“Oh look, spots! Is it tame? What kind of cat is this? It
must be something special.”
Indeed they are! This magnificent spotted cat never fails to
steal the show, not to mention the hearts of those fortunate
enough to own them. Feline enthusiasts have always been awed
by the spotted cats of the wild: ocelots, margays, leopards,
and others. Never before was there such an effort to breed an
entirely domestic cat which can offer the spotted beauty of the
wild cats while maintaining the lovely, predictable disposition
of the domestic cat. The Ocicat originates from interbreeding
of Abyssinian, Siamese, and American Shorthair and is the
only spotted domestic breed selectively bred to emulate the
cats of the wild.
Available in 12 colors, the ideal Ocicat is a large, active animal
with an athletic appearance. It is very solid and well-muscled
and has a short, tight coat with a satin sheen that shows off
muscles and spots to their best advantage.
In 1964, the original Ocicat was the unexpected result of an
experimental breeding which attempted to produce an Abypoint
Siamese. Mrs. Daly’s daughter named the breed the
Ocicat because of its resemblance to the ocelot.
Tonga, the first Ocicat, was neutered and sold as a pet. When
the Detroit newspaper publicized the lovely spotted cat,
noted geneticist Dr. Clyde Keeler expressed his desire to see a
domestic cat which would mimic some of the vanishing wild
species. With this in mind, the breeding was repeated, and
the Ocicat breed was truly born!
Recognized for CFA registration in 1966, it took another
twenty years to develop the breed and gain the support for
provisional status. The Ocicat was advanced to championship
status in May 1987. They can now be seen at many shows.
While the Ocicat looks wild, its temperament is anything
but ferocious. It is a lot like a dog in that it is absolutely
devoted to its people. Not a demanding, clinging-vine type,
the Ocicat is confident as well as dedicated to its owners.
Bred for spots, the Ocicat also comes in four other patterns:
ticked, classic tabby, solid, and pointed. But regardless of
color or pattern, they all have that trademark personality to
capture your heart.
When searching for an Oci kitten, keep in mind that most
breeders make kittens available after 14 weeks of age. The
consensus of most breeders is to do early spay/neuter and
place kittens after 14 weeks once they have had their basic
inoculations and developed the physical and social stability
needed for a new environment. Reputable breeders are
interested in the future of the breed and are usually members
of Breed Clubs and/or Breed Council and show their cats.
The bloodlines are usually distinguished by titles such as
Grand Champion (GC), Grand Premier (GP), National
(NW), National Breed (BW), and/or Regional/Divisional
(RW, DW) winning parentage, Agility Titles (AC, AW, AM,
AG), and Distinguished Merit (DM), which distinguishes
cats producing a certain amount of Grands or other DMs.
For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.