Oriental Cat Breed – Are you looking for a cat that is intelligent, friendly, lively, and playful? Do you want a cat that has a sleek and graceful body, a long and tapering tail, and large and flaring ears? Do you want a cat that comes in over 300 color and pattern combinations? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might want to consider the Oriental cat breed.
The Oriental cat is a modern, man-made variety that originated from the Siamese breed. They have the same body type and personality as the Siamese, but they have a wider range of coat colors and patterns. They are very much people cats and will definitely keep you on your toes. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the Oriental cat breed, including their history, appearance, temperament, health, care, and more.
History of the Oriental Cat Breed
The Oriental cat breed was developed from the 1950s onwards by crossing Siamese cats with other breeds, such as Russian Blues, British Shorthairs, Abyssinians, and domestic shorthairs. The goal was to create a cat that had the same foreign type as the Siamese, but with more variety in coat colors and patterns.
The first Oriental cat was a self-chocolate male kitten named Elmtower Bronze Idol, who was born in 1952 in the UK. He was the result of a breeding program that aimed to produce a self-chocolate cat of foreign type, which is now known as the Havana. Later, other colors and patterns were developed, such as lilac, cinnamon, fawn, caramel, red, cream, apricot, tortoiseshell, smoke, shaded, tabby, and bi-color.
The Oriental cat breed was recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in 1977, and by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1979. Today, the Oriental cat breed is one of the most popular and diverse breeds in the world.
Appearance of the Oriental Cat Breed
The Oriental cat breed has a distinctive appearance that is similar to the Siamese, but with more variations in coat colors and patterns. They have a long and slender body, a long and graceful neck, long and slim legs, and a long and tapering tail.
They have a wedge-shaped head, with large and flaring ears, almond-shaped eyes, and a straight nose. Their eyes can be green, blue, or odd-eyed (one green and one blue eye). Their coat is short and fine, with a silky texture. They come in over 300 color and pattern combinations, including self, non-self, tabby, and bi-color.
The Oriental cat breed is divided into two hair lengths: long-hair and short-hair. The long-hair variety has a semi-long coat that is longer on the tail, ruff, and britches. The short-hair variety has a short and close-lying coat. Both varieties have the same body type and personality.
Temperament of the Oriental Cat Breed
The Oriental cat breed is known for its intelligence, friendliness, liveliness, and playfulness. They are very much people cats and will form strong bonds with their owners. They are very vocal and will communicate with you with their loud and expressive meows. They are also very curious and will explore every nook and cranny of your home.
They are very active and will need plenty of toys and games to keep them entertained. They are not lap cats, but they will enjoy cuddling with you on the couch or the bed. They are also very social and will get along well with other cats, dogs, and children, as long as they are introduced properly and given enough attention.
Health of the Oriental Cat Breed
The Oriental cat breed is generally healthy and has a lifespan of around 15 years. However, they are prone to some health issues that are common to the Siamese breed, such as:
- Amyloidosis: a condition where abnormal proteins accumulate in the organs, especially the liver and kidneys, and cause damage and failure.
- Asthma: a condition where the airways become inflamed and narrow, causing difficulty breathing and coughing.
- Dental problems: a condition where the teeth and gums become infected and decayed, causing pain and bad breath.
- Hyperesthesia syndrome: a condition where the skin becomes hypersensitive and twitchy, causing the cat to overgroom and scratch itself.
- Lymphoma: a type of cancer that affects the lymph nodes and other organs, causing weight loss, lethargy, and swelling.
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): a condition where the retina degenerates and causes vision loss and blindness.
To prevent or reduce the risk of these health issues, you should:
- Choose a reputable breeder who screens their cats for genetic diseases and provides health certificates and guarantees.
- Provide your cat with a balanced and nutritious diet that meets their needs and prevents obesity and diabetes.
- Keep your cat indoors or in a secure outdoor enclosure to protect them from infections, parasites, injuries, and predators.
- Provide your cat with regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick prevention, and dental care.
- Spay or neuter your cat to prevent unwanted pregnancies, hormonal issues, and reproductive cancers.
- Monitor your cat for any signs of illness or discomfort, and seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
Care of the Oriental Cat Breed
The Oriental cat breed is easy to care for and does not require much grooming. However, they do need some basic care to keep them healthy and happy, such as:
- Brushing their coat once a week to remove loose hair and dirt, and prevent mats and tangles. The long-hair variety may need more frequent brushing, especially during the shedding season.
- Cleaning their ears once a week to remove wax and debris, and prevent infections and mites. Use a soft cotton ball or a damp cloth and a gentle ear cleaner, and avoid inserting anything into the ear canal.
- Trimming their nails once a month to prevent them from becoming too long and sharp, and causing injuries and damage. Use a cat nail clipper and avoid cutting the quick, which is the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves.
- Cleaning their eyes as needed to remove any discharge or dirt, and prevent irritation and infection. Use a soft cotton ball or a damp cloth and a gentle eye cleaner, and wipe from the inner corner to the outer corner of the eye.
- Brushing their teeth daily or at least weekly to remove plaque and tartar, and prevent dental problems and bad breath. Use a cat toothbrush and a cat toothpaste, and gently massage the teeth and gums.
- Providing them with a clean and comfortable bed, a litter box, a scratching post, a water bowl, and a food bowl. Clean and refill the water and food bowls daily, and scoop the litter box daily and change the litter weekly.
- Providing them with plenty of toys and games to stimulate their mind and body, and prevent boredom and depression. Rotate the toys regularly to keep them interested, and play with them for at least 15 minutes a day.
- Providing them with a safe and enriching environment that meets their needs and preferences. Provide them with places to hide, climb, perch, and rest, and avoid any potential hazards or stressors.
The Oriental cat breed is a wonderful choice for anyone who wants a cat that is intelligent, friendly, lively, and playful. They have a sleek and graceful body, a long and tapering tail, and large and flaring ears. They come in over 300 color and pattern combinations, and have two hair lengths: long-hair and short-hair. They are very much people cats and will form strong bonds with their owners.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Oriental cat breed:
How much does an Oriental cat cost?
The price of an Oriental cat can vary depending on the breeder, the location, the pedigree, the color, and the pattern. Generally, an Oriental cat can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500.
How big does an Oriental cat get?
The Oriental cat is a medium-sized breed that weighs between 6 and 12 pounds. They have a long and slender body, a long and graceful neck, long and slim legs, and a long and tapering tail.
How often does an Oriental cat shed?
The Oriental cat is a low-shedding breed that does not require much grooming. However, they do shed seasonally, especially in the spring and fall. During these times, they may need more frequent brushing to remove loose hair and dirt, and prevent mats and tangles.
Is an Oriental cat hypoallergenic?
No, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic cat. All cats produce allergens, which are proteins that can trigger allergic reactions in some people. However, some cats produce less allergens than others, and the Oriental cat is one of them. The Oriental cat has a short and fine coat that does not trap much dander, which is the main source of allergens. Therefore, they may be more suitable for people with mild to moderate cat allergies.
What is the difference between an Oriental cat and a Siamese cat?
The Oriental cat and the Siamese cat are very similar in terms of body type and personality. They both have a long and slender body, a long and graceful neck, long and slim legs, and a long and tapering tail. They both have a wedge-shaped head, with large and flaring ears, almond-shaped eyes, and a straight nose. They both are intelligent, friendly, lively, and playful. They both are very vocal and will communicate with you with their loud and expressive meows. The main difference between them is their coat color and pattern. The Siamese cat has a pointed pattern, which means that they have a lighter body color and darker extremities, such as the ears, face, legs, and tail. The Siamese cat also has blue eyes. The Oriental cat has a wider range of coat colors and patterns, including self, non-self, tabby, and bi-color. The Oriental cat can have green, blue, or odd-eyed eyes.