Looking for a cat that looks like it walked out of the jungle but behaves like a domestic? An Ocicat may be for you. Ocicats are medium to large cats that have substantial bone structure and is well-muscled. The powerful legs are muscular and medium-long. The feet are oval and compact. The torso is solid and hard. (Ocicats are surprisingly heavy; it’s all that muscle inside them.) The tail is long and slim. It slightly tapers and has a dark tip. The overall appearance of an Ocicat is lithe and athletic. Males weigh 10 to 15 pounds (really) while females weigh 7 to 12 pounds.
The muzzle of Ocicats are broad and square looking, with strong chins and firm jaws. The ears are alert and somewhat large. The eyes are wide-set, large and almond-shaped. All eye colors (except blue) occur but aren’t related to coat color. Lynx tips (ear tufts) occasionally occur and lend the Ocicat an even more exotic look.
The Ocicat coat is short and lays close to the body. Ticking bands give a lustrous, smooth, satiny feel. All Ocicat coats are spotted from the shoulders down through the legs. The belly is spotted. The tabby “M” is on the forehead. Broken bracelets are found on the lower legs and at the throat.
Ocicats come in tawny spotted, cinnamon spotted, chocolate spotted, blue spotted, fawn spotted, lavender spotted, ebony silver spotted, cinnamon silver spotted, chocolate silver spotted, blue silver spotted, fawn silver spotted or lavender silver spotted coats. The coat is lighter on the face around the eyes and on the chin and lower jaw. The coat is darkest on the tip of the tail.
The Ocicat breed was an accident. In the early 1960s, a Michigan breeder wanted to breed Siamese with Abyssinian-colored points. She chose a ruddy Abyssinian male and a large seal point Siamese female. The Abyssinian pattern and color is a dominant gene over the Siamese pattern’s gene so the kittens looked like Abyssinians that carried the recessive gene for the Siamese points. One of the female kittens was bred to a champion chocolate point Siamese male. This produced the breeder desired Aby-pointed Siamese kittens.
The next litter produced an ivory male with a golden spotted coat and copper eyes. This kitten was named Tonga. Poor Tonga was sold as a pet. A conversation with a geneticist who wanted to recreate the now extinct Eygptian spotted fishing cat required Tonga to be brought back into the mix as he was to be the new sire. Unfortunately, by this time Tonga had been neutered. Thankfully (for the future breed), Tonga’s parents created another “accident” named Dalai Dotson. Dalai indeed became the forefather of the Ocicat breed.
If the Ocicat breed didn’t descend from wild ocelots, how did they get their name? It was the breeder’s daughter that named the breed “Ocicat” because Tonga reminded her of a baby ocelot.
An Ocicat may not be 100% civilized, but they are as domesticated as any other cat. They are active, intelligent, talkative (!) cats. Loyal and loving, their love runs deep. They tend to bond to only one lucky family member and are completely enamored! They are fond of the rest of the family and their companion pets though.
Extremely confident, they are a rambunctious breed. You will have many hours of (free) entertainment with an Ocicat in the household. Outgoing and people-oriented, your Ocicat will not run from a doorbell. When an Ocicat isn’t getting enough attention, you will hear about it. (That’s the Siamese in them.) What they’ve (thankfully) lost from their Siamese ancestors is the raspy yowl. The more you talk to them, the more an Ocicat will reply back to you. (No one-sided conversations with these guys.)
Most Ocicats fetch and some will drop their toys on your face in the middle of the night, if they believe it’s play time. Ocicats quickly learn their name (though they still have the cat tendency to come when THEY are ready) and with your time (and some patience) can readily learn a variety of tricks. An Ocicat can rival the family dog with what they can be taught to do. Ocicats are able to learn “tricks” of their own, like how to open doors or containers that contain treats. They are acrobatic, curious and highly clever (too clever for their own good at times). If they really want something, an Ocicat will find a way to get it. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an enduring trait to humans who collect knickknacks or fragile valuables. Even more unfortunate is no shelf is inaccessible, no height
is too high (this includes ceiling fans).
Their ancestors — Siamese and Abyssinians — don’t do well when left to their own devices and neither do Ocicats. If you work 60-hour weeks and don’t provide your Ocicat with a companion (meaning an outlet for his curiosity and affection), your life will be miserable. Just ensure that when you get home, you give your Ocicat some quality time. When considering a companion for him, don’t feel like you need to provide another Ocicat. Two can cause double the trouble.