About the Oriental

Download PDF breed brochure

OrientalThe Oriental was developed to explore all the possibilities of color and pattern. Since its initial acceptance in CFA, Oriental breeders have maintained a constant pace to fulfill the breadth of this destiny.

The Oriental has an equally colorful personality. They are closely linked to the people they claim as their own and desperately want to share their lives with you. 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. Of course, you’ll need help deciding which items to select from the refrigerator! In the calmest of times, they’ll share the warmth of your lap, provide a comforting purr, and nuzzle your chin when you need it the most. The eagerly greet you at the door and tell you all about their day. If you’re late, they will scold you and tell you how worried they were that you didn’t call. Hide their feather on top of the refrigerator? Wrong!

OrientalCuriosity and intelligence combine, providing them a means of finding anything and everything. They have been known to open a drawer or empty your purse to discover their favorite toy. It might be a pen or a crumpled up piece of paper that they can chase around the kitchen floor; it really doesn’t matter. 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. Don’t be fooled by the svelte, tubular 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. When the Oriental Shorthair was accepted for championship status in 1977, it rapidly became one of CFA’s most popular breeds. With the 1995 addition of the Oriental Longhair into this family of sleek, muscular felines, the Oriental breed can provide a cat for just about anyone. These beautiful felines carry the same graceful bodies with the addition of a silky long coat and long plumed tail.

With over 600 color, pattern, and coat length combinations to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find an Oriental that will tickle your fancy. Imagine a Siamese wearing a head to toe coat in white, red, cream, ebony, blue, chestnut, lavender, cinnamon, or fawn. These are our solids. For a sparkling undercoat, stir in the silver gene (to all but the white), and you have a smoke Oriental. Perhaps, instead, you’d like the color restricted to the tips of the hair. For this, we have the shadeds to whet your appetite. Paint splashes of red and/or cream on any of these coats, and you have a parti-color.

OrientalIf you like stripes on the legs, tail, and face, try a tabby in any of four different patterns: classic, mackerel, spotted, or ticked. Cross the patterns and colors together for a bit of variety, and 32 different combinations emerge…but we’re not through. Once again, add a patch of red and/or cream and voilà…another 24 combinations, referred to as patched tabbies. Layer in the sparkle of that silver gene, and you’ve added yet again 56 more! That’s 112 tabby combinations if you’ve been counting!

In 1995, Orientals added the bi-color pattern to their repertoire. With the clear white underside, legs, and chest, these distinctly marked members of this breed have already developed a following of devoted fans. Just imagine any of the colors listed above, plus pointed colors, that can be combined with the bi-color pattern!

True to their roots, Orientals also come in every point color imaginable, including delicious cinnamon lynx points and tortie smoke points to the more traditional point colors.

Usually breeders make kittens available between 12 and 16 weeks of age. After 16 weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.