Infinitely Beautiful Orientals
Not in vain Oriental cats are called "humans in the form of cats". If you let an Oriental enter your heart someday, it will settle there forever and will not leave room for other breeds. And you will understand: nobody except them!
|Photo of: August Rush Jubatus, owned by Kseniya Medvedeva
Of course, first of all, Orientals attract people's attention with their appearance. People react differently when they meet them, but nobody remains indifferent! Some people admire these graceful creatures: a long body on very tall legs, emerald-green eyes, and huge ears crowning a narrow long head. Some people are shocked and refuse to accept them, because we have got accustomed to large and stout cats. Solid Orientals are called panthers and tabby ones are compared to leopards and cheetahs. But their unique temperament that destroys all the myths about malicious Siamese cats and independent cats walking on their own, is their most important feature, to my mind.
What makes Orientals so different from other cats? Of course, it is their appearance. These are elegant, delicate, "flowing" cats with incredible plastique... Look, an Oriental cat is going – the head, the legs, the body, the tail – it seems eternal! Orientals leave this special impression exactly because of elongated proportions of all body parts, and this feature leaves an indelible impression in the heart of each one who has seen such a picture at least once in their lives.
Ideal Oriental cat: what must it be?
It is worth noting that, as they say, this breed makes headway: it is actively developing. The difference between the first Eastern cats and modern ones is just incredible! Just over the last 30-40 years Orientals have done a great leap forward, therefore we need to treat the standard of the breed taking into account this development process.
|Photo of: Nola AKIRA-NEKO, owned by Kseniya Medvedeva
So, let's see the modern appearance of Oriental cats in greater detail, in other words, let's name the major provisions of the breed standard and give more detailed comments from the viewpoint of an experienced expert.
General appearance: the medium-sized, elegant cat is slender and muscular. The body is elongated and lithe. The neck is long and slender. The rib cage and the shoulders are not wider than the hips. The legs are long and slender, the paws are dainty and oval. The tail is very long, thin at the base and ends in a pointed tip (whip-shaped).
The Oriental Shorthair is a medium-sized cat with a long, tube-shaped, muscular and slender body. The muscular system must be prominent. The legs are very long. The paws are dainty and oval. It is important to take into account that the proportion of the leg length to the body length makes the difference. In other words, first of all one must evaluate the proportions. The bones must not be heavy, otherwise the cats seeming small from the outside will turn out to be much heavier. The tail must have a pointed, but not a rounded tip.
Head: The head is wedge-shaped. The wedge starts at the nasal planum and broadens in straight lines to the ears. The nose is long and straight, the forehead is flat. The profile is slightly convex. The muzzle is narrow, with a strong chin, forming a vertical line with the tip of the nose.
|Photo of: LT*Monoceros Icarus, owned by Natalia Zemskova|
The head is narrow, wedge-shaped, and looking in profile, the heads forms a flat line from the back of the head to the tip of the nose. Exactly a flat one, but not a straight one! If this line is straight, the profile cannot be slightly convex as the standard prescribes. The bridge of the nose must not be over-developed, otherwise it will seem that the cat's nose goes down. There must be no hollows on the forehead and between the ears. The back of the head must be smoothly rounded and turn into the long slender neck. In my opinion, besides the standard requirements, the chin must have a correct shape – it must not be slanted, narrow or flat. A slanted chin can create an appearance of insufficiency in the adult age. The cheekbones are narrow, smoothed; there must be no pinch. And the most interesting point: where must the wedge begin? The wedge described in the standard provides for highly-set ears. Cats of an obsolete type possess now such ears. It would be more right to deem the chin, but not the nose as the beginning of the wedge. And the lines from the nose to the ears must be deemed a direction for the tip of the ear.
Ears: the ears are very large with a broad base and pointed. They are set so that to continue the sides of the wedge.
|Photo of: Agata Arli Bi-Mong, owned by Olga Rymko
The ears are very large with a broad base. They are set to form a triangle "ear - chin – ear". The slope of the ears and their openness is an important issue. The tips of the ears of an adult animal must not hang, otherwise it will be impossible to see the ears completely open and it will be difficult to evaluate their real size. The outer and the inner edges of the ear must form a single line if you look from one side. If the inner edge of the ear sticks out – the ear tumbles down as a horn, which also conceals the actual size of the ears.
Eyes: The eyes are almond-shaped and set slightly at a slant, in harmony with the wedge shape of the head. The distance between the eyes is not less than the width of an eye. The colour is an intense green.
The eyes must be of a size corresponding to the head size. If the eyes are set deep, it is a big disadvantage, because one cannot easily evaluate one of the most fascinating features of Oriental cats – their beautiful green eyes. Such a setting, like a very prominent third eyelid, is most frequently conditioned by special structure of the head. Particular attention must be paid even to the setting of eye pupils: the cat must not be squint-eyed.
Coat: the coat is very short, glossy and close lying to the body. It has a silky texture and no undercoat.
Ideally, the coat must be very short, but the way the coat lies to the body plays the most important role. There must not be excessive skin; the skin must be tightened.
Colours: all colours without white are recognized.
|Photo of: Jubatus Ucello, owned by Kseniya Medvedeva
In 1995 bicolours were recognized by European and American felinological associations. Nevertheless, white spots in the groin and on the breast are not allowed.
Faults: too deep set eyes.
Faults excluding the CAC: more yellow than green pigmentation in the eye colour.
Cats with dog temperament
I had adored dogs and had not liked cats for my entire life. But only until getting acquainted with this breed! My snow-white yellow-eye cat was the reason for this; it slept on my legs every night and seized me by my legs at a slightest movement. Therefore I treated cats sceptically and, having taken a decision to join the world of felinology, I chose Oriental cats precisely because of their dog temperament. It made no difference for me what colour my first Oriental cat would be; I just wanted to find out what it is – a dog in a cat's body. I could not even imagine these amazing creatures would settle in my heart forever. You will ask: what do you mean? A cat with dog temperament?! Yes, yes! It is!
If you love dogs, but you are lazy to walk with it – get an Oriental cat! It will see you off for work and meet you after it. And if you wish, you can walk them with a harness – there will be lots of enthusiastic cries of passers-by.
If you like dogs for their skill to bring a thrown thing – get an Oriental cat! To bring a ball or a mouse for 2 hours running? Easy! A big question is who of you will first get tired of the game.
If you feel lonely – get an Oriental cat! It will always accompany you and speak to you – due to a large quantity of various intonations that these cats have. It will tell you about all its affairs and ask you about yours, will check all your purchases and will even help to sort them out, having grabbed something tasty! It will participate in all domestic affairs and entertainments, whether these be cooking, cleaning, playing on musical instruments, or drawing.
Do you like hugs and kisses? Get an Oriental cat! They like it too and will enjoy your hands, sleep on your head, neck or breast with pleasure. And if you suddenly get distracted from scratching of the favorite belly or neck, the Oriental will remind you of himself, having tenderly licked or bitten your hand or another part of the body.
If you have children – get an Oriental cat! It will become the best friend for them and will never protract its claws. Orientals are excellent babysitters even for little kids: they sleep in children's beds and warm them with their bodies.
Have you dreamt about becoming a famous trainer? Get an Oriental cat! They easily train, because they are very clever and adore their owners.
It does not matter, where a properly brought up and trained Oriental is - if people are nearby, everything is ok. Oriental cats are incredibly devoted to their owners, but they are always glad to welcome guests. They are friendly, sociable and curious. Any guest in the house where the Oriental lives should be thoroughly examined and sniffed, as well as his things. It would be absolutely normal, if an Oriental falls to the guest's hands or climbs on his neck. And what skillful hairdressers they are!
|Photo of: Lucky Ticket Jubatus, owned by L. Demina|
But despite such manifest sociability, they always choose a favorite person. Therefore, if you want to go away on holidays, ask someone to come to your house and take care of the Oriental rather than to move it to another house. It will suffer without you, and another house will be an additional stress for it. Because of their dependence on people, Oriental cats cannot bear loneliness. They are very sensitive. Therefore, if you spend much time outside your house, it is worth getting a couple of such cats. Two are always better than one! Orientals wonderfully live in groups and sleep embracing each other, having intertwined their thin bodies. They will not cease to demonstrate their love to you, but will not suffer from loneliness when you are absent.
Orientals get on well with other breeds, as well as with dogs, but they always prefer representatives of their breed.
People say that the word "Orik" by which Orientals are often called in Russia is formed from the word "орать" (shout): they say these cats are constantly shouting. Actually, Oriental cats never mew without a reason. There is always a reason to speak: whether something hurts, or they want something, or they are too excited because of some events – afraid or, vice versa, very happy. Therefore, if your Oriental is constantly mewing, you should find out the reason.
These are the common features characteristic of all, or at least the majority of Oriental cats. But, of course, you should not forget that each cat possesses its unique character traits: like any person, each cat is a personality despite the temperament and the common features characteristic of all representatives of the corresponding breed.
Photo of: Litter L, owned by Kseniya Medvedeva
Orientals in everyday life
Because of their short hair, Oriental cats do not need special care. There is an erroneous opinion that Orientals do not shed hair. They do. Any animal having hair sheds it. But because of lack of the undercoat the hair does not remain on furniture or clothes – mainly it accumulates in cat's beds and climbing structures. Oriental cats are very neat, and they need to be washed only if they get dirty. If your curious pet helps you to bake pancakes, pies or make meat dumplings and dirties itself in flour or jam – just then it can be washed. It is important to monitor the weight of the Oriental cat: in no case you may overfeed it or allow eating people's food. Orientals are very clever and can manipulate their owners. Having once tasted a goody from your table, the Oriental can skillfully use your pity and beg harmful delicacies - or simply twist you around its little finger. Therefore you must bring these cats up in the atmosphere of love and strictness.
photo from the personal archive of Kseniya Medvedeva
Because of increased activity and curiosity of Oriental cats, you should secure your windows and should stop throwing around packets, woolen or knitted things, small wood or plastic items. The Oriental will make you keep everything in order! Be not upset if the Oriental has eaten your favorite cap – it has just become old-fashioned! By the way, it is not mandatory to throw things around – Orientals perfectly manage to open cupboard doors, or can clean up your desk without any twinge of conscience, having grabbed everything that they could. Especially small things which so cheerily clatter against the floor in the night :).
photo from the personal archive of Kseniya Medvedeva
Oriental cats are not very amenable to serious diseases, but you should take into consideration their phisique: because of a small amount of fat and their slenderness, these cats are not so hardy in case of elementary diseases. Therefore if your Oriental is ill and refuses to eat for more than a day, hurry up and run to a vet!
To crown it all, I want to say as follows: feed your Oriental properly, pay much attention to it, and, of course, just love it. And then it will necessarily share a long and a happy life full of love and fun with you!