Oriental Shorthair a.k.a. Ornament

Oriental Shorthair a.k.a. Ornament

With their large ears, athletic bodies and strikingly beautiful eyes, the Oriental Shorthair cat truly captivates with their appearance. Thought of as one of the smartest cats out there, this chatty cat is a born entertainer and an outstanding life companion. These handsome little companions are often affectionately referred to as the Ornaments.


Main features of Oriental Shorthair Cats

The Oriental Shorthair highly resembles the head shape and body type of the Siamese. They have the same triangular head shape and large, almond-shaped eyes. The ears are large and pointed and the body is elongated, slender and muscular.

The key difference is that while the Siamese's coat is always pointed, the Oriental Shorthair's fur comes in every possible color and pattern you can think of. In fact, over 300 coat colors and pattern combinations are possible under CFA conformation rules.

As opposed to the deep blue eyes of the Siamese, their almond-shaped eyes are green and just as captivating. Another variety of the breed is the Oriental Longhair. The longhaired version simply carries a pair of recessive longhair genes.

brown oriental shorthair cat sitting on white sheet


It is believed that the Oriental Shorthairs find their foundation in the Siamese breed. The Siamese are the royal cats from Thailand, first brought to the UK in the 1800s. From there they spread widely, quickly becoming one the most popular breeds. In World War II, many breeding programs in

The UK were devastated, and the Siamese started being cross-bred with other races in order to for their gene pool to expand. They were crossed with the Russian Blue, British Shorthair, Abyssinian and Polycat. The produced kittens with Siamese points were used back in Siamese breeding programs, but the non-pointed cats became the basis for a new breed: the Oriental Shorthair.

The Oriental Shorthair breed was finally validated and recognized in 1977 by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, and in 1997 by GCCF.

brown and white oriental shorthair cat sleeping

Personality of Oriental Shorthair Cats

The Oriental Shorthair is said to closely resemble the personality of its parent breed - the Siamese. Orientals are vocal and social cats who will speak their mind and will demand the attention they most certainly deserve. These social creatures love companions, and if left alone for a long period of time, they might get depressed.

They’re agile, active and full of energy energy. They will climb your refrigerator, open your drawers and continually seek new mischief. This cat will stay by your side while you're watching TV, join in for walks on a leash and play fetch. They are considered to be one of the most intelligent cat breeds too, so you can easily train them a number of cool tricks. They are great with children and other pets.

Health and care

As a breed derived from the Siamese, The Oriental Shorthairs are at a higher risk for developing health issues typical for their ancestors. These include neoplastic and gastrointestinal problems, crossed-eyes, lung infections, feline OCD, vestibular disease, Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome and Diabetes mellitus.

tabby oriental shorthair cat with white belly sitting a blue blanket

Fun facts about this chatty kitty

1. The Oriental Shorthair comes in more color and pattern combinations than any other breed. This breed comes in almost 300 coat and pattern combinations. Stripes, spots, solid colors, you name it. Whichever color and pattern you think of – the Oriental Shorthair has it! This gave rise to their nickname of Ornaments.

2. They may be the smartest cat breed out there. The Oriental Shorthair is thought to be one of the most intelligent cat breeds out there, if not the most intelligent one. These cats are highly trainable because they are highly curious and love the interaction and stimulation.

3. They are born entertainers. Much like their Siamese parent breed, the Oriental Shorthair are very talkative and fun-seeking. They will be on a continuous search for mischief and they will never fail to entertain you in yet another new way.

4. They get highly attached to people, and fast. Oriental Shorthairs will get attached to their family very quickly. This is why it's important to socialize them as early as possible and to provide them with as much quality time as possible.

tabby oriental shorthair with big ears and green eyes

Oriental Shorthair cats are loving, curious and chatty little companions. They resemble their Siamese parent breed in a number of ways, including the captivating appearance and heart-winning personality. To tops things off, they come in any coat and pattern combination you can possibly dream off.

Do you have a little Ornament in your life too? Share your photos with us and let us meet your love bundles! For more introductions to cat breeds please follow our tag Breeds.

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