Photo by © Alexandra Zakharova

Oriental Shorthair - Breed Profile:

Origin: Great Britain
Colors: Any
Size: Small to medium
Coat Type(s): Shorthair
Grooming: Little
Talkativeness: Very vocal
Activity Level: Very high
Attention Requirement: Very high
Overall: Can be a handful

Physical characteristics

The Oriental Shorthair is a small to medium cat with a svelte long body and elegant appearance. The breed has the same physical characteristics as the Oriental Longhair, with the only difference in the length of the fur. The head is a tapering wedge with a long muzzle and large ears continuing the form of the wedge. The eyes are almond-shaped and slightly slanted towards the nose. The paws and the tail are long.
There are two varieties of the Oriental Shorthair: the Extreme and Traditional one. The Traditional Oriental has a more rounded head and body type.


Oriental Shorthairs belong to those active and dexterous cats that will never refuse a lively game with their humans. They are intelligent, so can easily be trained to fetch. Thanks to their athletic build, they can play for hours, but this time will fly quickly because playing with Orientals is a real fun. Everything they do, they do with with true enthusiasm and passion. Make sure you have tall cat trees and other toys so that your Oriental doesn't become disastrous if you are not around to entertain it. If you have to spend a lot of time out of home, it's recommended to get another companion cat so that the felines don't mope but can have fun together. The Oriental Shorthair's voice is milder than that of the Siamese. However, this breed is still much more vocal than other felines, so it is not for those who love peace and quiet.

Coat and grooming

The Oriental Shorthair has a very short, soft, satin-like and close lying coat. Little grooming is necessary. Any colours and patterns are possible, including solid, shaded, smoke, parti-colour, bicolour and tabby.


As well as Oriental Longhairs, Oriental Shorthairs are generally very robust. If kept indoors, they can live 15 years and even longer. However, some lines are prone to hereditary diseases such as the liver amyloidosis and dilated cardiomyopathy. Also, Oriental Shorthairs can suffer from plaque buildup, tartar formation and gingivitis.