CFA Oriental Breed Profile

CFA Oriental Breed Standard


Barbara Levitan

Years before Oriental appeared on the scene, Barbara Levitan had seen the results of an unplanned breeding of an errant Siamese queen belonging to Mrs. Rauch in Yorktown Heights . Barbara bought her first Siamese there, but she always remembered the little black mongrel kittens. So when Barbara Levitan saw Barbara Harr’s Orientals, she bought one, an ebony male named Harr’s Ogden T Panther of Felitan, the first Felitan Oriental. He produced, among others, the first blue grand, GRC Jecaro Blu-Jeans* in 1979, bred and owned by Bill, Wanda, and Jean Kunzelman.

Barbara Levitan and her friends Barbara Levine (Y-Not) and Carol Russel (Saraka) had always admired the color of silver American Shorthairs; they had never, however, much liked the shape of the package. The ideal solution was obvious, buy and American and produce silver Orientals. So Barbara Levitan went shopping, eventually she came home with a sweet faced silver tabby female “Stripey”* who was bred to Barbara’s most extreme Siamese male CH Felitan Bilbo Baggins. There were three silver tabbies, two females and one male, and one smoke female in the litter. Barbara Levitan kept one tabby “Spotnik,”* gave one to her daughter Eva, the tabby boy went to Carol, and the smoke went to Jane Wheat (Schuyler cattery). These first generation kittens actually looked like Orientals, fortunately Siamese type seemed to be more potent than the American. Barbara was not out of the woods yet however. Stripey was spayed, Spotnick proved to be sterile, and so did Barbara Levine’s tabby. Jane Wheat’s smoke proved fertile. She was bred to an ebony tabby – also bred by Barbara Levitan – with plenty of type, Felitan Amulet of Schuyler, one of the kittens from that litter produced Barbara’s founding silver tabby male Schuyler’s Sterling Silver of Felitan. Sterling had very long legs and was very good for a third generation Oriental but the Levitans did not want to show a silver until they had a real winner. She felt that when a new color hits the show bench, if the type isn’t very good, too often the color gets associated with mediocrity, and resulting prejudice holds back interest in cats of that color. So the Levitans bred Sterling to GRC (1980) Felitan Eboneeza, a non-silver cousin with much better type and produced GRC (1982) Felitan Silvanna, the first silver Oriental Shorthair shown and the first silver grand. Silvanna started a whole lineage of silver grands. GRC Felitan Silvanus* was best North Atlantic Oriental in 1984, his daughter Felitan Bobby Jean (of Kalahari) was best North Atlantic Oriental in 1986. Another Silvanus daughter, CH Temeluphis Argent of Rogue D.M. bred by Alex and Janice Stalcup, founded the successful silver line of Gloria and Susan Adler’s Glor-ee cattery, including GRC Rogue Joyeux Noel of Glor-ee, who was best NAR Oriental in 1987, GRC Glor-ee Sterling Silver,* and GRC Glor-ee’s Silver Jewel – all ebony silver tabbies and NAR regional winners, as well as GRC Glor-ee’s Gelsey* and GRC Glor-ee’s Captain Spalding* the first blue-silver and lavender-silver grands.

 Since the Levitans were trying to breed silvers and because they have always kept their cattery small (quality not quantity), and, most importantly, because they firmly believe in helping other breeders obtain good cats without adding stifling strings, they almost always kept silver kittens and sold non-silver for show or as pets. This policy helped form some of the most noteworthy Oriental lines in the country. Some good examples are Barbara Baylor (Fan-C) and Al and Jan Garraputa (Seareef).


*denotes cat pictured