The Oriental Shorthair is actually a Siamese hybrid first developed in England in the 20th century. It is similar in body type to the Siamese, but comes in many more color and pattern varieties. And though it is not as communicative as the Siamese, the Oriental is still a fun companion to have around the house.
Unlike the Siamese, the Oriental Shorthair comes in nearly 300 colors and patterns. Some popular styles include ebony, pure white, chestnut, and blue, while some popular patterns include solid, bi-color, and tabby.
The cat have a short and sleek coat, long, slender and flexible with large ears and piercing almond-shaped eyes.
They are passionate about the people in their lives. They become extremely attached to their humans, so be prepared for a lifetime commitment. It can be very difficult for these cats to adjust to the loss of their family or favorite person.
When you are not available to entertain him, an Oriental will divert himself by jumping on top of the refrigerator, opening drawers, seeking out anyone hideaways to frustrate who might be searching for him, and watching television with clear interest.
Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. The same problems that may affect the Siamese can also affect the Oriental, including the following:
- Amyloidosis, a disease that occurs when a type of protein called amyloid is deposited in body organs, primarily the liver in members of the Siamese family
- Asthma/bronchial disease
- Congenital heart defects such as aortic stenosis
- Crossed eyes
- Gastrointestinal conditions such as megaesophagus
- Hyperesthesia syndrome, a neurological problem that can cause cats to excessively groom themselves, leading to hair loss, and to act frantically, especially when they are touched or petted
- Nystagmus, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary rapid eye movement
- Progressive retinal atrophy, for which a genetic test is available
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