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Oriental shorthair cat breed profile

A Siamese of a different color.

Whether your cat is 100% oriental shorthair or an oriental shorthair mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet's personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you're interested in adopting an oriental shorthair but want to do a little breed research first — we can help with that.

For one, oriental shorthair cats are closely related to Siamese cats. They're very similar in every way, but they can have a wide range of colors and patterns. But that's not all the fun facts we have.

What do oriental shorthair cats look like? 

If you're familiar with the Siamese cat breed, oriental shorthairs look very similar … aside from the distinctive Siamese color pattern. In fact, even their angular faces and oversized ears look like their Siamese cousins, and they share their lithe and strong body types. 

That said, what sets oriental shorthairs apart from Siamese cats are their different colors, Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, a veterinarian at Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital in Whitehouse, TX, says. Oriental shorthairs can be born with more color varieties than any other cat breed, topping out at around 300 different hues. 

You read that right — their colorways include smoke, bicolor, parti-color, pointed, shaded, tabby, or patched tabby, which is pretty amazing.

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What are oriental shorthair cats' personalities like? 

In addition to being physically similar to a Siamese cat, the oriental shorthair is similar to its cousin in personality. "These cats are very friendly and energetic. They're also very intelligent and social cats," Dr. Ochoa explains. But each of those descriptors might be slightly understated — if the oriental shorthair cat were a person, they would be the ever-curious life of the party, always ready to spice things up. 

Unlike the more reserved (dare we say anti-social?) cat breeds, oriental shorthairs want regular interaction with their humans and even like interacting with strangers. And if you leave them to their own devices, their natural curiosity and intelligence can get them (and you) in trouble. These cats are best for owners with time to dedicate to them and who will be ever-entertained by their high activity level and general cat shenanigans. 

What are common health issues for oriental shorthair cats? 

Generally speaking, oriental shorthair cats are considered a healthy breed without too many concerns. Dr. Ochoa points to common cat ailments as typical for oriental cats — like gastrointestinal issues and diabetes. Signs of these conditions include vomiting, diarrhea and urinating a lot. If you notice anything wrong with your cat, it would be best for them to see your vet." 

Adopting an oriental shorthair cat

Are you interested in adopting an oriental shorthair cat, an oriental shorthair cat mix or any pet at all? Check out our shelter partners to find your new best friend. 

The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.

Photo by Naveen Kumar on Unsplash

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