You will definitely love the Oriental Longhair if you love unusual cat breeds. This cat breed is closely related to the Oriental Shorthair. In some registries, they are considered two variations of the same breed. The most significant difference between the two breeds is their coat. As its name suggests, this unique cat breed has a long coat, and we can honestly say it really fits them. Here’s what all cat fanciers should know about the Oriental Longhair cat breed.
The Oriental Longhair has a very interesting history. They were first imported to Ankara, Turkey. They were pretty popular there, and you can say they tried to “conquer” Europe - twice. The Oriental Longhair was actually the first longhaired cat imported to western Europe. Their first “conquest” happened in the 19th century. However, in 1900, the fully coated Persian was introduced to Europe, and cat owners preferred them over Orientals. The Oriental Longhair quickly disappeared.
The second time these cats tried gaining European cat owners’ sympathy was when British breeders started crossing the Siamese with Russian Blues, Abyssinians, and British Shorthairs. They were quickly exported to the US, where they became relatively popular and registered as a separate breed. The first international recognition happened in 1977.
Cat Breed Characteristics
The Oriental Longhair resembles the Siamese breed, which isn’t that surprising since the Siamese is their ancestor. These cats have beautiful oval eyes that should be green, blue, or even different colors. Here are the most prominent Oriental Longhair characteristics.
As their name suggests, the Oriental Longhair has a long coat. That is the main difference between them and their cousins, the Oriental Shorthair. Their coat should be soft and have a silky texture.
The Oriental Longhair can come in all sorts of coat colors and combinations. The most common ones are chocolate, blue, cinnamon, lilac, black, caramel, fawn, red, cream, and apricot. The most common patterns are tortoiseshell, smoke, shaded, and tabby.
The unique body shape of the Oriental Longhair gives these cats a larger appearance. This is considered a medium-sized cat, and most adults weigh 8 - 12 pounds.
While a cat’s looks are important, what really makes them a great pet is their temperaments. Luckily, the Oriental Longhair has a wonderful temperament that makes them fantastic family pets. These cats are playful and will remain so even in their senior years. They are curious, affectionate, and very lovable. These cats are very social, so don’t get one if you don’t want a companion that will always be by your side. They are also very intelligent, so make sure your Oriental Longhair lives in an interactive home.
No matter which cat breed you have at home, they can develop health issues. Unfortunately, in some cases, there’s nothing you can do about it. In the case of the Oriental Longhair, here are some of the most common health issues;
- Progressive retinal atrophy - This is a hereditary eye condition that can severely impact the cat’s sight. It can affect kittens as early as 7 months old.
- Crossed eyes and kinked tail - This is primarily an aesthetic issue and shouldn’t impact the cat’s overall health.
- Amyloidosis - This is a life-threatening condition that can cause the amyloid protein to deposit in organs, mainly the liver and kidneys.
World Cat Finder Team