Oriental Shorthair Cat
This Oriental Shorthair Cat Article is Listed in Oriental Shorthair Cat Breed Information
The Oriental Shorthair is a breed of cat. It is also called a “Foreign Type” cat. This cat combines the Siamese body with a diversity of colorings and patterns. Oriental Shorthairs are intelligent, social animals who bond closely to their people. They are inquisitive, friendly, emotional, demanding and often quite vocal. Oriental Shorthairs have been likened to a Greyhound or a Chihuahua in appearance. Some people say they are ‘dog-like’ in personality, particularly because they become so attached to people.
The Oriental Shorthair is a self-coloured (non-pointed) member of the Siamese Family. They can be found in solid colors (white, red, cream, ebony, blue, chestnut, lavender, cinnamon, or fawn), smoke (white undercoat to any of the above except white), shaded (only the hair tips colored), parti-color (red or cream splashes on any of the above), tabby (mackerel/striped, ticked, spotted, and blotched/classic), and bi-colored (any of the above, with white).
In total, there are over 300 color and pattern combinations possible. Though in CFA, pointed cats from Oriental Shorthair parents are considered AOV (Any Other Variety), in TICA, as well as in the majority of worldwide Cat Associations, these cats are considered to be, and compete as, Siamese.
Oriental Shorthairs have expressive, almond-shaped eyes, a wedge-shaped head with large ears that fit in the wedge of the head. Their bodies are very elegant yet muscular. When seeing an Oriental Shorthair, one would never guess them to be as solid as they are. The longhaired version of the Oriental Shorthair, Oriental Longhair, simply carries a pair of the recessive long hair gene.
The Siamese cat was imported to Britain from Siam (Thailand) in the later half of the 1800s. According to reports, both pointed and solid colors were imported. The gene that causes the color to be restricted to the points is a recessive gene, therefore the general population of the cats of Siam were largely self (solid) colored.
When the cats from Siam were bred, the pointed cats were eventually registered as Siamese the others were referred to as “non-blue eyed siamese” or foreign shorthair. Other breeds that were developed from the moggies of Siam include the Havana Brown and the Korat.
It was not until 1977 that the Oriental Shorthair was accepted for competition into the CFA. In 1985, the CFA recognized the bicolor oriental shorthair. The bicolor is any one of the accepted oriental shorthair color patterns with the addition of white to the belly, face, and legs/paws.
Solid Coat color is the uniform across the entire cat. Coat may not exhibit color restritions (points), spotting, (bicolor), or any sort of tabby pattern. Each hair shaft should be the same color from shaft to tip and be free of banding and tipping. Ghost patterns are highly undesirable in a solid colored cat.
Shaded Pattern A Shaded cat will have a white undercoat with the tips being colored. Smoke Pattern The hair shaft will have a narrow band of white at the base which can only be seen when the hair is parted. A parti-color is essentially a patches of red/cream. patches may be well defined blotches of color to merled.
Tabby patterns include ticked, spotted, mackerel, and classic. All cats regardless of the pattern they display have underlying tabby genetics. When the agouti gene that causes banding of the hair shaft is present, the tabby patterns are physically expressed. Each hair shaft should have a band of color around the middle of the hair shaft. e.g. an ebony ticked tabby will have a brown hair shaft with an ebony band around the middle. The bicolor patten is created by the addition of a piebald gene to any of the other accepted colors/patterns. The cat will have white on its belly, legs,and an inverted V on the face.
Oriental Shorthairs are intelligent, social animals who bond closely to their people. They are inquisitive, highly friendly, emotional, and sometimes quite vocal. People have commented that the Oriental Shorthair looks like a Greyhound or a Chihuahua. Many comment that they are much more ‘dog-like’ in personality.