Thursday, May 23, 2013

OCICATS

Here's how to make an Ocicat:  breed an Abyssinian to a Siamese, and then after the kittens grow up, breed them to another Siamese.  The second generation will have at least one spotted kitten, and that is an Ocicat.


Anyway, that's how it happened in 1964 with Virginia Daly of Berkley, Michigan.  But she wasn't trying to make an Ocicat.  She was trying to make a Siamese cat with Abyssinian points, and she was very surprised when one spotted kitten showed up.  Her daughter called the kitten an Ocicat because it looked a lot like an ocelot.  The kitten was named Tonga.  He eventually got neutered and sold as a pet.


Tonga's parents were bred again, and they had more spotted kittens.  So after that, Mrs. Daly and other breeders got interested in actually trying to make a new breed of spotted cats.  After a while, they also bred in some American Shorthairs, which gave the Ocicats bigger bones plus a silver color to go with the original 6 colors.









The Cat Fanciers' Association was the first group to accept Ocicats for registration, and by 1987, the cats could get to be Champions at cat shows.  Lots of cat registries around the world now recognize the Ocicat.  It has become a popular breed because it looks like a wild cat, but it has the nice temperament of a house cat.








Here are the different colors that Ocicats come in:  tawny, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lavender, fawn, silver, ebony silver, chocolate silver, cinnamon silver, blue silver, lavender silver, and fawn silver.  Nobody knows for sure why the cross of Abyssinians and Siamese cats made cats with spots.  I guess it is kind of a genetic mystery.












Many people say that Ocicats are a lot like dogs, which is a good thing, in my opinion.  You can train an Ocicat to do many of the same things that you can train dogs to do, such as fetch, walk on a leash, come when called, speak, sit, or lie down on command.  Also, Ocicats are good at kitty agility.










Cats of this breed are friendly and outgoing.  They are not shy around strangers, and they get along well with dogs and other cats.  Ocicats are curious, playful, and active.  They often bond more with one person in the household than with others.  It's easy to take care of an Ocicat because they have short hair.  Also, they don't have any genetic health issues.





Personally, I think Ocicats are cool-looking cats.  I know some basenjis in Illinois who have an Ocicat brother named Malcolm.  None of our cats are Ocicats.  I would ask Mom if we could have one, but I am afraid she will just say that we have too many cats already, which we do.


2 comments:

  1. 2nd pic up is an Egyptian Mau not an Ocicat :)

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    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Thanks for pointing out my mistake! I have replaced that photo with one that is really supposed to be an ocicat!
      Piper

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