According to the CFA breed profile, "Orientals represent a diverse group of cats that have their foundation in the Siamese breed." The Siamese, in both pointed and solid colours, was imported to the UK from Siam (today, Thailand) in the later half of the 1800s, and from there spread widely, becoming one of the most popular breeds. The gene that causes the colour to be restricted to the points is a recessive gene; therefore, the general population of the cats of Siam were largely self-coloured (solid). When the cats from Siam were bred, the pointed cats were eventually registered as Siamese, while the others were referred to as "non-blue eyed Siamese" or "foreign shorthair".
While the breed's genetic roots are ultimately in Thailand, it was formally developed principally in the US. The Oriental was accepted in 1977 by the Cat Fanciers' Association for championship competition. The breed is among the most popular among CFA members.
10 - 15 years or more
Medium size cat weighing 2.5 to 5.5 kilo
Like the Siamese, Orientals have almond-shaped eyes, a triangular head shape, large ears, and an elongated, slender, and muscular body. Their personalities are also very similar. Orientals are social, intelligent, and many are rather vocal. They often remain playful into adulthood, with many enjoying playing fetch. Despite their slender appearance, they are athletic and can leap into high places. They prefer to live in pairs or groups and also seek human interaction. Unlike the breed's blue-eyed forebear, Orientals are usually green-eyed.
The Oriental is a member of the Siamese family of breeds, and can be found in various solid colours, and patterns such as smoke, shaded, parti-colour/tortoiseshell, tabby and bicolour (any of the above, with white).