Oriental Shorthair Cats

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Oriental Shorthair Cats

Breed: Oriental Shorthair Cat
Temperament: playful and affectionate
Cost: from $300 to $500
Recommended for: couples and families
Maintenance: low


The Oriental Shorthair has been described as the Ferrari or greyhound of the cat world. It is of Siamese shape and size, and has a sleek, elegant body with a long, whippy tail. The head is wedge-shaped, with big pointed ears and almond eyes. Oriental Shorthairs are available in many different colours including white, ebony, blue, chestnut, lavender, cinnamon, red and cream. The colour may be solid (all one colour), shaded (a light undercolour tipped with a darker shade), smoke (a white undercolour with coloured tips) or a tabby patterned. A vivid green eye colour is a desired feature of this breed.


Oriental Shorthairs are essentially of Siamese temperament. They are extremely intelligent, affectionate, lively, curious and busy. They have extroverted personalities and are happy to co-exist with other breeds of cats, or even dogs. Oriental Shorthair owners describe them as perpetual kittens. The Oriental Shorthair is demanding of affection and does not like to be left alone.


Ancestors of all Oriental or Foreign breeds came from Thailand (formerly Siam). The Oriental Shorthair was developed in the 1950s by crossing the Siamese with British and American Shorthairs. They first arrived in Australia in the 1970s.

Health and lifespan

Oriental Shorthair cats are very healthy animals with very few, if any congenital diseases. As with all cats they need regular worming, vaccinations and veterinary checkups. They live from 12 to 15 years.


Oriental Shorthairs have a large appetite and should be fed a varied diet that includes tinned food, dry food, chicken, fish, dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese. Raw bones (such as chicken necks or wings) are necessary to keep the teeth healthy. A low fat diet is recommended in order to maintain their slim condition.


Oriental Shorthairs do not usually experience breeding problems unless the female is very fine boned. The breed matures quickly and the average litter size is between four to six kittens.


Oriental Shorthairs cost from $300 to $500.

Housepet potential

Oriental Shorthairs are ideal indoor cats because their sleek, glossy coats shed little hair. They love curling up to sleep in warm places but will roam if allowed. They are very active so breeders advise providing a tall scratching post, ping pong balls, pipe cleaners and other toys to prevent destruction of curtains and furniture.

Ideal owner

Oriental Shorthairs make excellent companions for single people and young couples. They are not recommended for children but are ideal for families with teenagers. They adapt well to apartments or townhouses provided they are given lots of attention and play time.


Oriental Shorthairs are low maintenance and only require a few minutes of hand grooming a week. Their coats may need a little more attention when the cats are moulting.

Further Information:

NSW Oriental Cat Club
Secretary, Carolyn Harrison
Phone: (02) 9825 1027 (home) or (02) 9774 2837 (work)