Active: The Ocicat is a highly active cat. They love to interact with their companions and play the day away.
Size: The Ocicat is a somewhat large cat, ranging in size from 6 to 15 pounds.
Characteristics: The Ocicat is both athletic and graceful. They have the look of a wild cat as well as the physical agility and musculature.
Temperament: Much like a wild creature, the Ocicat is playful, active and entertaining. While they have very active personalities, they are also fiercely loyal and loving. They enjoy playing games, interacting with their companions and using their physical strength to leap and show off. While they are quite adaptable, make no mistake, they want your attention. They will want to be with you wherever you are, at all times.
Care: The Ocicat is easy to care for and simple to groom. Weekly brushing and a quick rub with a chamois will keep the coat of the Ocicat looking as stunning as it should. Baths are rarely necessary and nails and ears only need to be trimmed or cleaned as needed. It is also important to brush the Ocicat's teeth to prevent periodontal disease.
Coat: It is hard to miss the Ocicat's spotted coat, it is both beautiful and striking. The coat is short, smooth and feel satiny to the touch. The coat comes in twelve accepted colors including tawny, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, fawn, lavender, ebony-silver, chocolate-silver, cinnamon-silver, blue-silver, fawn-silver, and lavender-silver. If you look closely enough, you will notice that each hair has several bands of ticking (several different colors). If you are looking for a hypoallergenic cat then the Ocicat is a great candidate. They produce less of the Fel D1 protein which is the true cause for your allergic reaction. There is no cat that is 100% allergy free so increasing the frequency of grooming and bathing your furry friend will also help.
Origin: Sometimes in life, happy accidents happen. The Ocicat cat breed is the perfect example of a happy accident. In 1964, Virginia Daly was interested in creating new and different breeds of cats. She bred a number of cats together and one breeding was a ruddy Abyssinian male (Dalai Deta Tim of Selene) with a sealpoint Siamese (Dalai Tomboy Patter). The breeding resulted in kittens and Daly then took one of the kittens (Dalai She) and bred it with a chocolate point Siamese male kitten (Champion Whitehead Elegante Sun).
The litter produced the kittens with the appearance Daly was hoping to achieve and much to her surprise, a kitten she hadn't quite anticipated. This kitten was an ivory male kitten with golden spots and copper eyes. She named this kitten Tonga and Daly's daughter pointed out that Tonga had a striking resemblance to an Ocelot. Because of the similarities between Tonga and an Ocelot they decided to name the breed Ocicat. Daly decided to neuter and sell Tonga as a pet since she was not quite what Daly was looking for. Daly happened to mention, in passing, Tonga to her friend Clyde Keeler, a geneticist at Georgia University. Keeler was very interested and had been looking for an opportunity to produce a cat similar to the extinct Egyptian Spotted Fishing Cat.
Unfortunately, Tonga could not be used as he had been neutered already. Daly repeated the breeding she had done before to produce Tonga and produced a new male kitten named Dalai Dotson. Dalai Dotson would help produce the Ocicat breed that we know today. Daly continued to breed and produce more kittens like Tonga with their interesting spotted appearance. In 1966, the Ocicat was accepted for registration and the breed standard was written to include possible outcrosses with American Shorthairs and Siamese cats. Family circumstances kept Daly from pursuing breeding and promoting of the breed but in 1987 the Ocicat was finally granted championship status by the CFA and TICA. All major associations now proudly recognize the brand and many fanciers have fallen in love with the Ocicat.