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Ocicat cat
Federations: LOOF, CFA, ACF, ACFA, TICA, FIFé, WCF

The Ocicat, sometimes canine behavior, is distinguished by its great adaptability, which is an undeniable asset to make it an excellent family cat.

Content

Characteristics "Ocicat cat"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a cat of the breed "Ocicat cat" you know certain factors. You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Joy

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Activity level

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Friendliness to other pets

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Friendliness to children

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Grooming requirements

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Vocality

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Need for attention

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Affection towards its owners

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Docility

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Intelligence

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Independence

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Hardiness

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History

The Ocicat is the result of the crossing made from 1964 by Virginia Daly, an American breeder, and its name comes from the contraction of the words “ocelot” and “cat“. In fact, although it is the result of purely domestic ancestry, this breed looks a lot like ocelote (Leopardus pardalis), a large wild cat that lives in Central America.

However, the genesis of the breed is mainly due to chance. In effect, the objective of Virginia Daly was to raise one Abyssinian cat colourpoint, far from the image of the Ocicat

Like this, in 1964, a litter of a Abyssinian cat ruddy and a Siamese cat sealpoint. Among the kittens obtained, the breeder was left with a single female with traits mainly Abyssinians. She was crossed with a male Siamese chocolate-colored. The resulting puppies physically resembled the Abyssinians, but they all had the color point. The breeder was immediately satisfied with the result and repeated the same crossing until one day a kitten with a particular coat was born.: call Tonga, one of the kittens had golden spots on white background. By not coinciding with the objective of Virginia Daly, was quickly castrated and sold to a private.

It was not until some time later that the breeder turned her attention back to this type of wild cat of primitive color, during a correspondence with the geneticist Clyde Keeler. Seeking to revive an extinct feline breed, the “Egyptian spotted fishing cat”, was very interested in the fur of Tonga. He would have liked to cross it with his own mother, but the recent sterilization of the young cat made it impossible. Then the same crossing was repeated that gave rise to Tonga, until you get stained individuals. That's how it went, and the history of Ocicat started in earnest.

Soon Virginia Daly crossed these spotted cats with the American shorthair cat. The purpose of these unions was to obtain larger individuals, as well as the silver color of the race.

Over the years 80, the Ocicat began to be known and appreciated by the public and breeders. Soon, many breeders became interested in this new breed and international organizations began to officially recognize it. Like this, after being accepted in 1966 by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) as an experimental breed, obtained full breed status in 1987. That same year, the International Cat Association (TICA) also recognized the breed. Five years later, in 1992, it was the turn of the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFé).

This period also marked the spread of the breed throughout the world and its recognition by various national bodies., as the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in Britain or the Livre Officiel des Origines Félines (LOOF) in France.

However, Although various organizations from various parts of the world now recognize the Ocicat, its number of members is still limited. This can be explained in part by the fact that in some countries all interbreeding with any other breed is prohibited., which mechanically limits population growth as well as the diversity of the genetic heritage. However, this is not the case everywhere: en el Reino Unido, for example, crosses with Abyssinians are allowed, which obviously facilitates its diffusion.

In any case, today there are great differences in the establishment of the Ocicat from one country to another. In France, still a very rare breed of cats, with less than 10 registrations per year in the LOOF since the beginning of the century – the number is even nil in some years.

The same is true in Switzerland, although, unlike france, looks like a small upward trend is taking place, since since 2017 more than 10 births per year in the Fédération Féline Helvétique (FFH).

The Ocicat is much more present in the UK, since the number of annual births registered by the GCCF exceeds 50 cats a year. Although this figure may seem high compared to other countries, it is still a decrease compared to the second half of the decade of 2000 and the first of 2010, when he approached a hundred.

Last, is in your country of origin, United States, where the Ocicat is more represented and has been more successful in establishing itself in households. Throughout the decade of 2010, stood around the post 20 (of something less than 50) in the CFA's annual registration ranking.

Physical characteristics

Ocicat
An ocicat presented at the FIFé cat show in Hyvinkää in Finland. Color : Blue spotted tabby – Heikki Siltala-catza.net, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ocicat it has particular physical traits that make it a wild-looking feline race. More concretely, although it is a Domestic cat, looks a lot like a ocelote and represents a perfect blend of grace and power: a medium-sized feline, muscular and always very elegant. It is much heavier than it seems.

The Ocicat is built around a fairly deep chest. Its back must be straight, but the topline is slightly higher at the back of the body. The tail is long, fine and has a dark tip.

The legs they are strong, muscular and of medium length. The feet must be oval, compact and proportional to the legs.

The head it is triangular and angular, like that of his Asian ancestor the Siamese. It rests very harmoniously on a neck fine and quite arched. The snout it is wide but well defined. Master a strong jawline and a well-defined chin.

The ears they are large and set high on the head. They usually have small strands of hair on top.

Their eyes they are large, almond-shaped. They are very expressive and reflect their intelligence. All are accepted colors, except blue. On the other hand, there is not necessarily a correspondence between eye color and coat color.

The fur of the Ocicat it is made up of short hairs, soft and shiny, always decorated with those spots that characterize it so much, giving it the appearance of a wild cat. The spots along the spine are rather round and concentrated, while those of the shoulders and the back of the body are more dispersed. The largest markings are usually found on the flanks and under the belly. The tail also has these markings, and there are usually darker hairs around the eyes and on the cheeks. It also, the forehead is usually marked with a “M”, also darker than the basic coat.

There is some diversity in the exact appearance of the fur of the Ocicat, with no less than 3 fur patterns (solid, spotted tabby and silver / smoke spotted tabby) and 6 colors (chocolate, blue, leonado, black, cinnamon and lilac) possible. In all cases, slight silver shine possible, which raises the number of combinations to 36.

Last, the breed is characterized by a certain sexual dimorphism, since females are usually smaller and thinner than males.

Size and weight

  • Size: Of 30 to 35 cm.
  • Weight: Of 3 to 5 kg

Breed standard

The breed standards are documents prepared by official bodies that list the conditions that an Ocicat must meet to be fully recognized as belonging to the breed.:

Character and skills

Ocicat
Ocicat (male) – I, ToB, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ocicat is always cheerful and energetic by nature. Very sociable and active, loves to play with his humans or other animals.

They are always happy to play, but they also like to spend long periods of time resting with their owners, for example, spending the night on his lap. Many of the representatives of the breed tend to choose a particular family member with whom they form an especially intense bond., although this does not prevent them from being affectionate with others.

This closeness to their humans makes them an excellent student for those who want to teach their cat tricks.. For example, can learn to find and retrieve objects thrown by his master, to lie down when ordered or to respond to his name.

In fact, this little feline totally breaks the image of the proud and independent cat. He is always happy to accompany his owners everywhere, without hesitation to follow them around the house… or by any other site. In fact, is usually perfectly capable of walking on a leash, making it much easier to take you everywhere. And when that is not an option, can be carried in arms: that they take it is not a problem, as long as it's done with a little respect.

It is also an ideal option for someone who wants to take their cat on vacation or even on a trip., as it can adapt to a new environment without too much trouble.

This is possible thanks to the fact that he is not worried about meeting new people.. He even likes to receive visitors at home and is not shy with them. For them, represent new possibilities for interaction and sources of caresses, and does not hesitate to meet him on his own.

It also, both at home and elsewhere, things go better because he easily assimilates the rules. He is very sensitive to vocal reprimands from his beloved masters and, usually, does not repeat the same mistake twice once caught red-handed (for example, if you have climbed on the table during the meal, or any other undesirable behavior). It is also common for him to show that he has understood the lesson by adopting an attitude similar to that of shame, like many dogs do.

In summary, do not be fooled by its wild appearance: this sometimes canine behavioral animal is distinguished by its great adaptability, which is an undeniable asset to make it an excellent family cat.

Often becomes the best friend of children, as long as they know how to behave with respect towards him. However, it is important to keep in mind the basic rules of precaution: Whatever your race, a cat should never be left alone with a young child, without the slightest adult supervision.

They can also be very suitable for older people, especially if they spend a lot of time at home and like to give them attention and affection.

Regardless of the age of the owners, they love attention and are only suitable for people who can and enjoy spending time with their pet. Otherwise, will suffer a lot.

Allowing him to have a little playmate by his side can be a wise way to keep him from suffering from loneliness., since their sociability does not only extend to humans: in general, appreciates sharing your home with a partner or with a dog, as long as, of course, this one belongs to a breed that is friendly to cats. Being dominant by nature, usually direct the other animals in the house, even when they are bigger than yours. However, this trait means that introductions to an unknown animal must be done very gradually, to avoid any kind of conflict, especially if he's also the dominant type.
In view of his tendency to play with everything that moves, It does not seem wise to try to get it to live with another animal that may be prey. In fact, it is better to avoid coming into contact with rodents, birds or fish, since it could end badly.

Due to his mental acuity and love of the game, not only quickly learn the tricks, they also love puzzles and other toys designed to stimulate their intelligence. However, they can sometimes become possessive of them, so you have to teach them to share from a young age. It also, precious items that you might mistake for games must be hidden or kept out of reach at all costs, taking into account that he is perfectly capable of learning to open doors or drawers by watching his masters do it…

Like most of its congeners, to the Ocicat he loves to hang from the heights. And given its flexibility, there is no furniture, however big it is, that you resist. You also need plenty of space and toys to feel good and get all the exercise you need.. If you live in an apartment, it must be of a certain size and equipped with numerous games, as well as with furniture and a cat tree that allows him to observe his little world from above.

Last, the Ocicat has inherited a strong voice from his ancestor the Siamese cat. He does not hesitate to use it when he has a request to make, and knows perfectly how to make himself understood when he is hungry or needs attention. Their meows are also a very good conversation tool., since he likes to chat with his master responding to his voice. Their purrs are also especially loud; some like, to others not so much. In any case, It is not as loud or demanding as the Siamese.

grooming and care "Ocicat cat"

Ocicat
Picture of a cinnamonsilverspotted ocicat – Hansboskar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ocicat it is a breed of cat that is easy to care for.

Its short and soft coat does not need to be brushed more than once a week to remove dead hair. However, to avoid dead hair all over the house, more frequent brushing is necessary during spring and fall shedding periods.

It is seldom necessary to bathe your dog. when it is so, it is essential to use a shampoo specially designed for cats.

Weekly brushing is also an opportunity to take care of other parts of the body. The first thing to do is check the condition of your eyes and clean the area around them if necessary.. This will help prevent infections and detect any problems in this area early..

The same goes for the ears.: a weekly check and cleaning to remove dirt will help limit the appearance of problems in this area, starting with ear infections.

The teeth should also be brushed regularly with a special toothpaste for felines.. This is especially important, since the Ocicat is especially prone to periodontitis: brushing prevents plaque formation, which is the cause of many oral problems, including this one. Daily brushing is recommended, but if it is done once a week, it's already very good.

As for the claws, they tend to grow quite fast. Therefore, if he only goes out or a little time passes, they usually need to be trimmed regularly. If they get too long, not only can they hinder you when you move, but also break and potentially injure you at the same time. In any case, if your dog does not have access to the outside, it is essential that you have a scratching post: otherwise, you risk using furniture or curtains to scratch.

The gestures to take care of your cat's coat, as well as his eyes, ears, teeth and claws, should not be done randomly, since you run the risk of harming or even injuring you. The first time, no hesitation to learn the correct way of doing things from a professional vet or cat groomer. It also, there are many reasons to get your kitten used to being handled from an early age, so that grooming sessions are not unpleasant for him, but that, on the other hand, be beautiful moments of complicity.

Indoor or outdoor cat?

The cats Ocicat they do not necessarily need to have access to the outside to feel comfortable. However, it would be ideal if you could allow the animals to go out into the wild from time to time. The ideal is a secure garden or, at least, a safe outdoor area. Basically, representatives of this breed always want to be close to their humans and not be left alone for a long time, so cats don't go on long excursions, but they stay close. Due to his affection and easy training, it is also possible to accustom the kitten Ocicat on the leash and take small excursions into nature.

How much activity does he need? "Ocicat cat"?

If you are thinking of buying a Ocicat, you should know that you will only be happy if you get enough attention. Play time and pampering together are essential. Since cats with an athletic build have quite a bit of energy, you have to dedicate time to hunting games, but intelligence games are also very well accepted. It also, representatives of this breed always seek contact with their humans, so it is especially important that, as a member of the family, be allowed to always be where the center of activity is. It also, must provide appropriate opportunities for scratching and climbing, so that the existing urge to move can also be acted upon. So being alone isn't too hard, you always have to provide a Ocicat a companion.

Health and nutrition

"Ocicat cat"

Ocicat
Ocicat "Rizzo" (cat breed) – ToB, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ocicat is generally in good health and lives a long time (until 15 years).

However, is not immune to certain problems inherited from its ancestors the Siamese cat and the Abyssinian cat:

  • Hepatic amyloidosis, a disease that can affect the kidneys and/or liver. Causes incomplete dissolution of certain proteins and leads to a buildup of deposits in organs. Loss of appetite, the diarrhea and vomiting it causes often lead to significant weight loss. Appears among 1 and 5 years of age and must be diagnosed quickly so that it can be controlled with specific treatment and a low-protein diet. Failure to do so can be fatal;
  • The pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKDef), an inherited condition that corresponds to a deficiency of this enzyme important for the proper development of red blood cells. The consequence is anemia, more or less serious depending on the case, causing various symptoms such as lethargy, diarrhea, weight loss and eating disorders;
  • The Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (the cardiomyopathy), which is the most common heart disease seen in cats and corresponds to excessive thickening of the walls of the heart. It can be of hereditary origin, but this is only one of the possible causes. In all cases, manifests itself in various ways (breathing difficulties, hindquarters paralysis, vomiting, lethargy, significant weight loss, etc.), but the symptoms usually appear suddenly. Some individuals recover within a few months, while others die quickly;
  • The periodontal disease (o periodontitis), what is an inflammation of the gums. If the problem is not treated in time, dental abscesses may form, and it can also occur, for example, loosening of teeth or severe difficulty chewing certain foods. Longer term, if the bacteria reach the circulatory system and the jaw, infection can lead to death;
  • Progressive reticular atrophy, an incurable, inherited eye disease that causes progressive loss of vision, culminating in blindness. It has been found in some individuals, but its prevalence is still very low in the population of the breed.

The best way to avoid acquiring a cat that may suffer from some hereditary disease in the near future is to go to a serious breeder. Any breeder of Ocicat trust must be able to present not only a veterinary health certificate, but also the animal's health card (or vaccination record), containing the vaccines administered, as well as the results of genetic tests performed on the parents or the kitten, that demonstrate that they are free of inherited diseases.

Last, even if your pet looks healthy, a routine annual visit to the vet never hurts, and in fact it is highly recommended. Allows a complete health check, that sometimes allows discovering emerging problems, and also offers the opportunity to check that vaccinations are up to date. It also, the owner must ensure that their pet's antiparasitic treatments are renewed throughout the year, whenever necessary, so that the pet never stops being protected.

Food

The Ocicat he is a little complicated cat when it comes to feeding and is very happy with good quality industrial food. He also likes prepared meat dishes, vegetables and starch.

In any case, the products chosen and the servings supplied must be adapted to your needs, that depend first of all on your age, your state of health and the amount of physical exercise you do on a daily basis.

The Ocicat not especially prone to obesity but, as with any race, it is important to watch your weight. This is especially true if you have been neutered, as this increases the risk of obesity. Therefore, a monthly weigh-in is necessary, and any deviation that is confirmed or even accentuated the next time must be taken seriously: then it is necessary to take him to the vet to identify the origin of this weight gain. This may be due to a diet that is not adapted in quality and / or quantity., but also to the appearance of another health problem.

It also, like any cat, a bowl of fresh, clean water should be available at all times.

For sale "Ocicat cat"

The price of a Ocicat usually oscillates between 700 and 1400 EUR.

However, in Europe, the number of breeders can be counted on the fingers of one hand, so it is often necessary to arm yourself with patience to find the rare pearl: you are very often placed on a waiting list for months.

One option is to search the UK, where there are many more breeders. This allows you to choose from a larger number of kittens, while avoiding long delays.

whatever the country, the amount charged depends, in particular, of the reputation of the kennel, from the lineage the kitten comes from, but also and above all of its physical characteristics. In the case of adoption from abroad, It must be taken into account that several costs are added to this price: transport, quarantine, administrative transactions, etc.

Interesting data

The Ocicats they are quite fond of water and some representatives of the breed happen to be “water rats” and enjoy a bath in the bathtub or the pool.

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