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Cat Breeds - The Oriental Group

With their sleek bodies, large ears, and mesmerising almond-shaped eyes, Oriental breeds evoke a sense of exotic allure that has enchanted cat enthusiasts for generations. Originating from the mystical lands of Southeast Asia, the Oriental Group encompasses a diverse array of breeds, each with its own unique traits and characteristics. While closely related to the revered Siamese breed, these felines boast distinctive features and temperaments that set them apart.

Popular Breeds within the Oriental Group


Siamese cats hold a special place in the hearts of cat lovers worldwide. They are believed to have originated in Siam, now known as Thailand, where they were revered as sacred companions to royalty and monks. 

Renowned for their striking appearance, Siamese cats are characterised by a slender, muscular body adorned with a short, fine coat that lies close to the skin. The breed standard recognises several colour variations, including seal point, chocolate point, blue point and lilac point, each distinguished by the colouration of the cat's points—ears, face, paws and tail—against a lighter body colour. They typically have a long, elegant neck, refined head shape, and large, triangular ears that contribute to their regal appearance. Their sleek, athletic build enables them to move with agility and grace, earning them the nickname "the aristocrats of the cat world."

Siamese cats are renowned for their outgoing and affectionate nature, forming strong bonds with their human companions. They are highly social and thrive on interaction, often seeking out opportunities to engage in playful activities or simply cuddle up with their favourite humans. Known for their vocal nature, they are not shy about expressing their opinions through a range of vocalisations, from soft chirps and trills to loud, plaintive meows.

Siamese cats are also renowned for their intelligence and curiosity, often engaging in activities that stimulate their minds and challenge their problem-solving abilities. They enjoy interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and games that allow them to showcase their agility and quick wit.

Oriental Shorthair

The Oriental Shorthair, often dubbed the "Siamese in a different coat," is a breed that exudes elegance, intelligence, and boundless energy. They share their ancestry with the Siamese breed, originating from crosses between Siamese cats and other breeds to introduce new coat colours and patterns. Breeders sought to create a diverse range of colours and patterns while preserving the Siamese's sleek body type and striking almond-shaped eyes. Today, the Oriental Shorthair is recognised as a breed in its own right, celebrated for its unique blend of Siamese elegance and a wide spectrum of coat colours and patterns.

Oriental Shorthairs boast a sleek, muscular body with a long, tapering tail and fine-boned legs. Their head is wedge-shaped, with large, almond-shaped eyes that can be any colour, including green, blue or amber, depending on the coat colour. Common coat colours include ebony, lavender, chestnut, blue and fawn, among others, with variations in shading and intensity adding to the breed's visual appeal.

Renowned for their playful, affectionate and outgoing personality, Oriental Shorthairs make delightful companions for households seeking an interactive and engaging feline friend. These cats thrive on human interaction and enjoy participating in various activities, from playing fetch to learning new tricks. With their outgoing demeanour, intelligence and affectionate nature, Oriental Shorthairs make excellent companions for families, singles, and households with other pets.   



The Balinese cat, often described as the "longhaired Siamese," is a captivating breed known for its striking appearance, affectionate nature and elegant demeanour. The Balinese shares its ancestry with the Siamese breed, originating from the same ancient lineage in Southeast Asia. They emerged as a result of spontaneous genetic mutations that produced longhaired offspring within Siamese breeding programs. Initially regarded as anomalies, these longhaired Siamese cats were eventually recognised as a distinct breed in their own right, earning the name "Balinese" in homage to the graceful dancers of Bali.

Despite their longhaired coat, Balinese cats share many of the same traits as their shorthaired counterparts, including their sleek body type, striking blue eyes and affectionate personality. However, the Balinese's silky coat and plumed tail add an extra layer of elegance and allure to this beloved breed. 

Unlike other longhaired breeds, the Balinese's coat lacks an undercoat, resulting in minimal shedding and matting. This low-maintenance coat type makes grooming relatively easy, requiring only occasional brushing to remove loose hair and prevent tangles. Their coats come in various colour points, including seal point, chocolate point, blue point and lilac point, with the colouration concentrated on the ears, face, paws and tail.

Like their Siamese ancestors, Balinese cats are highly intelligent and vocal, often engaging in conversations with their owners through a range of vocalisations, from soft trills to loud, melodious meows. Their friendly, outgoing demeanour and gentle disposition make them adaptable to various living environments, while their affectionate nature ensures that they bring joy and companionship to their owners' lives for years to come.


The Burmese cat, often referred to as the "golden goddess," has a rich history steeped in mystique and reverence. Originating from the temples of Burma (now Myanmar) in Southeast Asia, these felines were cherished as sacred companions to monks and royalty, revered for their graceful presence and affectionate nature.

Known for its distinctive appearance, the Burmese cat is characterised by a medium-sized, muscular body with a rounded head and expressive, almond-shaped eyes that range in colour from gold to amber. Their glossy, short coat lies close to the skin and comes in various shades of sable, ranging from warm, chocolate brown to a lighter, honey-coloured hue.

In addition to their luxurious coat, Burmese cats are known for their distinctive voice, which is softer and more melodious than that of other breeds. They are also renowned for their expressive facial expressions and affectionate nature, often seeking out cuddles and lap time with their human companions. They are highly intelligent cats and enjoy mental stimulation, whether it's through puzzle toys, interactive games, or training sessions. They are quick learners and can be taught tricks and commands, adding an extra layer of fun and engagement to their daily routine.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Oriental Breed

When selecting an Oriental breed cat to welcome into your home, it's essential to consider factors such as lifestyle compatibility, grooming requirements and health considerations.  Here's what to keep in mind:

Lifestyle Compatibility

Activity Level and Energy: Oriental breeds are known for their high energy levels and playful personalities. Consider whether your lifestyle aligns with their need for physical and mental stimulation. If you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy interactive play sessions, an Oriental cat may be a perfect match.

Space Requirements: While Oriental breeds can adapt well to apartment living, they thrive in environments with ample space to explore and play. Ensure that your living space provides enough room for your cat to roam freely and engage in climbing, jumping and other forms of exercise.

Grooming requirements

Depending on the specific breed within the Oriental group, grooming requirements may vary. Shorthaired Orientals, such as Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs, require minimal grooming, with occasional brushing to remove loose hair and maintain coat health. In contrast, longhaired Orientals, such as Balinese and Oriental Longhairs, may need more frequent brushing to prevent mats and tangles and keep their coats looking sleek and glossy.

Temperament and Personality

Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs are typically sociable and outgoing, making them suitable for families with children or other pets. Balinese cats are known for their gentle and affectionate nature, making them ideal companions for singles or seniors seeking devoted companionship.

Oriental breeds thrive on human interaction and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Ensure that you can provide sufficient socialisation and companionship to meet your cat's needs, whether through interactive playtime, cuddling or simply spending quality time together.

Health Considerations

Like all cat breeds, Oriental breeds may be predisposed to certain health conditions. Common health concerns among Orientals include dental issues, respiratory problems and hereditary conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Research breed-specific health concerns and discuss them with our veterinarians to develop a proactive healthcare plan for your cat.

Oriental breeds may also carry genetic mutations that increase their susceptibility to certain diseases or conditions. It's essential to obtain your cat from a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings and genetic testing to minimise the risk of hereditary health problems.

Regular veterinary care is crucial for maintaining your Oriental cat's health and well-being. Schedule annual wellness exams, vaccinations and dental cleanings to prevent and detect potential health issues early. Additionally, stay up-to-date on flea and parasite prevention to safeguard your cat's health.  

From the regal elegance of the Siamese to the affectionate charm of the Balinese and the playful energy of the Oriental Shorthair, Oriental breeds offer a diverse array of options for cat enthusiasts seeking companionship with a touch of exotic allure. Whether you're drawn to the sleek, sophisticated appearance of the Siamese or the silky, longhaired beauty of the Balinese, there's an Oriental breed to suit every preference and lifestyle.

Remember that adopting a cat is a long-term commitment, and choosing the right breed involves more than just aesthetics or popularity. With patience, love and dedication, your Oriental cat will become an integral part of your family, bringing laughter, comfort and endless affection into your home.


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