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Oriental Longhair Breed Description

This Oriental Longhair Breed Description Article is Listed in Oriental Longhair Cat Breed Information

Oriental Longhair Breed Description

Oriental Longhair Cat | Breed Profile | Breed Description

The Oriental Longhair in the United States is the latest in the group of Siamese-derived breeds of the Oriental body type, originating from an accidental mating of a Balinese and Oriental Shorthair in the 1980s. It was accepted as a division of the Oriental breed by CFA in 1995.

The Oriental is a man-made breed and comes in both a Shorthair and a Longhair variety. The Oriental Shorthair has a short, fine textured coat, glossy or satin-like, that lies close to body. The Oriental Longhair has a coat that is medium length, fine, silky, without downy undercoat, lying close to the body. The coat may actually appear shorter than it is. Hair is longest on the tail.


History: In England, the various colors produced from breeding Siamese to domestic cats, Russian Blues and other cats were given unique color names and were granted breed status according to the individual color and pattern. Kittens from the same litter could be registered as different breeds, based on their color or coat pattern.

Orientals represent a diverse group of cats that have their foundation in the Siamese breed. When the Oriental Shorthair was accepted for championship status it rapidly became one of the most popular breeds. With the addition of the Oriental Longhair into this family of sleek, muscular felines the Oriental breed can provide a cat for just about anyone.

Description: These are two of several breeds described as Oriental. The four breeds have the same type; they are separated only by variations in color, pattern and hair length. They are beautiful and they know it. The Oriental type is characterized by large ears, a wedge-shaped head, a long neck, a long body and legs, and a long, whippy, pointed tail. To handle these cats is likened to feeling a silk glove over an iron hand.

These cats are fine boned and delicate in appearance, long and elegant in every extreme while retaining firm, hard muscles. They should feel as hard as rock, never emaciated or too thin. The wedge shaped head, which ends in a fine muzzle, should fit into a long triangular shape. In profile, a straight line without a dip or rise is seen from the center of the forehead to the tip of the nose and from the tip of the nose to the bottom of the chin.

There should not be a whisker pinch; that is, the line from the side of the chin to the base of the ears should be straight with no indentation where the muzzle attaches to the skull. Large, broad-based ears extend and complete the triangular head as a continuation of the wedge and are angled slightly forward. The medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes should be approximately one eye’s width apart, with a slant toward the nose and the outer aperture in line with the center of the ear base.

This combination of eye shape, size, placement and set gives the eyes a decidedly oriental look. The slender, graceful neck is carried to display length and adds to the elegance of the cat. The long, tubular body is medium in size, with fine or slender boning and hard muscles. The legs are long with the hind legs longer than the forelegs. The feet are oval, small and dainty. The Oriental may be shown in solid colors or in patterns.

Temperament: Oriental cats are vocal; and not only when they are in season. As loving as these cats are, their calling may not make them popular with the neighbours. They will often carry on a running conversation with their owners and their genuine love of people brings an assurance of close companionship.

They are active, and their minds seem to be whirling with activity. If they do not have a playmate, they will create one out of anything. Height beckons a flight up or down; they delight in jumping and have been seen to leap four or five feet in any direction with ease. They are not outdoor cats.

Most will make no effort to escape into the great unknown. The Oriental requires little grooming. These super-intelligent cats make wonderful pets if the owner can put up with the constant demand for companionship. They want to be with you every moment of every day. They will befriend you for life.