It purrs, coos, meows, and whispers: the Oriental Shorthair (or OKH) cannot be overheard – and that is exactly its goal. She’s smart, headstrong, and is best taken care of by experienced cat owners. When she finds her human, she follows him everywhere. This extroverted cat loudly demands a change every day.
The character of the Oriental Shorthair
The Oriental Shorthair brings life into the booth. She is lively, curious, and likes to explore. She doesn’t let closed doors stop her either: in the course of her life she can find out how to open them. The OKH is a companion that demands a lot of attention. She is as vocal in her displeasure as she is in affection – “quiet” is definitely not the right word to describe this cat breed.
Frequent play sessions are important to keep the OKH cat happy. She is a proud hunter who wants to be praised. She also loves to learn little tricks. Scratching posts can’t get high enough for her and intelligence games keep her captivated. She often retains this playfulness into old age. But in addition to all her agility, she is also very trusting and cuddly: cuddling with her people is at the top of her wish list.
Oriental Shorthair: Appearance and Care
The stature of the Oriental Shorthair is slim and elegant. Their legs are long, with the hind legs being longer than the front legs. Her tail is thin and her paws are small.
The Oriental Shorthair has a wedge-shaped head with very pointed ears. Their eyes are almond-shaped, slanted and usually glow in very intense color. In white cats, this is blue, in other cats it can be green, copper, or yellow.
The OKH cat’s coat is short, smooth, and shiny. It comes in different colors and with different drawings. The monochromatic Orientals who wear black, blue-grey, chocolate, purple, red, cream, cinnamon, or fawn are called “solid”. In addition, there are all tortoiseshell and tabby coat markings. The Smoke-Orientals, who are allowed to show solid color or tortoiseshell, are quite new to the breed. Four markings are possible for the tabby variants: mackerel, brindle, spotted, and ticked.
You don’t need to brush or comb your Oriental Shorthair regularly because their coat has almost no undercoat. It is often even enough to stroke them with a slightly damp hand or a damp cloth to remove excess hair.
The attitude of the Oriental Shorthair
Nothing is worse for OKH than being alone. A close bond to their people, but also to other pets, but especially other cats, is important to them. It is therefore ideal for a multi-cat household. Offer your Oriental Shorthair a cat-friendly apartment with a window seat, preferably with access to a balcony or the garden. Because their fur is so thin, you should always make sure that your cat finds enough warm and dry places to retreat to.
Oriental Shorthairs follow you wherever you go. This allows you to teach your pet to walk on a leash at an early age and take it with you on trips.
Oriental Shorthair: History
When Baroness von Ullman in England decided in 1951 that it was time for a new Siamese variety, the success story of the Oriental Shorthair began. The aim of the baroness was to breed a cat with a short, uniform brown coat and green eyes. After a few attempts, this succeeded. In 1972, the first Oriental Shorthair with a chestnut coat and green eyes was recognized – this variant is named “Havana”. Three years later, the breed was recognized in the United States of America.
Oriental Shorthair: Peculiarities
The Oriental Shorthair is considered a comparatively long-lived breed. However, there is a possibility that hereditary (inbreeding-related) diseases can occur in cats of this species. These include heart disease, anemia, and the eye disease PRA, which is a disease of the retina that ultimately leads to blindness. It is therefore particularly important to find responsible and trustworthy breeders who only cross animals with each other that are not affected by diseases.
The Oriental Shorthair is considered allergy-friendly as they only produce small amounts of protein that causes allergies. However, you should definitely test whether you are allergic to your OHK before you take the animal with you.