At first glance, you might think a wild animal is approaching you when you see the Ocicat. These felines resemble a small leopard but are loving domestic cats. They do not have any wild blood in them but instead are a combination of the Abyssinian, Siamese, and American Shorthair breeds.
Don’t be alarmed by their wild looks! We promise that the Ocicat is an extremely loving creature that won’t turn on you in the night (unless they want to play).
This breed isn’t meant to be wild, and they sure enjoy living a happy and comfortable life inside. They like having toys and cat trees to perch on and love people too much to ever leave for the call of the wild.
To learn more about these unique creatures, keep reading.
|Ocicat||...at a glance|
|Personality||Energetic, affectionate, outgoing|
|Life expectancy||10-15 years|
|Coat & colors||Short; spotted, tabby & various colors|
Overview of an Ocicat
The Ocicat is a cat with a presence. This muscular, medium- to large-sized cat breed is athletic yet graceful to behold, and enjoys spending time engaged in activity.
Ocicats have beautiful spots that look very similar to those of a leopard. These felines move intentionally about the room, commanding it—almost as if they know that all eyes are on them.
The Ocicat’s weight can vary, with males typically being larger than females. Their weight ranges from 8 to 15 pounds.
Even when on the smaller end of that range, this cat feels compact and heavy. If your Ocicat is getting plenty of exercise and not overloading on treats, they will be good at maintaining their weight. Their high energy levels are an excellent deterrent against obesity, which can trouble quite a few other cat breeds.
The Ocicat is very proportional in body and tail length. They can be as long as 18 inches from the tips of their cute little noses to the ends of their strong tails.
The Ocicat’s coat color and pattern sets them apart from other breeds. They have a unique spotted coat that resembles that of a wild cat and comes in a variety of colors. Their coats are short and satiny with a lustrous sheen.
An Ocicat can sport the following colors:
- Tawny spotted
- Cinnamon spotted
- Blue spotted (or blue-silver spotted)
- Lavender spotted
- Fawn-silver spotted
- Chocolate spotted (or chocolate-silver spotted)
Besides spotted variations, Ocicats can also display classic tabby and other solid colors.
Regardless of what your Ocicat’s coat looks like, it will be beautiful, striking, and sleek. They’re a walking, climbing, purring conversation starter.
Ocicats can live long and happy lives of up to 15 years when properly cared for and given the right nutrition and exercise. When you dedicate effort to raising this healthy kitty, you will be rewarded with years and years of love.
History of the Ocicat
The Ocicat wasn’t created until the 1960s, and even then, this new breed was primarily accidental. Virginia Daly was interested in experimental breeding to try to get what she would have called the “Abypoint” Siamese cat. This would be a cat that resembled a Siamese with the same color markings as the Abyssinian cat.
She bred a ruddy Abyssinian male with a seal point Siamese and produced a litter considered Abyssinian. A female from this litter was then bred with a chocolate point Siamese cat, which resulted in Siamese kittens with Abyssinian points. She continued to breed these cats back and forth. Eventually, a small ivory-colored kitten with golden spots was born. She named this little spotted kitten Tonga.
Tonga was not Daly’s goal. Therefore, she was not really interested in his looks. She neutered him and gave him to live with a family.
When geneticist Dr. Clyde Keeler became intrigued by the ocelot-looking domestic house cat, he asked Daly to reproduce the same line of breeding. She got a tawny spotted male, which was then introduced to an American Shorthair to create a new litter. This work was replicated to introduce new colors, and soon the Ocicat became popular and intriguing to many.
Who wouldn’t want a pet that looks like a wild animal but acts like a sweet, playful kitty?
The Ocicat’s spotted coat is one of the most eye-catching characteristics of this breed. When you see a cat that resembles a small wild animal, it’s hard not to notice their similarities. They are strong with broad chests and alert ears. Sometimes their ears grow tufts at the tips, giving them an appearance similar to that of a lynx.
Their eyes can come in various colors, but what helps them stand out is the black markings that resemble eyeliner around the rims (so chic). This deepens their eyes and gives them a wild look. The Ocicat’s tail is also likely to be tipped in black, similar to that of a leopard.
This breed of cat is intelligent, playful, energetic, and loyal. They love to be with their humans, watching, interacting, and getting involved in activities. The Ocicat is outgoing and friendly, despite their wild looks.
Ocicats are very bright and appreciate enrichment games and learning new tricks. They will quickly catch on to their names and come when you call them. You might even be able to teach them how to play fetch or go out on walks (leashed, of course). If you work with your Ocicat and make new activities into games, they will have a great time.
Ocicats like to impress—they will attempt (and usually complete) risky jumps and sporadic actions just to keep their people paying attention. Because they love attention, too little of it can result in some bouts of depression and loneliness. Ocicats thrive when they have another furry companion to spend their days with while you are at work. They get along great with other animals and prefer a friend.
Are Ocicats vocal?
The Ocicat as a breed is vocal, but not as much as their Siamese ancestors. Ocicats love to have a lengthy conversation with you, but they want it to be equal. They won’t bore you with every detail of their day, but will be sure to catch you up when you get home.
Due to their vocality, they are aware of tone and its implication. When confronted with a harsh tone, they will understand the anger and be affected accordingly.
Caring for the Ocicat
Ocicats are typically healthy and active cats. They have lots of energy, so they need plenty of toys and cat trees to jump and climb on. These cats love to explore, so keeping them inside is going to be safest unless you use a leash!
If you can train your cat to be comfortable with being on a leash and in a harness, your Ocicat will be able to explore the outdoors and have brand new experiences. This will burn energy and keep them very content.
Taking them to the vet for regular check-ups helps maintain your Ocicat’s health. Providing a scratching post is also very helpful in maintaining your cat’s claws, especially if they are not a fan of the nail clippers.
Keeping your Ocicat’s space clean will keep them happy. By using an automatic litter box like Litter-Robot 4, you don’t have to worry about whether your cat’s bathroom is clean—because it always will be! This self-cleaning litter box will give your cat a fresh bed of litter every time.
Possible health issues
Although typically healthy cats, Ocicats are susceptible to a few medical conditions:
- Periodontal or gum disease, which can weaken the gums around the teeth and become more prone to infections
- Liver or renal amyloidosis, a hereditary disease that occurs when too much of the protein amyloid is deposited into your cat’s organs
- Heart diseases like Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
If you’re going to the vet regularly, you’ll be able to monitor your pet’s health best.
Loving this lovely cat breed
This dog-like cat is popular for very good reasons.
If you want a sociable, energetic, humorous, and outgoing cat that will impact your life for the better, the Ocicat is a wonderful kitty for the job.
- Ocicat | VCA Animal Hospitals
- Feline Dental Disease | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Amyloidosis In Cats | VCA Animal Hospitals