Origin and Race History
The sight of this cat would suggest that it was directly bred to wild ocelots. In the 1960s, Virginia Dalai began a new breeding program. She planned to breed a cat with an oriental character and red-brown fur. This breed was purposefully bred in the USA from Siamese, Abyssinian and American Shorthair.
The first litters actually resulted in litters with the desired badge. With one exception, in one litter there was a little gold-spotted tomcat. Since it did not meet the breed standard, Virginia Daly had the little “Tonga” neutered and sold it.
That would actually end the story of the house cat in the jungle look, had it not been for the many cat friends and the geneticist Dr. Clyde Keele. Tonga’s spots had piqued her interest. So the matings between Siamese and Abyssinians were repeated. Tonga was left out, but his parents provided for more offspring and thus again (in the second generation) for kittens in polka dot outfits.
The name “Ocicat” owes this breed of cats to Virginia Daly’s daughter. When the girl saw the spotted tomcat Tonga, she called him “an ocicat” because of its resemblance to a small ocelot.
While the Ocicat has been officially recognized in the USA since the mid-1980s. At the beginning of the 90s, the purebred kittens reached Europe and were subsequently recognized by the FIFe. Unfortunately, it is only very rarely found in Germany.
Appearance of the Ocicat
With its ocelot pattern, the Ocicat resembles a wild cat. She is a medium-sized breed of cats designed to give the impression of an athletic, muscular, and lithe animal. Your body is relatively long and strong.
The back rises slightly towards the hind legs and ends in a rather long tail with a dark tip. The tip of the tail is the darkest color of its entire fur.
Your head is wedge-shaped. She has well developed cheeks and a pronounced chin area. Their ears are medium-sized and always alert. Occasionally Ocicats have small tufts of ears, but they are not prescribed in the standard.
Her eyes are almond-shaped, set wide apart, and her view of the world is friendly. There are hardly any guidelines for eye colors, only blue is not allowed. Intensive colors are preferred, which also applies to the fur. All colors should be clear and beautiful, with the lightest color usually being on the face.
The coat is short, sleek and with a silky texture everywhere. It is fine and silvery, shiny and tight. It always has the typical pattern with evenly arranged dots and stripes. The spots are almost all over the body and should reach as far down the legs as possible.
The cat is now available in eight different colors, such as yellow-brown, black, blue, chocolate, lavender, cinnamon and fawn.
Character and Essence
Ocicats differ slightly in character and character from conventional house cats or other pedigree cats. Owners and breeders praise the character of the Ocicat as a successful mixture between the lively and talkative Siamese and the clever, sociable and adaptable Abyssinian.
So she should always be ready for pranks and always come up with new tricks. With her own talkativeness, she ensures that she does not miss the attention of her surroundings.
The nature of the Ocicat cat is not that wild, but extremely cuddly and loyal. The Ocicat is considered to be calm and balanced. Nevertheless, she is full of energy, which she likes to let off steam while playing.
This cat is very attached to its human and enjoys their presence and attention and loves to cuddle. It is also capable of learning and intelligent.
The Ocicat is an ideal house cat. It is undemanding and frugal with regard to its keeping conditions, but needs a close relationship with its two-legged friends. The Ocicat loves to share experiences with people or animal partners in her family.
She doesn’t have to be outdoors to feel good all around, but she really appreciates the opportunity to stroll around occasionally. A house with a garden is therefore ideal. She doesn’t want to be left alone for long.
She would be happy to have a suitable second cat by her side. Ocicats are easy to get along with and get on well with other animal members of the household. However, both cats and dogs, for example, should have been used to each other with a little patience.
The Ocicat is easy to train. If it comes from a reputable breeder who has taken good care of and socialized parent animals and kittens, it will fit into the rules and habits of its family by itself. With a little guidance, the animal can be house trained quickly and easily.
Pay attention to high-quality food so that your Ocicat stays healthy and happy. In order to feed an Ocicat healthily, it should be given high-quality food with a high meat content, because cats are naturally carnivores. Since needs change over the course of a cat’s life, it is advisable to rely on special food for kittens, adult animals and senior cats.
Ocicat kittens should be given at least four rations a day in order not to burden the digestive system too much. In the further course of the first year of life the rations can be divided into two to three meals. Kitten food should be given until around the age of one.
The Ocicat is very easy to care for. She needs next to no support. It is enough to comb them occasionally or rub them with a rubber glove to remove dead hair. She has little undercoat, which is why she prefers warm places in the apartment in winter.
With a little feeling and skill, brushing fur can be turned into a ritual of social bonding that is emotionally good for both cats and humans.
Health and Typical Diseases
The Ocicat cat naturally enjoys stable health. Breed-specific diseases are at least not yet known, which is related to the young age of the breed. Like any other breed, they can develop infections naturally. A pyruvate kinase deficiency, a special type of anemia, or problems with the eyes or heart are conceivable.
Life expectancy of the Ocicat
An Ocicat, bred carefully and healthily, can live to be 12 and more years old. Inbreeding can drastically reduce the life expectancy of this breed of cats.
If you want to get an Ocicat, you can first look around for a tabby cat in animal shelters. At the breeder you should make sure that parents and kittens grow up in good circumstances, especially with a close social connection to the human family.
You should look at the family tree. No ancestor should appear twice here in order to rule out excessive inbreeding. Due to the small gene pool, great care must be taken when breeding. Here it is advisable to look out for reputable breeders who will subject their animals to DNA tests. The price for seriously bred kittens of this breed should be around 800 euros. Bargain offers from the Internet should always be treated with caution.
If your household is lively, the Ocicat cat benefits from it. She also values dealing with many family members, children and possibly other cats. She is also tolerant with dogs. It is important that you give your house tiger attention, also in the form of many extensive pats.
Within the family, the Ocicat looks for a caregiver with whom it has a close relationship. Nevertheless, she is open and open-minded towards the other residents. This desire for closeness to a single person should be granted to her.
Instead, she loves to play and frolic with kids. And even if the expression on her face sometimes seems hypothermic, she is very loving and not at all aggressive. She even tolerates other animals such as dogs or the neighbour’s cat. This vital and active cat loves a lively everyday life in the middle of the family.
FAQ about the Ocicat
An Ocicat has an average life expectancy of 12 years.