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Are Oriental Shorthair Cats Friendly? Breed Temperament & Facts

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

two oriental shorthair cats

If you want to bring a new cat into your home, it’s always an excellent idea to research different breeds before making your final decision. All breeds of cats have their unique temperaments and quirks, and some will be a better fit for you and your family than others.

If you’ve got the Oriental Shorthair on your shortlist, you may want to know how friendly they are. Great news: These cats are very friendly and sociable!

Read on for more information on the Oriental Shorthair, including if they get along with other cats, as well as dogs!

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A Little History of the Oriental Shorthair

The Oriental Shorthair was bred using various other breeds:

This development started in the latter part of the 1800s, after the Siamese cat was brought to the United Kingdom. British cat breeders started rebuilding the breeding program after it began to wane during WWII. One outcome that the breeders experienced was the beginning of the Shorthaired and Longhaired Oriental cats.

The cat used the most in the creation of the Oriental Shorthair was the Siamese. The aforementioned breeds were repeatedly bred with the Siamese until pointed kittens were born (“pointed” is the traditional Siamese color of a pale body with darker extremities, including the face, ears, paws, and tail).

The pointed cats were eventually brought back into the Siamese breed to strengthen the line, and the non-pointed cats became the first Oriental Shorthairs and Longhairs.

The Oriental Shorthair came to the U.S. in the 70s and was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1977, followed by the International Cat Association when it was founded in 1979.

Are Oriental Shorthair Cats Friendly?

Absolutely! Since Oriental Shorthairs have a large amount of Siamese in their genetic makeup, they share similar characteristics. Siamese cats are well-known for their social and friendly nature. They have even been called Velcro cats due to their almost constant need to accompany their owner everywhere.

Just like the Siamese, Oriental Shorthairs develop a strong bond with their owners and will follow you around like a shadow. They will also let you know that they want your attention through vocalizations and gentle nudges.

Anyone visiting who’s not a part of the family will also receive a warm and friendly welcome. These cats are among the most sociable cats out there!

oriental shorthair cat relaxing together
Image Credit: VittoriaChe, Shutterstock

Do Oriental Shorthair Cats Get Along With Other Cats?

Yes! Oriental Shorthairs are super friendly and social cats. They also don’t like being left alone for too long and will appreciate the company of other cats.

So, if you frequently aren’t home for long periods of time, it would be good for the Oriental Shorthair if other pets, especially cats, are around.

Keep in mind that if you already have a dog or two, they should be cat friendly. Also, while the Oriental Shorthair is gregarious, they will need a proper introduction to any other pets, which tends to be easier when they are kittens. Still, it’s manageable for an adult Oriental Shorthair.

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The Oriental Shorthair Cat’s Appearance

This breed is quite eye-catching! The Siamese ancestry is apparent, but they also stand out with their long, graceful bodies and large ears.

Their heads are angular, and they have almond-shaped eyes that are almost always green. They are medium in size with long legs. Their coats are short and can come in over 300 colors!

oriental shorthair kitten hold by owner
Image Credit: SvetMedvedeva, Shutterstock

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Taking Care of an Oriental Shorthair Cat

Now that you’ve learned how sweet and friendly these cats are, here’s an overview of their basic needs so you have a better idea of how to look after this breed.

1. Grooming

The Oriental Shorthair is easy to groom; their coat is fine and short, requiring only a quick combing or brushing every few weeks. You can also use cat wipes occasionally, which can help remove shedding hair.

Their enormous ears will need cleaning on occasion, though the cat will do a good job of this on their own. Check their ears for any excess dirt or ear wax, and use a damp and warm washcloth or cotton square to gently clean them.

You’ll also need to trim their nails about once a week; be sure to only clip the tips of the nails and avoid the red quick. Finally, brush their teeth several times a week with toothpaste made specifically for cats.

2. Exercise

These cats are quite long and lean and are naturally athletic. They have plenty of energy that they will expend through play. Oriental Shorthairs are intelligent and even love to play fetch.

They will spend a great deal of time jumping to and climbing many of the tallest places in your home. You’ll need cat shelves and cat trees to give them safe access to high and comfortable spaces.

Also, make sure you have enough toys to help keep them entertained, things like feather wands and fishing line toys. Don’t forget the scratching posts!

oriental shorthair cat in canopy bed
Image Credit: Anna Pozzi Zoophotos, Shutterstock

3. Nutrition

Feed high-quality cat food to your Oriental Shorthair at least twice a day. You might want to opt for wet food because it is much lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than dry food. It also has higher water content, which helps keep your cat well-hydrated. Many cat owners get both dry and wet food.

Ensure that you have plenty of fresh and clean water for your cat at all times. Using a cat water fountain is an excellent way to encourage your Oriental Shorthair to drink more water overall.

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Health of the Oriental Shorthair Cat

This breed is quite healthy, but a few conditions should be noted. More serious health conditions include amyloidosis, which is protein deposits in the liver. These cats are sensitive to anesthesia, which should always be discussed with your vet before any procedure. They are also prone to endomyocarditis, which can be fatal.

Additionally, Oriental Shorthairs are prone to progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to blindness and crossed eyes. Many of these conditions plague the Siamese, and given the background of the Oriental Shorthair, it’s likely that they are capable of inheriting a few of the same conditions.

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Final Thoughts

Oriental Shorthair cats are exceptionally social and outgoing! They make incredibly loving and energetic members of the family that will get along with just about everyone they meet.

Not only do they get along well with other cats, but having a buddy for them is also almost a requirement, particularly if you’re away for most of the day.

So, if you’re in the market for a loving, active, and unique-looking new family member, you will not go wrong with the Oriental Shorthair!

Featured Image Credit: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH, Shutterstock

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