Ocicat has gone through a relatively accidental but smooth history, not facing much resistance to acceptance. It was first bred in 1964 by Virginia Daly who was actually trying to produce Abypoint Siamese. Her daughter named the new breed Ocicat due to its resemblance to ocelot. Later American Shorthair bloodline was added, making Ocicat a combination of 3 breeds: Siamese, American Shorthair and Abyssinian. The first ocicat, Tonga got the fascination of noted geneticist Dr. Clyde Keeler who experimented further with the breed and that was when the breed was truly out to the world. Again in an experimental breeding process, it got available in four other patterns than spots. Detroit newspaper publicized it further. Got recognition by CFA in 1966 but took another 20 years to gain provisional status. Finally in 1987, the champion cat floured at the shows!
Possessing attractive body, the breed is one of the most beautiful cats to have. It also has a soft touch and captivating eyes. The icing on the cake is that Ocicats love being friends with people. They are affectionate and caring. Some characteristics are:
- Activity level: 4/5 (very agile and playful)
- Intelligence level: 4/5 (highly intelligent, can be taught variety of tricks including coming on command)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (quite curious)
- Friendliness: 5/5 (known for friendliness)
- Vocal: 0.5/5 (need to vocalize)
This spotted beauty demands your attention and asks you to take it home! The semi-foreign body structure of Ocicats makes it agile and fast in movements, also very sharp. Colours are another advantage of the breed due to varied cross breed. Look at the highlighted features of the breed:
- Fur: As discussed earlier, known for its wild spots arranged in a bull’s eye pattern. Have 12 different colours like brown, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lilac and fawn as well as a shimmering silver version. Also, the coat is a low maintenance one (using rubber brush)
- Eyes: Almond shaped eyes.
- Body structure: powerful and sleek semi-foreign body is how it can be best described.
- Facial features: Wedge shaped head, long and not broad.
- Weight: Athletic males weight between 9 and 14 whereas graceful females weigh between 6 and 9.
On a general basis, Ocicat is a healthy breed with a relatively longer lifespan. But it might just develop a disease from its parent breed. Some common ones are:
Deficiency in the enzyme Pyruvate Kinase (PK), common in most cats causes the cat to have anemia. PK deficiency testing (molecular DNA tesing) should be done. Another dangerous disease is Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart disease. Any breeder claiming guarantee on this is false. Because nobody can assure that cat would never suffer from this disease. It may or may not. Ask the breeder to duly check the kitten’s parents for the same.
Having a wild cat as Ocicat has its own advantages. It does not require much grooming. Nail trimming, ear cleaning and teeth brushing are some of the regular activities required to keep your pet fresh and disease free. It is however, essential to brush the Ocicat nicely to keep its coat shiny. Different techniques are used for different colours.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org