The Oriental Shorthair is one of many cat breeds who have been developed by breeding the regal Siamese cat with other breeds which in this case are mostly the Abyssinian, British Shorthair and Russian Blue.
The overall aim behind this breeding process was to revitalize the Siamese gene pool after a significant decrease in the population after World War 2. Crossing with the aforementioned domestic cat breeds created varied litters of kittens, some of which had the Siamese’s traditional pointed coat and some that were virtually identical but in a range of colors with the pointed features noticeably absent.
It took only a few generations for a new breed to be created who had the same features as the Siamese but were distinguishable by their range in colors. Nowadays, the Oriental cat’s coat can come in more variations than any other breed with more than 300 colors and patterns including pointed varieties. The pointed variations are not accepted by all professional bodies and will require the cat to be officially shown as a Siamese.
Other than their color, their features are essentially the same as their Siamese cousins. They have a medium sized muscular body that is covered with a beautifully silky svelte coat that can either be long or short. They have a wedge-shaped head which is long and tapered from the tip of their nose to their unusually large, triangular pointed ears. They stand on long, slender legs with their hind legs standing taller than their front and their paws are small, dainty and oval.