Ocicat Breed at A Glance
Outgoing and friendly to everyone, including strangers, the Ocicat is a medium sized cat with a larger-than-life personality. Their exotic looks, combined with the personality of a domestic cat is sure to make an impact on all who meet them. Find out more about this breed and if an Ocicat is right for you and your family.
- Temperament: Playful, Active, and Loves Attention
- Size: On average, males range between 10-12 pounds and females between 8-10 pounds.
- Colors: Chocolate, Chocolate Silver, Cinnamon, Cinnamon Silver, Black, Black Silver, Fawn, Fawn Silver, Lilac, Lilac Silver, Blue, Blue Silver.
About the Ocicat
The exotic-looking Ocicat has been known to stop people in their tracks and steals their hearts. Confident and outgoing, they love playing games or curling up on a lap. These intelligent cats learn to play fetch, but beware that their love of toys can turn to possessiveness and they will engage in a game of tug-of-war if you try to take them away. Their short coat is easy to maintain with regular brushing.
The Ocicat is an athletic breed with a playful inclination; is active and curious and can be demanding of your attention. They often exhibit dog-like behavior in their desire to play fetch with a favorite toy and can be taught to respond to verbal commands. Ocicats get along well in groups as well as with other cat breeds and dogs as long as their energies and personalities do not conflict.
TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues
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Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders
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The Ocicat does not require excessive grooming. Brushing your cat is not necessary however, it is a great way to bond with your new family member.
As with any cat, regularly brushing teeth and clipping nails is recommended. Talk to your vet for instructions and suggestions.
The Ocicat does not require a special diet and does well with any commercially prepared cat food. The TICA Ocicat Breed Committee recommends that your cat be fed wet food at least once a day. Fish-based food is not recommended. Treats, such as dehydrated chicken or chicken hearts are well received and considered a healthy treat.
Fresh water should be available at all times. Water bowls should be washed and refilled with fresh water daily. As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily so they don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from some cat behaviorists: place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less.
The Ocicat is generally a healthy breed. Annual visits to the veterinarian for vaccinations and regular checkups are recommended.
Virginia Daly (Dalai) created the Ocicat by accident in 1964 when she was trying to develop a Siamese with points the same color as an Abyssinian. She bred a ruddy Abyssinian male carrying cinnamon named Dalai Deta Tim of Selene to a large seal point Siamese female named Dalai Tomboy Patter. The resulting kittens were all phenotypically Abyssinian and she kept a female from the litter that she named Dalai She. Virginia Daly bred Dalai She to a chocolate point Siamese named Whitehead Elegante Sun. That litter included the expected Siamese with Abyssinian points.
She repeated the breeding and this time there was a surprise-a lovely ivory kitten with golden spots that she named Tonga. Her daughter declared he looked just like an Ocelot and wanted to call him an Ocicat-thus the new breed was named. However, a new breed was not the goal and so Tonga was neutered and placed in a loving pet home.
Corresponding with noted geneticist Dr. Clyde Keeler, Mrs. Daly mentioned Tonga. He replied saying he was interested in working with breeders to produce a cat similar to the extinct Egyptian Spotted Fishing Cat and suggested Tonga be bred back to his mother. While Tonga could not be used, Virginia Daly repeated the breeding and produced a tawny spotted male she named Dalai Dotson for use in the new project. The next step was to introduce the American Shorthair to the mix for the boning and substance-and to introduce silver. In 1966, she became the sole supporter of an elderly aunt and the Ocicat had to wait until the early 1980s. Other breeders also became fascinated by the spotted cats and developed new lines.
Eventually the breed moved forward and TICA granted the Ocicat championship status in August 1986.
Did You Know?
The first Ocicat was born by accident in Michigan in 1964 during the development of the Abyssinian pointed Siamese by Virginia Daly.
Ocicats are not related to Ocelots. Ocicats are a cross between Siamese x Abyssinian x and American Shorthair breeds.
From the Breed Standard
The Ocicat is a large, well-spotted cat of moderate type. It displays the look of an athletic animal, well-muscled and solid, graceful and lithe, yet with a fullness of body and chest. It is alert to its surroundings and shows great vitality. The Ocicat is bred in many colors. Each hair, except on the tip of the tail, has several bands of color. Where these bands fall together a thumb print spot is formed, darker spots on a lighter background. Within the markings, hairs are tipped with a darker color, while hairs in the ground color are tipped with a lighter color. All colors should be clear. The color is usually lighter around the eyes, on the chin and lower jaw; with the darkest color on the tip of the tail. Contrast is scored separately. Distinctive markings should be clearly seen from any angle. Those on the face, legs and tail may be darker than those on the torso. Ground color may be darker on the saddle and lighter on the underside, chin, and lower jaw. This powerful, athletic-yet-graceful spotted cat is particularly noted for its wild appearance. Preference is to be given to the athletic, powerful and lithe.
Click here to read the full TICA Himalayan Breed Standard.
Additional information and an introduction to the Himalayan breed can be found in the links below:
Accepted For Championship in TICA in 1987
- Ocicat Breed At A Glance
- Breed Introduction
- Ocicat Breeders
- Breed Standards
- Breed Committee
- Breed Seminar