The Oriental Shorthair Cat (Dobby Cat)

An oriental cat looking past the camera

Oriental Shorthair cats are known for being the cat of the party. They are incredibly social and energetic and love being around their owners.

They want to be part of the family and adjust anywhere from a small apartment to a large big farmhouse. Intelligent and curious, Oriental cats will snoop and pull your stuff, find new things to play with you, and be the first to answer the door.

They blend in well with children, families, and other pets.

The Oriental Shorthair cat/Dobby cat does not perform well when left alone.

[icon name=”info-circle” prefix=”fas fa-2x”] You may also be interested in our article on The British Shorthair Cat Breed (The Full Guide)

Why are they known as The Dobby cat?

Oriental Short Hair cats are commonly known as Dobby cats because they resemble the beloved “Harry Potter” character “Dobby.” That’s why they called dobby cat, mainly due to their ear resemblance with dobby.

General characteristics:

Coat Length:


Coat Type:

Straight or Smooth

Coat Colours:

White, Blue, Ebony, Cream, Red, Brown, Frost, Platinum, Fawn, Chocolate, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Lavender, Champagne, Seal

Coat Pattern:

Solid Color, Tortoiseshell, Bicolor, Tricolor/Calico, Tabby, Ticking, Smoke, Shaded, Points

Weight range:

Male: less than 12 lbs.
Female: less than 8 lbs.

Eye colour:

Green, blue, gold, yellow; odd-eyes are possible.

Life Span:

8 to 12 years


26 to 29.5 inches, not including the tail

Origin Country:

USA, Ireland

The tendency to Shed:

Moderate to High

Less Allergenic:


Overall, Grooming Needs:

Moderate to High

Cat Association Recognition:



Not very much

A tabby oriental shorthair cat looking past the camera

Oriental Shorthair Specific Traits:

Please don’t confuse this cat with his ancestor breed, Siamese. The Oriental is a breed of its own, with traits like:

  • May remain playful/joyful as a kitten or throughout her life.
  • A good companion and pet
  • Energetic and playful
  • Loves jumping and being in high places.
  • Good with children and other pets

However, oriental will be sure to find ways to let you know she’s around:

  • Very talkative, has an opinion about everything.
  • May meow frequently to get your attention.
  • May want to be involved in your activities constantly.
  • Human-oriented and should not be left alone for long durations

You will never get bored with such a friend! She tries her best to talk/communicate with you and wants your constant attention.

The Oriental Shot Hair Cat History

Oriental is a semi-hybrid that was first developed in England in 1950. They are also Siamese in body type and are available in a combination of more than 300 colours and patterns. Orientals form close bonds with their owners.

If left alone for a very long time, they may show signs of depression. Intelligent and curious, she will go to great lengths to get involved in your activities. She is more gentle than Siamese, but this cat loves to chat and happily “talks” with you.

A head shot of a cream oriental shorthair cat with blue eyes

Oriental Shorthair Physical Attributes:


Long and svelte. A distinctive combination of firm muscles and delicate bones. Hips and shoulders continue the same sleek lines of the tubular body. Hips are not typically wider than shoulders. The abdomen is tight, and the neck is long and slender.


Long tapering wedge, in reasonable proportion to the body. The forehead is often rounded with a small flat plane above the head. The nose is medium and wide. In the profile, there is a soft dip. This muzzle is straightforward and distinctive, well-built with a specific stop in front of the large, round whisker pads. Chin is healthy and in line with the nose and upper lip.


Strikingly large (that’s why called Dobby cat), pointed, broad at the base, continuing the wedge lines.


Almond-shaped and medium-size eyes. Neither protruding nor recessed somewhat slanted towards the nose in harmony with lines of ears and wedge.


Forelegs are slim and small. Hind legs are higher than the front, and all legs are present in the body’s right proportion. Paws are small, dainty, and oval—five toes in forelegs and four toes in hind legs.


Long and thin tail, which is tapered at the base. Tail hair is long and spreads out like a plume.


Orientals come in solid, shaded, smoke, tricolour, bicolour, tabby colour classes, and pointed with white, making over 300 colour and pattern combinations—the Oriental’s reason for being in the coat colour.

They have 2 different types of coat length.


Medium to long length, silky, fine, without downy undercoat, lying close to the body, the coat may appear shorter than it is. Hair is the longest on the tail.


Short, fine-textured, glossy, or satin-like, lying close to the body.

A tabby oriental Shorthair cat side profile.

Oriental Shorthair Personality:

Oriental’s personality is as distinctive as the bright exterior. They are natural entertainers of excitement, energy, and the belief that the world should revolve around them.

Beautiful and calm one minute, they are dynamic and interested next. They are very curious and will go far enough to get involved in your activities. If you work all day and live a busy night, this is not the cat for you.

Oriental Shorthair cats should not be left alone for long periods, and they will need playmates and companionship when you cannot be with them. Oriental is pure attention seekers. This specie needs quality time with their loved ones.

They have a real need for sports and need to be well maintained when they become adults. It is wise to have many toys for your Oriental. They will sometimes make themselves beautiful toys out of household items.

Oriental Shorthair cats are very loving, friendly, and loyal, and their feelings are easily hurt if you ignore them. If you give them the loving care they need, they will do anything to make you happy.

If you ignore an Oriental Shorthair they become unhappy and depressed. However, when given a full share of love, the Orientals, in return, will reward you with lifelong respect, love, and intelligent communication.

They usually bond with one person and are very devoted and dependent on the person they choose.

Expect them to be with you, on your shoulder, and at the door, asking you where you were? Why you went there? and what you brought back for “her?” The breed is as vocal as Siamese, but the range, frequency, and fluctuations can vary from cat to cat and bloodline to bloodline.

However, like their semi-relatives, they never run out of words on any subject.

Living An Oriental Shorthair Cat:

Pet parents can tell when their Oriental gain weight. Oriental cats showed pot-bellied even one day after eating overeating. Cat owners should carefully control nutrition for this breed because Oriental’s slender legs do not support a fat body.

Orientals are the best jumper and love heights. For this reason, owners should provide cat trees and perches. Oriental cats love to play around and admire toys around the house for fun. Although the coat needs a little care and Grooming, Oriental love and enjoys the grooming process.

As beautiful as Oriental looks, she is one of the top lap cats around the whole world. She loves sitting in a lap and sleeps in bed with her parents.

Routine Care, Diet, And Exercise For The Oriental Shorthair Cat:

Make regular care of your pet in your busy schedule so that they can stay healthy and happy and live for a long time. We can’t underestimate the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine for your pet.

  • Take care of your oriental as if they were a small child.
  • Oriental cat has a low maintenance coat. Brush at least one time weekly. It provides shine and glows to the fur.
  • Oriental cats usually have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week.
  • Check her ears weekly for debris, wax, or signs of infection and clean when necessary.
  • Oriental needs daily game sessions that intensifies his natural desire to explore and hunt.
  • Keep oriental’s mind and body active, or she may suffer from behavioural problems.
  • Cats are thoroughly clean creatures and demand a clean litter box. Make sure to provide at least one litter tray for each cat and scoop waste litter daily.
    Your cat must drink plenty of freshwaters. If she is not drinking water from her cup, try adding ice cubes or flowing fountains.
  • Feed a high-quality cat food suitable for her age.
  • Exercise your Oriental cat regularly by engaging your cat with high activity toys.
A beige oriental shorthair cat laying on a hammock

The Oriental Shorthair Cat Grooming:

One of the reasons the Oriental shorthair cat became so popular in the last century was that it required little to moderate Grooming. The coat is robust, short, and thick, and the cat can quickly take care of it. As with all cats, regular vaccinations and parasite control are recommended.

Oriental Shorthair Cat Nutrition:

Every cat is unique, and each has its likes, dislikes, and needs when it comes to food. However, cats are carnivores, and each cat should get 40-42 different and specific nutrients from their diet.

The proportion of these nutrients will differ depending on lifestyle, age, and overall health, so it is not surprising that a growing, active kitten will have different nutrients in its diet than a less nutritious elderly cat.

After consulting your vet, give them wet or dry food recipes and feed them adequate amounts of food to maintain their ‘ideal physical condition.

Ideal owners/places for Orientals Shorthair Cats:

  • Children
  • Other pets
  • Company

Are you a person who enjoys a quiet, comfortable home? If you are, you may want to consider getting another cat breed because Oriental Short Hair can be a very chatty, naughty, and busy body.

They will follow you throughout the house and give you feedback on everything you do. When they are not chasing you, they will demand a lot of attention in the form of love and tickle.

When left alone, they can become irritated, which can quickly lead to negative behaviours such as emptying drawers and tearing toilet rolls.

If you have an oriental cat, but you can’t always promise to stay home, you should consider finding another cat or dog to keep them company. They love to be part of a large, playful family and treat children, other cats, and even cat-friendly dogs with respect as long as they treat them with respect.

Oriental Shorthair Cat Health Issues:

Both purebred cats and mixed-breed cats have a variety of health problems that may also be genetic. Most cases seen in Oriental short hair are gingivitis and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Along with these following health conditions are serious for Oriental Short Hair cats:


Conditions that affect an Oriental Shorthair cat’s urethra and bladder are collectively known as FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease), generally known as cystitis. Oriental Shorthairs can suffer from these conditions, caused by not urinating enough, stress, bladder stones, infections, or crystals.

Cats suffering from cystitis make painful, frequent urination attempts, and blood is usually found in the urine. Treatment of cystitis depends on the cause and affected organ, but cats diagnosed with cystitis will usually require special diets, access to plenty of water, pain relief, and perhaps some help to reduce stress.

Kidney Disease:

Oriental Shorthair Cat’s kidneys are responsible for regulating and filtering the waste products from their blood into their urine. Oriental Short Hair may be affected by kidney disease caused by blockages, tumours, infections, or toxins (especially licking anti-freeze) as well as age-related changes.

Fatal and chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidney function deteriorates slowly over some time. Treatment usually depends on the cause and the extent of the damage but typically begins by flushing the kidneys using intravenous (I/V) fluids, followed by special diets and medications.

Unfortunately, kidney disease is irreversible, but many cats can enjoy reasonably everyday life with the right support.


Hyperthyroidism is one of several hormonal disorders that can affect Oriental Shorthairs. It usually occurs when the thyroid glands, located in the neck, produce too much thyroid hormone.

This most commonly occurs due to a benign (non-cancerous) tumour of the thyroid gland, although a cancerous tumour is known as a thyroid adenocarcinoma may also occur.

Surgery, along with radioactive iodine therapy, long-term medication, or diet changes, can be used to effectively manage this fatal condition, meaning the cat can live everyday and comfortable life after the proper treatment.

Heart disease:

Heart disease in Oriental Shorthairs cats refers to when the heart’s structures aren’t working as they should be. There are two heart disease categories:

  1. Congenital (the cat is born with it)
  2. Acquired (disease develops later in life).

Hereditary or Congenital heart diseases include defects in the heart’s wall, blood vessels, and abnormal valves. Oriental Shorthairs are incredibly prone to a common condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, leading to heart failure. While this ailment is not curable, veterinarians can treat it with lifelong medication.

Other bacterial and Viral Infections

Like all feline breeds, Orientals are also susceptible to bacterial and viral infections such as calicivirus, panleukopenia, rabies, and rhinotracheitis, which are somewhat preventable through vaccination.

The susceptibility of your cat contracting these diseases is very high, so the subsequent vaccines are called “core” vaccines, highly suggested for all cats.

Also, vaccines offer protection from other dangerous diseases like the feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). In giving vaccination recommendations to your cat, you will consider the prevalence of these diseases in your area, your cat’s age, weight, breed, medical status, and any other potential risk factors related to her lifestyle.

Internal and External Parasites

All kinds of insects and bugs can attack your Oriental cat’s body. These parasites may be external or internal. Everything from fleas and ticks to cat mites can affect Oriental’s ears and skin. Hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and other flukes can enter the system in many ways: drinking unclean water, walking on contaminated soil, or bitten by an infected fly/mosquito.

Some of these parasites are incredibly zoonotic, i.e., they can be transmitted to you or a family member and are life-threatening. These parasites can cause pain, distress, and even death to your Oriental cats, so we need to check for them regularly.

A black oriental shorthair cat with yellow eyes crawling on the top of the sofa.

Interesting Things You Must Know About The Oriental Shorthair Cat:

With Pharaoh-like ears and lean, mean bodies, these striking cats are genuinely unique in appearance. For those who may not be well-known for this excellent cat breed, the Oriental Shorthair is a favourite among many cat lovers.

They are hypoallergenic

Although no cat can be 100% allergic to humans, Oriental Short Hair is said to have no allergies to their owners, especially those allergic to cats.
Fun facts: Oriental Shorthair can be jealous or even defensive towards his human partner.

They are the smartest/intelligent of all cat breeds.

It isn’t easy to decide which cat breed is the head of the class, depending on each breed’s conditions. Still, many reports show that Oriental short hair is the most intelligent (if not more beautiful) of all cat species. These smart cats enjoy the stimulation, interaction, playtime and are naturally curious, even way more than other average cats.

The Oriental Shorthair Cat has more colour and pattern than any other breed of cats.

These multi cats come in every design and colour you can imagine, at about 300 different combinations. Some have stripes, others are solid, but all true-bred Orientals have the same large eyes, angular face, long Pharaoh-like ears, along with long bodies. Despite the unique colours, Oriental short hair should not be mistaken for any other species regarding their distinctive shape.

Fun fact: The Oriental Shorthair results from a human-made cross between Siamese, Russian Blue, and Abyssinian.

They are true entertainers

Orientals are very vocal, likes to be the centre of attention, and will always give you an idea of ​​what they will do next. Oriental is an excellent choice of cat for an active family that will give their cat a lot of love and attention as it is a real need of this breed. They do not perform well in the environment where they are often left alone, as they are the centre of attention and can be depressed, like Siamese, with whom they share bloodlines.

They are super talkative.

For anyone that owns an Oriental cat will agree that these talkative cats make no bones about conversing and grabbing your undivided attention.
If you want a cat that keeps you guessing, yearns to be near you, and is devoted to being your loyal companion, look no further than the Oriental Shorthair.

How Much Do Oriental Shorthair Cats Cost?

Oriental Shorthair cats are very expensive. To buy from a breeder you can expect to pay between £450 – £1400.

If you rescue an Oriental Shorthair cat from the shelter you can expect to pay significantly less.


Oriental Shorthair is also known as Dobby cat due to their gigantic pointed ears. They are the most intelligent and talkative cat breeds with no allergies. They love their owners and want to live with other pets, family, or children. They are prone to obesity, some medical conditions, and parasites, so you must care for them.

Pros of Owning A Oriental Shorthair Cat:

Outgoing and friendly
Good with strangers

Cons of Owning A Oriental Shorthair Cat:

She tends to vocalize a lot.
Need to perch on high spots


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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