The Ocicat is a relatively new breed of cat that has only been around for the last 50 years. They are one of the most playful and gentle cat breeds available and are perfect for young families who are wanting a pet for their children.
They originated in the USA around 1965 when a chance breeding between an Abyssinian and a Siamese cat occurred. The result was a cat that looked wild but had no wild DNA at all. Subsequent generations resulted in more colors and more defined spotted coats as they are seen today.
The name Ocicat is derived from the Ocelot, a wild leopard. Ocicats have similar markings as a wild Ocelot but with a very mild temperament.
Given their very gentle nature, this type of cat has become well known as being a great pet for people with small children. Children can be quite rough with pets as they are still learning what is acceptable and what is not. Thankfully, when it comes to the Ocicat, a pull of the tail or a hasty grab will not result the child being scratched and clawed. They tend to run and hide rather than fight when placed in an unpleasant situation.
For anyone wanting a quiet and easy to maintain pet, this type of breed is perfect. Not only are they perfect for children as mentioned, but they are also perfect for elderly people wanting an animal companion. In the cooler months, they will be more than happy to sit on your lap or sleep at the foot of your bed using its owner as a living hot water bottle!
The Ocicat is also one of the more acrobatic breeds. They will find high and hard to reach cupboards to sneak into for a quiet nap. They have also been know to jump straight up to their owners shoulders from the ground looking for a quick pat or cuddle.
Unlike other breeds of cats that can be quite loud 'talkers' such as the Bengal. Ocicats have a soft and delicate voice, usually heard when it is close to dinner time or when they are looking for a quiet place to sleep.
For anyone with allergies to pets, this particular breed may still be suitable. Many people tend to be far more allergic to long haired breeds of cats. The Ocicat is a short hair cat and that can potentially mean those with allergies are still able to tolerate this breed.
As an owner of a beautiful female Ocicat, I can highly recommend this breed. Their beautiful coats and gentle nature make them an absolute pleasure to own. For young families, they should be at the top of your list!