The Ocicat was first bred by Virginia Daly in Michigan. Daly attempted to breed an Abyssinian-pointed Siamese in 1964. The first set of kittens looked like Abyssinians, yet the second generation contained Abyssinian –pointed Siamese kittens, together with a spotted kitten. The Ocicat looks like the Ocelot, hence the name. This cat breed needs the most attention. They can be taught to sit, lie down, and swim. They enjoy leash walking, and are very smart. This cat breed needs a large assortment of cat toys.
The Ocicat kitten was named Tonga. He was neutered and sold. That said, additional kittens by his parents produced more spotted kittens. This became the basis of the breeding line for the Ocicat. The bloodline was Siamese to Abyssinian, and then the offspring to the Siamese cat breed. The American Shorthair cat breed was introduced to this bloodline and produced larger boned cats with seven colors, including silver. In 1966 they had CFA registration. The Cat Fanciers’ Association accepted the Ocicat for showing in 1987. The Ocicat was then accepted in to other cat registries. Today, the Ocicat is a popular cat breed worldwide. It is a domestic cat breed, and has no DNA to the wildcat.
The Ocicat has a powerful, strong body that is large boned. The legs are muscular, and have dark markings. With a wedge-shaped head, the ears are tilted at a 45% angle. They are large and pointed. The spots are dark and contrasting. The spots on the belly have a bull’s eye pattern. The body is well-muscled and yields strength and agility. There are twelve variants of color which are approved by most registries. These include chocolate, tawny, cinnamon, and the dilutes, which include blue, lavender, fawn, black silver, chocolate silver, blue silver, lavender silver, and fawn silver. The Ocicat has almond-shaped eyes. The expression is always interested and curious.
The Ocicat is very sensitive. They enjoy being with humans, and are neither clingy nor independent. This cat breed delights in hanging out at home with family. The Ocicat dislikes being scolded and will sulk for hours. They get very embarrassed if spoken to harshly. The Ocicat thrives on learning new tricks and going for long walks. This cat breed is best indoors where he is safe and away from wildlife or aggressive dogs. Ideally a safe enclosed outdoor area for the Ocicat works best, so that this cat breed can be both indoors and outdoors. This cat breed gets along well with other non-aggressive pets. The Ocicat needs plenty of love, fun cat toys, and mental stimulation. This cat breed is very vocal.
The Ocicat does best as an indoor cat, but many have done well out in farms as well. This cat breed may be prone to certain illnesses, so it’s best to always keep a close eye on this fabulous cat breed. This cat breed is intelligent, and does well with apartment living or home living. The Ocicat needs to be indoors during the hot summer months, and indoors during the cold months. It is a very smart and active cat breed to live with, that needs plenty of mental stimulation. The Ocicat gets bored easily, and incredibly depressed and anxious when alone for long periods of time. It is an extremely sensitive cat breed. This cat breed needs to be around people and other pets.
Litter boxes for cats need to be kept clean, or your cat may not use it. Self-cleaning litter boxes ae popular today, and help with time management, allowing for more time to play time with kitty! Opt for environmentally friendly cat litter. Litter mats help keep everything tidy.
Cats will need parasite control and routine health care throughout its life. This means vaccinating your Ocicat. This is an important part of keeping your cats healthy throughout their lives. Consult with your veterinarian for advice as to the safest flea and tick products to use.
Your Ocicat will also need to be spayed or neutered. Your cat needs to be protected from household dangers like cleaning supplies, toxic plants, electrical cords, and aggressive animals. Cats are carnivores, and will need a high-quality diet with plenty of fresh water every day. Exercise can be achieved through a variety of play toys that encourage running and a game of chase. Sedentary cats may be prone to obesity, and health problems later on in life.
Possible Health Concerns
The Ocicat is a healthy and moderately active cat breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart muscle disorder where the heart walls of the left ventricle thicken. This results in the walls becoming stiffer. This is a common primary heart disease in cats. It tends to get noticed at around 3 months to 17 years of age. Most cats will be middle aged when this disorder occurs. This disorder tends to affect males more than females, and it is an inherited genetic defect. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs. Fluid may also accumulate in the lungs, and in the space between the lungs and chest wall. Veterinary treatment will aim at improving cardiac function, and reducing blood clots. There is a good long-term outlook for mildly affected cats. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
- Pyruvate Kinase: Cats when deficient in PK will develop anemia. It is a hereditary condition resulting from a recessive gene. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
- Gingivitis: This is when the gums become inflamed due to bacterial plaque. At this stage the ligaments and bone are not infected. Gum color in cats will change from a light pink to red or purple. The gum edge wills well. Symptoms include bleeding and bad breath. This can be reversed with proper teeth cleaning. That said, it can worsen and result in periodontitis. Consult with your veterinarian for an effective treatment plan.
- Ringworm: This is an infection of the skin, hair, or claws, and is caused by a fungus called dermatophyte. This occurs in 98% of cats. It spreads easily from cats to people. Symptoms include circular, bald patches that scale and have broken hairs in a ring-like fashion. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
- Amyloidosis: This is thought to be hereditary and occurs when amyloids get deposited in the kidneys or liver. This results in organ failure.
The Ocicat cat breed needs daily exercise combined with plenty of mental stimulation through active play and interaction with people. Cat parents can use cat toys like the Mousr or Cat Dancer to get their cats to play. This will encourage your cat to play.
Finding a variety of mentally stimulating cat toys will allow for your cat to lead a well-balanced life, with the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Cat harnesses also allow for daily walks. These need to be gradually introduced until your cat is used to his harness. Consult with your veterinarian first.
The Ocicat cat breed is an intelligent and very affectionate cat breed that does well in most cat friendly environments. That said, this cat breed still needs to play and interact with people., and should not be left alone all day. Cat gyms, cat scratchers, and interactive cat toys within a cat friendly home environment work best for this fabulous cat breed.
Look out for the latest cat toys like Ripple rug play mats, the Feather Whirls, pet cube toys, food trees, turbo scratcher toys, cat companion interactive toys, and electronic motion toys. All these and many more will keep your cat entertained when you’re out and about.
Poly Rattan weaved cat scratchers make for longer lasting cat scratching posts. They are more durable, and built to last. Hemp toys for cats are irresistible. Some come with colorful feathers and hemp cord allowing for longer playtime with your feline.
Chasing, hunting, and attacking toys are some of the methods that cats will use when playing with interactive toys. When out shopping for cat toys, opt for safe TPA materials that have no toxic BPA or BHT. Multilevel spinning ball cat toys help cats bat and chase play. Ultimately, what feline pet parents need to achieve is bonding through free play and exercise.
Cat trackers like the Pod are waterproof and allow for cat parents to track their cat’s daily activities. Cat parents can track their cats by mobile phone and computer applications.
Today there are numerous options for cat food. Some cats may prefer a single protein, while others may prefer variety. There are also grain-free and gluten-free cat food options, as well as Kosher. Game meats are also being used for super-premium canned cat foods. These are grain-free and good for cats with food sensitivities or allergies. Pet parents can also opt for combination canned foods that offer salmon, chicken, duck liver, pheasant, and even fruits and veggies. Some brands offer seaweed with ocean crabmeat and tuna with a healthy gravy.
The Ocicat cat breed will need proper nutrition. That said, a high-quality diet that is appropriate for the specific life stage of the cat is necessary. Protein as an ingredient, needs to come first. Dry cat food is a popular choice because it promotes healthier gums and teeth. Yet wet food is more often recommended by veterinarians because it provides more moisture to cats. Cats don’t drink a lot of water and tend to sometimes get dehydrated. Wet cat food also has its benefits. By choosing a well-known name- brand cat food that has scientific backing, as well as quality control, cat parents can be assured that they are providing a well-balanced diet.
All cat breeds need high- quality fat and protein in their diets. They also need amino acids, including taurine that cannot be found in either human food or dog food. There are also numerous specialty diets for your cat that are formulated specifically for certain medical problems like urinary tract disorder, obesity, or kidney disease.
All cats do well by being fed twice daily. During kittenhood, kittens will need to be fed every few hours. Growing kittens need more calories, nutrients, vitamins, protein, and calories. Your cat should be able to enjoy a peaceful meal in a quiet corner of the house. Some cat parents prefer to leave cat kibble out 24/7. When looking for a high-quality cat food, here’s what to look out for:
- No low-quality fillers
- No artificial additives
- Low grade ingredients or toxic ingredients
- All cat food has to be meat-based because all cats are carnivores.
- No garlic
- Plant-based ingredients should be listed after the protein-based ingredients
Consult with your veterinarian for the best dietary advice for your Ocicat!
Cat pampering is a norm today with feline pet parents wanting the very best for the cats. Your Ocicat may be susceptible to skin diseases originating from flea bites, mites, yeast infections, and infections. Opt for natural cat grooming products to help resolve these skin irritants.
All cat breeds have highly sensitive skin. By using grooming wipes and waterless shampoos in between bathing schedules, you’ll have a healthier cat.
The Ocicat needs daily grooming to remove shedding or dead hair. Because this breed has a short and fine, soft coat, grooming is easy. Stainless steel combs help to remove dead hair. Care must be taken when grooming leg hair and body hair to avoid sensitive areas. Some cats have very sensitive areas along their backs, legs, and belly area. Curry brushes help with grooming, and will remove dead hair and debris from your cat’s coat.
Look for high-quality pet products to decrease shedding, and help prevent hairballs. Products like the Furminator will easily groom through your cat’s coat, and safely remove dead hair without hurting your cat. Soft tip massagers, deluxe nail trimmers, and de-shedding tools all help make cat grooming so much easier.
All cat breeds will groom themselves several times throughout the day. Daily grooming is necessary because it limits the amount of hair that your cat will consume. This helps limit the development of hairballs. Your cat will enjoy being groomed. Coat hair always looks best during the cold winter months. Cats that have been spayed or neutered will have great coats year- round. This is because hormonal changes in cats affects coat length and thickness.
Daily cleaning with pet wipes beneath the tail is necessary. Ears should be checked weekly for cleanliness and sensitivity. If there is a build-up of wax and dirt, organisms can lead to an ear infection. Consult with your veterinarian about safe and gentle ear cleaning techniques. Nail trimming is necessary every few weeks. Eyes should also be cleaned gently every morning with cotton wool or a soft wipe. Each eye should be cleaned with different wipes or cotton balls to avoid eye infection contamination in both eyes.
Healthy cats need minimal bathing with a gentle cat shampoo. Your Ocicat will need dental care as well. By feeding dry food, and having professional dental cleanings with your veterinarian throughout your cat’s lifetime, your cat will have less of a chance of developing gingivitis or gum disease. Cats should also have their teeth brushed a few times a week with a special feline toothpaste and brush.
Small and frequent effective hygiene habits will make a big difference in maintaining healthy skin, healthy teeth, and good overall health. Look for environmentally safe pet products that have natural ingredients. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
Adopting a Ocicat
Socialization is very important for all cat breeds, no matter how sweet a breed is. With socialization, cats learn how to get along with other cats, animals, and people. That said, your Ocicat should never be placed in a dangerous environment or be near aggressive dogs or people. This cat breed needs to spend a fair amount of time with his pet parent and family.
All cat breeds that have not been socialized during kittenhood, and during the latter stages of life will fear humans and avoid human contact. By playing with and providing the best care for your rescue, you’ll be developing a close bond, and working toward reducing, and eventually eliminating any negative feline behaviors with positive clicker training.
Natural feline behaviors like urine marking, soiling outside the litter box, fighting with a new cat may be behaviors that you’ll have to deal with when bringing your new cat home. If you have other cats at home, they may be territorial, and see the newcomer as a threat. All these problems can be worked through with the help of a good veterinarian and cat behavioral therapist.
That said, the Ocicat is one of the most intelligent and active cat breeds out there today! With their sensitive, yet feisty personalities, this vocal cat breed has plenty of attitude. Adopting an Ocicat will be extremely rewarding! With so many cats up for adoption, it is the only way to go! There are so many cats in shelters today that desperately need a good home. When choosing your cat, ask questions, and look for a great temperament! Some cats like the Ocicat may be depressed or anxious at shelters, but soon settle down in their new homes, and become very friendly and sociable. The Ocicat is very sensitive, and cat training needs to be tailored towards this cat’s temperament.
In addition, kittens should be playful and curious. Sickly kittens that have bad odors or plenty of diarrhea stains, and a dull coat need to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Kittens when ill, can go downhill very quickly. However, the rewards of adopting a sick animal and caring for it are tremendous, provided that good veterinary care is provided right away. Healthy Ocicat kittens will also need plenty of care, numerous daily feedings, veterinary check-up visits, socialization, and positive litter box training. Keep in mind that vaccinations and parasite control are an important part of feline health care.
Consider pet health insurance for your cat. With so many great and affordable pet health plans available today, there’s no reason to avoid keeping your pet covered in case of an emergency.
Your Ocicat will also need to be protected from household hazards, most especially electrical cables, poisonous plants, medication, and open windows. This cat breed makes for a wonderful adoption! As usual, make sure that children are always gentle and quiet around your cat, and that no aggressive dogs or animals are nearby.
Give your Ocicat time to adjust to his new surroundings. As with any cat adoption, make sure that you have the time and resources to take good care of this wonderful cat breed!