Other names: Oriental Shorthair, Oriental Longhair, Mandarin
What to say about this perfect silhouette? This filiform cat is so graceful that you cannot ignore them. They are slender and really stylish. With such elegance, both in their movements and their attitude, you can only appreciate them. They have long been seen as a non-conforming Siamese and have therefore been denigrated by breeders. However, they form a distinct breed, define among other things by their eyes which are not blue, but also by the absence of well-defined marks like darker extremities. This cat is purely and simply a delight for the eyes.
Key facts about the Oriental
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Origins and history
The Oriental appeared in England in the fifties. After the Second World War, some breeders were very creative and made crosses between the Siamese and several breeds (such as the Russian Blue and the Abyssinian). The offspring from these crossings were again crossed with Siamese and, after only a few generations, the only way to distinguish the Oriental from the Siamese was by their colour. Many colours made their appearance and at first, the breeders attributed breed names to each different coloured cat. Obviously, the breeders quickly realised that there were too many different colours to make each a distinct breed. Thus was born the Oriental race of which 2 varieties were identified: the "Shorthair" and the "Longhair". The breed was then exported to the United States in 1970. New crossovers were made between American Shorthairs and Siamese, which gave birth to an even wider variety of colours.
Physical characteristics of the Oriental
Female : Approximately 12 in
Male : Approximately 12 in
They reach their adult size at 9 to 12 months.
Female : Between 4 and 11 lb
Male : Between 7 and 13 lb
Black / seal, blue / grey-slate, chocolate, lilac / lilac, cinnamon / cinnamon, fawn, red, white, cream, silver, gold, smokey, shaded / chinchilla
The apricot and caramel colours are not accepted by all associations.
Type of coat
Two varieties exist, one with short hair and one with long hair (known as javanese or mandarin)
As intense a green as possible, blue, dichroic eyes are accepted in white Orientals.
The Oriental is thin and slender, but is also muscular and very athletic.
Good to know
Did you know that Havana Brown descends from the Oriental? Their brown coat is one of the colours that appeared after many crosses made in the fifties. The Havana entered the United States earlier than their cousin and evolved to become a full-fledged breed later.
Cuddles? Well of course! This cat will be happy to receive a little tenderness and the sweetness of your caresses. They will probably come to curl up on you to ask for more!
This is a very active cat that needs a lot of movement. Daily play sessions are, without a shadow of a doubt, essential for them, as are mental training sessions, for example, training to give you their paw or retrieve a toy.
They barely stop before starting again! It is easy to be overwhelmed by their vast amounts of energy.
There’s no contest, this is a very intelligent cat. With such a level of activity, they can find themselves in situations where they will have to be ingenious to get out of. They will surprise you with their resourcefulness and presence of mind.
Fearful / wary of strangers
As with other cats, it is very important to socialise these cats. This cat must meet as many people as possible when young so that they do not grow to be afraid of strangers.
This is a demanding cat. They can cope in your absence, but upon return you will have to ensure you have time to spend with them. If not, they can get bored and find ways of entertaining themselves that you may not appreciate!
Behaviour of the Oriental
As with the rest of the great Oriental family, their vocal repertoire is very developed and is used regularly! Perhaps a cat to be avoided for those with sensitive ears.
Need for exercise / Sporty
This cat has a real need to move. They require daily play sessions to ensure their mental and physical well being.
Tendency to run away
Vigilance is imperative with this breed as with other very energetic breeds. It's a safe bet that a bird or insect passing an open window will be irresistible to them and will lead them out into unexplored territory.
Greedy / Gluttony
This breed needs adequate caloric intake to meet their energy expenditure, but it is still necessary to monitor the amount of food they eat. They can eventually become greedy if you overfeed them.
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Oriental and cats
With the appropriate introduction, this cat can live in a house with another feline.
Oriental and dogs
With respectful and gentle introductions, which allow the cat to go at their own pace, this breed gets on very well with dogs.
Oriental and children
The pairing of child and Oriental can be incredible! A relationship based on respect between the cat and the child will be lasting and will bring hours of pleasure and mischief for the two friends!
Oriental and the elderly
An elderly person could encounter problems with a cat this active.
On average, the price of an Oriental kitten is approximately £300, the price often varies according to the lineage, the breeder, the age or even the sex, but also according to the length of the hair (the Javanese or Mandarin is not the same price as the Oriental Shorthair). For the monthly budget, it will cost on average £35 / month to support the needs of this cat, by offering a quality diet and ensuring their good health.
This breed requires minimal maintenance. For both varieties, a weekly brushing will be sufficient. For the long-haired variety, a comb is the tool of choice.
Both varieties (short and mid-length hair) lose very little hair. It should be noted, however, that when moulting, hair loss will be greater and more frequent brushing may be necessary.
Nutrition of the Oriental
Speak to your vet to determine what the best food is to offer your pet in order to meet their energy requirements.
Health of the Oriental
Life expectancy is 10 to 20 years with the average being around 15.
Strong / robust
Whether short-haired or long-haired, this cat does not cope well in cold temperatures. The lack of undercoat in the long-haired variety explains why this cat gets chilly.
Tendency to put on weight
In general, this cat eliminates the calories ingested without problem since they are very active. Your vet can calculate the portions of food to be served each day so that your cat maintains a healthy weight.
Orientals is predisposed to the same diseases as their cousins:
- Progressive atrophy of the retina: a hereditary disease that causes blindness in the short to medium term. In some cases, the disease can appear late in the cat's life, giving them the opportunity to adapt to this condition gradually. Unfortunately, when it appears at a very young age the kitten quickly becomes blind and has little time to get used to it.
- Renal Amyloidosis: Hereditary also, this disease is fortunately quite rare, but the outcome is always fatal. Progression is rapid when the disease occurs and symptoms usually begin between the ages of 1 and 5 years. They look a lot like the symptoms of kidney failure. No screening test is currently available because the genetics that cause the disease are unclear
- Some individuals may suffer from the same diseases as other domestic cats, such as oral diseases.
Breeding is authorised with the Siamese, the Balinese (long-haired Siamese) and the Javanese.