Orientals have many characteristics associated with the Siamese. They are very active and vocal, and crave attention. They love to play, and enjoy meeting new people, although they usually bond strongly with just one person.
Ideal Human Companions
- Families with older children
- Families with other pets
- Singles with other pets
- Experienced cat owners
Orientals on Catster
587 cats | see profile pages
- Comes in both long and short coat varieties
- Very active and playful
- Affectionate and vocal
- Highly intelligent
Things You Should Know
Orientals demand a lot of attention, and will meow loudly if they don’t get it. They need frequent interaction with humans, including plenty of play time.
Orientals can be a nuisance to cats of less active breeds, and should be paired with other Orientals or breeds that are known to have a lot of energy.
Developed by crossing Siamese with other Russian Blues and Domestic Shorthairs, the Oriental was first developed in England in the 1950s and ‘60s. In the late 1960s, American breeders created their own version of this cat by crossing Siamese, Abyssinians and Domestic Shorthairs. The result is the Oriental, which was first accepted into the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1972. The CFA recognizes both short and longhaired version of the Oriental as one breed.
Meant to have a Siamese body type with a solid colored coat, the Oriental is also recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) and The American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA). Both these registries recognize the Oriental Shorthair and Oriental Longhair as two separate breeds.
The Look of a Oriental
Orientals are sturdy and sleek in appearance. They have large ears, a wedge-shaped head and a lanky body.
Orientals come in more than 300 different colors and patterns. White, red, cream, black, blue, chestnut, lavender, cinnamon and fawn are available solid colors. Parti-colors and smoke colors are also part of the breed’s palette.
Orientals can be found in both short and longhaired versions. Shorthair cats are much more common, with longhairs considered to be rare.
Talk About Orientals
They are simply unbelievable!
After the death of my 14-year-old rescue, I was absolutely devastated at the very thought of trying to replace my best friend. So I looked for some of my favorite traits from my rescue kitty: talkative, devoted, attentive, and interactive. And I was turned onto the Siamese and Oriental Shorthair. But no one had kittens.
I then found a breeder who had kittens over 400 miles from my house. I immediately drove up there, interested in a color point shorthair, when my Slinky Cat jumped up on the couch next to me and laid down belly up, something my rescue cat did. I decided he was the kitty for me and I took him back for the long drive where he slept on my lap.
Hair: Short hair that doesn't shed!! He's purrrfect!
Personality: My slinky loves to be held, and demands to sleep tucked into my arms at night, (paws my nose if he isn’t in my arms). He loves to be the “ham” loves to follow you around and talk to you. He is the ultimate lap cat, rides up on your shoulders an even jumps on your shoulders or back if he thinks you're going to leave. Loves to pay games and loves to jump out to scare you. He’s incredibly gentle. And he’s smart, so very very smart. My husband toilet trained him. He doesn’t like it when I leave for a day or two, even with my husband around. He gets very "mopey," visibly so. He is 100 percent devoted to me and looks at me with absolute love. I’ve always had cats, but nothing like the bond I have with my slinky cat.
Aside: If you don't like a talkative cat but want every thing else, get a Abyssinian, they've got a ton of the same traits but they're quiet.
~Julia S., owner of an Oriential Shorthair
Oriental shorthairs are the best little buddies. My cat Tiny loves to be adored. If you tell her how pretty she is, she rolls around and chirps. She purrs and makes the cutest noises. She follows me into the bathroom for everything i do in there (and if I lock her out she complains loudly) she snuggles with me.
For someone wanting this breed, be sure you want a cat who interacts with you, who is loud, and who gets into everything. They are not for people who want fat lazy cats. If you don't have a good humor about your things, don't get a cat. Tiny knows how to open doors and cabinets.
~Kat W., owner of an Oriental shorthair