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Oriental Cat Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you’re one of those folks who love cats that love people, then we might have the perfect cat for you, the Oriental cat. And while you may not have ever heard of an Oriental cat before, we can assure you that you’re probably very familiar with their parents. You see, the Oriental cat isn’t actually from the Orient.


This little “gem” is the product of American cat breeders combining the Siamese breed with other cat breeds such as the American Shorthaired and the Abyssinian cat breed (among others). And what they created was something that we here at IndulgeYourPet find completely adorable. But that doesn’t mean this cat breed will be “right” for everyone.

Which is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own one of these little guys so that if you ever have the chance to adopt one, you’ll know that that’s the right move for you. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Oriental Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  United States of America

Size:  Medium

Weight:  7 to 9 pounds

Eyes: Almond-shaped (green, blue, or mixed)

Head Shape:  Triangular

Lifespan:  10 to 15 years 

Origin of the Oriental Cat Breed

Even though the Oriental cat breed has somewhat of an “ancient” look, this breed is a relatively new one that only dates back to the late 1960s. During this time, several cat breeders in the United States decided to essentially try and “remake” the Siamese cat by infusing new genetic material into the breed. They accomplished this by cross-breeding the Siamese breed with other cat breeds, including the:

  • American Shorthair,
  • British Shorthair,
  • Russian Blues,
  • And Abyssinian cat bred.

And what they got…

It is very similar to the Siamese cat breed, with fewer common health conditions that can often affect it. While the Cat Fanciers Association chose to “officially” recognize the Oriental cat breed in the mid-1970s, many other organizations have yet to follow suit. This is why the Oriental cat breed will sometimes be considered a “subset” of the Siamese breed; this doesn’t bother us here at IndulgeYourPet because we’re big fans of both species!

Physical Characteristics

Orientals have very lean, muscular bodies with long, slim legs. They also “seem” to have an appearance of always being in motion, which is accentuated by the fact that their hind legs are longer than their front ones. They also seem to have a general “aerodynamic” feel since there isn’t a round or square part of their body. Everything seems “triangular” or “wedge-shaped,” including their head and almond-shaped eyes.

Now their eye colors…

Will be linked to the color of their coat, which can be:

  • Solid,
  • Shaded,
  • Part-color,
  • Bi-color,
  • Or Tabby.

Depending on which “kind” of Oriental cat you adopt will dictate whether your cat has blue, green, or mixed-colored eyes. But probably their most distinguishable feature is their large ears. They’re pointed and look like triangles, which makes their head look even more triangular than it is. But don’t get us wrong, all these “angles” seem to work on this guy because they turn out quite handsome when you combine these somewhat “unique” features.

And like Siamese cats…

You’ll find that Oriental cats also have tiny oval paws and skinny tails. And if you run your hand through their coat, it’s soft and feels like you’re running your hand through silk, which is impressive when petting a long-haired variety because these guys are amazing.

Temperament and Personality

The Oriental is one of the most opinionated cats out there. They love to purr and “speak”. And they don’t hesitate to meow to get your attention. They’ll use their talkativeness to keep you entertained and hold your attention. Their voices are loud and raspy, so you shouldn’t get this breed if you don’t want a cat that “talks” a lot, but it’s tough not to like these little guys, no matter how loud they can be.

You see…

They love their owners deeply. They’re loyal cats who’ll follow you around just about anywhere. They love to follow you from room to room and help you around the house. (By talking, of course.)  Though, they’ll love you deeply. Orientals like to cuddle, and they’ll gladly snuggle up beside you or sit on your lap after a long day at work. They love to keep you company as much as you love to be around them.


Because they’re such demanding cats that thrive off your attention, it’s best not to leave them alone too long. If you work from 9 to 5 and don’t have anyone to watch them, you should get a pet sitter or another pet! This way, they won’t go crazy. They also love to play. Like every cat, they’re smart and have toys that will challenge and make them think. They’ll learn how to open your cabinets, knock down a snack, or go through your bedroom drawers to see what they can find.

They get bored quickly, so have lots of toys for them, or they’ll get a valuable item or anything that you don’t want them to be playing with. If they’re not playing with toys, then they’re jumping and climbing on anything that will allow them to keep an eye on you. This is why we love recommending this breed to families with children. This way, by adopting an Oriental cat, you get a great cat and a great babysitter because there is nothing in this world your Oriental cat would like to do more than spend hours and hours playing with a small child!

Potential Health Concerns

As a general rule of thumb, it’s fair to say that the Oriental cat breed is pretty healthy, meaning they are generally not at an increased risk for developing any particular hereditary disease commonly found in some pedigree cat breeds.

“Which is great!”

But it’s important to understand that while the Oriental cat breed may not be “prone” to certain hereditary diseases, this does not mean they “can’t” get sick or injured. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also encourage anyone currently considering adopting a new pet to take a moment and see just how much it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy for that new pet.

This way…

If your new family member does become sick or injured, you won’t be burdened with the total cost of their care on your own! For more information on pet insurance, Check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article; the policy might cost you, check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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