, sometimes spelled ocecat
, is the only domestic
breed of cat
to share the markings of its wild
counterparts. This breed was selectively bred from Siamese
, and American Shorthair
to produce a small, spotted and striped cat that greatly resembles the ocelot
. The line arose as a mistake
In 1964, breeder Virginia Daly was trying to cross Abyssinian and Siamese lines to get a rare, valuable crossbreed (later called the flamepoint Siamese) from these two classy lines. One kitten of the litter was ivory colored with golden spots, a total suprise. The breeder's daughter called him an "ocicat" since Tonga, the kitten, looked a great deal like the ocelot. Tonga was neutered and sold as a pet, but a Dr. Clyde Keeler heard about this new, unique cat and contacted his breeder. Daly eventually recrossed Tonga's parents and in subsequent generations litters yielded additional Ocicat kittens. The breed was registered in 1966 with the Cat Fancier's Association, but wasn't given Provisional show status until 1986. A year later, the spotted animals were given Championship (full) status as a showable breed.
Ocicats come in many colors, but the base is usually a tawny vairant and the spots darker. Base colors include golden, tawny, cream, cinnaman, lilac, and silver. Spots include black, grey, silver, and lilac. The spotted pattern must be there. Ocis usually breed true, but sometimes a solid cat or one with Siamese-style points turn up. These are sold as pets and not allowed to register for show or status. A proper ocicat looks more muscular and sleek than most domestic cats.
The breed looks quite wild, but in reality has a sweet, alert, intelligent personality. They want a little more attention and interaction than some breeds, but they're equally suited for a one-cat or multi-pet household. This is not a breed to own if you're gone a lot of the time, for they get bored and lonely faster than many cats. They have slightly smaller litters than most cats, averaging 3-4 kittens. Ocicats as kittens or adults need no special care different from any other breed. They require little grooming.
both articles have fabulous photos of the oci.