A shorthaired domestic feline, Ocicat is a spotted cat breed named after its resemblance to the wild cat Ocelot. It is the only artificially created spotted cat breed that has no wild roots in its ancestry. In fact the creation of the breed was quite accidental and relatively recent, occurring in the mid nineteen sixties, during the crossing of an Abyssinian male with a Siamese female. The spotted cats with a striking appearance rapidly earned widespread appreciation at that time and were selectively bred to propagate the new breed. Initial recognition came in the late sixties but it took two more decades for the new breed to gain championship status. Abyssinian and Siamese outcrosses were employed initially to add to the genetic variety and traits of the Ocicat. With time, American Shorthairs were also added to the mix to give the cat its supple, muscular body type.
Ocicat is a well built, somewhat large breed with a good musculoskeletal frame. It is slightly fuller than the Siamese and has a strong, graceful profile. Surprisingly heavy, the cat weighs in the range of six to ten pounds for females and ten to fifteen pounds for males. Coat is short, close-lying, shiny and occurs in twelve recognized colors including six variants of silver. Other colors include blue, chocolate, cinnamon, fawn, lavender and tawny. Head is triangular with big ears and slanted almond shaped eyes that occur in shades of green, copper and gold.
Renowned for their intelligence, Ocicats are very easy to train. They are often compared to dogs for their ability to play fetch games and move about on a leash. They often show a fondness for water and respond to verbal cues from their owners. While the overall appearance of the Ocicat is of a truly wild, exotic cat, in reality these pretty cats are totally gentle and domestic pets.
Ocicats are quite active and playful and at times can even be a little destructive. They love to play and be around their humans and follow them everywhere. Totally lap cats, Ocicats are very people oriented. They are not shy of strangers and respond well to other pets and children. The short fur is easy to care for and there are no significant health concerns for this cat apart from the occasional dental problems associated with breeds related to the Siamese. Though still relatively rare, the sociable and affectionate nature of Ocicats, coupled with their bright personality is ensuring that an increasing number of cat lovers are opening their homes and hearts to these pretty cats.