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Oriental Longhair Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Longhair Oriental Domestic Cat
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams
Height:9 – 11 inches
Weight:9 – 15 pounds
Lifespan:12 – 15 years
Colors:Black, blue, chocolate, lilac, fawn, cream, red, cinnamon
Suitable for:Retired couples, children, multi-pet households
Temperament:Vocal, inquisitive, lovable, curious, needy

You might be totally smitten by the majestic look of the elvish Oriental Longhair. If they caught your eye, you probably want to learn everything there is to know about this fabulous feline. Who could blame you? Their unusual appearance is sure to turn heads everywhere.

But their beautiful looks aren’t the only thing they have going for them—they have quite unique personalities, too. Let’s learn everything about the Oriental Longhair so you can determine if they fit the bill for your list of kitten criteria.

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Oriental Longhair Kittens – Before You Welcome One Into Your Familly…

Oriental Long Hair Kitten
Image Credit: pxhereatreyuu2003, Pxhere


3 Little-Known Facts About Oriental Longhair Cats

1. Oriental Longhairs Were First Called British Angoras

Originally, these cats were named British Angoras, but breeders felt the name might confuse them with Turkish Angoras. They renamed the breed in 2002.

They’ve also been referred to as Foreign Longhairs and Mandarins in the past.

2. Oriental Longhairs Typically Have Green Eyes

Even though other eye colors are possible, green is the preferred color of eyes in the breed.

3. The Origin of the Oriental Longhair Dates Back to 1974

The first recognized Oriental with long hair wasn’t nearly as long as the Oriental Longhairs that exist today, but it was their beginning.

White Oriental Long Hair
Image Credit: CC0 Public Domain, Pixnio

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Oriental Longhair

Oriental Longhair cats absolutely love interacting with humans. Because they are such a highly social cat, this is not one that you should leave alone for long periods. They do very well with cat friends, but nothing compares to their love for their people.

Your Oriental Longhair may very well be your shadow, following you from room to room just to be near you. They can talk your ear off, too—meowing over empty food bowls, wanting affection, or being displeased. They have no issue speaking their mind.

Because of their high tendency to vocalize, they might not work in every situation. If one of your favorite cat qualities is their silent behavior—this is not the kind of kitty that’s right for your household.

Oriental Longhairs are very lively and inquisitive. Nothing much will slip past this cat unnoticed. They might divert attention to any sudden, small movement—and go after whatever it is with curious acts.

These cats can get bored very easily because their minds are always hard at work. If there’s nothing around to stimulate them, they can be into all sorts of mischief. If these cats don’t have enough to do, you can bet they’ll find something—no matter what that might be.

For this reason, among others, these cats work best in a home where someone is there most of the time. But don’t fret—their intense minds make them easy to train.

Are These Cats Good for Families?

Oriental Longhairs do their very best in families where there’s lots of activity. Because of their nosey nature, they love all the action they can get. If you have crazy kids running around—all the more people to play with, in their eyes.

Oriental Longhairs definitely imprint on their owners. So, always buy your kitty to give them a forever home. For this breed especially, changing the main aspects of their life can be extremely upsetting to them, and they may not adapt well to new environments with other owners.

Oriental longhairs usually bond deeply with one person—even though they will take attention from practically anyone.

Also, make sure you have the attention to give them. Oriental Longhairs need time spent with them to make them happy campers. If you’re a person who is gone most of the time, you might come home to knocked-over plants or other post-shenanigans your cat got into while you’re away.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Oriental cats can do quite well with other furry companions when they are raised together. However, it may be a little harder to integrate a full-grown adult into a multi-pet household. It isn’t impossible, but it will definitely depend on the individual cat’s personality.

They tend to pair very well with other cats. In fact, they thrive on the company a fellow kitty provides. Having a friend may be one of the best things you can provide for your Oriental Longhair. If you are away for work, they will fare much better with a buddy to keep them company.

Because Oriental Longhairs are so active, they might have an exceptionally high prey drive. It’s best to keep any small caged critters separated, so they don’t have the temptation. They may mistake them for play toys—and you can’t train this impulse out of your cat.

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Things to Know When Owning an Oriental Longhair:

Food & Diet Requirements

Oriental Longhairs don’t have any particular diet restrictions to speak of, but they need a high-protein recipe to keep up with their activity level. Especially as kittens, they require larger protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to manage their growing bodies.

Once they are fixed or as they age, their activity levels may decrease. When they aren’t as active, they will need less caloric intake—so you can adjust their diet accordingly. However, most Oriental Longhair cats keep up a pretty fast pace throughout their adult years.

You can offer your cat a diet of dry kibble, wet food, or a combination of both. What you select is up to both you and your vet. Cats don’t get enough hydration in their diet most of the time, so wet food gives them a little aqua boost.

However, using wet food as a standalone diet may cause obesity or tooth decay. In reality, when you pick the right diet for your kitty, just remember that balance is key.


Oriental Longhairs are very good at exercising on their own without much provocation. They love having playmates, but they will find something to do if no one wants to romp around.

Because Oriental Longhairs are very high energy, it’s good to have some toys and activities readily available for their pleasure. If you don’t, these are the kitties who will knock things off counters, climb up your curtains, and all sorts of other things you may not be too crazy about.

To stay healthy, an Oriental Longhair needs a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes per day.

Oriental Longhair cats may chill out more as they age or after they are fixed, but they will probably still be more active than most.

They will never turn down playtime with their people—and they will thrive on the interaction between the two of you. Exercise time can be a really great opportunity to bond with your Oriental Longhair.

Oriental Long Hair Cat
Image Credit: COULANGES, Shutterstock


Because of your Oriental Longhair cat’s intense intelligence, it gives you an upside when it comes to training. They will probably pick up new concepts with ease. These cats also have a special need to aim to please you, which skips over some other cats.

If you are patient and persistent, you might be able to train your Oriental Longhair to do just about anything you put your mind to. That will come especially easy if you’re their favorite human and they feel extremely bonded to you.

When it comes to litter box training, it should take minimal effort. Some may even be potty trained when you bring them home at 8 weeks. Until they pick up the concept, you may want to restrict them to one room or area in your home until they have it down pat.

Grooming ✂️

Don’t let the long frills of the Oriental Longhair concern you—they’re not hard to groom at all. In fact, they will do most of the hard work for you since they’re excellent self-groomers. You should only have to brush them a few times a month to remove dead hairs.

Oriental Longhair cats have very fine-textured, silky fur without an undercoat. If you notice, their long hair has a much sleeker look than, say, a Persian. Since they don’t have the dense layer beneath their coat, they might shed less than other long-haired cats.

They thrive on pets and cuddles, so they should take to their weekly brushing without much fuss. The sooner you acclimate your cat to brushing sessions, the easier it will be.

Health and Conditions

Oriental longhair cats are generally very healthy. However, there have been some ailments that happen in this breed more frequently than others.

An excellent way to get ahead of these issues is to take your cat to regular veterinary appointments for wellness checks.

Minor Conditions
  • Bladder stones—this condition causes deposits to crystallize and pass in the bladder.
Serious Conditions
  • Mast cell cancer—these types of cancers can cause nodules to form on the skin, intestines, and organs.
  • Heart problems—there are several heart conditions these cats can be prone to, like congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathy.

Male vs Female

Differences in personality between the male and female Oriental longhair aren’t vast, but there are some notable variances.

Males tend to be a little bit more friendly and vocal. Even though both genders are selective of their primary person, males seem to be a little bit more social with a broader range of people and pets. On the other hand, females are often a bit more particular but are still very pleasant.

Both males and females can spray to mark territory, but it is more common for males. A suitable resolution is to get them fixed at an early age before they reach sexual maturity. However, keep in mind that it isn’t always a cure-all.

Each cat will come with its difficulties and perks, regardless of gender. It would be best if you always based your choice on which kitten or cat you feel the most connection to—you both can pick each other!

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Final Thoughts

If you and your family love the whimsical look of the Oriental Longhair, then you should start your hunt. Find a reputable breeder nearby and see when the next litter is due. Just remember, these kitties require lots of time, attention, patience, and energy. If you can match their quirkiness, you’ll be quite the pair.

One thing is for sure—these fascinating felines are sure to keep you on your toes and tug on your heartstrings.

Featured Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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