Oriental Longhair is a long and slender cat quite similar to the Siamese in its body structure. It is also known as British Angora. First recognition of this feline was in the late nineteenth century when it was found to be distinct from the Persian in its coat and physique. This recognition did not last long and it was only in the nineteen sixties that breeders in United Kingdom started developing this cat in earnest. It was named British Angora to distinguish it from Turkish Angora, a separate breed, and it was only recently, in 2002, that British cat fancies named it as the Oriental Longhair.
A lithe and tubular body is the hallmark of this svelte but muscular cat. Coat is silky and long though single layered. It occurs in a variety of colors and patterns including apricot, blue, black, chocolate, cinnamon, fawn, lilac, red, tipped and tabby. Head is wedge shaped and the almond shaped eyes are usually green to blue in coloration. Odd-eyed cats are often seen as well. Ears are large and pointed. Legs are long and so is the bushy tail.
Though Oriental Longhairs are generally quite healthy there have been cases of liver and heart disorders in them. These include hepatic amyloidosis and dilated cardiomyopathy in some lines. There is also a somewhat increased incidence of dental disorders including plaque buildup and gum inflammation. On the whole though these elegant cats are healthy and live for over fifteen years in an indoor environment.
Intelligent and playful by nature, Oriental Longhairs are very active cats. They can be mischievous and demanding at times and are quite inquisitive. Like their relative Siamese cats, the British Angoras are very vocal and expressive. Their fondness for high places is also famous. Even with their active lifestyles these felines take time to develop close attachments to their humans whom they will follow around everywhere.