Pet Advisor Blog
Ocicat – Cat Breeds Guide
The Ocicat is a purely domesticated cat breed that may look like a hybrid but surprisingly, it has no wild cat DNA in its genes. The wild appearance is brought by the very unique spotted coat seen on wild cats. The Ocicat is slightly larger than the average domestic cat.
There are four types of Ocicat that differ in the color pattern:
– Ebony Silver Spotted Ocicat
– Lavender Spotted Ocicat
– Chocolate Spotted Ocicat
– Tawny Spotted Ocicat
The four coat types are basically the same and shares one set of standard.
The name for this breed was derived for its resemblance to the Ocelot or the wild cat that is famously known as the Dwarfed Leopard.
The Ocicat is one of the youngest cat breeds that originate in the United States, specifically in the State of Michigan in the year 1964. The pioneer breeder of this breed is Ms. Virginia Daly. This breed can trace its ancestry to the lines of Siamese, Abyssinian cats and American Shorthairs.
Some believe that the Ocicat is a breed that resulted in an attempt by British cat breeders to create the Egyptian Mau cat by crossing Abyssinian cats, Siamese cats and other tabby-type cats. The breeders failed to produce the desired appearance, as the specimens produce are very different compared to the Egyptian Mau. This led to the Ocicat being developed from the same stock used by the British breeders.
Size: Ocicat is slightly larger than most average cats and comes in medium to large sizes.
Coat Type: The coat of the Ocicat is short in length.
Body Type: The Ocicat has a moderate body type.
Grooming Requirement: Ocicats are felines that require very little grooming attention.
Vocal Tendency: Ocicats will be talkative and considered as a vocal cat breed.
Energy Levels: Ocicats have activity levels that are very high.
Time Alone: The typical Ocicat will require about 4 to 8 hours of alone time per day.
Care: These cats will need average attention time and can be a handful.
Australian Cat Federation Inc.
Cat Fanciers’ Association
Co-Ordinating Cat Council of Australia
Fédération Internationale Féline
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy
New Zealand Cat Fancy
Southern African Cat Council
The International Cat Association
World Cat Federation
Livre Officiel des Origines Félines
American Cat Fanciers Association
Cat Fanciers Federation
Cat Federation of Southern Africa
Canadian Cat Association
American Association of Cat Enthusiasts
Cat Aficionado Association
There are cat breeders and cat fanciers who believe that the Ocicat originates from the failed attempt of British breeders to create the Egyptian Mau by crossing Abyssinian cats, Siamese cats and other tabby-type cats. The said crosses resulted in a failure as the specimens produce have no similarity and look entirely different from the Egyptian Mau. It is said that breeders used the failed stock and created the Ocicat breed out of it.
This is somewhat true, as the Ocicat was bred using very similar stock. But the precise history of the modern Ocicat breed can be traced to Berkeley, Michigan in the United States. The pioneer breed was Ms. Virginia Daly who originally attempted to produce an Abyssinian-Pointed Siamese cat in the year 1964.
The first generation of Ms. Daly’s breeding development produced Abyssinian looking kittens. The second generation also produced Abyssinian-Pointed Siamese and one spotted kitten which was named “Ocicat” by Ms. Daly’s daughter, depicting its resemblance to the wild Ocelot cat. The first Ocicat was neutered and sold as a household pet. Ms. Daly used the kitten’s parents for further breeding which fortunately produced more spotted kittens that are similar for the first Ocicat. The male and female pair that produced the first and succeeding spotted specimens were used as the basis and foundation stock of the modern breeding program for the Ocicat Breed.
Later on, other cat fanciers began using Ms. Daly’s original process of crossing the Siamese with Abyssinian cats and then back-crossing the specimens produced to the Siamese. As the development continued, lines of the American Shorthair were added into the mix. The American Shorthair bloodline gave the modern Ocicat a larger bone structure and added silver to the initial set of 6 colors. Consistent results on the breeding program pushed for the Ocicat to be registered to the Cat Fancier’s Association or CFA. By 1987, the CFA has fully recognized this breed as a separate and distinct domesticated cat breed that is eligible for Champion Class. Most major feline organizations followed suit. As of 2014, all major international feline registries and associations give full recognition and accept the Ocicat as a Champion Class breed.
Today, this particular breed that was “created by mistake” is bred across the planet and is considered to be one of the most popular domesticated cats in the world.
The Ocicat is considered to be among the most outgoing feline breeds in the cat universe. These are very friendly and highly sociable domestic cats that will not be shy towards strangers. These cats are people-oriented and will display a very welcoming and tolerant nature makes them ideal family pets. Ocicats will get along with animals of all types. This cat breed’s high intelligence makes them easy to train for fetch and also other obedience lessons including walks on a leash or harness, speaking, lying down, sitting, recognizing that reacting once their names are called as well as other dog-related tricks. The Ocicat is also impressive in its agility and some are known to enjoy water-related activities! The Ocicat is the perfect pet for people who can spend a lot of time with these cats. It is noteworthy to mention that this breed will require more care and attention compared to cats that are not people-oriented like the Ocicat.
The Ocicat, although a breed created from a pure domesticated cat stock is wild in appearance with leopard-like spots on their coats. These very domesticated but very wild cat looking felines have large spots that are thumb-print in shape and display a subtle pattern that of the classic tabby.
The Ocicat is a medium to a large-sized cat with a body that is moderate in type and covered with unique leopard-like spots. These are powerful and athletically built cats that are graceful in motion and uniquely wild in appearance.
Ocicats have solid and hard bodies that are somewhat long in shape with depth and fullness. There is a noticeable and substantial bone structure that is complemented by developed muscles that are athletic in appearance rather than robust. The Ocicat cat’s weight is surprisingly heavy for its size.
Head, Ears and Eyes
Ocicats have heads that are modified wedge in shape and show a slight curve from the muzzle area to the cheekbones. These cats have moderately large ears that are set at a 45-degree angle that is not too high or too low. Ocicats have large almond-shaped eyes, with an angle that is slightly upwards toward the ears. The only unacceptable eye color is blue. Otherwise, the Ocicat comes in all eye colors and is not dependent on the coat color.
Coat and Tail
The Ocicat’s tail is fairly long in length and medium in thickness with a slight taper. The tails tip is dark-colored. The coat of this breed is short in length and smooth to the touch with a satin-like texture and a lustrous shine. The hair is sleek, tight and lying close to the body with lengths that can accommodate Agouti bands. All the hair on this cat is tail banded with the exception of the fur on the tip of the tail.
The Ocicat may come in various colors and patterns that include fawn and silver, blue silver, lavender silver, cinnamon silver, chocolate silver and basic tawny, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, fawn, silver and lavender colors.
Ocicats are considered to be generally healthy cats. The potential to develop a variety of health issues is not set very high but will occur. Medical problems that may occur include eye problems that lead to blindness, specifically PRA or progressive retinal atrophy, feline heart problems including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and genetic problems that are inherited to the Abyssinian breed including renal or liver amyloidosis as well as the periodontal disease.