Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Siamese Vs. Oriental Shorthair Cat: Differences & Similarities (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Siamese vs Oriental Shorthair - Featured Image

Both Siamese and Oriental Shorthair are popular cat breeds known for their elegant and slender build, distinctive personalities, and expressive eyes. However, there are some notable differences between the two breeds that potential cat owners should consider before making a choice.

As both Siamese and Oriental Shorthair breeds share similar body shapes and sizes, it can be challenging to tell them apart at first glance. However, the primary visual difference between these two breeds is their coat. Here’s where the two are dramatically different. Siamese cats have short, smooth, and close-lying coats with distinct color points on their face, ears, legs, and tails, while Oriental Shorthairs come in a variety of solid colors and patterns with short, fine, and glossy coats.

Read on below to find out more.

Visual Differences

Siamese vs Oriental Shorthair - Visual Differences
Image Credit: Left – Siamese (Miguel F., Unsplash) | Right – Oriental Shorthair (Zhigulina Oksana, Shutterstock)

At a Glance

  • Average height (adult): 8–10 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 6–10 pounds
  • Lifespan: 15–20 years
  • Grooming needs: Low to moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: As a clever, loving cat, their ability to learn is high
Oriental Shorthair
  • Average height (adult): 8–10 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 5–10 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–15 years
  • Grooming needs: Low to moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Motivated by play and connection, they are easier to train than many other breeds

Siamese Overview

siamese cat kitten
Image Credit: Honye Sanges, Pexels

Personality & Character

Siamese cats are intelligent, vocal, and active. They are known for their strong bond with their owners and their tendency to follow them around the house. They are also social and enjoy being around other pets and humans. They have unique personalities and characters that set them apart from other cats. Siamese cats are typically independent, curious, and playful. They are also very vocal and often show their feelings through their purring or meowing.

They do require some extra attention because they can be prone to getting destructive if they don’t get enough exercise. Siamese cats are also known for being very loyal companions who will shower you with affection.

Health & Care

Siamese cats are generally healthy but may be prone to some hereditary conditions, such as dental problems, heart disease, and respiratory issues. As with any breed, it’s important that your Siamese sees the vet regularly for check-ups. You should also make sure to spay or neuter your cat unless you intend to breed them. In addition, Siamese require regular grooming to keep their coat in tip-top condition. It’s a good idea to buy a high-quality brush and spend some time bonding with them each day.

vet doctor examining cat in x-ray room
Image Credit: PRESSLAB, Shutterstock

Suitable For

Siamese cats are a good fit for families with children and other pets. They are active, loving cats that can make themselves at home almost anywhere. Try to set up high places and interactive “cat zones” for your Siamese. They respond well to this type of environmental enrichment. The only issue they may have is in a home where they are always alone. They are ideal for people who want an affectionate and interactive cat.

Oriental Shorthair Overview

oriental shorthair cat kitten
Image Credit: TaniaVdB, Pixabay

Personality & Character

Oriental Shorthairs are intelligent, curious, and active. They love exploring their surroundings and are always up for a game of fetch or chase. They are also vocal and can be quite talkative. They have a personality that is both adorable and energetic. This breed is also known for being very patient and resilient, which makes them great pets. Oriental shorthairs make great family cats because they are outgoing but also content to curl up in a warm spot when they need a break.

They are also very active, so you will never feel bored when having one around the house.

Health & Care

Oriental Shorthairs are generally healthy but may be prone to dental and respiratory issues. They require regular grooming to keep their coat in good condition. Feed them a diet that is high in quality protein and low in carbohydrates. This will help keep them strong and fit. You should also make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water both day and night. Like all cats, they can easily become dehydrated.

oriental shorthair cat relaxing together
Image Credit: VittoriaChe, Shutterstock

Suitable For

Oriental Shorthairs are a good fit for people who want an interactive and playful cat that is always up for a game. They are also ideal for families with children and other pets. Additionally, the Oriental Shorthair tends to be fairly independent and doesn’t require as much attention as some other breeds of cats. They are slightly less “needy” than the Siamese, but you should still plan to give them quality time every single day.

Which Breed Is Right for You?

Both Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs are great cat breeds with unique personalities and physical characteristics. Ultimately, the right breed for you depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and needs. A pet is a new member of the family—and their fit to your household is as much about you as them. If you are looking for a vocal, affectionate, and outgoing cat that enjoys being around people and other pets, a Siamese cat might be the perfect fit for you. You can chat for hours! They are also a good option if you want a cat that is easy to train and eager to please.

On the other hand, if you want an active, curious, and playful cat that loves to explore and have fun, an Oriental Shorthair might be the better choice. Give them enrichment and stimulation and they will be so happy. They are also a good fit if you want a cat that is independent and can entertain itself. You don’t have to put quite as much of yourself into a relationship with them.


In summary, both Siamese and Oriental Shorthair breeds are great choices for anyone looking for a smart, social, and engaging feline companion. We think you can’t go wrong with either of these breeds. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your individual preferences, lifestyle, and ability to provide proper care and attention for your new pet.

Featured Image Credit: Left – Siamese (Petrebels, Pexels) | Right – Oriental Shorthair (Krista, Pexels)

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database