Oriental Longhair Ebony mackerel tabby
GC Crystabel Jezabel of Balinan
Breeder: Christine & Isabelle Arnau, Crystabel cattery, Brossard, Quebec, Canada

What are Oriental Longhair?

There seems to be some common sense amongst the various organizations to call the non-pointed Longhair cats of this breed Oriental Longhair.
Some organizations list this breed in the Orientals as a variety, other organizations call them Oriental Longhair as a separate breed and distinguish them from the Oriental Shorthair, which is a separate breed.

It is interesting, when it comes to Pointed & White:

  • In CFA the color variety Pointed & White is listed in the Orientals.
  • In FIFe the color variety Pointed & White is its own breed, called Seychellois Longhair.


There are many different colors and patterns:

  • white
    There are also white Oriental Longhair, which are not recognized in each organization.
    The eye color of a white Oriental may be: blue, green, odd-eyed (one eye blue, the other one green).
  • black (Ebony), blue, chocolate (Chestnut), lilac (Lavender), cinnamon, fawn
Oriental Longhair lilac
Xandra vom Gartenweg
Owner: Uschi Schwarzenbach, Cattery the frizzled frolic, Germany
  • red, cream
  • (black) tortie, blue tortie (blue-cream), chocolate tortie, lilac tortie, cinnamon tortie, fawn tortie
    The tortie-colors are called in CFA Parti-Color.
  • All colors may be with tabby-pattern: blotched (= classic tabby), mackerel, spotted, ticked
    The colors tortie tabby are called in CFA Patched Tabby, in TICA one can find the name Torbie.
Oriental Longhair blue-cream ticked
Int.CH. Faridah Khai Muk
Owner: Annet Wouters, Izhayla's cattery, Netherlands
  • All tabby colors also exist with silver as silver tabby in all patterns.
  • All colors also exist with silver: smoke, shaded
    Red and cream silver shaded and silver tabby are also called Cameo, Dilute Cameo.
  • All colors may with white: Van, Harlequin, Bicolor
    The Harlequin pattern is not recognized in all organzations.
    In TICA the Bicolor-colors are called Parti-Color.
Oriental Longhair red mackerel & white
Crystabel Love A Little
Breeder: Christine & Isabelle Arnau, Crystabel cattery, Brossard, Quebec, Canada
Parti-Color is not equal to Parti-Color

Note: What is called Parti-Color in CFA, the tortie colors, are in TICA the colors with white.

Oriental Longhair tortie mackerel bicolor
CH. Izhayla's Rishona Seliyi sê Iriana
Breeder: Annet Wouters, Izhayla's cattery, Netherlands

Patched Tabby and Torbie

In CFA the colors tortie tabby are called Patched Tabby.
In TICA the colors tortie tabby are called Torbie.


Cameo and Dilute Cameo

In CFA red/cream silver shaded and silver tabby colors are called Cameo, Dilute Cameo:
Cameo for red silver shaded,
Dilute Cameo for cream silver shaded,
Cameo tabby for red silver tabby,
Dilute Cameo tabby for cream silver tabby.


What are Javanese?

In FIFe the Oriental Longhair was originally called Javanese.

In CFA all Balinese, which do not have one of the 4 basic colors, are called Javanese.

In WCF the Oriental Longhair is also called Javanese.


What are Mandarin?

In LOOF the Oriental Longhair is called Mandarin.
Here an Oriental is only the Oriental Shorthair.



Standard AACE
Standard ACF
Standard ACFA
Standard CCA
Standard CFA
Standard CFF
Standard FIFe
Standard GCCF
(You must buy the booklet.)
Standard LOOF
Standard SACC
Standard TICA
Standard WCF
[Oriental Longhair Cats in the UK]
Show breeders
Enter cattery into breeders list

Breed profile

Oriental Longhair are, as their relatives, Balinese, Oriental Shorthair and Siamese, cats of oriental type:
very elegant, graceful and slender.

The Oriental Longhair has medium size, the body is slender and long, yet with a very well developed muscle strength, which is quite firm in feeling. The legs are high (long) and slender with fine oval paws. The bones are fine and delicate.

The head builds a long wedge, which tapers to a fine muzzle. The nose is long and absolutely straight. The jaws are fine built. When the head is viewed in profile, a long straight line can be seen, which starts at the top of the head and continues straight to the tip of the nose. When the head is viewed from the front, the outer edges of the head build a long triangle.
The skull is rounded, in some organization the top shall be flat.
The neck is long, slender and graceful, thus emphasizing the elegant lines of this breed.
The eyes are almond in shape and slanted toward the base of the ears. Their color is green. This combination between the almond shape and the oblique placement of the eyes together with the wedge-shaped head with its straight lines is called oriental appearance of the breed.

The ears are large and wide at the base (i.e. one can look into the ears from the front). They complete the triangular shape of the head when continuing the outer lines of the head.

The coat is medium in length (mostly noticeably shorter than in semi-longhaired breeds), very fine and smooth lying to the body, it has almost no undercoat. When you stroke the coat you get the feeling of pure silk.

The tail is very long, rather thin and tapers to its tip. The coat on the tail is not very bushy, rather flowing and forming a plume.



The breed is man-made.
In the late 1960s and 1970s Kernow Gerza and Kernow Koptos, from a litter between an Abyssinian sorrel male and a sealpoint Siamese female, were used by Maureen Silson in her breeding program. In 1971 the first cinnamon Oriental, Southview Pavane, was produced from the mating between these siblings. Both carried also the longhair-gene inherited from their Abyssinian father, besides they carried also cinnamon, and passed this longhair-gene to several litters. The first Oriental Longhair to cause excitement was Southview Trappist, a 'longhaired' Havana, born in 1973. He was also exhibited in the Supreme Show in 1978.
The Oriental Longhair was called Angora by GCCF. It received the provisional status with 1st of June, 1998, and was fully recognized by GCCF 1st of June, 2003. It was then renamed to Oriental Longhair.
In the USA breeders crossed Oriental Shorthair with Balinese in the late 1970s to develop the Oriental Longhair. TICA recognized the breed in 1985, it was recognized by CFA for registration in 1988 and got the championship status in 1995.


Breeding and Genetics

The breeding rules are different in each organization, thus one should know the rules very well.

In CFA cross-breeding between Siamese Balinese and Oriental is permitted for the Oriental Longhair, but for the Siamese it is not permitted, and for the Balinese it is only permitted with Siamese. A cat can be registered as Siamese only having 8 generations of Siamese, and only the 4 basic color (seal, blue, chocolate and lilac) are called Siamese. A cat can only be registered as Balinese having 3-5 generations Balinese, and only in the 4 basic colors. See CFA Rules for Registration, effective February 2007, Article II, Section 3.
That means, Balinese resulting from Oriental Longhair (carrying the Siamese-gene cs) may be not registered always as Balinese.

In FIFe Oriental Longhair and Shorthair and Siamese and Balinese are called sister breeds. That means, Balinese may also have Orientals in their pedigree, as it is a cross-breeding between related breeds. See FIFe Breeding and Registration Rules, issue 1/2007, 4.1 List of recognized breeds with recommended outcross.

These are only two examples, how much breeding rules may differ from each other.

Concerning the genetics, you may read in detail about it in the chapter Genetics, Gene C and Gene cb & cs and Gene L. You will also find examples from the breeding practice here.



The Oriental Longhair cats are talkative cats, they can get quite loud sometimes. Females, which are in heat, and lonely studs can cry with an ear splitting voice. The Oriental Longhair loves to communicate with her owner. They are active cats, who like to play. They like to jump quite high, but they keep their balance on the narrowest space with great elegance, thus disrupting or disturbing very seldom something.

These extremely intelligent cats make very good companions for people, who like to have constant companionship. The Oriental Longhair will follow you, wherever you go, if you sit down, it will sit on your lap, if you eat, it will sit besides you on the chair, without being demanding or begging for food, if go to bed, it will enjoy to sleep in your bed with you. Oriental Longhair will be your friends for a life time.



Oriental Longhair require little grooming, they have almost no undercoat, thus their coat does not knot. But it will be good for the coat to brush their coat more frequently to remove dead hairs. Thus their coat will be glistening like silk.


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