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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Oriental Short Hair

Oriental Short Hairs are a lean, medium sized cat with a muscular athletic body - they are heavier than they look to pick up! The head has the classic triangular wedge shape similar to the Siamese with a straight profile, large wide set ears and intelligent eyes. 

The Oriental Short Hair has a fine, glossy coat that is very short and close lying.  

The need-to-know
  • Benefits from an experienced owner
  • Needs high-level of enrichment including simulated hunting games and interactive play
  • Highly active and inquisitive cat
  • Sociable and dependent cat
  • Very talkative cat
  • Lean and elegant cat
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Needs extensive outdoor space
  • Not ideal for family homes
  • Can be regularly left for a few hours
  • Needs a calm environment
Generally healthy breed

The Oriental Shorthair breed can be prone to:
- Hepatic amyloidosis¹ where proteins are deposited in the liver which can lead to liver failure. 
- Flat chested kitten syndrome which is a condition where the chest does not develop properly which can result in breathing difficulties. 
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindess.

Testing available:
- DNA testing for progressive retinal atrophy which tests whether or not a cat has the potential to be affected by this condition.

¹J. S. Van der Linde-Sipman et al, 'Generalized AA-amyloidosis in Siamese and Oriental cats', May 1997, Veterinary Immunology and Immunohistopathology

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10 - 15 years
Weight:  2.3 - 4.5kg
Colours:  They come in all colours, patterns and eye colours.   


Family-friendly: 1/5
Playfulness: 5/5
Intelligence: 5/5
Tendency to Vocalise:  5/5
Likes Other Pets: 5/5
Grooming needs: 1/5
Shedding: 5/5
Oriental Short Hair cat is lying on the sofa


Like their Siamese ancestors, the Oriental Short Hair is a lively, elegant and intelligent cat with high levels of energy, and curiosity. They bond well with family members and thrive on attention and affection. This is a very active cat, who enjoys supervising and being ‘helpful’, in other words, getting into your business, no matter what it is you are doing! They are slightly less chaotic and loud than the Siamese (particularly in comparison to the modern type Siamese) but this is still a lot of cat to handle, and not one to leave unsupervised for very long! 

Oriental Short Hair cat is watching at someone

History and Origins

Country of Origin: UK

Developed in the UK in the 1950’s the Oriental Short Hair is effectively a Siamese cat of a different colour - in fact any colour except the traditional ‘pointed’ colours of the Siamese. Following World War 2, cats available for breeding were in short supply and the cross breeding with Siamese cats that followed is responsible for the development of the Oriental Short and Long Hair. The wide variety of coloured kittens became the Oriental breed, and the colour pointed kittens went back to widen the gene pool of the Siamese breed. 

Over the years the Oriental Short Hair has remained a moderate, classic Siamese type, rather than the modern very extreme wedge headed Siamese type. 

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