- A professional cat breeder named Virginia Daly from Berkeley, Mich. is credited with the “accidental” creation of this breed. She bred a Siamese with an Abyssinian and the second litter included a male kitten with a spotted, wildcat-looking coat. She named him Tonga.
- Tonga was later bred with other Siamese, Abyssinians and American Shorthairs to become the father of the Ocicat breed.
- Breeding was temporarily nearly halted for a decade while Daly took care of her aunt who became sick and bedridden. Daly resumed breeding Ocicats in the early 1980s.
- In 1987, the Ocicat earned championship status by the Cat Fanciers Association.
Ocicat Behavior Concerns
- A true feline athlete, the Ocicat is capable of making high jumps, stalking “prey” and moving fast.
- This cat needs regular physical activity and mental challenges due to its high energy level and high intelligence. Set aside time to teach your Ocicat basic obedience commands and some dog-like tricks.
- Ocicats won’t apologize for being chatty and outgoing - even a bit demanding. They do best in active households with people who enjoy interacting with their cats and introducing new toys and forms of play.
- Ocicats hate being the only pet in the house. They fare best when paired with other cats and even dogs. They don’t like it when their favorite people work long hours and are away from home.
- Ocicats are among the breeds of cats who actually enjoy water and may try to join you in the shower or bathtub.
- This cat won’t turn down an invitation to ride in cars or travel with you. This breed adapts easily to new surroundings.
Look of Ocicats
- The Ocicat represents the only spotted domestic breed selectively created to look like cats of the wild, but be 100 percent domestic.
- All Ocicats sport spots the shape of thumb prints in a bull’s eye pattern all over their torsos and even on their bellies.
- This breed’s body is athletic, well-muscled and features a tight, shorthaired coat that gives off a satin sheen. The wedge-shaped head sports almond-shaped golden eyes ringed with mascara-like markings and a strong chin.
- This sought-after wildcat-looking coat comes in 12 recognized colors, ranging from tawny and chocolate to lavender and fawn-silver. Each hair contains several bands of color.
Grooming Ocicat Cats
- The coat sheds minimally and benefits by simply running a chamois cloth across weekly to lift away dead hairs.
Suggested Nutritional Needs for Ocicat
- Usually can be “free fed” because they are so active and burn off excess calories.
- Rarely have a tendency to become obese.
Fun Facts of Ocicats
- The Ocicat is 100-percent domestic but looks like a smaller version of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) a 20- to 30-pound spotted wildcat that generally ranges from southwestern Texas to northern Argentina.
- Known affectionately as “Ocis,” this breed is very voice sensitive and does not like being scolded, but does respond well to praise.
>>> SEE ALSO: Know Your Pet