Cat Breed Spotlight: The Ocicat

July 27, 2018

Cat Breed Spotlight: The Ocicat

Have you ever dreamed of having a wild cat as your feline companion just like He-Man or princess Jasmine? Well, this is the closest thing you'll get in becoming the next Master of the Universe or Disney princess! But you know, less ferocious but much cuter of course. Meet the Ocicat.

I didn't made that name up, I promise..

Just take a look at that picture above! This, my friend, is the look of purr-fection! (sorry, Ill show my way out..) But in all seriousness, this is what most cat lover's dreams are made of! Their grace, power, size and beauty are almost irresistible, even though sensible people know they would be impossible to live with (Ha! they haven't lived with one before). The Ocicat was created to be the answer to one of humanity's greatest desire. He isn’t wild at all (I promise!) — he’s the result of crosses of Abyssinians, Siamese and American Shorthairs — but his spots, oohh those glorious spots, lend him an exotic air that is difficult to resist.

Just like the smorgasbord of cat breeds used to create him, the Ocicat is self-confident, talkative and highly active. They enjoy greeting visitors and can get along well with children, dogs and other cats. It’s not unusual for him to learn to walk on a leash or to play active games such as fetch (It's like a dog on a cat's body!), but he also has a reputation as a lap cat. These kitties love attention, so it'll be a waste of time if you get an Ocicat and have no time or desire to interact with him frequently and turning this guy into a glorified house leopard. This cat always want to get involved in anything you do and wants to have your attention most of the time (just like my ex-girlfriend, moving on!).

 

How did it all began.

Just like what Bob Ross used to say, the Ocicat was a happy accident, the astonishing result of a cross in 1964 between a ruddy Abyssinian male and a seal point Siamese female (ahh, typical humans, always want to play god and create new "breeds"), with the goal of developing a Siamese with Abylike traits. Breeder Virginia Daly kept a female from the litter—all of which resembled Abyssinians—and bred her to a chocolate point Siamese. That time she hit the jackpot, having a Siamese with Abyssinian points and repeated the breeding. The next litter contained something new: an ivory kitten with gold spots. Daly’s daughter remarked on the kitten’s resemblance to an Ocelot and said he should be called an Ocicat. The kitten, named Tonga, was handsome (for a cat's perspective), but he wasn’t what Daly was looking for, so he was neutered and sold as a pet (seriously Daily?).

Sad ending, right? But that wasn’t the end of the story. In a letter to geneticist Clyde Keeler, Daly described Tonga in passing. Keeler, who was interested in reproducing the now-extinct Egyptian Spotted Fishing Cat , suggested breeding Tonga back to his mother (here we go again). That wasn’t possible, of course, but Daly repeated the breeding and another kitten was born. American Shorthairs were then added to the "concoction" to bring in substance as well as silver gradient to its coat.

 

Tonga, in every family gathering


And just like hot bread displayed on the baker's window, other breeders became interested in the spotted cats and began their own breeding programs. The Cat Fanciers Association began registering the cats in 1966, but did not grant them full recognition until 1987. The International Cat Association recognized the Ocicat in 1986.

 

Temperament and Personality

 

If you want to have a pet having the playfulness and loyalty dog but with the agility and body of a cat, well, you're in for a treat! For the Ocicat will put all check marks on your list. The devoted and playful Ocicat loves people and will trail their footsteps through the house or ride on a shoulder. Guests are welcomed by this generally social cat as he views this as new opportunities for petting or lap sitting. Ocicats don’t even care being carried by others around (especially children), as long as they are with you. As with other pets —well, it really depends on the individual Ocicat for they come in different attitudes and personalities (so expect that some are more shy or aggressive than others) —Ocicat is your choice of breed if you want to play fetch with them, will come when called and perform other behaviors, and may willingly learn to walk on a leash. If you show him what you want—for instance, that you don’t want him jumping on the dining table—he’s likely to comply, especially if you give him an alternative, such as a stool to sit on where he can look over you when your family is eating. To know more about your Ocicat please visit Cat Breed.

 

Any high place in the house is his domain, and he carefully watch his realm in his spotted throne..

 

They are known too for their high inteligence too, having them to learn tricks easily. Challenge his brain and keep him interested in life by teaching him tricks and providing him with puzzle toys that will reward him with kibble or treats when he learns how to manipulate them, exercising their mental prowess and acuity. There are even reported cases that some Ocicats learned how to open doors by undoing latches. Although Ocicats have that Siamese blood in them (Siamese are known vocal cats), they are not as loud or demanding. He is very smart and sensitive that Ocicats will respond to nothing more than a verbal correction. Not surprisingly, Ocicats are capable of reaching the highest points in your home, and that is often where you will find him, keeping watch over his family. It is ideal to have a cat condo or a cat tree where they can perch up and watch the whole area (Visit online shops like activefelinesolutions for products that your Ocicats needs).

When he’s not perched on high, he’s busy playing with his toys. Don’t be surprised if he becomes possessive of them and tries to play keep-away when you want to put them up. Although they are known as very adaptable breed, they don't like being alone, so having another pet (preferably another cat or a dog that is not hostile towards them ) as a companion is one way to avoid having them feel bored and lonely.

Health

Just like other cats, Ocicats also have the potential to develop genetic health problems. Any breeder who says that his or her breed has no health or genetic problems is either lying (we hate liars, don't we?) or is not well-informed about the breed.

Always avoid breeders (just like how I avoid my ex) who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known issues, or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons (man I tell you, they are either trying to rip you off, or trying to dispose off the kitten as fast as possible). Always make sure that if you are trying to buy one, the seller should have all the legit medical records of the kitten and for you to check them carefully.

Ocicats are generally healthy and has a long lifespan, but they may inherit some of the health problems that affect their parent breeds (especially those disease common in Siamese and Abyssinian cats). They include liver or renal amyloidosis, pyruvate kinase deficiency and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Ocicats may also be prone to periodontal disease

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a deficiency in the enzyme Pyruvate Kinase (PK) impairs the red blood cells' (RBCs) ability to metabolize, which in turn may cause anemia and other blood-related issues. Breeds more prone to PK deficiency include the Abyssinian, Somali, and domestic shorthair cats, and Ocicats may get them due to their Abysssinian heritage.

Amyloidosis occurs when proteins called “amyloid” are deposited outside of cells in various tissues and organs, causing tissue and organ dysfunction. It is a rare condition in cats, although it is seen in Abyssinians. While certain family lines of Siamese cats are identified as predisposed, there is no clear genetic profile in the affected cats.

Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition that causes the muscular walls of a cat’s heart to thicken, decreasing the heart’s efficiency and sometimes creating symptoms in other parts of the body. Although the cause of HCM has not been clearly identified, the fact that the condition is more prevalent in certain breeds and that mutations of several cardiac (heart) genes have been identified in some cats with this disease suggests that genetics plays a role.

Keep in mind that after you’ve taken a new kitten into your home, you have the responsibility to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity (I mean, what kind of owner likes their cat to become fat?). You may like to take a look at this copy The Well Cat Book: The Classic Comprehensive Handbook of Cat Care Reissue Edition - amazon.  It will help you also in reviews on every aspect of cat care. Keeping an Ocicat at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways keep him healthy. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier cat for life.

Grooming


Ocicats have that short coat with spots that is just fairly short and easy to groom. You can use a rubber brush once or twice a week to take away dead hair and distribute essential skin oils. Give it a little shine with a little cat conditioner spread evenly on his coat with a chamois (not the one you use on your car or the goat itself, silly), and make sure it is chemical-free.

It is rarely necessary to bath your Ocicat since they have a short coat and your cat himself will do pretty much all the grooming needed, unless you want to show off your Ocicat to others and let them see how fabulous your cat is. but if you do decide to bathe him, look for a cat shampoo that is safe for your cat and will enhance his luxurious coat color (always remember to pick the right color treatment shampoo depending on the color of your cat); bronze-tone for brown, chocolate and cinnamon spotted tabbies; pearl-tone for blue, lilac and fawn cats; and a whitening shampoo for silver Ocicats.

Pretty much the rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, normally once every week (or buy a cat scratching post so that your cat can keep their nails in check). Check the ears every week for redness, dirt or other residue or a bad smell that could indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle ear cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Brush the teeth regularly with a pet toothpaste approved by your vet for good overall health and fresh breath and schedule veterinary cleanings as needed. Start brushing, nail trimming and teeth brushing early so your kitten becomes accustomed to this activity (you don't want to fight your cat every time you groom them, right?). You might also like to see: Cat Care and Grooming.

 

That stare that can melt even the hardest of hearts, I mean, who could even resist that?

 

Well, I hope you have enjoyed learning all about the beautiful and unique Ocicat cat breed, and just like any cat out there, every one of them is unique. These are just the key traits, characteristics and personalities Ocicats are known to possess, but at the end of the day, your cat's personality and demeanor will be greatly influenced on how you treat them. Always how your cat the attention and affection that they deserve, and you will be surprised on how much love they will give back in return.

By taking the time to get to know the Ocicat breed history, lineage, personality and temperament, health issues and traits, and also your lifestyle and other factors that will affect you and your cat, you can decide if the Ocicat cat breed is the right choice for you! You have to know the history of your cat inorder to understand them visit Cat Lovers for more information.

See also: The Stunning Spotted Mist