The Oriental Shorthair cat is one of the closest relatives to the Siamese, many individuals consider these beauties as Siamese. Take away the blue eyes and the colored points keep the Siamese body and personality and you have the Orientals. These cats come in a kaleidoscope of colors. These beauties can be solid colored including a coat in white, red, cream, ebony, blue, chestnut, lavender, cinnamon or fawn. Add to these solid colors a “silver gene” and you have a smoke Oriental. Other types of coats are shaded only on the tips, and some coats are splashed with red and creams to create a partial-color. Stripes on legs and face create the tabby versions, and others are bi-colored. In total there are over 300 color and pattern combinations recognized by the CFA. Wow! That's a lot!
"Tobias" Courtesy of Annet
These cats have beautiful almond-shaped eyes, wedge shaped heads with large bat-like ears. Their bodies are very sleek, elegant, but muscular. They have a very solid build. The Orientals and the Siamese have remarkably similar personalities. They are very social cats who bond incredibly close to their human. They are smart, inquisitive, friendly, demanding, and very vocal... sounds just like a Siamese!
"Daantje" Courtesy of Annet
Facts About the Oriental Shorthair
1. They are hypoallergenic. Even though they may not be 100% allergy free to humans, the oriental shorthair triggers very little allergies for those who are allergic to cats.
2. They are considered one of the smartest of all cat breeds. They are extremely inquisitive more than the typical cat. They enjoy stimulation, play time and interaction with their human.
3. They have more color patterns than any other cat breed. Besides all these possible color patterns they may have, the Orientals share the same angular face, large expressive eyes, tall pharaoh like ears and very limber, lengthy muscular bodies.
4. They are a great family cat and demand to be the center of attention. They do not do well in environments where they are left alone, and may become depressed, their personality are very similar to the Siamese.
5. The Oriental Shorthair is very talkative and will always go out of their way to get your attention. They love to be close to you and are a great loyal companion.
According to the history of these cats they were imported to Britain from Siam (Thailand) in the later 1800's. The Orientals had both the pointed and solid colors. Since the gene that caused the restricted points and blue eyes were recessive, most of these cats were solid. The pointed cats were later registered as the Siamese. The others were referred to as “non-blue eyed Siamese”, these of course became the Oriental Shorthairs. Other cats that have also originated from Siam include the Burmese, Korat, and Havana Brown. In 1977 the Orientals were accepted for championship status by the CFA and became one of the most popular breeds.