Orientals are extremely fond of their people and will tell you exactly what they think, in a loud, raspy voice.
The Oriental is best described as a color remake of the original “black and white” Siamese. The breed was developed using Siamese as the foundation breed and then crossing them with other breeds. The original intent was to broaden the Siamese gene pool in Britain because so many breeding programs had been devastated during World War II. Crosses with Russian Blues, British Shorthairs, Abyssinians and domestic shorthairs produced kittens without the pointed Siamese pattern, which were then bred back to Siamese. In just a few generations, breeders produced cats that looked exactly like Siamese, except for the variety of colors and patterns they displayed, as well as cats with the traditional pointed pattern. Cats with Siamese points were used in Siamese breeding programs, but the non-pointed cats became the basis for a new breed: the Oriental.
The Oriental Shorthair is a member of the Siamese family of breeds, and can be found in various solid colors, and patterns such as smoke, shaded, parti-color/tortoiseshell, tabby and bicolor (any of the above, with white). Not all variants are acceptable to all organizations that recognize the breed.
Conforming Oriental Shorthairs, like any of the Siamese type, have almond-shaped eyes and a wedge-shaped head with large ears. Their bodies are typically “sleek” but muscular.
The long-haired version of the breed, the Oriental Longhair (recognized since 1995 by CFA), simply carries a pair of the recessive long hair genes.
The Oriental is highly intelligent, agile and athletic, and loves to play. Keep his busy brain active with puzzle toys and his body exercised with teaser toys that he can chase and a big cat tree he can climb. He is fully capable of opening doors and drawers or rifling through your purse in search of something interesting or shiny to play with. Never leave him without any form of entertainment, or you will likely come home to find that he has reprogrammed your DVR to record only nature shows or at the very least decided that your toilet paper rolls and tissue boxes look better empty.
Choose an Oriental if you look forward to spending time with and interacting with your cat. This is a loyal and loving feline who will pout and pine if given little or no attention. In the right home, however, he thrives for years.