5A passion for playtime The Ocicat is very active, so
she’s quite fond of games like fetch.
Puzzle games are also adored, as they
keep her on her toes and challenge
her mind. A word of warning: She’s a
possessive gal when it comes to her
belongings, so don’t be surprised if
she initiates a game of tug-of-war if
you attempt to put her toys away.
6Friend of the family Being incredibly athletic and agile,
the Ocicat can make it to the highest
of perches and will use her height
to watch over her loved ones like a
guardian angel. She’ll also curl up on
your lap for cuddles.
7A cat of many moods Highly adaptable and social, the
Ocicat is down to accompany you on
road trips, but she’s also happy chilling
with the fam (including kids and dogs)
at home or keeping watch in the kitchen as you prepare dinner.
8The more the merrier What about alone time? That’s
a negative. The Ocicat is a bit of a
ham. She loves to be the center of
attention and is forever in the thick
of things. Her ideal home is one with
hustle and bustle. If she’s likely to be
left alone for long periods of time,
she’ll be one sad kitty. Having another
cat, or a dog, in the house can remedy her unhappiness and make up for
the time that you’re away.
9Expect a shadow The Ocicat is known for following
her family’s footsteps — and will even
hitch a ride on your shoulders!
10Feline Houdini She’s a master at undoing latch-es and opening doors, so if there’s
something you don’t want her to have,
keep it under lock and key.
11Color me gorgeous The Ocicat is actually seen in 12
different colors: fawn, blue, silver, cin-
namon, lavender, chocolate, and brown
in addition to silver variations of all of
the above. But, we’re crushing on her in
any coat color.
1Wildly domestic Bred to mimic the agility,
power, and grace of her wild
ancestors (like the similarly spotted Ocelot), the Ocicat is 100-
2Speaking of spots Eye-catching, aren’t they? Rows
upon rows of thumbprint-like spots
run down the spine, rear, legs, and
back, while smaller dots decorate
the shoulders and lower neckline,
and broken rows of stripes encircle
the throat and legs. A familiar marking: the M on the forehead.
3A surprise breed In 1964, Virginia Daly accidentally created the Ocicat when she bred
an Abyssinian male to a Siamese
female in an attempt to create a
Siamese with Abyssinian points.
The kittens produced were overall
Abyssinian, one of which Daly kept
and bred to a Siamese. The resulting
litter was the hoped-for Siamese
with Abyssinian points, so Daly bred
another litter, of which one peculiar
looking feline was born: an ivory
kitten with golden spots she named
Tonga. Daly’s daughter saw Tonga’s
resemblance to the wild Ocelot and
called the new breed Ocicat.
4Back to the drawing board
Daly wasn’t looking to create a
new breed at the time, so Tonga
was neutered and placed with a
loving family. It wasn’t until Daly
mentioned Tonga to geneticist
Dr. Clyde Keeler, who worked to
produce a cat who mimicked
the extinct Egyptian Spotted
Fishing Cat, that the anomaly
became relevant. Daly repeated
her breeding steps, then, in the 80s,
added an American Shorthair to the
mix, which produced the Ocicat we
know and love today.
Writer and blogger Erika Sorocco has written about small mammals and cats for
10 years. A former freelance music writer for The Californian newspaper, Erika
currently fuses her love for felines and fashion together in the blog Cat Eyes &
Skinny Jeans, where she waxes poetic about her favorite makeup look (cat eyes,
of course) and love for cozy knit sweaters (which she unwillingly shares with her
cats Minky and Gypsy). Follow Erika on Twitter at @cateyesskinnies.
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BREED PROFILES AT
12 Let’s party! Did we mention
that the Ocicat is a bit
of a hostess with the
mostess? Her sociable
nature makes her more
than happy to throw
down the welcome mat
at the mere thought of
visitors, all in the hopes
of meeting newbies who
will rub her
lineage, the Ocicat
can be a Chatty Cathy,
but she’s not nearly as
demanding or verbose
as her Siamese breth-
ren. The upside to her
talkativeness is that
she’s excellent with
verbal cues, taking
corrections and com-
mands in stride. She’ll
even let you train her
to walk on a leash if
you ask politely.