Introducing Oriental Cats
Oriental cats are a very intelligent breed of cat that are very affectionate and demand attention from their owners. They are extremely vocal and are very happy to tell you exactly what they think. The Oriental cat is very closely related to the Siamese and they are in fact often bred together. An Oriental cat bred with a Siamese can produce a mixed litter of both Siamese and Orientals in the same litter, this is in fact an established breeding practice.
History of the Oriental Cat
In the 1880’s when Siamese cats were imported from Thailand both the self and pointed varieties were imported. Through selective breeding the favoured pointed variety became the norm, the non pointed version were not favoured at the time and many believe these were what we now refer to as the Oriental. Despite their early lack in popularity, this was not the end for the Oriental. In an effort to increase the gene pool after the second world war, Siamese were cross bred with many breeds such as the Russian Blue, Abyssinian, British and also the common Moggy. These offspring were the foundations of the Oriental cats we know today, though they only began to reach recognition as a breed in their own right in the 1950’s.
Oriental Cat Description
Oriental cats have green eyes and come in a variety of patterns and colours in both long and shorthaired varieties. Like the Siamese they have large ears, long faces, tall legs, tubular long body and a long tapered tail. The basic patterns are divided into selfs and non selfs. Selfs being cats that are all one colour and non selfs being cats that are not all one colour such as bicolour, tortie and tabby cats.
There are two styles of Oriental, one is the moderate or traditional look of Oriental and the other type of Oriental is the modern style. Both the modern and traditional styles are easily found as both styles are popular with different breeders.
Health of Oriental Cats
There are variety of different genetic health issues and just like every other breed, the Oriental does have potential health problems to be aware of. Orientals have long faces in comparison with some other breeds which is believed to leave them prone to dental issues. Cardiomyopathy is present in the breed but is to be fair not that common. Like the Siamese you will find some Orientals display kinked tails and are cross eyed, but neither are really be classed as health issues, rather just breed traits. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is present in the Oreintal gene pool and is thought to cause blindness in later years. Hepatic Amyloidosis and Feline Lymphosarcoma are two diseases that are believed to be inherited and are present in the Oriental gene pool. With Amyloidosis there is no cure and with Lymphosarcoma courses of chemotherapy have proved successful.
Personality of Oriental Cats & Kittens
The Siamese and Oriental cat may have different coat and eye colour but underneath these basic differences in appearance the two breeds are identical in both temperament and personality. Oriental cats and kittens are very intelligent and loving. Extremely active and playful and love both feline and human company. Orientals are probably best paired with another breed of similar temperament such as Siamese, Abyssinian or Burmese rather than the more sedate breeds such as the British Shorthair or Persian.
If you are looking for a pet that is very active, talkative and demands your interaction then the Oriental cat is an ideal candidate.
Grooming & General Care
The shorthair Oriental is requires very little grooming, owners usually find just the normal petting and stroking of their cat and the clipping of the claws is all that is required. The longhaired varieties require only weekly grooming as although the coat is long, it is also thin and silky and has no undercoat, which decreases the occurrence of matting.
Oriental Cat & Kitten Gallery
Below are some Oriental cat pictures including examples of some of the different colours and patterns. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to contribute any photos of your own cats, we would love to include them!