Oriental Shorthairs are a spinoff of the Siamese. While they are closely related to the Siamese, they’ve been developed into their own breed. Unlike the Siamese, they come in many different colors and don’t just have blue eyes. Their range of colors is one reason why many people choose to adopt them.
However, beyond that, the Oriental Shorthair has the same body structure and temperament as the Siamese. They’re known for being very conversational, which is a nice way of saying that they are quite loud. Furthermore, they are extremely people-oriented and affectionate.
Before you decide to run out and adopt one of these felines, though, it’s important to budget appropriately for their needs. These felines need about the same care as other cats, but they can be more expensive to purchase. They’re rarer and harder to find, which drives their price up.
Generally, you can adopt an Oriental Shorthair for $50 – $350, or buy one from a breeder for $600 – $3,000.
Below are some guidelines on how much it costs to purchase and care for an Oriental Shorthair.
Bringing Home a New Oriental Shorthair: One-Time Costs
When you bring home a new Oriental Shorthair, you’ll have to pay quite a bit of money upfront. Not only do you need to purchase the cat itself, but you’ll also need to buy supplies for the feline. There are many cat supplies that only need to be purchased once (and then replaced very rarely). Things like scratching posts and food bowls don’t need to be purchased every month.
However, when you purchase all these items upfront, it can get expensive. Therefore, it’s important to budget appropriately.
This breed is rarely available for free. It’s a bit of a rare breed, anyway. Therefore, most free cats in your area aren’t going to be Oriental Shorthairs. Furthermore, these cats cost quite a bit from a breeder, and very few people are willing to give them away for free.
If you find an Oriental Shorthair in your area, you should be rather cautious. Free cats are often free for a reason. Unless you know the owner, you should be cautious when taking a cat for free.
Sometimes, you can find these cats at a rescue or a local shelter. Because this breed is rare, you can expect it to be rare at most shelters. Breed-specific rescues are probably your best option, but you may not have any in your area. If you’re set on adopting an Oriental Shorthair, you should expect to travel a decent distance, as the odds of finding one in your immediate surroundings are low.
Furthermore, adoptable cats are rarely kittens. They aren’t free, either. While they are cheaper than purchasing from a breeder, most adoption fees cover spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and other maintenance costs.
If you want an Oriental Shorthair, a breeder is your best option—though it is also the most expensive option. Quality breeders perform genetic testing on cats before breeding, helping avoid diseases and other common problems. Plus, kittens from breeders have often been checked by a vet and received their first vaccinations.
The “quality” of the kitten will determine its price. Companion-quality kittens make great pets and are cheaper than show-quality kittens. Typically, the quality of a cat is determined only by its physical characteristics, so it doesn’t affect how good of a pet they are.
When purchasing a kitten, be sure to research the breeder. Ask about genetic testing, health guarantees, and vaccination information. Always ask to meet the parents of the cat. (Practically all breeders will let you meet the mother at the very least. If a breeder won’t let you, you should be very cautious moving forward.)
Initial Setup and Supplies
Prior to bringing your new kitten home, you’ll need to purchase the supplies your cat needs. These supplies include litter boxes and scratching posts, as well as toys and food. You want everything ready before your kitten comes home.
You’ll also want to take your cat to see the vet for an initial checkup. However, you don’t always need to pay for treatments right away.
|Cat Leash and Harness||$15|
|Cat Bed (optional)||$15–$50|
How Much Does an Oriental Shorthair Cost Per Month?
- $125–$545 per month
Bringing your Oriental Shorthair home will be a large investment. However, you’ll also have to pay for monthly upkeep, which helps cover food, litter, vet expenses, and other costs. Luckily, the monthly cost of owning an Oriental Shorthair is usually less than the bring-home cost.
The monthly cost of taking care of your cat will vary. As cats get older, their monthly costs tend to go up. Therefore, be sure to increase your monthly budget as your cat hits their twilight years.
Here’s a quick estimate of how much you can expect to pay.
- $0–$450 per month
Oriental Shorthairs tend to be quite healthy. You can help ensure your cat’s healthy by purchasing from a quality breeder. Providing the right preventative health care can also prevent worse problems down the road. For instance, a teeth cleaning costs a few hundred dollars. But, if you skip it, your cat could end up with thousands of dollars of necessary dental work later on.
Many Oriental Shorthairs only need to visit the vet once a year for boosters and a check-up. As your cat ages, health problems become more common. Furthermore, your cat may need two check-ups a year—just to ensure new health problems don’t pop up.
You can invest in pet insurance to keep your costs down. However, you’ll still need to budget for out-of-pocket costs.
- $20–$40 per month
Luckily, cats tend to be rather small and consume little food. Therefore, feeding an Oriental Shorthair is much cheaper than feeding a large dog. You should purchase a high-quality food that contains high amounts of meat. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they must consume meat to survive.
Dry food is cheaper than wet food. However, wet food tends to be better for cats, especially those suffering from urinary tract problems.
Oriental Shorthairs have relatively low-maintenance fur. They don’t need professional grooming, and they don’t even need to be brushed all that often. You should keep their teeth clean, as they can get dental problems. However, cat-safe toothpaste will last you for months, so you shouldn’t have to purchase a new bottle every month.
Some months, you’ll be paying absolutely nothing for your cat’s grooming.
If you do decide to get your cat professionally groomed, you can expect to pay a bit more, though.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $30–$500 per month
To prevent fleas and ticks, your feline should be on regular medication. However, if you have no other animals and your cat stays inside, this prevention may not be all that necessary. Speak to your vet. Sometimes, it’s worth considering even if your cat spends a lot of time indoors, as it tends to be rather cheap.
As your cat gets older, more vet visits and medication may be needed. Expect this price to go up as your cat gets older.
- $7–$80 per month
Pet insurance can help you cover surprise vet costs for your Oriental Shorthair. You never know when your cat is going to have an accident or get sick. Pet insurance helps you cover these surprise bills in exchange for a monthly premium (which is often much easier to budget for).
Different insurance companies cover different things. You’ll need to research your options before settling on a company. Be sure to look for exclusions, which can increase your out-of-pocket costs.
- $30–$70 per month
There are a few things you’ll need to do to keep your cat’s space in working order. Litter boxes fall into this category. You’ll need to purchase cat litter monthly (at least) and completely clean your reusable litter box. You can find monthly subscriptions that provide a new litter box and litter for around $30 but purchasing it from your local pet store will likely be more expensive.
You’ll want to purchase some “extras,” too. Deodorizers can make all the difference, and you’ll want an enzymatic cleaner to take care of any cat stains.
|Sisal for Scratching Post||$10/month|
|Deodorizer for Litter||$20/month|
- $20–$35 per month
Oriental Shorthairs are intelligent, active cats that require plenty of playtime. You should plan on purchasing interactive toys and puzzle feeders to keep these felines busy, as well as cat towers and traditional toys. You’ll probably spend more on keeping this breed entertained than others, so plan accordingly. Toybox subscriptions are recommended, though you can also just purchase toys individually from your local pet store.
Remember, cats don’t only need traditional toys. While “hunting” and stalking are ways cats stay entertained, they aren’t the only ways. Hiding, climbing, and scratching are also play needs cats have, so be sure to accommodate these, too.
The more activities you have around the house for your cat to engage in, the better. You should take into account what your cat likes to do. However, don’t only purchase a single type of toy—even if it happens to be your cat’s favorite.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning an Oriental Shorthair
- $125–$545 per month
Before adopting a cat, you should ensure you have enough room in your budget to care for the animal properly. Luckily, these felines aren’t more expensive than any other cat. They’re pretty healthy and don’t grow very large. All of these factors help keep the cost down.
With that said, as your cat gets older, you can expect their monthly upkeep to get higher. They tend to become more and more expensive over time due to increased health problems.
Additional Costs to Factor In
While we covered just about everything above, there are some other costs that may pop up from time to time. These costs won’t happen all the time, but you should consider them, anyway.
One of these potential costs is replacing furniture due to your cat’s destructive behavior. Your feline may have an accident outside the litterbox or scratch up a chair. Replacing these items can get expensive, but it shouldn’t happen all that often. At other times, you may end up needing to clean the carpet. If you have a carpet cleaner, you’ll only need to pay for the soap that comes with it. Other times, you may need to have a professional clean the carpet.
Pet sitters and boarding may also be needed if you go out of town. Often, this isn’t terribly expensive for a cat, as they’re rather small.
You may also need to pay for emergency vet bills. Having pet insurance can help reduce the impact of these bills. However, if you don’t have pet insurance, you should have a few thousand dollars put back just in case.
Owning an Oriental Shorthair on a Budget
Anytime you own a pet, you’ll have to pay something for their monthly upkeep. After all, every pet has to eat.
Oriental Shorthairs do tend to be cheaper than other pets, like dogs. They may cost more than your average stray cat, though, as they are prone to more health problems than most mixed breeds. Furthermore, purchasing this cat is quite expensive, while adopting a mixed breed may cost as little as $20.
Therefore, this breed may not be the best option on a budget, but it is possible to own one without having tons of money available.
Saving Money on Oriental Shorthair Care
You can lower your monthly costs by avoiding “extras.” Many cats don’t care if they have an expensive litter box or one of the cheapest options. Cat beds, scratching posts, and other big-ticket items can be bought on sale. If you know you’re getting a kitten, start purchasing the necessary items in the months before to help spread out the cost.
Shop around for vets, too. Ask how much vaccinations and a vet exam cost. You may be surprised by the difference in price. (In my area, one vet charges $55 for an exam and vaccines, while another charges $207.) Shopping around can help make vet bills less troublesome.
Cat litter subscriptions can be cost-saving. Purchasing anything in bulk, like cat food, can also be cheaper. However, cat food does go bad, so only purchase as much as your cat will eat.
Consider going to a spay-and-neuter clinic instead of a regular vet office when fixing your feline. This option can save you money, though some cheaper vets may cost the same. Neutering is cheaper than spaying.
We recommend saving up the money to purchase a pet-quality Oriental Shorthair from a breeder, which may cost up to $1,000. While this expense seems big, purchasing a quality kitten from a breeder can save you in vet bills later. Plus, most of these kittens have already received their first shots, so you’ll have to pay less at their first vet exam.
The cost of owning a cat often goes up as the cat ages. The older the cat, the more likely they are to need a monthly medication. Therefore, you should plan on raising your budget as your cat ages. Do your research on the costs of vet bills in your area for a more accurate picture of how much you can expect to pay.
Featured Image Credit: TalyaPhoto, Shutterstock
- Bringing Home a New Oriental Shorthair: One-Time Costs
- How Much Does an Oriental Shorthair Cost Per Month?
- Total Monthly Cost of Owning an Oriental Shorthair
- Additional Costs to Factor In
- Owning an Oriental Shorthair on a Budget