The Ocicat got her name because her spotted coat reminded the original breeder's daughter of the ocelot, a type of endangered wildcat indigenous to the southern United States and much of Latin America. In fact, the Ocicat was the very first domestic breed developed to look like a wildcat.
These dappled darlings might look untamed, but they're really loving and devoted feline companions with 100% domestic roots. Who knew crossing Abyssinians with Siamese would turn out so distinctively? Adding in some American Shorthair made this breed robust and muscular, with sleek, long bodies and very strong legs.
This breed can grow to between 12-15 pounds and lives an average of 15-18 years.
Did someone say “toy?” Yes, please!
I looooove being with you
I'm a chatty catty
You can SEE me thinking
I mostly groom myself
Call me Fido
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS THE OCICAT'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Ocicats definitely play favorites: they pick one person and stick with them, no matter what. But this doesn't mean they won't get along well with other members of a household, of either the two—or four-legged variety. They're a good choice for families, and thrive on lots of attention. In fact, you probably want to get your Ocicat a furry companion if you're often going to be away from the house.
WHAT IS OCICAT BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These brilliant beauties are active and athletic. Your Ocicat will stalk feathers or lures dragged for her, jump to high perches, and zoom around the house. These are chatty, outgoing—a less generous audience might say pushy—kitties. They have definite opinions about everything and can be a bit truculent when it comes time to put their toys away.
HOW CAN I KEEP MY OCICAT ENTERTAINED?
Ocicats learn tricks quickly—they're especially good at begging for treats. (Go figure.) You'll need to keep this kitty's brains busy and energetic body stimulated, whether through training or vigorous play. They also enjoy splashing in the water dish—or possibly in your shower. Consider slow training to walk your Ocicat around the block on a leash.
CARE & HEALTH
WHAT DO OCICATS LOOK LIKE AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
This breed has thumbprint-shaped spots arranged in bull's eyes all along their bodies. Their coats come in lots of different colors, including chocolate, blue, tawny, lavender, cinnamon, fawn, and many silver shades.
Ocicats don't need much grooming and will mostly maintain their own good looks, thank you very much…. Run a chamois over yours once a week and brush her every so often, and she'll be good to go.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO OCICATS HAVE?
Though generally healthy, Ocicats are sometimes prone to hereditary kidney or liver disease, enzyme deficiencies, and heart disease. Some also develop gum disease and problems with their teeth——so plan to brush your kitty's teeth!
Remember that cats often hide disease symptoms! It's important to bring your furry friend in for veterinary checkups at least once a year.
ARE OCICATS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
Ocicats aren't among the breeds generally recommended for allergy sufferers, though they are minimal shedders. But shedding less doesn't make these breeds hypoallergenic. Dander found in urine, dead skin, and saliva (not pet hair) is what sets off allergy sufferers. Lighter-shedding cats will distribute fewer allergens around your home, though.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS MY OCICAT'S BEST DAY?
Like any true cat who walks by herself, the Ocicat will never tell. But your adaptable furry companion won't say no to a new situation that challenges and stimulates her. Did somebody say car ride? Just not always to the vet, please. Consider trying her on a leash and letting her explore someplace unfamiliar before heading home for dinner with the family.
SHOULD I ADOPT A OCICAT?
Ocicats will fit best into active households who appreciate a busy, opinionated feline friend. They enjoy the bustle and attention that comes with living among lots of folks (be they other cats, kids, or grownups). If your home has space for a lovely and lively kitty, the Ocicat is a great choice.
Have you decided that a Ocicat is the purr-fect cat for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.