Meet the Breed: The Ocicat
The Ocicat is a beautiful cat with a wild appearance, yet only domestic breeds were used to created this affectionate, outgoing breed. It was named for its resemblance to the Ocelot wildcat.
The Ocicat is a medium to large-sized cat with surprising weight for their size. They are solidly built and well muscled. There are 12 colors recognized in the Ocicat. The coat is short and satiny with varying base-colors with the ever-present spots. For a thorough pictoral description, visit Ocicat Info. The spotting extends from the shoulder blades to the tail and extends down the legs. The head is wedge shaped, being longer than it is wide. The facial features are pronounced including a strong chin and jaw.
The Ocicat was created by accident when Virginia Daley, from Michigan, attempted to create an Abyssinian-pointed Siamese in 1964. The second generation produced an ivory kitten with golden spots. They named the kitten Tonga and had him neutered and was sold as a pet as this was not the desired result. Daley's daughter called this new color an "ocicat," named after the Ocelot. Noted geneticist Dr. Clyde Keeler, had correspondence with Mrs. Daly regarding her spotted kitten as he was interested in producing a cat similar to the extinct Egyptian Spotted Fishing Cat. Further pairings of Tongas' parents produced more spotted kittens, and became the basis of a separate Ocicat breeding program. Other breeders used the same recipe to further broaden the new breed's gene pool. The American Shorthair was also introduced to give the breed larger boning and added silver to the colors.
Though the Ocicat looks wild, they are very devoted to their families. In fact, they have been said to have more of a dog-like personality in the way that they can be trained to fetch, walk on a leash and come when they are called. This cat is highly social and is consequently unhappy if left alone for long periods of time. They love their toys and can be quite possessive of them. Their powerful builds mean they can go nearly anywhere they desire in your home. These cats generally get along well with other pet species in the home, but may tend to dominate them.
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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
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