Share
You could earn SmartPoints on this page!SmartPoint Coin

June 27, 2013 at 10:18 AMComments: 3 Faves: 1

The Ocicat

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Feline 101 Blog Series

Ocicat

Ocicat Stats

************************************************************************************************************

Cat of the Week: The Ocicat

***********************************************************************************

Ocicats

Ocicats

************************************************************************************************************

Fun Facts About Ocicats

***********************************************************************************

  • While the Ocicat may look wild, they’re not what cat fanciers consider to be a natural breed.  In a way, these cats were an accidental breed, produced while attempting an entirely different looking cat!
  • In 1964, when Michigan cat breeder Virginia Daly breed a Siamese/Abyssinian mix to purebred Siamese trying to produce an Abypoint Siamese, she got what she was looking for, but also something unexpected. An ivory male with gold spots from the litter became the first of the “Ocicat” breed (so named because Virginia’s daughter thought he looked like an ocelot.)  Though they hadn’t planned to pursue a similar effect and the cat was neutered, a geneticist, Dr. Clyde Keeler, saw his picture in the paper and was so impressed he called Virginia urging her to try and repeat that fluke patterning. He had a feeling the effort would be worth it and a lot of cat lovers shared his dream - the beautiful looks of a wild cat with the sweet temperament of a domestic.
  • A secondary “mistake” that lead to today’s breed, came about when the first CFA Ocicat was registered. The owner accidentally recorded him as coming from an Abyssinian and an American Shorthair, rather than an Abyssinian and Siamese, so trusting breeders began introducing American Shorthairs into the line. In doing so, they took the breed away from the exotic Siamese face and body, and toward a wider range of colors, and the thicker, more athletic body type we see today.
  • Nearly 20 years after the first Ocicat was born, the Ocicat breed was granted full champion status (meaning the breed was eligible for awards not only as “best of breed,” but as “best cat” overall) by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1987.

Ocicat Kittens

Ocicat Kitten

************************************************************************************************************

How to Spot an Ocicat

***********************************************************************************

Agouti Spots. Coming in 12 different colorations including tawny, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lavender, fawn, silver and silver versions of all these colors, the Ocicat’s number one defining characteristic is definitely their wild-looking agouti spotting. If you’ve been following Feline 101, you may recognize the term from the Abyssinian and Singapura. “Agouti” or “color-ticked fur” is how cat fanciers describe fur which has a variety of colors banded on each follicle. Cats with this trait have a shimmery, iridescent appearance.

If you take a look at the Ocicat though, you’ll see they have more markings besides those gorgeous spots. CFA judging standards say Ocicats should have a clear “M” marking on their foreheads and markings extending back between their ears breaking into spots before their shoulders. They should have bands around their necks and legs. They should also have “mascara” markings and their eyes should be lined by a pale color nearest the eye and dark color outside that.

Solid, Athletic Build. Thanks to the combination of the exotic Siamese and Abyssinian cat breeds with the sturdy American Shorthair, the Ocicat has a strong, yet graceful build. The CFA also notes that they are “rather long-bodied” with a “surprising weight for its size.” These medium to large sized cats give off an overall athletic sort of appearance.

No White Spots or Blue Eyes. A lot of people don’t realize it, but much of what separates a mixed breed from a pedigree cat comes down to uniformity and minute details. In Ocicats the largest issues would be white spots  other than on the chin and upper throat and blue eyes, regardless of coloration.  Either of these issues would point to impurity in their line and would disqualify them from showing.

Ocicats

Ocicat

************************************************************************************************************

What to Expect from an Ocicat

***********************************************************************************

An Active Cat. With their strong, muscular build and wild appearance, a lazy Ocicat would be pretty disappointing, wouldn’t it? Luckily, they’re anything but.  Thank their breed originators, the nimble Siamese and Abyssinians and the rough and tumble, American Shorthair. Ocicats are almost always on the move and ready to play. When they’re not jumping up to a lofty perch, they’re happily playing with their toys. They, more than many other breeds, love a game of chase with a laser or a game of ketch with a crumbled up tin foil ball. There’s never a dull moment with an Ocicat in the house!

A Smart Cat.  As goes with many of the more active cat breeds, Ocicats are very smart kitties. Combined with their high level of energy and their unusual devotion to their people, the Ocicat’s intelligence means they can easily learn to play fetch, walk on a leash, and perform other tricks. To keep them happy, and avoid the destructive tendencies of an under-challenged, bored feline, make sure to devote plenty of play time to them. Puzzle toys that dispense treats would be excellent for a clever Ocicat!

A Social Cat. According to the CFA, the Ocicat is “a lot like a dog in that it is absolutely devoted to its people.” However unlike last week’s Feline 101 star, the Singapura /Pesky Little People Cat that wants to get right in the middle of whatever you’re doing, the Ocicat isn’t the “clinging-vine type.”  They’re just confident, outgoing cats that love people.

Ocicat Kitten

Ocicat Kitten

************************************************************************************************************

Feline 101 Diagnosis: Gorgeous Coat

***********************************************************************************

Omega 3/6/9Recommended Product: Omega 3/6/9

“Oh my gosh! Look at those spots! Is that a wild cat?! It’s so pretty!” If you decide to get an Ocicat, be prepared for a LOT of comments like this. These are gorgeous, eye-catching cats with a coat that will have your company oohing and ahhing. Fur like that deserves some TLC, so Feline 101’s Ocicat recommendation is going to have to be the Omega 3/6/9 supplement from Vetionx.

It’s GMO-free, naturally derived, and provides a balanced dose of omega 3, 6, and 9:

  • Flaxseed, Borage Seed, and Fish Oil are naturally rich in omega 3, 6, and 9.
  • ALA and DHA are known for their brain health benefits.
  • Vitamin E is known to promote softer, shinier fur and support healing.

While this supplement is honestly good for any cat, it’s especially great where a beautiful, shining coat is appreciated.

Click HERE to learn more about Omega 3/6/9!

************************************************************************************************************

More Ocicats!!!

***********************************************************************************

ocicat kitten

Ocicat

Ocicats

Ocicats

Ocicat

SOURCES

VetStreet: Ocicat

Animal Planet: Cat Breed Directory: Ocicat

The Cat Fanciers Association: Ocicat Breed Profile

PHOTOS

ZenKitty/Babushka@flickr

thisisforever@flickr

More from Erin Froehlich Others Are Reading

3 Comments

  • I prefer my aminals rotund.

  • I think my friend Colleen's cat Cappuccino is this breed, or similar. Cappuccino has a weird obsession with leaping up on the back of the sofa or chairs and licking my hair when I visit. :P

  • Aww... Cappuccino must really like you! Grooming is among the highest of feline compliments. :)

Comment on the Smart Living Network


Site Feedback