This cat enchants by brightness and sweetness. Learn a little more about it.
The Oriental Shorthair has an elegant and sinuous body, looking agile and delicate at the same time, and big green eyes.
This race is the result of the desire some British breeders had, in the 50's, of breeding a cat similar to the Siamese, but completely white, and without the typical contrast of a darker color in the extremeties (head, paws and tail). To achieve their objective, they bred Siamese cats with domestic white cats, but they were astonished when kittens were born in all kinds of colors. That's how the Oriental we know today came about, with about 57 official colors: solid ones, shady, spotted, and ticked. It's name pays honor to the East part of the world, from where the Siamese, it's ancestor, came.
Some American breeders, enchanted with this cat, soon took it to the United States. They used to affectionatelly called it "foreign", because it was so different from the breeds they had known till then. They were so dedicated to the breeding of this cat, that in only 10 years they managed to get the official recognition of the CFA, The Cat Fanciers Association; this was in 1972. It was surely a leap in the career of this agile feline, which was soon recognized by other American institutions, and finaly, in 1974, in its country of origin, England, by FIFE. Today it is also bred in several European countries. In Brazil, the first individuals arrived in the 80's, brought from Holland and France.
The Oriental, being a very well disposed cat, is constantly moving. Due to its lean, flexible and well muscled body structure, it is capable of leaping really high, and perform acrobatic feats such as the ones seen is circuses. Smart, they say that due to its curiosity, nothing goes unnoticed by this cat. He is "electric" moving all the time, and meaowing frequently, producing different sounds, his way of comunicating with people.
A breeder in Brazil, Enocke Pio de Oliveira, from Cattery Great King's, in São Paulo, comments that the Oriental is extremelly attached to its owner, and even sweeter than its ancestor, the Siamese. Adapts easily to different places. Dependant, it usually gets more attached to one person in particular. This cat enjoys the daily routine of a home, likes to get attention, and playing with people. It learns hygiene habits easily. Acepts well the presence of other cats and animals in general.
There is also an Oriental Longhair, which appeared later in the US. In Europe it is called Javanese, and the main diference both of them is the coat length.
Choice of kitten: Long and lean body; firm
muscles; wedgeshaped head; ears must be really large, pointed and wide at the
base; almond-shaped eyes, medium sized, inclined in the direction of nose; long
and thin neck; long and thin legs, the hindlegs longer than forelegs; small and
oval paws, the front paws with 5 fingers, and the back ones with 4 fingers; long
and narrow tail, with pointed tip, and short coat, tight to skin, smooth and
shiny. Avoid kittens that are too small, with white spots, cross eyed, limp,
weak hindlegs, breathing by the mouth because of nose obstruction or oclusion,
with a knot on the tail, or incorrect number of fingers. Males are much bigger
than females. Coat color in the kittens is permanent, except in the smoked and
silvers, in which color only becomes perceptible after 8 to 10 months.
Eye color: Green, except in the white cats, which might have blue eyes, or each eye with a different color. The color of eyes is not evident in the new borns up to 6 to 8 weeks old.
Reproduction: Female is sexually precocious, being ready at 7 months old. Breeding should come after second heat, and in the males, after they are at least one year old. Average brood is 5 kittens.
Care: Brushing once a week, and baths only when necessary.
For More Information: Oriental Shorthair Breeding Consel of the CFA, Robert Agresta, president, telephone (001810) 355-0995, Michigan, USA.
Reading Material: There is no specific literature available.
We would like to thank the collaborators for their
assistance, and for the editing of this text. Besides names already mentioned,
we would like to aknowledge the help of Zillah Ayala, genealogic director of the
Brazilian Federation of Cat Breeders; Celso Tirloni, president of the Brazilian
Club of Cats; and Júnia Virgílio, president of CFA in Brazil.
Research and text: Carmen Olivieri.Text editor: Marcos Pennacchi
Picture: Fernando Torres de Andrade
Owner: Cattery Miche