Oriental Long Hair

Oriental Long Hair

Oriental Longhair cats feature a long, lithe and elegant, Siamese-style body with a triangular wedge-shaped head and ears. The coat is long and silky, but unlike the Persian cat, there is no woolly undercoat and coat lies flat against the body and so is officially classified as a semi-longhair. The tail forms a magnificent plume. The range of possible coat colours includes everything from solid colours to smokes, tipped or tabby types. All Oriental Longhair cats have almond-shaped green eyes, except for the whites, which may have green or blue eyes, or be odd-eyed (two different coloured eyes).

The need-to-know
  • Highly active and inquisitive cat
  • Sociable and dependent cat
  • Very talkative cat
  • Lean and elegant cat breed
  • Requires grooming every day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Needs some out-door space
  • May require familiarisation before living with children


Like all cats of Oriental type, these cats are lively and companionable. This breed is 'into everything' and always wants to know what's going on. Oriental Longhair cats are very talkative cats that can become bored easily and need plenty of attention for fun and games. These cats crave company, which is something to consider if you are out for most of the day – getting two litter mates may give them some company.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

Other Names: Foreign Longhair, Angora, Madarin, British Angora

Oriental Longhair cats were originally imported from Ankara in Turkey in the 19th century and were the first longhaired cats to be brought to Western Europe. The breed disappeared when the more fully coated Persian arrived in the early 1900s. The modern Oriental Longhair cat, has been genetically recreated by breeders in the UK through crosses with Abyssinian cats (for longhair gene) and Siamese cats (for body type). A few of the original cats were taken to the USA where they were bred and are now classified as Turkish Angoras. The Oriental Longhair cat breed was formerly known as the British Angora before being renamed in 2002 by British cat fancies in order to avoid confusion with the Turkish Angora cat breed. In Europe a solid coloured Oriental Longhair cat is known as a Javanese.

Health and Common Issues

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Oriental Long Hair

Best Cat Breeds for Children

Finding a cat

Two cats sitting on a sofa with a red cushion
Finding a pet
Is this the right breed for you?
All cats have their own unique personality! Try our Cat Breed Selector tool and find out which cat breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle.
Two cats lying on the sofa
Finding a pet
Thinking about getting a cat?
What breed would you like? Can you handle the challenges of a cheeky kitten, or would a calmer senior cat suit your lifestyle more?
Cat laying on the red pillow
Finding a pet
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree kitten, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Find out what to look for in a kitten breeder with this guide.
Cat laying in woman's arms
Finding a pet
Bringing your cat home
While you're waiting for the big day you may need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort our before you welcome your new arrival.
Cat looking at the owner
It's incredibly fulfilling to adopt a cat from an animal shelter or rescue organisation. It often means offering them a second chance at life. There are many cats waiting for a loving family and their forever home, but what can you expect from the process?
Ginger kitten sitting on woman's shoulder
Kitten advice
Everything you need to know
Getting a new kitten is incredibly exciting for all the family, but it can be quite scary for your new arrival. Find out how to deal with everything from behaviour to health questions with our expert kitten advice.
Cat laying in bed
Finding a pet
Cat facts you need to know
18% of households in the UK own a cat, but there's still so much that we don't know about them. From the unusual way they walk, to how big the largest cat is, we bet you haven't heard some of these fun facts!