We are Siamese … actually, they’re not; but we’re about to introduce you to the Siamese’s sassy doppelganger — the equally majestic Oriental cat.
While the Siamese is the base breed found in the outstanding Oriental cat, she is actually a Siamese hybrid created specifically to establish new colors, hair lengths and patterns — a feat her breeders accomplished magnificently, as she can be found in more than 600 patterns, colors and both long and shorthair.
During World War II, devastation hit feline breeding programs, so folks in Britain took it upon themselves to expand the Siamese gene pool by crossing them with Russian Blues, Abyssinians, domestic shorthairs and British Shorthairs.
Those kittens were then bred back to Siamese, with many offspring displaying the Siamese aesthetic but with a catch: They appeared in a variety of colors and patterns not known to Siamese. These, as you may have guessed, became the kitty we know today as the Oriental cat.
Some would say that the Oriental cat is a bit of a busybody; but we like to think of her more as a helpful feline — meaning she loves to be in the thick of things, lending what she deems to be a helpful paw and supervising your every move.
The Oriental is a social cat, and she’s not above pouting if she’s ignored or not given enough attention. Not home all the time? That doesn’t mean you can’t make room for an Oriental — simply bring two home, so they can keep each other company while you’re away from your humble abode!
The Oriental cat loves to watch TV, so if you’re vegging out on the couch, peeping your favorite program on the tube, she will gladly hunker down by your side, watching with rapt interest.
The Oriental cat is a lover who lives for hugs, kisses, cuddles and movement. In other words, she’s the cat’s meow for families with kids, fellow felines and kitty-friendly dogs.
One factor that plays a huge part in discerning the Oriental cat from the Siamese is eye color. Siamese are known for their baby blues, whereas the Oriental cat has a gorgeous green gaze that stops people in their tracks. White Orientals, however, are the exception to the rule, sporting blue, green or other odd-colored eyes.
As you may have figured out by her svelte, lithe form, the Oriental cat is an active and agile cat who loves to play. She’s easy to train, learning to fetch as well as any retriever. She lives for puzzles that test her brain power and cat trees that allow her to show off her impressive climbing prowess.
Don’t even get us started on the level of loyalty the Oriental harbors. Let’s put it this way: She becomes extremely attached to her humans, especially her favorites. Don’t be surprised if she snuggles under the covers with you at bedtime — head on your pillow and all!
The Oriental cat is a veritable chatty Cathy — sharing her every thought with you in a loud, raspy voice and expecting you to accept any advice she throws your way.
The Oriental is adept at opening drawers and doors, but where you’ll find her most often? Your purse! Her prying paws will hungrily dig inside, searching for something shiny and new to play with!
Tell us: Do you have a Oriental cat? What do you love about Oriental cats?
Thumbnail: Photography ©GlobalP | Getty Images.
Erika Sorocco has been writing about cats for 12 years. She currently shares her home with two finicky felines (Minky and Gypsy), one crazy pup (Jake) and not enough closet space. Find her online chatting about beauty, fashion and furbabies at Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.