The Oriental Shorthair is a breed of domestic cat developed from and is closely related to the Siamese. It maintains the modern Siamese head and body type but appears in a wide range of coat colors and patterns. Like the Siamese, Orientals have almond-shaped eyes, a triangular head shape, large ears, and an elongated, slender, and muscular body. Their personalities are also very similar. Orientals are social, intelligent, and many are rather vocal. They often remain playful into adulthood, with many enjoying playing fetch. Despite their slender appearance, they are athletic and can leap into high places. They prefer to live in pairs or groups and also seek human interaction. Unlike the breed's blue-eyed forebear, Orientals are usually green-eyed. The Oriental Longhair differs only with respect to coat length. While the breed's genetic roots are ultimately in Thailand, it was formally developed in the US by a number of New York area cat breeders, led by Vicky and Peter Markstein (PetMark cattery), who in 1971-72 were intrigued by lynx patterned and solid colored cats of a Siamese body type at Angela Sayers' Solitaire Cattery and at Patricia White's. These were based on solid-colored cats with the body of a Siamese, bred by Baroness von Ullmann over the 1950s. An "Oriental Shorthairs International" was formed in 1973, and Peter Markstein presented the breed to the 1976 Annual Cat Fanciers Association, at the same time as the Havana Brown was presented by Joe Bittaker. In 1977 the Oriental Shorthair was accepted by the Cat Fanciers' Association for championship competition. Since 1997, it has also received recognition from the GCCF and various other cat breeding organizations. The breed is among the most popular among CFA members.
Also known as
This breed is also called Foreign Type, Foreign White, Oriental, Oriental Cat, Oriental Short Hair, Oriental Shorthair as well as Oriental Shorthair Cat.
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