Ocicat – Domestic Ocelot
Many people are drawn to the Ocicat because of its appearance. This exotic-looking cat makes people stop and stare, but not many know about this man-made cat.
History of the Ocicat Breed
The Ocicat was the result of an experimental breeding program in 1964 while trying to breed an Any-point Siamese, by a cat breeder by the name of Virginia Daly, who lived in Berkley, Michigan. Her daughter gave the cat the name Ocicat, because of the resemblance to the Ocelot (wild cat) and the name has now been given to the entire breed. The Ocicat (Abyssinian and Siamese) was later crossed with the American Shorthair, which gives the cat its silver colors. The broad gene pool also gives the Ocicat a broad genetic background making for a healthy breed. They are known to live as long as eighteen years!
The first Ocicat was neutered and sold as a pet. But, when the parents mated again, their litter included many kittens that resembled the first Ocicat and these became the founding line of the Ocicat breed.
Types of Ocicat
Ocicats have twelve colors that are recognized for show competitions. The approved colors are tawny, blue, chocolate, cinnamon, dilute class, silver, fawn, blue, lavender, and any of them with silver: blue silver, ebony silver, fawn silver, cinnamon silver, chocolate silver et cetera.
Ocicat Physical Attributes and Characteristics
The most noticeable characteristic of the Ocicat is its resemblance to its wild cousins, although, in fact, its DNA has no wild gene. They are a mixture of the Abyssinian, Siamese and later American Shorthair cats. The Ocicat is a large, athletic animal with a solid and well muscled body. It has a short light coat that glows with a satin sheen. Ocicats are medium sized, shorthaired cats. Males can weight anywhere from 9 to 14 pounds (4-6 kg.) and sometimes more, while the female Ocicat usually weigh around 6 to 9 pounds (3-4 kg.). The eyes are almond-shaped. With the exception of blue, all eye colors are possibly. Their larger boned, muscular body makes them look heavier than they actually are. The ears at a 45 degree angle.
Temperament and Personality of Ocicats
Although wild looking, temperament wise they are not. Like most cats, the Ocicat is a curious, playful, active creature. The Ocicat is full of energy. The Ocicat is an outgoing breed and are extremely dog-like. Some Ocicats can be trained to fetch, walk on a leash, and other basic commands like come, sit, lie down, stand, sleep and even speak! This is usually something one would associate with a dog. They like playing with toys and enjoy splashing in water. Ocicats are very intelligent, very people-friendly and are considered to be extremely devoted to their owners. Because of their intelligent nature, you should keep them challenged by giving them puzzle toys and teaching them tricks. They do not always like staying home alone. They are very friendly to strangers and devoted to their owners which makes them a perfect family pet.
The Ocicat is a fairly healthy breed with no specific health problems to the breed. Their diet is the same as any other domestic cat.
Ocicats have short, satiny coats which require very little grooming. Just the occasional brushing and bathing will do. As not to ruin their satiny coat, a rubber curry brush should be used when grooming. The rest is the basic care giving to any cat: vet visits, nail trimming, etc.
Caring of Ocicats
Ocicats love the company of people and need cat-friendly people who can spend a lot of time with them.