diseases to which this breed is susceptible, but these are much less common. Dystocia is a disease that makes it very difficult for kittens to be born. This can be a danger for the life of the queen, but also for the kittens. It can also cause mental damage. If your cat is pregnant it is important that someone is present at the birth to assist. This way the health of the mother and the kittens can be safeguarded.
Hereditary congenital deafness is a congenital disorder that can cause the Oriental Shorthair to be deaf or partially deaf. This has no direct influence on the life expectancy of this breed, but can be very annoying.
PRA is an eye disease. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may be wise not to leave the cat outside on its own. He may be injured because he can no longer see things properly. Do you doubt if your Oriental Shorthair has PRA? If so, consult a vet.
How old can the Oriental Shorthair get?
The Oriental Shorthair is about 10 – 15 years old on average. This is slightly younger than the average breed cat. The lifespan has everything to do with the amount of hereditary diseases and their severity, but also with the amount of attention he gets and the socalisation period. The better the socalisation period the less stress the Oriental Shorthair experiences in his later years. As a result, he suffers less from disorders and therefore lives longer.
Nutrition also plays an essential role in the health of the cat. It is therefore also advisable not to save on food, but to buy high-quality food.
What you need to know before you take this breed into your home
The most important thing you should know before you take this cat into your home is that he needs a lot of attention and is very affectionate towards his owner. Preferably only purchase this cat if you have a family where there is almost always someone at home. It is not suitable for single people. Attention is very important. Also the connection with the owner is important. Make sure that you, as the owner, have enough time and attention to your Oriental Shorthair.
In addition, when buying an Oriental Shorthair you can pay attention to a number of things to make sure you buy a healthy cat. If you have to wait a long time for your kitten, this is often a good sign. The first 8 weeks a kitten has to stay with its mother anyway and in the weeks after that the socialisation is very important. Always ask the breeder how he has dealt with this.
When you go to see the kitten, you can watch his reaction. A kitten should be curious and playful. If you want to pick him up and notice that he is struggling or blowing at you, then the kitten probably hasn’t had a good socialisation.
You can also pay attention to the surroundings and the mother cat. The character of the mother queen says a lot about the character of your kitten. You can also check if she looks healthy and well taken care of, because then the kittens often are too. If you pay attention to the environment it is important that everything looks clean and fresh water is present. You can also check if the surroundings look like your own home, to see if your kitten will feel at ease. Last but not least, it is always important to check that the kitten has been dewormed and vaccinated in time.
What does an Oriental Shorthair cost?
The price of an Oriental Shorthair is around $600 This price can of course differ per breeder. If you make sure that you buy your Oriental Shorthair from a recognised breeder who is a member of a breed club, you can assume that you are paying a fair price for a healthy cat.
In addition to the purchase costs, you also have to take maintenance costs into account. These can be as high as $500 per year. These include costs for food, a litter tray, cat litter, toys, a scratching post, care products and veterinary costs.
The Oriental Shorthair is a rare breed in some parts of the world and can therefore be very difficult to purchase. Because this breed is so rare, it is wise to buy it from a recognised breed association. For that, you can have a look at the website of The International Cat Association.
Are you also going for the Oriental Shorthair?
Are you interested in the Oriental Shorthair or do you already have an Oriental Shorthair at home? Let us know in the comments below. Maybe your cat has weird habits or a certain condition that is not yet known. We and our readers are very curious about your experiences with this special breed!