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The Oriental may well be the most colorful cat breed on the planet. This breed has the same svelte body, silky fur and chatty personality as the Siamese, but comes in a myriad of colors.

The Oriental cat is not bound to the Siamese's point-restricted pattern - the breed has many patterns from which to choose. This breed is growing in popularity and appeals to the cat-lover who wants the elegant Siamese body type and outgoing temperament but with fresh, colorful packaging.

In the busiest moments, your Oriental will find a way to interrupt your activities; a little nudge while you eat, a close examination of your tooth brush prior to use, or some help tying your shoes before you leave in the morning.

Itís understood youíll need help deciding which items to select from the refrigerator! In the calmest of times theyíll share the warmth of your lap, provide a comforting purr, and nuzzle your chin when you need it the most.

The personality of the Oriental is as distinctive as the multicolored exterior. They are natural entertainers - full of enthusiasm, energy and the belief that the world revolves around them.

When you arrive home, the Oriental cat will greet you at the door and tell you all about their day. If youíre late, they will scold you and tell you how worried they were. Hide their favourite toy on top of the cupboard? Wrong! Curiosity and intelligence combine, providing them a means of finding anything and everything.

They have been known to open a drawer, or empty your handbag to discover their favorite toy. Give them the attention and affection they so desperately need, and they will do anything to please you.

Ignore them, and they will droop with despair. These elegant, svelte cats remain playful, spirited and loyal well beyond their youth.

From the tip of its nose to the end of its long, whippy tail, the Oriental is a study in sleek design. This elegant cat gracefully glides across the room on its tall, slender legs. The lines of its angular head flow into its large flaring ears, and are complimented by its almond shaped eyes. Donít be fooled by the slim body; these cats have surprising weight and muscle tone and are neither frail nor fragile. Orientals represent a diverse group of cats that have their foundation in the Siamese breed.

Orientals come in many colours, whether it be a self colour, havana, black, blue, cinnamon or lilac or one of the patterned colours a few being, spotted, classic, ticked, smokes, bi-colours and torties.

Whichever colour you choose you will have a very elegant and attractive cat with a close short lying coat with requires minimal grooming. They are very intelligent and affectionate and  love playing games like fetch with you. They make excellent companions.

History and Origin

The Oriental is a deliberately created Siamese hybrid. Breeders wanted to develop a breed that looked and acted like the Siamese but came in a wider range of colors and was not confined to the pointed pattern. First in Britain in the 1950s and then in America in the 1960s and early 1970s, breeders set out to create a new look by crossing Siamese cats with American shorthairs, Russian blues, Burmese and Abyssinians.

The Siamese's svelte body style, head type and personality were maintained, however, by crossing the hybrids back to the Siamese after the color was achieved.


Oriental Longhair

The Oriental Longhair is a beautifully balanced cat with an alert, intelligent expression. The type is the same as the Siamese, Balinese and Oriental Shorthair - svelte and elegant, and they have the same lively temperament.

The coat is medium length and fine and silky in texture, with no woolly undercoat, which makes it very easy to groom. The tail is a long elegant plume.

The colours and patterns are those of the Oriental Shorthairs.

Longhair photo courtesy of Melanie Wood