An Oriental Bicolor cat with black and white fur poses for the camera against a white background.
(Photo Credit: GlobalP | Getty Images)

Oriental Bicolor

The Oriental Bicolor cat is known for their sleek, slender body and distinctive coat pattern. A cross between the American Shorthair and Siamese cat breeds, the Oriental Bicolor is social, smart, and curious. Their coat can showcase a combination of two colors, often with a predominantly lighter shade on the body and a darker color on the ears, face, paws, and tail. The captivating bicolor pattern, coupled with the breed’s long, graceful lines and large, almond-shaped eyes, contributes to the Oriental Bicolor’s enchanting appearance.

The Oriental Bicolor is a top-notch choice for a family cat. The mixed breed is exceptionally social and will always want to be around the humans in their lives. These felines also form great bonds with young children. Just remember that such a friendly and outgoing cat will need a lot of human interaction. This is not a mixed breed that fares well left alone for long periods of the day.

When considering an Oriental Bicolor kitten, it’s advisable to prioritize adopting from rescue organizations or shelters to provide a loving home to a cat in need. However, if you decide to purchase, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to ensure that the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the well-being of their cats. Reputable Oriental Bicolor kitten breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats, conduct necessary health screenings, and provide a nurturing environment for the kitties. This active approach ensures that you bring home a healthy and happy kitty while discouraging unethical breeding practices.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: United States, developed in the 1970s and 80s by crossing Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs with American Shorthairs and Bicolor cats, aiming for the Oriental personality with bi-colored markings.
  • Size: Medium (7-12 pounds)
  • Breed Group: Oriental Shorthair (recognized by major associations)
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Coat: Short, sleek, and glossy, with white covering at least one-third of their body, often paired with contrasting colors like chocolate, seal, blue, lilac, red, cream, and more. Bicolor patterns can include tabby markings, tuxedo, and mitts.
  • Temperament: Intelligent, playful, loyal, affectionate, social, talkative, enjoys human interaction and playtime, often described as “dog-like” in their personalities.
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate – needs daily playtime and mental stimulation but can adapt to quieter lifestyles.
  • Training: Highly trainable due to their intelligence and desire to please, can learn tricks and even leash training.
  • Grooming: Weekly brushing recommended to prevent matting, especially around the ears and undercoat.
  • Health: Generally healthy, but some potential for genetic health conditions
  • The Oriental Bicolor cat has white fur on at least 1/3 of its body.
  • Some breed registeries do not consider this a breed, but rather a coat pattern.
  • These cats are dog-like in their craving for human attention.

Oriental Bicolor Pictures

Oriental Bicolor History

The history of the Oriental Bicolor mixed cat breed begins back in 1979. The mix was originally developed by Lindajean Grillo, who is credited with cross-breeding American Shorthair and Siamese felines. Later on in the ’80s, fellow breeders in Europe also began to develop Oriental Bicolor cats, which helped spread their popularity across the world.

The Oriental Bicolor was officially acknowledged by the International Cat Association (TICA) in 1983. These days, you can find Oriental Bicolors in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. So make sure to consider adoption if you decide that this is the mixed breed for you!

Oriental Bicolor Size

The Oriental Bicolor is a medium-sized cat. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary.

Most Oriental Bicolors weigh in at eight to twelve pounds. However, many can be smaller or larger than average.

Oriental Bicolor Personality

The Oriental Bicolor is one of the most social cats out there. This distinctive, sleek breed loves to be around humans and bonds equally strongly with older folks and young kids alike. In fact, the cat almost demands to be the center of attention, so be wary of this if you often find yourself away from the home for long periods of time or have to embark on work trips.

The Oriental Bicolor craves human attention. That being said, these are also intelligent cats who will happily entertain themselves by figuring out smart interactive toys and exploring new nooks and crannies. Providing your feline with a large living space that offers the chance to roam around and check out new areas is essential for this mixed breed. Also, be warned that the Oriental Bicolor is often described as a talkative and communicative cat, so be ready for lots of back and forth conversations!

Oriental Bicolor Health

Oriental Bicolors are generally considered to be healthy cats; although, they can be predisposed to the same conditions that the American Shorthair and Siamese breeds face. As always, it’s important to schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet. Some of the more common health problems Oriental Bicolors suffer from include:

  • Crossed Eyes: Crossed eyes in cats, also known as strabismus, is a condition where the cat’s eyes do not align properly. The misalignment can be inward (cross-eyed) or outward. While some cats are born with crossed eyes, it can also develop later in life due to various factors. Crossed eyes in cats are generally not a cause for concern unless it suddenly appears, indicating an underlying issue. 
  • Asthma: Asthma in cats, also known as feline bronchial asthma or feline allergic bronchitis, is a respiratory condition that affects the airways of felines. It is characterized by inflammation of the small airways in the lungs, leading to increased mucus production and constriction of the bronchial tubes. This can result in difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory symptoms.
  • Heart Disease: Heart disease in cats, also known as feline cardiomyopathy, is a condition that affects the heart muscle, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood effectively. There are several types of cardiomyopathy in cats, with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) being the most common.

Oriental Bicolor Care

As with all cats, it’s important to keep up your Oriental Bicolor’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your cat healthy.

Beyond scheduling yearly wellness visits with your vet, make sure that you pick up a scratching post for your Oriental Bicolor cat’s living environment. This can help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition. This is especially important for a mixed breed like the Oriental Bicolor who likes to be active and inquisitive.

The cat’s ears should also be examined regularly for signs of dirt building up or possible infection. Talk to your vet about starting a regular teeth brushing regimen that will suit your Oriental Bicolor. Your vet can advise you about specific brands and techniques. Finally, because the Oriental Bicolor is a cat with lots of energy, it’s recommended that you add a cat tree to your home.

Oriental Bicolor Coat Color And Grooming

The Oriental Bicolor has a mix of a white base coat with many other colors; cinnamon, blue, and chestnut are all popular combinations. When it comes to grooming, the Oriental Bicolor is a low shedder and only really needs brushing once a week. This will help ward off mats and keep the coat in good condition. Just be sure to groom gently as the mixed breed has a thin coat.

In terms of climate, most Oriental Bicolor cats are adaptable, but they prefer a slightly warmer living environment. You should also always make sure that there’s enough shade and fresh water available during the hotter months.

Children And Other Pets

The Oriental Bicolor gets along really well with young kids. Just make sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides. Supervise early interactions between kids and cats.

When it comes to other household pets, the good-natured Oriental Bicolor usually fares well with many domestic animals. But always remember to supervise early interactions between the new cat and existing pets, as well. Sometimes these relationships are very much dependent on the individual pets’ personalities.

Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this mixed breed. Make sure to reward your Oriental Bicolor for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

Oriental Bicolor Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for Oriental Bicolor cats because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try breed specific rescues that care for American Shorthairs or Siamese cats, as they sometimes care for breed mixes, too. You may also try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including Oriental Bicolors, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:


Life Span
8 to 12 years
8 to 12 pounds
Country Of Origin
United States


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