Oriental Cat Breed: Facts, Origin, and more Details

The Oriental is an elegant and graceful Siamese hybrid breed of cat. They adore humans and are very vocal with a loud, gruff voice. These cats are full of energy, enthusiasm and believe that the world revolves around them. 

One minute they behave like royalty, and the next, they are inquisitive and digging around in your business. They are highly intelligent and curious felines. They crave human interaction and cannot be left alone for long periods. 

Orientals are extremely playful throughout their lifespan. It’s best to have plenty of toys available for your Oriental before they start making use of your household items. 


Quick facts about the Oriental

Weight: 5 to 10 pounds Height: 9 to 11 inches
Life span: 10 to 15 years
Intelligence: high Temperament: social | affectionate
Playfulness: high Activity level: active
Vocalness: frequent Coat length: short
Shedding amount: normal
Good with: kids | dogs | other cats | families
Traits: Oriental cats are generally friendly toward other pets, easy to groom, friendly toward strangers, and have strong loyalty tendencies.

These cats are very friendly, loving, and devoted companions. They are sensitive, and their feelings are easily hurt if you shout at or ignore them. If you give them the time, love and care they need, then they will shower you with years of affection and intelligent conversation. 

Orientals generally bond with and attach themselves to one person. They are very loyal and dependent on their selected human. Be prepared to have them at your side wherever you go. 

Orientals have long, elegant bodies with an unusual combination of fine bones and solid muscle. Their shoulders and hips are sleek like their torso and they have a tight abdomen. They have an elongated, slim neck. 

Their head features a narrow, long wedge that starts at their nose and flares out to the tips of their ears, forming a triangle, with no break at their whiskers. They have a flat skull with a long, straight nose. They have a fine, wedge-shaped snout and a medium-sized chin. The tip of their chin perfectly aligns with the tip of their nose. 

Orientals have noticeably large, pointed ears that are wide at the base. 

They have medium-sized almond-shaped eyes that slant towards their nose. They do not have crossed eyes. Their eye colors vary from green to blue. Some Orientals have bi-colored eyes, and some have two completely different colored eyes. 


Orientals have slim legs, with their hind legs being longer than their forelegs. They have small, dainty, oval-shaped paws with 5 toes in front and 4 in the back. 

They have a long, thin tail that narrows down to a fine tip. Longhair Orientals have tails that flare out like a feather. 

You will find Orientals in solid, smoke, shaded, and bi-colors. There are more than 300 color and pattern combinations. 

Longhair Orientals have medium-length, silky, fine coats. Their hair is the longest on their tails. Shorthair Orientals have short, fine, and glossy coats, similar to satin. 


United States and Thailand


Dr. Adedapo Adisa:

Sometimes called Oriental alone, the Oriental shorthair cat is a hybrid of the Siamese cats. They have a similar appearance to the Siamese except for the varying color coats.

Known for their high inquisitive and athletic activities, Oriental shorthair cats were bred from crossing the Siamese with numerous cat breeds, including Russian blue, British and American shorthairs, and even Abyssinian cats.

Because of these breeding activities, the Oriental shorthair cats have a pretty good life expectancy, which falls between 9-16 years. 

Because of their large genetic pool, Oriental shorthair cats are prone to certain Inherited medical conditions.

Some inherited conditions in Oriental shorthair cats are; Liver amyloidosismast cell tumors, and dilated cardiomyopathy affecting their hearts.

Liver Amyloidosis in the Oriental shorthair cats is an inherited condition caused by a genetic mutation. Even though the cause is not fully known, a complex protein known as Amyloids begins to deposit in tissues and organs such as the liver. 

Because these Amyloids are challenging to break down, they accumulate in the liver, affecting the function of the liver, which eventually progresses to liver failure in the affected Oriental shorthair cats. Some common signs to watch out for in the Oriental cat with liver Amyloidosis are;

● The cat may vomit.

● There is a lack of appetite.

● Fluid build-up around the abdominal region.

● There could be internal bleeding due to a rupture in the liver.

● Weight loss.

If some or all these symptoms have been identified in the Oriental shorthair cats, it is best to immediately report them to your veterinarian. 

Oriental shorthair cats are also prone to a neoplastic condition known as mast cell tumors. These tumors are inherited disorders in Oriental cats, where specific white blood cells responsible for controlling allergic reactions (known as mast cells) undergo mutation and become cancerous.

Mast cell tumors in Oriental cats can affect both tissues and organs in cats. Some mast cell tumors develop on the cat’s skin, causing various eruptions, which eventually ulcerates. Other forms of mast cells are seen in organs such as the spleen, intestines, and other organs.

Some common signs observed in the Oriental shorthair cats with mast cell tumors are;

● Raised lesions or nodules may appear around the skin of the head and neck.

● Itching may be noticed in the cats.

● Cats with Intestinal forms may present with vomiting and diarrhea

● Diarrhea may appear with blood or dark tarry stools indicative of digested blood.

When some of the signs are observed in the Oriental shorthair cats, reporting them to your veterinarian is important. 

The vet might, in turn, take some samples for biopsy to identify the type of tumor.

Another inherited medical condition seen in Oriental shorthair cats is Dilated cardiomyopathy. Like other forms of cardiomyopathies, this condition affects the muscular ventricular walls. 

The ventricles are responsible for contracting and pumping out blood to the system. In the Oriental shorthair cats with this condition, because the ventricular muscles have lost their elasticity, they become dilated and enlarged when filled with blood, resulting in poor heart contraction and blood supply.

Dilated cardiomyopathy can further progress into congestive heart failure. Asides from being an inherited condition, an amino acid deficiency known as Taurine deficiency can also predispose the Oriental shorthair cats to dilated cardiomyopathy.

Some common signs Oriental cats with dilated cardiomyopathy would show include;

● Heart murmurs.

● Partial paralysis in cats due to clot blocking vessels.

● Irregular heartbeat and rhythm.

● Weakness and loss of weight may be observed in cats.

It is essential to report these signs to your veterinarian in your Oriental shorthair cats. 

Oriental shorthair cats screened and diagnosed with inherited medical conditions should be discontinued from breeding activities.

3 thoughts on “Oriental Cat Breed: Facts, Origin, and more Details”

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