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Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Ability to Adapt:
Need for Grooming:
The Oriental Longhair Cat is closely related to the Oriental Shorthair Cat. This is a medium-sized breed with a long and elegant body. They may look fragile and dainty, but they are agile and muscular cats.
The head is wedge-shaped with a straight nose, large ears, and almond-shaped eyes. Eyes are always green, except for white cats who can have green, blue, or odd eye color.
What sets this breed apart, is its silky long coat that comes in more than 300 different colors.
This is a social, playful, and demanding cat. Hence, they are best suited for people who can fully devote themselves to their furry companion. These cats love to follow their owners and are always close by. They demand constant attention and love to be petted.
Where Did Oriental Longhair Cat Breed Originate?
The Oriental Longhair is a man-made breed that was developed in England in the 1950s. After World War II the number of breeds and breeding programs was reduced. So, breeders found creative ways to rebuild their breeding programs.
To broaden the Siamese pool, breeders started to cross them with British Shorthair, Russian Blue, Abyssinian, and regular domestic cats. The resulting cats were not pointed and were crossed back to Siamese.
After a few generations, these cats looked exactly like Siamese in all ways except the coat color. The best Siamese colored cats from these crosses were taken to strengthen the Siamese gene pool. Others were the ancestors of the Oriental cats.
The Oriental Longhair is the result of the recessive gene for long hair. Therefore, if these cats are bred to Oriental Shorthair or Siamese, the kittens will be short-haired.
In the late 1960s, a real effort was made to develop this breed. In the 1970s these cats were imported in the US. There, breeders crossed American Shorthair with Siamese to bring even more colors.
The International Cat Association recognizes the Oriental Longhair as a separate breed. However, the Cats Fanciers Association lists both short-haired and long-haired variety in the same division called the Oriental.
This breed was formerly known as British Angora, but it was renamed in 2002 to avoid confusion with the Turkish Angora.
What Does the Oriental Longhair Cat Look Like?
The Oriental Longhair is a medium-sized cat with a long and tubular body.
Despite their fragile appearance, these are well-muscled and agile cats. The long and svelte body is supported by slender legs and ends in the long bushy tail. Their necks and heads are also long.
The wedge-shaped head is smooth and tapers to a fine muzzle. Ears are surprisingly large and widely based. The almond-shaped eyes are usually green.
However, green, blue, and odd eyes are allowed in completely white Oriental Longhairs.
When it comes to size standards, the Oriental Longhair should be a medium-sized cat with a svelte and long body with tapering lines. The body should be strong, lithe, neither bony nor weak and should always reflect excellent physical condition.
Oriental Longhair Cat Colors
This breed is best known for its elegant look and a silky long coat that comes in more than 300 different colors.
Commonly seen are black, blue, chocolate, lilac, gray, cream, cinnamon, fawn, caramel, red, and apricot.
Besides plenty of different colors, there are also a lot of patterns to choose from. Most commonly seen are tabby, tortoiseshell, smoke, silver, shaded, tipped, calico, and bicolor.
Oriental Longhair Cat Personality Traits
This is a friendly and vocal cat that likes to have company. They tend to follow their owners like shadows and will be involved in all activities. This social cat craves attention and isn’t afraid of strangers.
Some cats tend to gravitate towards one person who they love above everyone else. However, they enjoy being petted and will jump in the first empty lap without being discriminating.
This is an opinionated and vocal breed that will meow and chirp at all hours of the day. They will talk to you about their day and offer useful advice. If they feel ignored, they will cry and meow constantly until they get your full attention.
This smart and energetic cat likes to play and jump on high surfaces. That’s why a tall cat tree is a must if you don’t want to see your valuables knocked from top shelves.
These cats like to be the center of attention and are willing to do anything to achieve their goal. This is an inquisitive and mischievous breed that is in constant motion. They love to play and chase after objects. So, it is advisable to have a variety of toys to keep them occupied.
The intelligent and smart Oriental Longhair figures things out quickly and knows how to open doors, cupboards, or refrigerators. Hence, they are very easy to train and are willing to walk on a cat leash. The highly social Oriental Longhair is an attention-seeking and demanding breed.
These cats prefer active homes where they can immerse themselves in the lives of their family members.
The Oriental Longhair is a busy, intelligent, and people-oriented cat. They make loyal and devoted companions and tend to follow their owners around the house.
Being a willful breed, the Oriental Longhair likes things done her way, and will soon enough run your entire household. Don’t be surprised if you end up doing your cat’s bidding. Oriental Longhairs know how to pitch their voices and will get you running from one room to the next in a matter of seconds.
Oriental Longhair Cat Behavior
Being a people-oriented and demanding cat, the Oriental Longhair can develop certain behavioral problems if not cared for properly. In most cases, they become depressed, develop separation anxiety, or meow constantly if they feel left out or ignored.
To prevent all these problems and more, make sure that you have plenty of time to devote to this needy feline. And if you spend a lot of your time at work, get another pet to serve as a companion and keep your cat occupied while you aren’t around.
Are Oriental Longhair Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
The Oriental Longhair is a highly adaptable breed. Some cats may be shy of strangers, but this can be remedied with early socialization.
Generally, these cats adapt well to new environments. Hence, give your cat the same amount of attention as before, to make the change easier for her.
This is an energetic and active breed that likes being busy. These cats sweep tiny items, play, and chase after them with endless enthusiasm. Hence, it is a good idea to get a cat activity center.
They are naturally active and know how to keep themselves in good shape. However, since they crave human attention, you can also use teaser toys to play with your cat.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
The social and active Oriental Longhair is a perfect choice for families with children. These cats love to play with kids who can match their energy levels. So, they will play fetch and chase after catnip mice toys for hours.
These cats tend to get along with other cats and dogs and love their company. Still, Oriental Longhairs especially get along with other cats from the same breed group.
This is an active, fun, and playful cat that likes being in motion. They are more than capable to play on their own with puzzle toys.
However, they are social creatures that seek human interaction above everything else. Therefore, spend at least 15 minutes every day playing with your cat to keep her content.
General Health and Potential Risks
The Oriental Longhair has good health. However, they are prone to some health problems that are also seen in Siamese cats.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat is going to be sick. Still, it is better to learn about any potential issues before bringing a cat home.
- Liver Amyloidosis: Amyloidosis is a condition that occurs when protein amyloid gets deposited in organs. In the case of the Oriental Longhair, the amyloid tends to deposit in the liver disrupting the normal liver function and resulting in liver failure.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: It’s a heart disease that affects the ventricular muscle. It is characterized by enlarged heart chambers and reduced contracting ability. Cats with this disease experience loss of appetite and weakness. Treatment varies from one case to the next and includes meds and hospitalization.
- Gingivitis: This is characterized by red, swollen gums, and bad breath. Additionally, variable amounts of plaque and calculus are present on the teeth. Gingivitis is considered the earliest stage of periodontal disease. However, with proper care this stage is reversible.
Oriental Longhair Cat Lifespan
The Oriental Longhair has an average lifespan of 12-15 years. These are generally healthy cats.
However, they are prone to some issues found in the Siamese breed. Thus, get your cat from a reputable breeder who is willing to give you a health guarantee.
Furthermore, these cats can develop dental issues as they grow up. Hence, you need to start brushing your cat’s teeth from a young age to prevent periodontal disease. Use an enzymatic cat toothpaste to prevent plaque buildup.
This breed has a long single-layered coat that drapes over their elegant bodies. The coat has a silky texture and it’s very easy to groom.
Use a stainless-steel comb to gently brush your cat twice a week. This way you will distribute skin oils through the length of the coat and remove all loose hair.
Oriental Longhair Cat Shedding
Since these cats don’t have an undercoat, they only shed moderately compared to other long-haired cat breeds. If you notice that your cat is shedding more than usual, brush three times a week to minimize the amount of loose hair around your home.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Oriental Longhair. Continue reading to learn more about this people-loving and elegant breed!
How Much is Oriental Longhair Cat Price?
The exact price of an Oriental Longhair kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. On average, you can expect to pay from $800 to $1500 for a purebred kitten.
Pet quality kittens are on the lower end of the price spectrum, and the price of a show quality Oriental Longhair depends on the coat color, heritage, and gender.
How Big Do Oriental Longhair Cats Get?
As with all other cat breeds, males are larger and weigh from 9 to 12 pounds. Females are slightly smaller and weigh from 4 to 8 pounds.
The slender legs of the Oriental Longhair aren’t built to support a fat body. So, make sure to not overfeed your cat. Use hairball control food and feed your cat according to her age and activity level.