This is the cat you want to sit next to at a dinner party: outgoing, intelligent, and chatty. Orientals were developed in the 1950s, which means their name was more socially acceptable then than it is today. These days, pretty much the only time you should be using the word “Oriental” is in reference to this cat or your grandma's rugs. Like their Siamese cousins, Orientals are chatty kitties, though their voices tend to be milder and softer.
This breed can grow to between 7-12 pounds and lives an average of 15-20 years.
Did someone say “toy?” Yes, please!
I looooove being with you
I'm a chatty catty
You can SEE me thinking
I mostly groom myself
I'm a cat and proud of itBEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS THE ORIENTAL'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
These cats are just straight-up noodgy. Your Oriental's inner monologue goes something like: “Oh, are you brushing your teeth? Lemme smell that toothpaste. Is your shoe untied? I bet I can help with that.” They'll then proceed to tell you what they think of the job you're doing.
Orientals are also curious and clever, which means they will
find that pen cap you hid in your purse to stop them from batting it across the floor for the millionth time. Sometimes considered the Border Collie of the cat world (that is, Einstein-level kitties), Orientals need mental challenges, stimulation, and company to be content.
WHAT IS ORIENTAL'S BEHAVIOR LIKE?
If your Oriental has something on her mind, you're going to get an earful about it—and this girl has a lot on her mind! This is an unapologetically very active—verging on rowdy—breed.
HOW CAN I KEEP MY ORIENTAL ENTERTAINED?
This brilliant breed will definitely need entertainment! Orientals enjoy high places to perch, puzzles to solve, and birds to supervise from a cat-accessible window ledge.
CARE & HEALTH
WHAT DO ORIENTALS LOOK LIKE AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Orientals look like a lot of things (but mostly Siameses, at least as far as body type goes). There are more than 600 coat length, pattern, and color variations within this breed. All but the white Oriental have green eyes.
Your cat's coat and skin can tell you a lot about her health and wellbeing. Healthy cats have coats that are smooth and shiny; they should have supple, clear skin. Nutrition and wellness factor heavily into the texture and luster of your kitty's coat, but you can help keep her looking and feeling her best with regular skin care and grooming.
Brushing your furry friend often helps remove dead skin and loose hairs, as well as shaking debris and dirt loose. Daily grooming will keep your cat from swallowing too much hair while she grooms, which can help cut back on the number of hairballs you accidentally step on while you're barefoot. An upside for both of you, surely. Most healthy, grownup cats won't need regular baths in addition to their own grooming routines—though if your cat is older, you might want to do some research on helping her keep up appearances.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO ORIENTALS HAVE?
Though generally healthy, Orientals are sometimes prone to non-life threatening sternum deformations or a more serious heart disease. Some also develop liver disease or crossed eyes, which result from a hereditary neurologic defect.
Remember that cats often hide disease symptoms! It's important to bring your furry friend in for veterinary checkups at least once a year.
ARE ORIENTALS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
Oriental Shorthairs are among the breeds generally recommended for allergy sufferers. Short—or wiry-haired cats do tend to be easier keepers than their long-haired cousins. But remember that shedding less doesn't make these breeds hypoallergenic. Dander found in urine, dead skin, and saliva (not pet hair) is what sets off allergy sufferers. Lighter-shedding cats will distribute fewer allergens around your home, though.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS MY ORIENTAL'S BEST DAY?
If you don't find this cat something to do, she'll make her own fun. Offer her a leased walk 'round the block, a game of fetch, or the chance to watch bird-filled television with you for a while. This should make your Oriental less likely to dig through your drawers, divebomb you from the top of a door, or go looking for new hiding spots around the house.
SHOULD I ADOPT AN ORIENTAL?
If you like busy, devoted, smart cats, the Oriental would be a great match for you. Just be aware that this breed is in it for the long haul—don't bring home an Oriental unless you're ready to spend your life with this kitty.
Have you decided that an Oriental is the purr-fect cat for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.