The Breed History
A Ruddy Abyssinian and Seal Point Siamese breeding was carried out to try to produce a new type of pointed Siamese. The outcome in the F1 resulted in the desired pattern, but after backcross to another Siamese cat, they produced a second, unusually coated offspring in that second generation-a light spotted cat. This was an unexpected outcome. This cat looked a lot like an extinct Egyptian type cat. Other breeding programs were begun to replicate this combination of coat genes, so the breed now has a broad genetic base with the Dalai line being prominent. Early breed development also involved American Shorthair cats. The breed name is derived from the Ocelot, a wild spotted feline in combination with the word cat. The CFA first recognized these cats in 1966. The registries CFA and TICA accepted the breed for championship status in 1987-88. In 1986, the CFA closed the registry to American Shorthair and Siamese outcross breeding. This continues to be a rare breed. Outcrosses to Abyssinian were no longer allowed as of 2005.
Weight: 6-14 lb (2.5-6.5 kg), females are smaller than males
Coat: The coat is very short, dense, flat lying and smooth with a pronounced gloss. The bull's eye agouti dark spot markings on a lighter background coat may not be distinct in young kittens, but will sharpen as they mature. Distinct spots are very important. Classic tabby markings are pet quality. Tip of tail hairs color reflects base coat color; other hairs are all agouti. Twelve colors are shown in five divisions. A distinct "M" mark is on the forehead and mascara markings are present.
Eyes: Colors are accepted in gold, green and copper spectrum but not blue.
Points of Conformation: The Ocicat head is a modified wedge shape with broad nose and muzzle. The Ocicat is a long bodied cat. Ears are large and angle outward. The tail is slightly tapering and long. Feet are compact and oval.
Grooming: Minimal grooming is needed for the Ocicat; a soft brush, chamois or hands will keep the coat well maintained.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed characteristics include: Affectionate, curious, active, playful; some can be lap cats. Need human companionship, devoted but not clinging, easy to train; can leash train, fetch, and are adaptable in new environments. They are good with children and other pets, and also with strangers. Sociable; they behave a bit like a dog. Ocicats like to talk but are less vocal than Siamese.
Normal Breed Variations
Known for easy birth and good mothering
Ocicat Kitten Information Project: An Internet based breeder survey was carried out to establish normal baselines for reproduction.
40 reporting breeders, 136 litters, 581 kittens,
Nov 2003-Oct 2004;
Average litter size 4.3
Stillbirth rate 4 %
Average birth weight: Male 101 g female 95 g
None reported in the literature
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (rdAc): Auto recessive disease causing blindness. See under Abyssinian breed. A genetic test is available.
None reported in the literature
Direct genetic test for rdAc-PRA is available from UC-Davis VGL.
- Breed name synonyms: Oci, Spotted Cat, Ocelot
- Registries: FIFe, TICA, CFA, ACFA, ACF, GCCF, WCF, CCA, NZCF
- Breed resources: CFA Ocicat Breed Council: http://www.ocicatinfo.org
Ocicats of North America (CFA): http://www.catoninetail.com/ona/
Ocicats International: http://www.ocicatsinternational.com/
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