The “is it a wild or domestic cat?” question is one regular amongst those who has just seen the ocicat. An Ocicat fields bodily attributes that add to its fierceness, and it’s no surprise some people tag it as the wild ocelot — a cat present in the United States (South Western area) and some parts of South America. Although an Ocicat might look like one that’ll devour you within minutes of sighting you, it’s 100% domestic. Ocicats are one of the most friendly and warm cat breeds you’ll ever encounter, and although they have fur reminiscent of a leopard, they have no iota of wild DNA.
The Ocicat was a direct result of breeding that combined Abyssinian, American shorthair, and Siamese breeds. Besides making a great show cat, you might want to consider the ocicat as a pet because of their loving and warm nature. This article gives a detailed overview of 14 distinct segments tell-tale about the ocicat.
Ready to know more? Keep your reading shades on!
Table of Contents
- History of the Ocicat Cat
- Ocicat Cat Price
- Life Expectancy of an Ocicat Cat
- Ocicat Cat Traits
- Ocicat Cat Colors
- Ocicat Cat Personality
- Possible Health Conditions of the Ocicat Cat
- Ocicat Cat Care
- Ocicat Cat Food
- Ocicat Cat Grooming
- Ocicat Cat Toys
- Ocicat Cat Appearance
- Ocicat Cat and Apartments
- Ocicat Cat Names
- Final Thoughts on the Ocicat Cat
History of the Ocicat Cat
While the Ocicat might look like a work of art, it’s vital to note that this cat variation was a breeding mistake traceable to the 1960s. In 1964, a Michigan-based cat breeder named Virginia Daly wanted to try out something new and create a cat with short hair and interesting color patterns.
In her bid to curate an “Abypoint Siamese” — a Siamese cat with Abyssinian markings — she crossed Abyssinian and Siamese cats (later the process inducted an American shorthair cat).
The first breeding process didn’t curate the Ocicat. After a period of repeat breeding, the cat breeder was astonished as she noticed the kittens had aesthetically pleasing black spots. Nonetheless, one kitten — Tonga — stood out from the litter as Virginia Daly’s daughter said it was the exact replica of an “almost extinct” ocelot and suggested it should be called an Ocicat. At this point, this name didn’t fly as Virginia had no interest in creating a new cat breed. Afterward, Tonga was sold and given a new home.
Tonga’s legacy didn’t end as a pet in just any home. His photos featured in a newspaper piqued the interest of a geneticist at Harvard University — Dr. Clyde Keeler. Starstruck as soon as he saw Tonga’s photo, Keeler made deliberate efforts to research the genetic process that formed this cat. Although Tonga was made via an Abyssinian and Siamese crossing, Keeler added the American shorthair breed to his research.
The result? Birth of kitten litters that resembled the Ocelot wild cat. Although they were warm and friendly, they had this wild and fierce look that greatly contrasted their domestic attributes. Keeler’s work was copied by others, leading to several Ocicat iterations roaming the United States. In 1966, the Ocicat was registered as a distinct cat breed by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. The Ocicat also earned a “Championship” reputation from the revered International Cat Association (ICA) in 1986.
Ocicat Cat Price
As we’ve established, the Ocicat is part of the exclusive cat club. Thus, you’d need to pay a fitting amount to acquire one. If you’d like some context into the Ocicat price and cost, recent market statistics suggest that you’d need to set aside $800 to $2,500 for one.
Besides the base price, note that there’ll be other miscellaneous expenses bound to crop up. For example, your new kitten’s overall cost will depend on its roots, the breeder, and whether or not it’ll be registered with a cat organization such as the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
Before you buy an Ocicat, it’ll be best to contact revered cat breeders in your vicinity. These professionals should be happy to talk to you about the Ocicat and prospective health conditions you need to know. Ensure you’re armed with all the information about the Ocicat before purchasing one.
Check their online reviews if you’d like to be sure about the cat breeder you’re patronizing for an Ocicat. If the positives outweigh the negatives, they’ll be a good choice. However, if their review page hosts more negative reviews, you’d be better off spending your money elsewhere.
Budgeting for the initial cost of an Ocicat kitten is great. However, you’d need to set funds aside to settle ongoing expenses, including:
- Water and food bowls
- Harness, collar, and leash
- Cat carrier
- Grooming brushes
- Cat play toys
- Flea treatment
- Deworming medication
- Routine vaccinations
- Occasional veterinary check-ups
If the breeder route is a tad tedious for you, consider adoption. For adoption, the best bet is going with a rescue or shelter that fields healthy variations of Ocicats. If you’re unsure what rescue or shelter will grant you access to the Ocicat of your dreams, it’ll be best to revolve your adoption plans around these entities:
Life Expectancy of an Ocicat Cat
Before buying an Ocicat, it’s normal to ask questions along these lines — what is the Ocicat’s lifespan?
Note that this cat breed can live a happy and fun-filled life for 12 to 18 years. Nonetheless, some health conditions might shed some years from this purported Ocicat cat lifespan value.
Ocicat Cat Traits
The average Ocicat is all up for living its life to the fullest. These cats are friendly and warm. They’ll most likely cuddle up to visitors if you have them as home pets. An Ocicat is bound to its owners and doesn’t show any hint of aggression while with them. These cats are also intelligent and curious, making them an ideal fit for training.
The Ocicat’s outgoing demeanor makes it a great leader. If you have pets in the house, you will notice the Ocicat, with a friendly disposition, will be the one that takes the lead while others follow.
Despite its “leader” attributes, the Ocicat might occasionally come off as overly clingy. They enjoy playing the usual cat games like fetch. These cats also bond on walks, so you’ll need a leash and harness to make this endeavor feasible.
While they might look all warm and fun, the Ocicat might resort to mischievous acts occasionally, especially if it’s boring. Thus, it’s a great idea to get two Ocicats to keep themselves company if you’re not the kind of person that stays at home often.
Due to their outgoing and friendly demeanor, Ocicats aren’t scared of relocating and establishing relations with other pets within their vicinity. Also, Ocicats love water — so look closely at your bathtub before settling in for a bath.
Ocicat Cat Colors
The first generation of Ocicats had an Ivory color scheme, and subsequent generations donned other color variations. So, for example, while tawny, cinnamon, and chocolate are the Ocicat’s primary colors, you’d find a decent array of mixed primary color formats, including fawn, blue, and lilac.
Also, note that the Ocicat can adopt several Silver color combos that make its wild aura dominant. These variations include ebony or black spotted, cinnamon spotted, and black spotted.
Since the first Ocicat iteration came aboard in 1964, this cat breed has evolved to feature a dark orange coat, making the bear semblance to its endangered namesake — the wild ocelot.
Ocicat Cat Personality
As we’ve established, the Ocicat is fun to be around. They crave attention and won’t mind you taking them from room to room as long as you’re at home. In addition, they’re crafty enough to keep themselves entertained while you’re away and won’t hesitate to showcase their mischievous attributes.
Since the Ocicat was crossed from the Siamese breed, these cats are vocal and won’t hesitate to air out their thoughts — not in words, but their constant purring and rolling. So you’ll know when they’re delighted or angry at you.
Ocicats are intelligent and will prove to be a potent adversary if you guarantee enriching living conditions within your home. These cats seek settings that’ll see them jump around and hide from their adversaries (other pets). If your Ocicat is going to be confined to your home, consider creating an enclosure (something reminiscent of a bird station) that lets them sink in natural wonders. You’ll be doing them, and yourself (by extension), a huge FAVOR!
Possible Health Conditions of the Ocicat Cat
Unfortunately, your Ocicat might be on the receiving end of some light to life-threatening health conditions. For example, this cat can suffer from kidney or liver conditions like Amyloidosis. This disease starts out as wounds on the Ocicat’s liver or kidney, leading to reduced function over time. If treatment isn’t meted out to combat this condition as soon as possible, the cat’s liver or kidney will fail, leading to imminent death.
Another health condition bound to Ocicats is a genetic issue tagged hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This issue thickens the heart muscles and makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood to the cat’s aorta. Thankfully, there are treatment alternatives that can revert this condition, including heart rate control. Also, certain medications, such as Nitroglycerin can be applied to the cat’s skin to aid absorption. Although there’s no cure for this ailment, regular trips to the vet can prevent this condition from becoming fatal to your cat.
Ocicats are also susceptible to periodontal (gum disease). This condition occurs if bacteria enter the cat’s teeth and eat the gum holding them in place. When it happens, pockets at the teeth’s roots are formed, giving room for dangerous infections. This condition also results in the cat’s teeth falling out.
Ocicat Cat Care
As with other domestic pets, you’d need to take your Ocicat to regular veterinary check-ups to ascertain their 100% health.
A good litter box for your Ocicat is also a great idea. You don’t want to encounter splurges of poo across your home.
Ocicat Cat Food
The Ocicat is exclusive, meaning it’ll need good and nutritious foods in its system. You can offer your cat grain-free meals and foods high in Taurine — an amino acid that aids excellent vision and heart wellness.
The Ocicat doesn’t just like to be found in water bodies. It loves to drink water, so ensure you have a steady water supply to keep up with its needs 24/7. Don’t forget to dole out the treats (poached eggs, chicken, steamed vegetables, and turkey). Trust us; they’ll appreciate your commitment to seeing them eat GOOD!
Ocicat Cat Grooming
Your Ocicat has to look the part all day long. To accomplish this, ensure you brush your cat at least twice weekly to ensure their coat maintains its shine (supplements will come in handy for this procedure). Also, since cat nails grow long within short periods, it’ll be best to trim them regularly to avoid scars when they come around playing all sorts of games on your body.
Endeavor to brush your Ocicat’s teeth and gums daily to avoid infections. Before you start, however, visit your vet for recommendations for what cat toothpaste and toothbrush you can use.
Cats are clean animals, and the Ocicat breed isn’t any different. Ensure you bathe your cat once every three days to maintain hygiene.
Ocicat Cat Toys
If you’re not going to spend a considerable amount of time with your indoor Ocicat, ensure you buy a toy it can play around with while you’re away. Ocicats are intelligent and might get bored with a fetching toy. Thus, buying a complex toy that takes a ton of their attention will be best. Here, you can opt for an agility toy or puzzle.
Ocicat Cat Appearance
The Ocicat adopts a wild appearance that earns it the “Domestic Ocelot” nickname. Besides the dark spots on their coat, these cats denote wildness due to their muscular structure. They’re also sturdy — an attribute from the American shorthair cat.
Although the Ocicat looks lightweight, they’re heavy. This cat breed weighs anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds. Fielding a long tail, the cat has huge pointy ears angled at 45° — adding to its overall wild look. An Ocicat’s claw is also strong and long (if left to grow). With features denoting wildness, some individuals are still astonished by the warmth and friendliness they offer.
Ocicat Cat and Apartments
Ocicats are ideal for apartment living. Although they’ll need a play area to showcase their naughtiness now and again, you don’t need to commit a truckload of space to accommodate these cats.
Ocicat Cat Names
Since the first-ever Ocicat — Tonga — posed for the cameras, what names did subsequent Ocicats have? Well, there have been numerous variations. However, notable mentions include Harley, Mad Max, Savannah, and Coco. While these names might seem appeasing, note that the name your Ocicat adopts depend on one person — YOU!
Final Thoughts on the Ocicat Cat
Phew! The Ocicat indeed has numerous aspects to it — expected because it stems from the crossing of the Abyssinian, American shorthair, and Siamese breeds. These cats look wild but showcase an aura that denotes warmth and friendliness.
The Ocicat’s exclusivity might see you spending almost $2,000 to purchase one. However, the Ocicat is worth the price as it’ll be your companion all day long. To ensure it reaches its intended lifespan, ensure you take your Ocicat to the vet regularly and give it foods rich in amino acids. Don’t forget about their daily care.
The Ocicat is a fun cat. If you crave something along those lines, head to the nearest breeder or shelter to make inquiries into one.