Some cat breeds are discovered naturally as wild. In contrast, others are relatively new breeds resulting from specific breeding experiments.
Getting to know different ways with which cat breeds come to exist is fascinating. Ocicat is that one cat with an interesting history. It is considered a dog in a cat’s body because of its sociable, gentle, and adoring nature.
Continue reading if you are interested to know more about this sweet North American cat breed with wild looks.
The Ocicat was created through crosses between an Abyssinian, Siamese, and American cat. A cat breeder named Virginia Daly in Michigan first bred Ocicat in the mid 20th century. However, the creation of this breed was a complete accident.
In 1964, she mated a Siamese female and an Abyssinian male with purebred Siamese to create a 3rd generation. Daly wanted to create a short-haired cat with interesting color pointing and markings. Consequently, Tonga was born with copper eyes and golden spots. He was a new breed and soon named ‘Ocicat.’
This breed was neutered and sold, but his legacy continued. An article about this cat was published in a Detroit newspaper that soon brought Dr. Clyde Keeler’s attention. He started researching the genetics of the breeding program.
He further added American shorthair cats to the mix breeding of pointed Siamese cats and the Abyssinian. As a result, more Ocicat kittens with wild looks appeared.
This new breed was registered with the Cat Fanciers Association, Inc in 1966. The cat also won the championship status in the club and became eligible for national and international cat shows.
Today, Ocicat is one of the popular cat breeds worldwide. Moreover, it is a domestic breed with no DNA of a wildcat. Other common Ocicat names include Savannah, Simba, Harley, Blaze, Coco, Mad Max, and Kitty.
Ocicat vs. Bengal Cat
Many people think that Ocicat and Bengal cats are the same as both have wild looks, dark spots, and similar appearance. However, these two cats are completely different. The following are the distinguishing characteristics of both cats.
Ocicat Physical Attributes
The Ocicat cat seems to be wild but is sometimes known as the ‘Domestic Ocelot.’ The features of the Ocicat size that appear to be wild include the following:
- A sleek but sturdy and svelte medium to a large-sized body
- The legs are muscular and powerful
- It is heavier than it appears and weighs up to 15 pounds
- The wedge-shaped head is longer than it is wider
- It has large pointed ears with almond-shaped eyes
- The tufts of hair are tilted at a 45-degree angle
- The paws are large, oval-shaped, and powerful
Below are some other physical characteristics of this cat breed.
Black spots are the most defining characteristic of Ocicats. They are thumbprint-shaped and lay against a light background.
Moreover, these spots run in rows along the spine and rear of the body. It further extends down the legs. There are also some other broken spots around the neck and legs.
Similarly, the Ocicat has markings around the cheeks and eyes. The forehead also features a pointed and solid M-shaped marking.
These cats are found in 12 different color combinations. The primary Ocicat colors are chocolate silver, cinnamon silver, and tawny. However., the coat appears blue, silver, or fawn. On the other hand, many cats have developed a darker, lavender silver, fawn silver, or orange coat, making them look wilder.
Other than spots and color combinations, the Ocicat’s cost is also distinctive. It has a satin, smooth texture with short hair. It is not wholly and lies close to the skin.
Many people assume Ocicats as hypoallergenic, which is not true. However, it is listed as one of the top 10 non-shedding cats. Those having allergies to cat hair might get affected by this breed.
Ocicat Personality and Temperament
The temperament and personality of the Ocicat is unique. There is no clear link between its history or appearance and the behavior.
This breed looks like an aggressive or wild cat, but you cannot judge it from its appearance. Ocicat is a purely domestic cat breed. They are friendly and social, and affectionate pets to strangers and other animals. However, they are very sensitive and can act aggressively when feeling threatened.
Another important attribute of their personality is that Ocicats are highly intelligent. They are very easy to train, and you can also teach them to respond to their name.
Similarly, Ocicats need intellectual attention, so you should provide them with toys and play sessions. It will help them to stay active and engaged. However, they are neither independent nor clingy. They enjoy being with their owner but dislikes being scolded.
Keep in mind; this breed can live both indoors and outdoors. All it needs is a place where he is safe and away from wildlife or aggressive animals. Instead, they prefer to stay with cat-friendly dogs. They also tend to be very local, and the owners might be concerned about excessive meowing at night.
Because of their highly social nature, Ocicats can develop separation anxiety if left alone for a couple of hours.