The Oriental is really a Siamese with a different colour coat and green eyes (except in the case of the Foreign White which has the classic blue eyes). The shape and temperament are exactly the same as the Siamese. The Oriental is a created breed bred from Siamese origins but crossed with other breeds to produce the different colours. Black ‘Siamese’ had been in existence for a long time but it wasn’t until the 1950’s that serious efforts were made to breed different colours. The Havana was the first Oriental to be given Championship status at cat shows and they resulted from crossing a seal point Siamese with a half-bred Siamese. The result was a self-chocolate cat and repeated matings produced more of the same. The breed was developed by mating back to the Siamese. Originally called the Chestnut Brown Foreign their name was changed to the Havana in 1970. A side product of the Havana breeding programme were the lilac, black and blue Orientals and these achieved recognition in the 1970’s. Selective breeding by dedicated breeders produced many more colours and coat patterns and there is now a huge range to choose from.
The standard for the Orientals is exactly the same as that for the Siamese whatever the coat colour or pattern. The Orientals are medium in size but feel heavier than they look. The head is long and tapers from the ears in straight lines to a fine muzzle forming a triangle. In profile the head is wedge shaped with a straight nose and a strong chin. The tip of the chin and the tip of the nose must line up in the same vertical plane. The head is set on a long slender neck. The ears are large and pricked and set to follow the lines of the wedge. The eyes are oriental in shape and slant towards the nose. The legs are long and slim. The hind legs are higher than the fore legs. The paws are small and oval. The tail is long and tapering.
|Colour||The Oriental’s coat is very short and close lying. The texture is fine and glossy. Foreign White - Produced by mating a Siamese to a pure white shorthair and then mating the kittens back to Siamese until all the kittens born were either Siamese or pure white Siamese which became known as Foreign Whites. The coat is pure white. The eyes are a clear brilliant blue. The nose leather and paw pads are pink.|
|Age Expectancy||Oriental cats are long lived and can reach ages in their late teens.|
|Ailments||Oriental cats have no specific health problems and can live well into their teens. It is advisable to have annual health checks from about the age eight to check liver and kidney function and to have the teeth cleaned.|
Like the Siamese the Oriental is an intelligent, curious cat that makes its presence known. They love to talk to their human companions and expect a reply. They want to be part of the family and enjoy playing games like fetch with a ball of scrunched up paper. Orientals need to be kept amused with toys and do not like to be left alone so if you are out at work all day another Oriental is probably a good idea. As they are such curious creatures it is not ideal to allow them to roam outside as their curiosity can get them into trouble but they are often happy to be indoor cats as long as they have plenty of company.
|Compatibility with Cat||Medium|
|Other Animal Compatibility||Medium|
Feeding & Grooming
|Feeding||The Oriental is an active cat and will require 80 Kcals per kg bodyweight of food per day. These cats rarely overeat and will soon let you know how much they want. Under no circumstances should the Oriental be fat.|
|Upkeep||The short glossy coat of the Oriental does not require a lot of grooming but they do enjoy the attention that grooming brings.|
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