What Does an Ocicat Look Like?
The Ocicat comes in 12 recognized colors, including blue, tawny, fawn, silver, cinnamon, and even chocolate, among others. The one sure thing are their spots, making them similar to the ocelot – hence their name.
Other things you’ll notice about them are their long, lean body and their large ears. They’re surprisingly muscular, medium-sized cats, weighing in at around 6 to 15 pounds. Their eyes can be any color except blue, but they’re usually yellow, orange or green.
How Do Ocicats Behave?
Ocicats love people and make great pets. They will trail your footsteps through the house, ride on your shoulder, or just curl up in your lap for a nap. Guests are always welcome in an Ocicat household.
Of course, like any other animal, they come in a range of personalities. Some are more shy than others, but all of them enjoy playing and learning new tricks. Puzzle toys are a great way to keep them occupied and challenged.
Are Ocicats Intelligent?
Yes, these cats are highly intelligent and learn tricks easily. They’re also very curious, which can sometimes get them into trouble. They’ll easily learn how to open a door, switch the light on, or undo a latch. That may be annoying, but it’s all part of their charm! If you want to keep them out of certain rooms, you can always exchange the door handles for turning door knobs.
Will They Get Along with Other Animals in Your Home?
Ocicats usually get along well with other animals in the home, but it’s always important to do a proper introduction. They’re especially good with dogs and make great playmates for them.
How Active Are They?
These cats are moderately active and usually don’t need a lot of exercise. They’re content to play indoors, but they do enjoy going for walks on a leash. Some also love playing fetch, so try throwing their favorite toy across the room and see what happens!
Are They Healthy Cats, and How Long Do They Live?
Ocicats are generally healthy cats and can live for 10 to 15 years. Like all cats, they should see a veterinarian regularly for preventive care. Remember that cats don’t like to show their suffering – you may never notice something is wrong until you give them a check-up. Some conditions to watch out for are:
- progressive retinal atrophy – a degenerative eye disease that leads to blindness;
- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – the most common form of heart disease in cats;
- renal or liver amyloidosis – a condition that affects the kidneys or liver;
- periodontal disease – inflammation of the gums and other tissues surrounding the teeth.
These are all rare diagnoses, but it’s always important to be aware of them. To ensure you’re getting a healthy kitten, do your research and find a responsible breeder. Parent cats should be screened for the above conditions, and the breeder should also offer a health guarantee.
What Kinds of Maintenance Do They Need?
Ocicats are low-maintenance cats and only need to be brushed or combed once a week. You can use a slicker brush to help remove dead hair. If you notice discharge in the corners of their eyes, wipe it away with a damp cloth. Also, check their ears weekly and remove any excess wax or debris with a cotton ball.
They should only be given a bath if they get into something dirty, or if they have a lot of pests to get rid of. It shouldn’t happen, though, as it’s best to keep your cat indoors and only take them outside on a leash. A curious Ocicat could easily get into an accident, or someone might steal them because they look so pretty.
To prevent periodontal disease, get your cat used to tooth brushing early and stick to a weekly – or even better, daily – brushing routine. Their nails can grow fast, so you may need to trim them twice a month.
Where Can You Get an Ocicat?
These cats aren’t as common as some other breeds, but you can still find them at shelters or buy a kitten from a breeder. Do your research and find a responsible one who screens their cats for health problems.
Breeding should be done with the cats’ good in mind – not just to make a profit. That being said, a well-bred Ocicat will cost $800-$1,200 on average. You can find reputable breeders through the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) or another federation belonging to the World Cat Congress.
The CFA Ocicat Breed Council also runs a rescue program for Ocicats in need of new homes. If you’re interested in adopting one, you can contact the organization and find out if there are any available.
What’s the History of the Ocicat Breed?
The first ancestors of today’s Ocicats were bred in 1964 by Virginia Daly who wanted to achieve a Siamese cat with Abyssinian points. She crossed a sealpoint Siamese with a ruddy Abyssinian, but only got kittens that looked like Abys. She crossed one of them back with a Siamese, and there was an unexpected result – one ivory-colored kitten had gold spots. He was named Tonga and sold as a pet.
More attempts at breeding produced more spotted kittens, which became the foundation of the Ocicat breed. To give them a silver coat and bigger size, American Shorthairs were added to the mix. The Ocicat was recognized by the CFA in 1966 and advanced to championship status in 1987, and they continue to be a popular breed today.
Is the Ocicat the Right Cat for You?
If you’re looking for a domestic cat rocking a wild coat, the Ocicat may be the perfect breed for you. They’re loving and playful, and make great lap cats that don’t require a lot of maintenance. If you often have guests over, they’ll surely enjoy watching your pet’s antics, and your Ocicat will happily make friends with them.
Just be aware that they’re curious cats – sometimes too much for their own good – so keep them indoors and on a leash when you take them outside. They’re also smart cats, so you may need to be extra careful about where you’re putting away food and other things you don’t want them to touch.
Ocicats can be a little pricey, but remember that you’re paying for a well-bred kitten from a responsible breeder. They’re also generally healthy, so you shouldn’t have to worry about expensive treatments.
Fun Facts about Ocicats
What else is there to learn about these affectionate spotted cats? Here are a few more facts you may find interesting.
- Some Ocicats like to swim, so you can try giving them a kitty pool or bathtub to splash around in.
- They’re often described as ‘dogs in a cat’s body’ because they can learn to play fetch, walk on a leash, and respond to basic commands such as ‘sit’ or ‘roll over’.
- They’re said to be able to learn up to 300 words and gestures, making them one of the most intelligent cat breeds.
- While they usually live up to 15 years, some may even reach an age of 18, which is longer than most cat breeds.
Are You Prepared to Bring a New Kitten Home?
If you’re thinking of adding an Ocicat to your family, be sure to do your research and prepare yourself for the commitment. They’re loving and playful cats that need a lot of attention, so they may not be the best choice for someone who’s out of the house all day.
Be prepared to have lots of toys around, as these cats love to play. They’re also very curious and will get into everything, so kitten-proof your home before bringing them in. And finally, be prepared to spend a lot of time with your new furry friend – they’ll make sure you don’t regret it!
Have you ever owned an Ocicat? Share the funniest stories about your feline friend in the comments below!
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