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Cat Breeds: The Oriental

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With long, graceful bodies, distinctive pointed ears, and almond-shaped eyes, these cats are definitely one of the most attractive cat breeds. They are inquisitive, energetic, and highly intelligent. With an Oriental cat, you'll never have a dull moment! 

Here are 5 fun facts about Oriental cats.

1. They're not true "Oriental" cats at all!

Although we could easily assume these cats were direct imports from the Far East, this breed actually originated in 1950s England. After World War II, most breeding programs had closed. As a result, cat breeders who were starting over wanted more variety in the Siamese breed. So they crossed Siamese cats with Abyssinians, Domestic Shorthairs, and Russian Blues. 

After a few generations, the resulting cats had the Siamese body shape, but far more variety in colours and patterns.

2. They're the most colourful cat breed.

Oriental cats can have any combination of the following colours and patterns.

Solid Coats: Red, white, cream, ebony, chestnut, blue, lavender, cinnamon, or fawn.

Shaded Coats: Add red or white splashes to a solid colour.

Tabby Coats: Classic, mackerel, spotted, ticked (+any may also be patched).

Bi-Color: Add a white undercoat to any color.

Point Color: Seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon lynx, tortie smoke

Coat Length: Longhaired or shorthaired

According to the Cat Fanciers' Association, this provides a stunning 600 possible combinations of coat, colouring, points, and coat length!

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3. They're a hypoallergenic breed.

Thanks to their shorter coats, Oriental shorthair kitties produce less allergens than the average cat. This makes them a great choice for allergy sufferers.

To learn about more hypoallergenic breeds, read this: 6 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds You Should Know About.

4. They love to talk.

Orientals love to chatter away to anyone who will listen. They thrive on human attention and are eager to tell you when they are tired, happy, upset, bored, or waiting for a scratch behind the ears. Their loud, raspy voice will be your constant companion. Also, they are extremely affectionate and love to nuzzle and snuggle. If you have an Oriental, you will never be lonely! 

5. They get along splendidly with dogs.

Unlike most cat breeds, Orientals actually enjoy playing with dogs. Even if your dog is normally reserved, an Oriental will quickly win him over. Soon, they will be the best of friends. 

Because Orientals are so busy, you should always pair them with a dog, another Oriental, or another active breed. A playmate will help keep your fur baby out of trouble while you're at work.

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