Breed Info

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.

History and Origins

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. 


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! 

Outdoors or Indoors

Whilst the Oriental Short Hair will enjoy climbing around a well-furnished cat run or ‘catio’, and would certainly enjoy roaming free, the world is not a safe place for such a bold, curious and athletic cat. Keep them secure for their own safety, and to avoid the wrath of your neighbours, as the Oriental Long Hair can be a stealthy cat-burglar, adept at liberating goodies and prizes from other people’s homes! 

Nutrition and Feeding

Every cat is unique and each has their own particular likes, dislikes, and needs when it comes to food. However, cats are carnivores and every cat must obtain 41 different and specific nutrients from their food. The proportion of these nutrients will vary depending on age, lifestyle and overall health, so it’s not surprising that a growing, energetic kitten needs a different balance of nutrients in her diet than a less active senior cat. Other considerations to bear in mind are feeding the right quantity of food to maintain ‘ideal body condition’ in accordance with feeding guidelines and catering to individual preference regarding wet or dry food recipes.

Grooming Oriental Short Hair Cats

The Oriental Short Hair only needs a quick brush through once a week but you should see grooming time as the opportunity to bond with your cat and check them over for injury or parasites. A greasy coat is a sign your cat is not self-grooming at all and this may indicate poor health. 

As with all cats, regular vaccination and parasite control is recommended. 

Suitability for Family Life

The Oriental Short Hair is at the more extreme end of the cat scale, suited to owners who like pets who are active, clever and need plenty of interaction, and aren’t worried about odd foibles and quirks. Better for homes with adults and older children or teens, as they are very demanding on time and attention, and behaviour problems may result if their needs are not met.