Oriental Short Hair
In the past, blue-eyed, color-pointed cats were owned by royalty and kept in the royal palace of Siam. The Siamese breed, however, is only one of several varieties native to the area. THE CAT-BOOK POEMS, a manuscript written in Siam (now called Thailand) some time between 1350 and 1767 A.D.,describes and shows a variety of digenous cats including solid black, black-and-white bicolor, solid brown, blue/gray and shaded silver, as well as cats bearing the point-restricted color pattern.
The cats portrayed in the book have slim bodies and legs, large ears and tapered muzzles, very similar to today’s show Siamese and related breeds. The Oriental Shorthair seen in show halls today is not a direct import from Thailand,but rather a Siamese hyrid developed in the 1950s and 1960s. The breed’s creation was deliberate; breeders wanted a cat that looked and acted like a Siamese but came in a wide range of colors.
In the 1950s, British breeders crossed Siamese with domestic shorthairs and Russian Blues. In the late 1960s, American breeders, fascinated with British Oriental Shorthairs, took up the torch and crossed Siamese, domestic shorthairs and Abyssinians to create the new look.
Body Structure:The breed standard is very similar to that of the Siamese,calling for a svelte cat with long, tapering lines; a cat that’s lithe but muscular and strong. The aristocratic head is a long wedge that narrows to a fine, sophisticated muzzle.
The ears are large, wide at the base and taper to a point. The nose is long and straight.
Eyes:The eyes are almond shaped and slant toward the nose. The only allowable eye color is green, with the exception of pure white Oriental Shorthairs, which may have blue or green eyes.
Coat:It has the same body type and hair length as the Siamese but comes in a cornucopia of colors, and the coat colors are not point restricted.
Color:What sets this cat apart from other Siamese-type breeds is the plethora of colors and patterns. There are solid, smoke, shaded, particolor and tabby color classes.
The breed’s vocal tone is generally softer and milder than that of a Siamese, but the range, frequency and inflection varies from cat to cat.They are natural entertainers, full of enthusiasm, energy and the belief that the world should revolve around them. They are highly curious and will go to great lengths to be involved in your activities.