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Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament, & Traits

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

oriental shorthair cat

Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament, & Traits

The Oriental Shorthair is closely related to the Siamese cat. The physical characteristics and temperament are the same in both breeds, and the primary difference between the two is that the Oriental Shorthair is available in all colors and patterns. In contrast, the Siamese cat color pallet is much smaller and limited to only a few colors. The fur of an Oriental Shorthair is short and sleek with a slight gloss.

Height: 9 – 11 inches
Weight: 8 – 15 pounds
Lifespan: 13 – 14 years
Colors: White, black, red, grey, blue, brown
Suitable for: Active families, those looking for a low-shedding dog
Temperament:  Independent, intelligent, and loyal

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Oriental Shorthair Characteristics

oriental shorthair kitten
Photo Credit: TaniaVdB, Pixabay


What’s the Price of Oriental Shorthair Kittens?

Most Oriental Shorthair cats will cost between $600 and $1,000. However, you can find exceptional show-quality cats that can cost as much as $3,000. It’s quite possible to reduce costs by looking at the local animal shelter for your Oriental Shorthair, where you can often find them for pennies on the dollar.

The breeder’s quality will affect the price, and more experienced breeders will charge a higher price to produce a healthier cat because their knowledge allows them to breed out negative traits.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Oriental Shorthair

1. Oriental Shorthair cats can have many coats.

The are more than 300 colors and patterns available on the Oriental Shorthair.

2. The Oriental Shorthair is not a purebred!

The Oriental Shorthair is a mix between the Siamese, Abyssinian, and Russian Blue cat breeds.

3. Oriental Shorthair cats are natural entertainers.

This cat will keep the entire family amused with their antics and vocalizations.

oriental shorthair parents
Parents of the Oriental Shorthair | Left: Siamese | Middle: Abyssinian | Right: Russian Blue | Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Oriental Shorthair

Oriental Shorthair cats enjoy spending time outside, but they are quite comfortable in the home as well. It will use its loud voice to let you know when it wants something. You will always know when your cat is angry or upset, and it is like when you get involved in playtime. It does not tolerate being alone very well and can turn to mischief if you spend a lot of time away from home.

The Oriental Shorthair is friendly, affectionate, and highly intelligent. It’s also inquisitive and will watch you do everything from washing the floor to modifying your remote-control station. It also likes to engage in singing and conversations with you.

Are These Cats Good for Families?

Yes, the Oriental Shorthair is a fantastic family pet that will get along with all family members. Its wild antics and vocalizations will be especially attractive to any children in the home. The cat prefers company to be alone and is naturally curious, so a busy household with lots going on is perfect.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Oriental Shorthair is not as territorial as many other breeds and gets along well with other cats, especially those of the opposite sex. It will also enjoy dogs’ company if they don’t chase it too much before they become friends. Socializing them at an early age will help them get along better.

oriental shorthair cat closeup
Photo Credit: TaniaVdB, Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning an Oriental Shorthair:

Let’s look at some of the things that will be required of you when you own an Oriental Shorthair to see if it’s the cat for you.

Food & Diet Requirements

Your Oriental Shorthair will require high-quality food with plenty of protein to provide the energy and nutrition it needs to stay active and build lean muscle. Soft food is suitable for a kitten, but once your cat has fully matured (about 1 year), it’s better to feed dry food because the crunch kibble will help keep your pet’s teeth clean by scraping away the plaque and tartar.

The food you feed your Oriental Shorthair should have real meat like chicken, turkey, or beef listed as its first ingredient. Cats are carnivores with no need for carbohydrates, so avoid brands with corn, soy, or wheat listed as the first ingredient. Also, you should not feed your cats food containing harmful chemical preservatives like BHA and BHT, and food coloring is another ingredient to avoid.

Unfortunately, cats like corn, and they tend to dislike healthy foods, so you may struggle to get them to eat healthily, but if you are patient and persistent, you should find a band that makes you both happy.


Your Oriental Shorthair will get most of the exercise that they need on their own but will welcome any time you can spare to play with them. Setting aside 15 to 20 minutes a day to roll a ball or play with a laser pen can get your cat the activity they need to stay a healthy weight while they bond with you.

grey oriental shorthair cat
Photo Credit: TalyaPhoto, Shutterstock


You can’t train cats like a dog, but you can get them to do a surprising number of things if you are patient and watch their behavior. Cats have an amazing internal clock. If you give them a treat at a specific time, they will likely return every day at that time for another, especially if you reinforce this behavior by giving them another treat. You can use this to your advantage to have them wake you up at a specific time each day or to remind you to take medication. Your Oriental Shorthair will also learn several words and know when you call them for dinner or tell them to get off the counter.

Grooming ✂️

The Oriental Shorthair will need a minimal amount of grooming. Its short and shiny coat will need a weekly brush to remove the loose fur, dandruff, and contaminants, to maintain a glossy appearance. If your cat does not have a suitable scratching post or is tearing up your furniture, you will occasionally need to trim the claws. Frequent tooth brushing with a cat-friendly toothpaste can help slow dental disease progression.

Health and Conditions

Here are some health issues common to the Oriental Shorthair.

Minor Conditions
  • Gastrointestinal Conditions
  • Nystagmus
Serious Conditions
  • Amyloidosis
  • Congenital Heart Defects

Serious Conditions:


Amyloidosis is a condition common in Oriental Shorthair cats that often affects the kidneys. Cats may lose their appetite, become lethargic, and experience vomiting and diarrhea. The cat may also retain fluid in the abdomen and chest. There is no medication or treatment, and it may cause your pet to require hospitalization.

Congenital Heart Defects

A congenital heart defect is a heart condition that occurs early in life and is most often a result of genetics. Cats with this condition will have difficulty getting enough oxygen into the blood and may develop symptoms like open-mouth breathing, lethargy, coughing, and even a loss of consciousness. Cats with minor abnormalities can live a full life, while others may not be so lucky.

Minor Conditions:

Gastrointestinal Conditions

A gastrointestinal condition is any of several disorders that can upset your cat’s gastrointestinal system, causing gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. Cats are good at hiding the symptoms of this disease, and you should see a vet if you notice them because they may have been going on for some time. This condition is often treatable and may only require medication or a change in diet.


Nystagmus is a condition that causes unintentional back-and-forth eye movements in cats. It’s a sign of an underlying neurological disorder. Cats with nystagmus may also tilt their head or walk in circles. A bad injury and hypothyroidism are two of several ways to contract the disease, and in some cases, the cat can recover.

Oriental Shorthair Cat
Image By: Tania Van den Berghen, Pixabay

Male vs Female

The female Oriental Shorthair is usually slightly smaller than her male counterparts and is more tolerant of the company of other cats. While male cats are also friendly, they may occasionally fight with other males. Otherwise, there is no discernable difference between the two sexes.

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Final Thoughts

The Oriental Shorthair is the perfect family pet. It gets along with other pets and enjoys playing with children. Its tendency to be vocal will keep the children entertained and keep you informed about its feeling. It’s sleek and magnetic like the Siamese but available in any color or pattern, and it’s healthy with a long lifespan.

We hope you enjoyed reading over our look into this ancient breed and found it entertaining as well as helpful. If we have answered your questions, please share this Oriental Shorthair guide on Facebook and Twitter.

Related Reads:

Featured Image Credit: Ambiento, Shutterstock

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