Oriental Longhairs are a rather rare and recent breed of cat. This affectionate, friendly and intelligent feline is the perfect companion for people who are searching for a playful cat who has plenty personality. Their coat is not as long and thick as a Persian. Instead, it is soft and silky and of medium length with a beautifully plumed tail. This is a cat that is far from independent as it prefers to be the center of attention, so it’s perfect for larger households. Cheerful, frisky and good-natured, once you love an Oriental Longhair, you’ll never look at cats the same way again.
1. The Siamese is the Foundation for the Oriental Longhair
Fans of the Oriental Longhair believe that their favorite breed emerged from the Siamese. As many of you know, the Siamese cat have a rich history, and part of that history involved being imported to the UK in the 1800s. By the time the 1950s rolled around, people were breeding their Siamese cats with other breeds such as the Abyssinian, Russian Blue, and so on. The cats that didn’t have Siamese points were then considered Oriental Longhairs The Oriental Longhair was deemed a breed by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1977.
2. Oriental Longhair Health Issues
We’ve already noted that the Oriental Longhair claims the Siamese as its ancestor. With that claim not only comes the inherited beauty and grace of the Siamese, but also its health issues. It seems that this breed suffers the same afflictions that the Siamese does: Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome, Diabetes, feline OCD, vestibular disease, GI issues and even cross-eyes.
3. They Have Vibrant and Beautiful Coat Colorations
Did you know that no other breed comes with so many different coat colorations and patterns? In fact, it’s estimated that the Oriental Longhair has around 300 different coat colorations. These include the stripes you find on tabby’s, solid colors, spotting, and much more.
4. They Have Earned the Knick Name, “Ornamentals”
As we’ve just learned, due to the extensive breeding back in the day with various cat breeds, the Oriental Longhair ‘s coat can come in close to 300 coat combinations. It’s this very reason why the Oriental Longhair received the nickname, “Ornamental”. After all, the word ‘ornamental’ when referring to animals, means that the animal was chosen for its uniqueness. For instance, there are many people who have ornamental fowl such as peacocks, roaming their property.
5. They are Considered One of the Most Intelligent of All Cat Breeds
These impish, whimsical and mischievous cats are considered to be among the world’s smartest cats. They are fast on their feet, and find it very easy to pick up on a few tricks from time to time. These cats have been known to open doors, learn simple tricks even been known to fake out their very own owners from time to time. After all, they do have both the Siamese and Abyssinian as ancestors, and both those breeds are listed on feline intelligence lists.
6. They Can and Will Get into Mischief if Left Alone
As stated, this is one very smart cat breed. While that is all well and good, one thing must be remembered: If left without attention, these agile, crafty and resourceful cats can get into trouble. This smart breed is always in need of attention from you, and if they don’t receive it, you may come home to find that your cupboard doors have been opened and the contents of each cabinet strewn across the floor, or perhaps your toilet paper will be in shreds. Whatever it is, it appears to be there way of keeping you interested in them. They definitely don’t wish to remain invisible to their owners.
7. Oriental Longhairs Become Attached to Their Owners
If you’re looking for a pretty kitty that will just sit on a window sill, looking out at flowers all day, then know this is not the cat for you. If anything, the Oriental Longhair is the exact opposite of what a normal cat stereotype is. This cat is anything but independent. This breed bonds closely to the members of the household. Which seems a good thing, but remember it may have to go for a night stay at the vets, and without being properly socialized to people outside the family circle, your Oriental Longhair will be miserable away from home. Therefore, it’s a great idea to socialize this kitten early, to avoid trouble down the way.
8. Oriental Longhairs are Athletic and Talkative
It’s a given that all cats are athletic, but the Oriental Longhair is much more active than most any cat you’ve ever come in contact with. Right off the bat you know that this cat will require a bit more training that other cats, mixed or not. As for talking, lets just say that this is a talkative breed, one that will want to be involved in all you do. If you’re putting together a model airplane, your Oriental will want to be there, ‘helping’ you all the way. So, before you get one of these little angels, be aware that their attentiveness can be a little bothersome at times.
9. There is Also an Oriental Shorthair
Did you know that there was also an Oriental Shorthair? Well yes, there is. The Oriental Shortharir’s a sibling of the Oriental Longhair with some organizations, such as the TICA or The International Cat Association, seeing it as a separate breed. However the Cat Fanciers Association does not see it as a separate breed. Other names for this cat are the Mandarin, Javanese, British Angora, and Foreign Longhair.
10. They are Indoor Cats
As previously seen, the Oriental Longhair is predisposed to a variety of illnesses. This is one of the main reasons to keep this breed indoors. In other words, once your cat goes out, it comes in contact with other cats, where it can pick up a disease. For instance, Oriental Longhair’s are susceptible to lung irritations. If your cat comes in contact with another who has an upper respiratory infection, chances are your cat will get it as well. They are indoor cats, plain and simple.
The Oriental Longhair is a good companion animal for the right person or family. Not only are they smart and active, but they get along extremely well with children and other pets. For instance, if you already have a dog when you get your Oriental Longhair, there’s a good chance that the two will bond and become fast friends! Other points to remember are the genetic diseases they’ve inherited from their parents. Even though this is a relatively healthy breed when taken care of properly, it’s still important for owners to go over possible health issues. For a comprehensive list of possible health issues regarding the Oriental Longhair, visit the animal health center. Friendly, easy to train, and lively, the Oriental Longhair makes the perfect buddy for the right person or family.