The result of a breeding program which combined Russian Blues, British Shorthairs, Abyssinians, and regular domestic cats crossed to Siamese, the Oriental Shorthair and Oriental Longhair are members of the Siamese breed group. They were developed in the 1950s in England, following World War II and were imported to the United States in the 1970s.
Orientals are lively and intelligent cats. They are people oriented and become very attached to their favorite humans, sometimes bonding with one family member more so than others. without attention and affection, they can become very withdrawn. They love to play, especially with toys, and many will even fetch. Your Oriental will likely spend hours amusing itself in a cardboard box or a crumpled piece of paper. Inquisitive and agile, Oriental cats are high jumpers and love to explore. Like many others in the Siamese breed, Orientals are very vocal cats.
Like all members of the Siamese group, Orientals are long, slender, and graceful looking cats. Though they are not large cats, they are powerful and athletic. These cats are long in body, neck, tail, and head. The head is a smooth triangular wedge shape with a fine muzzle. The ears are wide at the base and rather large. The eyes are almond shaped and set at an angle, and the preferred color for the breed is green.
The Oriental comes in both long and shorthair varieties. In both, the fur is glossy and lays close to the body, differing only in length. They are distinct from other Siamese breeds thanks to the wide variety of colors and patterns available, currently 281 acceptable variations.