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Siamese kittens are born white and their points appear within their first year. Unlike other pointed breeds, Siamese only come in four true points: seal, chocolate, lilac or blue.

A classic feline staple, more than any other breed, Siamese cats have been used to establish other breeds. Most notably, they’ve been used to establish the Balinese, Bengal, Birman, Burmese, Havana Brown, Himalayan, Colorpoint Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair, Snowshoe and Tokinese. The Siamese is possibly the most widely recognized pedigreed cat in the world.¬† (Who doesn’t know what a Siamese cat looks like?) Those gorgeous points, the loud voice and their lordly manner are beloved worldwide and by millions of “owners.”

Loyal, intelligent and personable, Siamese love to snuggle. They do adore spending time with similar looking felines, though they love all other cats. (Even dogs.) To a Siamese, everything is a toy, so expect him to get into EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME! Beware of what he learns between the lines — if something is done (or tolerated) two days in a row, it becomes a rule and, therefore an expectation. A Siamese is another cat that plays hard then sleeps hard. When they love you they want to be with you all the time. A closed door is not an impediment.

Siamese cats originated in Siam (what is now Thailand) as early as the 14th century. Westerners were first introduced to the breed in the 19th century. The first Siamese in the U.S. was given to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1879. In Britain, they were introduced in 1884.

Siamese cats are moderately sized and females weigh between 6 to 12 pounds. Males are slighter larger.

Oriental Longhair

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The Oriental Longhair is a svelte cat. Fine-boned, elongated and lithe, Oriental Longhairs are a bag of muscles. The head is a long, tapered wedge. The ears are very large and pointed. The neck is slender. Legs are long and thin. The tail is also long and tapers to a point. Eyes are almond-shaped and blue, green or odd eyed. Eye color depends on the coat color and pattern. Males weigh 7 to 10 pounds, females are 5 to 8 pounds.
An Oriental Longhair coat is medium in length, silky to the touch and lays close to the body. The tail plumage is lush and feathery — much longer than the hair on the body. Colors and patterns are too numerous to name, so they are divided into classes of shaded, smoke, parti-color, tabby, pointed, bicolor and solid patterns. However, solid ebony, pure white and some tabby patterns are the most popular colors/patterns.
The Oriental Longhair is a rare breed. He’s a good fit for you if you’re looking for a svelte cat with the talkative temperament of the Siamese with the look of a Balinese. Oriental Longhairs are essentially a branch of the Siamese, but isn’t limited to the short hair, color point patterns and few choices of color. The breed was developed from their shorthaired counterparts. Fanciers wanted a long-haired version. In the late 1970s, Oriental Shorthairs were crossed with Balinese (another longhaired Siamese descendent) and the Oriental Longhair was achieved.
An Oriental Longhair will most likely be under your feet — all the time. You will definitely need a tall cat tree, unless you want your Oriental Longhair on high furniture. Their activity level, playfulness, curiosity and intelligence makes it hard for them to stay out of closed spaces. They abhor closed doors, especially when they know that you are on the other side of that door. Oriental Longhairs are extreme people cats with a wholly trusting nature and they tend to bond closely with one person. They will be friendly with their entire family, but you’ll know who his favorite person is. He will spend most of his time with that person and eagerly await the arrival home. Once his bond is formed, he will trust you completely. If he’s left alone too long or doesn’t receive enough attention, he will become unhappy and depressed. An Oriental Longhair is also a snuggler. If you want a lap cat, look no further. These guys are Velcro cats!
The Oriental Longhair has developed a reputation for being demanding, noisy and mischievous, which is all true and endears them to their fanciers. (While “noisy,” Oriental Longhairs have a softer, milder tone than their Siamese cousin.) They love nothing more than rehashing the day with their favorite person and are never at a loss for topics of conversation. They are also extremely sensitive to your tones; harsh words and mannerisms will hurt their feelings. Remember, this is such a trusting soul!


Looking for a cat that looks like it walked out of the jungle but behaves like a domestic? An Ocicat may be for you. Ocicats are medium to large cats that have substantial bone structure and is well-muscled. The powerful legs are muscular and medium-long. The feet are oval and compact. The torso is solid and hard. (Ocicats are surprisingly heavy; it’s all that muscle inside them.) The tail is long and slim. It slightly tapers and has a dark tip. The overall appearance of an Ocicat is lithe and athletic. Males weigh 10 to 15 pounds (really) while females weigh 7 to 12 pounds.
The muzzle of Ocicats are broad and square looking, with strong chins and firm jaws. The ears are alert and somewhat large. The eyes are wide-set, large and almond-shaped. All eye colors (except blue) occur but aren’t related to coat color. Lynx tips (ear tufts) occasionally occur and lend the Ocicat an even more exotic look.
The Ocicat coat is short and lays close to the body. Ticking bands give a lustrous, smooth, satiny feel. All Ocicat coats are spotted from the shoulders down through the legs. The belly is spotted. The tabby “M” is on the forehead. Broken bracelets are found on the lower legs and at the throat.
Ocicats come in tawny spotted, cinnamon spotted, chocolate spotted, blue spotted, fawn spotted, lavender spotted, ebony silver spotted, cinnamon silver spotted, chocolate silver spotted, blue silver spotted, fawn silver spotted or lavender silver spotted coats. The coat is lighter on the face around the eyes and on the chin and lower jaw. The coat is darkest on the tip of the tail.
The Ocicat breed was an accident. In the early 1960s, a Michigan breeder wanted to breed Siamese with Abyssinian-colored points. She chose a ruddy Abyssinian male and a large seal point Siamese female. The Abyssinian pattern and color is a dominant gene over the Siamese pattern’s gene so the kittens looked like Abyssinians that carried the recessive gene for the Siamese points. One of the female kittens was bred to a champion chocolate point Siamese male. This produced the breeder desired Aby-pointed Siamese kittens.
The next litter produced an ivory male with a golden spotted coat and copper eyes. This kitten was named Tonga. Poor Tonga was sold as a pet. A conversation with a geneticist who wanted to recreate the now extinct Eygptian spotted fishing cat required Tonga to be brought back into the mix as he was to be the new sire. Unfortunately, by this time Tonga had been neutered. Thankfully (for the future breed), Tonga’s parents created another “accident” named Dalai Dotson. Dalai indeed became the forefather of the Ocicat breed.
If the Ocicat breed didn’t descend from wild ocelots, how did they get their name? It was the breeder’s daughter that named the breed “Ocicat” because Tonga reminded her of a baby ocelot.
An Ocicat may not be 100% civilized, but they are as domesticated as any other cat. They are active, intelligent, talkative (!) cats. Loyal and loving, their love runs deep. They tend to bond to only one lucky family member and are completely enamored! They are fond of the rest of the family and their companion pets though.
Extremely confident, they are a rambunctious breed. You will have many hours of (free) entertainment with an Ocicat in the household. Outgoing and people-oriented, your Ocicat will not run from a doorbell. When an Ocicat isn’t getting enough attention, you will hear about it. (That’s the Siamese in them.) What they’ve (thankfully) lost from their Siamese ancestors is the raspy yowl. The more you talk to them, the more an Ocicat will reply back to you. (No one-sided conversations with these guys.)
Most Ocicats fetch and some will drop their toys on your face in the middle of the night, if they believe it’s play time. Ocicats quickly learn their name (though they still have the cat tendency to come when THEY are ready) and with your time (and some patience) can readily learn a variety of tricks. An Ocicat can rival the family dog with what they can be taught to do. Ocicats are able to learn “tricks” of their own, like how to open doors or containers that contain treats. They are acrobatic, curious and highly clever (too clever for their own good at times). If they really want something, an Ocicat will find a way to get it. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an enduring trait to humans who collect knickknacks or fragile valuables. Even more unfortunate is no shelf is inaccessible, no height
is too high (this includes ceiling fans).
Their ancestors — Siamese and Abyssinians — don’t do well when left to their own devices and neither do Ocicats. If you work 60-hour weeks and don’t provide your Ocicat with a companion (meaning an outlet for his curiosity and affection), your life will be miserable. Just ensure that when you get home, you give your Ocicat some quality time. When considering a companion for him, don’t feel like you need to provide another Ocicat. Two can cause double the trouble.

Havana Brown

The burgundy-colored, smooth, glossy coated Havana Brown gleams like a beacon in the light. These medium-sized cats have firm, muscular bodies (and are surprisingly heavy). Havana Browns have a distinctive head shape. They are longer than they are wide. The head narrows to a narrow-ish rounded muzzle. Fanciers liken a Havana Brown head to a corn cob or a light bulb. The muzzle just doesn’t look like an extension of the head. Wide-set oval eyes are green, expressive and alert. The ears are set wide apart and are large and rounded at the tips. Tails are slender and medium in length. Males tip the scales at 8 to 10 pounds, females weigh in between 6 to 8 pounds.

The Havana Brown breed is as old as the Siamese and they come from the same area — Siam (now Thailand). Solid brown cats were the first cats of Siam to be transferred to Britain in the late 1800s. World War II decimated the breed until fanciers took an interest in re-establishing the Havana Brown breed in 1952. They used seal and chocolate-point Siamese, black domestic shorthairs and a limited amount of Russian Blues. In 1970 the breed was named British Havana. (North American Havanas look much different than British Hananas.) North American Havanas can trace their lineage back to a female named Roofspringer Mahogany Quinn.

But where did the Havana name come from? There are two popular stories: the breed was named after the Havana Rabbit (the cats are similar in color and the rabbit is considered the mink of the rabbit family) or that they were named for the color of Cuban cigars. Either (or neither) of these stories could be true, no one knows for sure.

Havana Browns are not too active, nor are they couch potatoes. They provide a wonderful balance between. They are intelligent, affectionate, gentle, agreeable and possess a wonderful adaptive quality. They take any situation in stride. They make excellent family pets and get along well with other cats, children and cat-friendly dogs. Havanas crave human interaction and don’t do well if they’re neglected or left alone for long periods. Closed doors are not allowed — they like to be involved. When your Havana is getting enough of your time, he will be a perpetual purring machine, completely devoted and enthralled with you. (Humans are their favorite toys.) Havanas would rather have your undivided attention at playtime than a room full of catnip mice. To help keep your Havana happy when you’re out working, you’ll need to provide him with a kitty (or canine) companion.

European Burmese

European Burmese cats are athletic and muscular with a gently rounded appearance. They tend to fall between svelte and cobby. They appear to be heavier than they are. Males weigh 10 to 15 pounds, females usually weigh between 7 to 10 pounds. Chests are strong and rounded, the back is straight. Legs are slender with longer hind legs. The tail is medium in length and tapers to a rounded tip.

The head is rounded. Ears are set well apart. Wide cheekbones taper to a short, blunt muzzle. The lower jaw is strong and so is the chin. Their eyes are large and alert.

European Burmese have a fine, short coat that lays close to the body with a glossy, satiny feel. European Burmese come in a wide variety of colors. They also have color patches distributed over their entire body and on their extremities. Their undersides are paler than their backs.

Burmese and European Burmese came from Wong Mau. Two of his descendants were imported to Britain by a Siamese breeder. The female was already pregnant buy lost her kittens while they were in the six-month quarantine. The breeder then imported a female Burmese from the U.S. and later imported a male cat. From these cats, the European Burmese was developed.

European Burmese are lively, entertaining, intelligent and loving. They make faithful life-long companions who’ll spend their waking hours engaged in interactive games or cuddling with its family. Young European Burmese cats will engage in acrobatic feats. They remain quite playful their whole lives.

Don’t engage in a battle of wills with a European Burmese, you’ll lose every time. That’s okay though, they’ll make a great companion for children (who play gently), other cats and dogs that like cats. They do need another pet in the home; European Burmese become unhappy and/or depressed if left to their own devices. (If having a companion animals isn’t doable for you, you should look at another breed.)

Colorpoint Shorthair

The Colorpoint Shorthair is a beautiful, svelte cat with a lithe body that is strong and muscular. Males tip the scales between 7 to 9 pounds, females at 5 to 7 pounds. Colorpoints have a long tail that tapers to a fine point. The head has a flat forehead and a wedge-shaped muzzle. The ears are large and pointed. The eyes are almond-shaped and a vivid blue.

The coat is short, fine and lies close to the body. Like the Siamese, the Colorpoint’s points (ears, face, mask, feet and tail) are a different color than the body. The points can be red or cream, lynx (tabby) colored or tortoiseshell. The body can be clear, glacial white, bluish white, ivory, cream or fawn. Kittens are born pure white and develop their point colors soon after birth.

Essentially Colorpoints are Siamese cats. In the 1940s, British and American breeders crossed Siamese cats with red domestic shorthaired cats. Later, Abysinnians and American shorthairs were introduced into American breeding efforts. It took a great deal of time to get the desired colors and point patterns. In 1964 the Colorpoint was accepted for breed registration by the CFA board of directors.

Life with a Colorpoint is never dull! If you want a car glued to your lap, a cat that refuses to be ignored, a cat in-training to climb Mount Everest, the Colorpoint is for you. If you want to rent or loan your cat to the circus, a Colorpoint fits the bill. Any toy that’s interactive, your Colorpoint will be all over it.

Ever curious and a tad too intelligent, a Colorpoint can open closed doors and get into cupboards. There is no height too high. If they’re awake, a Colorpoint is in motion. Whether you’re listening or not (and, of course, you will be if they have anything to say about it), they’re talking. Another favorite activity of Colorpoints is fetch — and you’ll get tired of the game first; count on it.

Whatever you’re doing, your Colorpoint will do too. (No working from home for you!) Colorpoints don’t do anything halfway. They live life at 200% and expect the same in return. They are such devoted cats that whatever your mood, they’ll experience it with you. (When you bawl, so will they.) Don’t yell at these guys, you will literally crush their spirits. All they want is to love and please you, and get the same in return.

Colorpoints are intense. If you don’t want a feline shadow, consider any other breed.