Do you know that this race enjoys the privilege of being the base, along with the Siamese and Persians, of the creation of many other races? In fact, it is one of the oldest cat breeds out there. Its origin dates back to Thailand, where the texts place it in the Middle Ages, being a deeply rooted animal popular in the East.
Also known as foreign shorthair or oriental shorthair, it is considered the one-color relative of the Siamese. Not surprisingly, it is the Siamese variant without its characteristic point pattern. They are extremely elegant, agile, and communicative kittens with whom it is not difficult to live together. Do you want to know more about them?
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Characteristics of the oriental shorthair cat
His body is slim, muscular and strong. Its long legs and slender feet, its neck is stretched out, and its overall appearance shows a cat that appears to weigh less than it actually does. The shoulders and hips are tubular, without the latter ever being wider than the shoulders.
- Origin Europe (Great Britain)
- Medium size
- Weight from 4 to 6.5 kg males and 3 to 5 kg females
- Fine hair, without undercoat, very dense, shiny, soft, and short. All possible colors and patterns are accepted
- Triangular and wedge-shaped head, that is, it widens when it reaches the ears
- Ears large, broad-based, prominent and always erect
- Almond-shaped eyes, oblique to the muzzle and deep blue or green. There are also specimens with heterochromia (one blue eye and the other green)
- Long and thin tail, especially towards the tip
- Estimated longevity of 12 to 15 years
- Difficulty taking care of it low
Character and behavior of the oriental shorthair
These felines are very jealous of their human guardian, to whom they feel very attached. They do not tolerate loneliness and they get along perfectly with both children and other pets. Although they adapt to any type of home, they show a predilection for the outdoors where they can climb, jump, and hunt.
If you don’t have a garden, you should provide it with space to play, enough stimuli, trees, scratchers or gyms of different heights, and shared playtime. They are active cats that need daily attention, so they are not the most suitable pets for those who must be absent for long periods of time.
They tend to do their thing if they feel bored or neglected. Keep that in mind. They are very intelligent, they learn quickly as long as they are not reprimanded, as they can become very stubborn and touchy. They share their communication skills with Siamese twins. They have a meow to express each emotion.
Care required by the oriental shorthair cat
Just because your hair is short doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be brushed. You should do it once a week to avoid knots and eating dead hairballs. If you prefer, you can wipe it with a damp chamois to keep its mantle shiny and lustrous. The grooming routine is well received by these kitties. It will make it easy for you.
Daily physical activity and a varied diet, and in just the right measure, will help to maintain your weight. Their thin legs are not designed to support an obese body, their joints would soon begin to sag. Therefore, protein prevails over carbohydrates and vary your diet, sometimes introducing homemade or wet food.
Their large ears tend to accumulate a lot of earwax. Therefore, once a week you should clean them using a tissue soaked in physiological saline or water. Make sure that you don’t leave any traces of moisture inside their ears, as they would be more susceptible to developing infections.
Oriental shorthair health
There are no notable pathologies in this breed with the exception of strabismus. It is a hereditary condition that affects the optic nerve but does not interfere with the quality of vision. However, it requires veterinary monitoring to rule out complications that could reduce the animal’s visual acuity.
History of the breed and fun facts
Representations of these cats were found in the Ayudhia mines along with a manuscript, The Cat’s Poem, which makes us understand their roots in Thailand, where they are a national animal. From 1950, British breeders brought them to Europe to create Siamese kittens of other colors and patterns, apart from the typical Siamese point.
Several British breeders and geneticists were dedicated to crossing Siamese with other breeds such as American Shorthair, British shorthair, and Abyssinians. The result was unbeatable. In 1977 the breed obtained official recognition.
According to a recent study, half of Thai cats are single or bicolor. A small percentage, around 15-20%, present the Siamese point pattern, which is so highly valued in the West. The marriage of Peter and Vicky Markstein was responsible for the introduction of the oriental shorthair in the US in 1972.
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