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01.06.2022

Siamese and Oriental cats—are they the same breed?

Siamese cats have been crossbred with various other breeds, which is why there are a lot of types of Siamese cats today. The Applehead is the traditional and the most popular variation. The long-haired Siamese cat (Balinese) is similar to Persian cats. The Himalayan is loved for its beautiful mane. Since all these types share the distinctive pattern—white or cream body with darker points, breeders decided to introduce some variety when it comes to fur colours and created Oriental Shorthair cats. 

This article will tell you all you need to know about the physical and temperamental similarities and differences between Siamese and Oriental cats so you can decide which type would be the best for your household. You’ll also learn how to properly take care of your feline (regardless of the variant) to ensure they live a long and happy life!

Siamese and Oriental cats—the origin story

The Siamese cat is considered one of the oldest cat breeds in the world since they probably originated in 14th century Thailand. They became super popular in North America and Europe in the 19th century.

Oriental cats were created in the United Kingdom in the 1950s by crossbreeding Siamese cats with Abyssinians, Russian Blues, and domestic shorthairs. In the UK, an Oriental cat is called a Foreign Shorthair—a white Oriental is known as Foreign White, while the brown variation is called Havana.

Do Siamese and Oriental cats’ temperaments differ?

Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs have similar temperaments. Both types are friendly, affectionate, talkative, and sociable. 

While they are curious, active, and love to explore, they can be kept indoors as they love to cuddle with their parents and are wonderful companions. One of the best qualities of both types is that they behave as kittens all their lives.

And now, I’m gonna perform a magic trick. I’m going to disappear in that boot.

Source: Manuel Keller

Both Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs get along with anyone and can form strong bonds with their cat parents. They will nudge you when they want to play, interrupt you when you work, and offer their assistance as you tie your shoes. 

It is not uncommon for Oriental Shorthair and Siamese kitties to become highly attached to one of their human companions, which is why they shouldn't be left alone for long. If you spend a considerable part of the day away from home, consider getting another cat so your friendly feline doesn’t get lonely and become lethargic and lazy

Regardless of the type you choose, you can expect to share your home with a highly intelligent feline, which makes the training process easy. They will learn how to use a litter tray quickly, and you can teach them various tricks, like high-fiving and sitting on command.

Oriental Shorthair and Siamese cats—physical characteristics

Modern Siamese cats and Oriental Shorthairs have the same physical traits. The only difference is the colour of the fur. While the Siamese has a light coat with darker points, the Oriental Shorthair can come in a number of (around 600) colours and patterns.

Go on! Say no to my face! I dare you! 

Source: Marieke Tacken

The table below shows the physical traits that Oriental and Siamese cats share:

Physical traits

Description

Body

Elongated, muscular, and tubular

Legs and paws

Long and slender with small oval paws

Tail

Long and thin tapering at the end

Head

Medium-sized and wedge-shaped with a long nose

Ears

  • Wide-set
  • Large, wide at the base, and slightly rounded

Eyes

  • Almond-shaped
  • Blue (sometimes yellow, brown, or green in Oriental cats)

Coat

  • Soft, shiny, and fine
  • Can be long and short

Weight

  • Males—between 4.5 and 5.5 kg
  • Females—between 4 and 5 kg

Do Siamese and Oriental cats have the same grooming requirements?

Similarly to Siamese cats, Oriental Shorthairs are not demanding when it comes to grooming. Here is what you have to do to take proper care of them:

  • Brushing—Brush your cat with a rubber glove or a soft bristle brush once a week. Increase the frequency during the moulting seasons (in spring and autumn) to reduce shedding
  • Ear cleaning—Use a cotton swab to clean your cat’s ears gently. You can do this after every brushing
  • Teeth cleaning—Clean your feline’s teeth with a toothbrush or gauze on your finger if your cat doesn’t fancy brushing. You may also have to take your cat to the vet every once in a while for tartar removal
  • Nail trimming—Cut the sharp tip of the nail when necessary using special nail clippers
  • Flea and tick protection—Buy special collars, ampules, or tablets to keep your feline free of ectoparasites

Siamese and Oriental cats’ health issues 

Orientals and Siamese cats are generally healthy, but they are prone to particular health issues that can be:

  1. Inherited
  2. Lifestyle-related

Genetic health problems of Oriental and Siamese cats 

Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs can suffer from the following hereditary diseases:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy—This disease can occur at any age and, in most cases, ends in blindness. There is no cure, but the cat can be tested to see if they carry the degenerative gene
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis—This disorder affects the way in which a cat develops. It is often evident through deformities in facial structure and dwarfism. An affected cat can suffer from mobility issues, total paralysis, thickening of the heart valve, etc.
  • Hereditary liver amyloidosis—Amyloidosis occurs when proteins get deposited outside of cells in various tissues and organs. Due to this, affected areas don't function properly. There is no cure, but dietary changes and specific treatments, such as blood transfusions, fluid therapy, or surgery, can help manage it
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy—This condition lowers the heart's ability to pump blood properly, and it can lead to heart failure

Lifestyle-related health problems in Oriental and Siamese cats

Below are the common acquired diseases that can affect most cat breeds, including Orientals and Siamese:

  • Gingivitis—If tartar formed on your cat's teeth isn't regularly cleaned, it can cause an infection and lead to refusing food, bad breath, and increased salivation
  • Bladder stonesInadequate diet and poor hydration can cause bladder infections and pH imbalance in a feline’s urine which can lead to the formation of bladder stones
  • Obesity—A diet high in grains and carbs combined with a lack of physical activity, as well as overfeeding, is the leading cause of obesity in cats
  • DiabetesOverweight cats typically develop type 2 diabetes as their bodies lose the ability to produce enough insulin, resulting in elevated glucose levels

Many of these health issues can be prevented or managed with a high-quality diet. 

Do Siamese and Oriental cats have the same nutritional needs?

Did someone say food?

Source: Manuel Keller

All felines, regardless of their breed, have the same nutritional needs. Cats are obligate carnivores, so their diet must contain the following nutrients:

  1. At least 50% animal protein—High-quality meat, such as liver, salmon, trout, tuna, beef, and chicken, is the best energy source for cats and the only source of amino acids cats need to develop correctly (for example, taurine is essential for healthy brain function, bone and muscle structure, and efficient immune response). While you can give your cat small quantities of vegetables, such as carrots, peas, sweetcorn, or broccoli, to increase their fibre intake if they suffer from constipation, plant-based diets are not suitable for cats. They can cause stomach troubles without providing essential nutrients
  2. Up to 20% animal fat—Animal fat is an additional source of energy and ensures the meals your cat gets are tasty. The nutrient also provides fatty acids that help reduce inflammation, improve metabolic processes, and keep the coat healthy and shiny
  3. Water—Cats in the wild get moisture by eating fresh prey. Since felines have a low thirst drive, domesticated cats often suffer from various urinary tract illnesses, such as bladder stones, and they are at a higher risk of kidney diseases. You should feed your cat meals with high moisture percentage (at least 70%) 

Wet food vs. dry food—which food type is better?

Dry food is a convenient and cheap option, but you shouldn't base your cat's diet primarily on cat kibble for several reasons, namely:

  • Cat kibbles are highly processed
  • They often contain sugar and other ingredients cats don't need
  • Most dry food products are high in calories from grains and other carbs
  • Dry food has only 10% moisture

Small quantities of dry food are fine. Some vets even recommend feeding your cat kibble from time to time to help remove tartar from their teeth. An additional benefit of dry food is that it has a higher caloric value, which can be helpful if you have an anorexic cat because kibble will help them gain weight quickly.

As opposed to kibble, wet cat food contains almost 80% of moisture, which means it will keep your feline friend hydrated. Many canned products also contain more bioavailable nutrients, and cats have no trouble digesting them. If you adopted a cat who’s used to eating dry food and refuses to eat canned products, you can try mixing wet food with kibbles until they get used to the new food type.

Untamed satisfies your cat’s nutritional needs!

Ideal meals for Siamese and Oriental cats.

Image (c) Untamed

Untamed understands what our beloved felines need to be healthy, happy, and active. Our delicious food is prepared to meet all cats’ dietary requirements, regardless of their breed, size, or life stage

The table below shows the principles we abide by:

  1. Human-grade ingredients—All ingredients must meet high-quality standards so your cat gets the food they deserve
  2. High animal protein content—Only a high-protein diet can keep your cat’s muscles and bones strong, fur shiny and soft, and the urinary tract healthy. Untamed meals contain double the amount of protein you can find in most other products. Cats have trouble digesting plant proteins, which is why we steer clear of them and make our recipes with exclusively animal protein
  3. No common allergens—Meat-based cat food free of grains, artificial colouring, and other questionable ingredients helps keep various health niggles (including cat food allergies) at bay. If you are looking for hypoallergenic food for super sensitive kitties, we have a few single-source-protein recipes, such as Tuck-in Tuna and Chocka Chicken in Jelly
  4. Vet-formulated recipes—Made under the supervision of vets, all our meals contain an optimal ratio of protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins
  5. Gentle steaming process—This cooking process keeps all the nutrients intact and ensures fantastic taste while eliminating harmful bacteria
  6. Ethical production—All our packaging is 100% recyclable, and we get the ingredients from sustainable and cruelty-free suppliers

Try Untamed today, and observe the difference in your kitty's mood, stool, and overall well being.

Get your starter pack today!

Kitten, adult, or senior—Untamed is an excellent option for all cats. We will help you create a tailor-made meal plan for your kitty in a few simple steps:

  1. Go to the Try Now page
  2. Answer a few questions about your Oriental or Siamese cat
  3. Choose the preferred meal plan and place the order

The trial pack will arrive at your doorstep in a day, and your kitty's taste buds will go wild!

Once your cat tries our dishes and chooses their favourite recipes, we will regularly supply you with a month's worth of nutritious delicacies.

The benefits of switching to an Untamed diet will be noticeable quickly. Many cat parents shared their experiences with us. Here’s what they say:

Timeline

Effects

Within the first week

  • Higher energy levels
  • Tidier litter box

After two months

  • A slimmer and more muscular body
  • Shinier fur

After four months

  • Beautiful coat
  • Fewer hairballs
  • No mood swings

Long-term

  • Improved overall health
  • Easy weight management and healthy eating habits