This breed owes its name to a large wild cat called the Ocelot, despite the fact that it has never been crossed with one. It is only because of the resemblance with the coat of the Ocelot that the breeder gave it this name. Beyond their elegance, Ocicats are great pets to live with, which will adapt to any indoor environment that suits their needs.
Key facts about the Ocicat
Origins and history
This breed is native to the United States. A farmer had the desire to create a Siamese tabby point. She crossed a Siamese / Abyssinian cat with a Siamese chocolate point cat. In the litter, only one of the kittens presented an atypical coat, ivory with small golden patches. Although this kitten was castrated, breeding of this breed continued. Other breeders made crosses with Abyssinians and Siamese but also with other breeds like the American Shorthair. Thus, different colours of coats appeared with the arrival of the modern Ocicat, which was recognised by the TICA in 1986. It was only three years later that it appeared in Europe where it remains rather rare, unlike in the USA.
Physical characteristics of the Ocicat
Female : Approximately 12 in
Male : Approximately 12 in
They will be fully grown at around 1 year old.
Female : Between 7 and 11 lb
Male : Between 9 and 13 lb
Black, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, blue
Each colour will have spots that are darker than the rest of the coat.
Type of coat
Green, golden yellow
All colours are accepted except blue.
These domestic cats are not just elegant, they have long and athletic bodies thanks to their strong muscle and bone structure. Their spots give them the appearance of a wild cat. Their beautiful almond eyes are surrounded by coloured bands on their heads that look like mascara. The same coloured bands appear on their legs.
Good to know
This breed cannot have white spots or specks.
Ocicats are very affectionate and will become an integral part of your life, although you may never win their trust entirely.
Their athletic bodies mean they love to run, jump and climb. It is best to offer them tall cat trees to avoid them climbing on your curtains or on your kitchen worktops.
Once they have been on their daily adventures, Ocicats tend to calm down.
You’ll be able to admire more than just your cat’s elegance. Ocicats are clever and are more than capable of learning what you try to teach them.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Always curious of their surroundings, an Ocicat will always notice something new. As long as they have access to their own space, either high up or hidden, they will be happy to introduce themselves to a newcomer at a time that suits them.
An Ocicat can entertain itself when needed.
Behaviour of the Ocicat
These can be quite chatty cats, some more than others however they are certainly not as loud as a Siamese.
Need for exercise / Sporty
This athletic feline has some surprising skills and a strong desire to play! Ocicats need to play every day to use up their energy, it is best to find some toys you can play with together.
Tendency to run away
Their impressive jumping abilities mean that these cats are able to easily climb walls and fences. Try to secure your home if you would prefer your cat to be closeby at all times.
Greedy / Gluttony
Being very active cats, Ocicats like to eat. It gives them a moment to pause and recharge their batteries. It would be advisable to use an interactive bowl to encourage them to eat a little slower.
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Ocicat and cats
These cats don’t need other feline companions to beat any loneliness whilst you are out. However, if you wish to have more than one cat, Ocicats can adapt to other cats in the house, as long as they are brought in respectfully.
Ocicat and dogs
By introducing them in the right way, and ensuring that your cat has some high points to which it can escape (such as a cat tree), you are increasing the likelihood of your two pets getting along.
Ocicat and children
Although this cat may look wild, you needn’t worry about your children. Ocicats can be great companions for the whole family just as long as your children are respectful of the cat.
Ocicat and the elderly
Getting an older and more experienced cat, which can be of a calmer nature will make great company. But when they are young, they are mischievous, and a level of monitoring and play that an elderly person may not be able to keep up with.
On average, the price of an Ocicat kitten is approximately £250. The price varies according to the lineage of the kitten, the breeder, the age at the time of its acquisition or even the sex. It will cost on average £35/month to meet the needs of an Ocicat, to purchase good quality food etc.
Regular brushing will suffice to meet the needs of this easy to look after cat.
When moulting you will need to brush your cat weekly.
Nutrition of the Ocicat
As active cats, they require high quality food to ensure they stay in good health.
Health of the Ocicat
Ocicats live for between 12 and 15 years.
Strong / robust
Their short hair means they are less resistant to the cold than they are to heat.
Tendency to put on weight
Unless they have something to keep them busy, Ocicats risk getting bored and taking an interest in eating. It is important to regularly check that your cat is not putting on too much weight which could lead to health problems.
The Ocicat can develop the same illnesses as any other cat, such as oral diseases.
Some diseases are specific to this breed:
- Progressive atrophy of the retina is a disease that can cause blindness in this breed. A screening test does exist.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy results in thickening of the heart muscle.This causes heart failure that can result in arrhythmias, or pulmonary edema. Screening is done by means of an echocardiography examination, which is usually renewed annually. A treatment can be administered to reduce discomfort.
Ocicats usually have litters of around 4 kittens.
They can only be bred with other Ocicats, mating with Abyssinians has been banned.
Good names for an Ocicat: Coffee, Mars, Quick, Ubi