The Ocicat is the only breed developed to emulate the appearance of wild cats. Although they are very similar in appearance, their natures are entirely different. These felines have a good temperament and are a very suitable pet for anyone who loves cats.
Ocicats were given that name due to their strong resemblance to Ocelots. The Ocelot is a wild cat with a coat that resembles a leopard.Credit: Public Domain http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lavender_Chocolate_Ocicats.jpg
Ocicats were not developed intentionally at the beginning. An American woman was trying to breed a certain type of Siamese. She was quite surprised when a litter produced an adorable kitten with spots.
Thinking it was just a fluke, she sold the kitten when it was old enough to leave the mother and thought that would be the end of it. However, subsequent breedings produced more of the spotted felines.
Everyone agreed at the time that these were beautiful cats. It was believed that their sweet dispositions would make them highly popular as well, so from that point on Ocicats were intentionally bred. A local newspaper wrote a story about the remarkable cats, and of course the attention that article generated created a demand for them.
This happened in 1964, and 50 years later Ocicats have found homes all over the world.
Characteristics of the Ocicat
The most obvious feature these felines have is their beautiful spotted coats. They resemble Bengal cats with their wild appearance.
Ocicats come in many different colors. The spots may be lavender, chocolate, silver, blue silver and more. What almost all of the kitties have in common are the lovely shiny coats. Most are spotted but some may have other patterns.
These cats have a fairly muscular build. Many Ocicats are a bit larger than average. They are strong and athletic and weigh a bit more than many other breeds due to their bone structure.Credit: Public Domain http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ocicat-sitting.jpg
The Ocicat's Disposition
This breed of feline is a wonderful pet due to the lovely disposition. Ocicats love human attention and companionship. The personality of this breed is somewhat like a typical dog. They do not like to be left alone for any length of time. This is why Ocicats are only recommended to people who have other pets or have someone at home most of the time. This breed thrives on being around other people. They get along fine with other breeds of felines as well as dogs.
An Ocicat is very intelligent. She will learn her name and respond when called. She can also be taught to fetch like a dog. If you want to a pet that you can take with you when you travel, this breed is one that adjusts well to being in a car.
These cats love to play, so children will enjoy having one for a pet. A child will love the cat's affectionate nature too. In many ways an Ocicat is one of the best pets anyone could have.
If you decide to adopt one you should plan to provide her with plenty of toys and activities. The breed is known for being quite energetic, although not to the same extent of Bengals, who are in a category all by themselves. Bengals are hyper active, whereas Ocicats have an above average activity level, but not one that would drive you crazy.Credit: Public Domain http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oreo_and_Shadow_Ocicats.jpg
A Brief Description of Ocicats
Caring for an Ocicat is really no different than any other breed of feline. This breed is short haired so excessive shedding is not a concern. She is good at self grooming although brushing the pet from time to time is still recommended. You may also wish to give her a bath once in awhile to keep the coat in good condition. Bathing a feline isn't really all that difficult unless the pet is very nervous or high strung. This is not true of the Ocicat.
The one issue Ocicats are more prone to developing than other kitties is dental cavities and inflammation of the gums, which is known as gingivitis. However, you can reduce the chances of this occuring by providing the pet with food specifically made to control dental issues.
You may also want to brush the cat's teeth if she will let you! This breed has a good disposition, but most felines do not enjoy having their teeth brushed. If you start doing it when the pet is young she will get used to it and it won't be so challenging.
Dental care is very expensive if you have to take her to a vet to have the teeth cleaned. The pet is given an anesthetic and needs to be hospitalized for several hours. Preventive care is a much better option. It will save you a lot of money, and the cat does not have to go through the trauma of surgery.
Most Ocicats live long and healthy lives. It is not unusual for them to live 17 or more years. The earlier the cat gets started on a healthy, holistic diet the greater the chances are that she will survive for a long time. A pet store can advise you on a good brand depending on her age and other factors.
Although they are active, curious kitties, an Ocicat will thrive living entirely indoors. They do not need to be outside to enjoy life. The outdoors can create all sorts of hazards for a cat, including getting hit by a car or attacked by another animal. It's not worth the risk.
As long as the pet has enough toys and stimulation to keep them occupied they will not even want to go outdoors. Keeping a kitty inside also increases her chances of living for a long time. Outdoor cats are more prone to certain diseases that indoor cats are not at risk for.
Ocicats are not a common breed, so it may be difficult to find one if this is the type you would like to have. Everyone who has one of these felines absolutely loves them though, so if you are lucky enough to adopt one you will almost certainly feel the same way.