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The unusual Ocicat is a wild-looking but fully domesticated spotted feline. Despite their appearance, Ocicats do not have any DNA from wild cats. Instead, they are a mix between the Abyssinian, Siamese, and American Shorthair.
These selectively bred kitties are rare outside of the USA, where they originate. However, cat lovers worldwide are intrigued by these special felines as they look wild but are incredibly friendly and tame with no feral instincts.
Meet the Ocicat
Female Ocicats are medium-sized, weighing between 6 and 9 pounds, whereas males are large, between 9 and 15 pounds. Because of the size difference, males typically look a bit wilder. Still, both genders have athletic, well-muscled figures with long bodies and powerful legs.
Their heads feature a strong jaw and almond-shaped eyes slightly angled up towards the ears. Their ears have an alert, pointed position with a 45-degree tilt. Ocicats can have any eye colour, except blue, although green is most common.
Of course, the Ocicat's most distinctive characteristic is its spotted coat. Their fur is short and smooth with a visible sheen.
They sport a tabby pattern with brown or gold spots all over their torso, making them stand apart from other tabby breeds. Moreover, their faces are usually the lightest parts of their body, whereas their tail is typically the darkest. While tawny, chocolate, and cinnamon are the most common coat shades, twelve colour variations are possible.
Ocicats have a good life expectancy, between 12 to 18 years. They are generally healthy; however, these felines are susceptible to one hereditary condition, liver/renal amyloidosis. Furthermore, as they are very active cats, they burn calories quickly; thus, their chances of developing obesity are much lower than other breeds.
The Ocicat’s temperament
The Ocicat displays many of the same personality traits as its ancestors, the Siamese and Abyssinian. They are active, outgoing, and people orientated. They are friendly to everyone and act very confidently around new people. However, some Ocicats have a favourite human with whom they will develop the deepest bond and follow around.
Ocicats are a very easy breed to train and teach commands, and they will learn and respond to their name almost instantly. What's more, many Ocicat owners find leash-training these felines to be effortless, and some have taught them canine-style tricks, too. Their high intelligence also means they can pick up on how their owners feel and understand if they are angry with them. Because of their intelligence and loyalty, these kitties are very dog-like.
Ocicats have high energy levels and are always on the go. In addition, they are performers who love to run and leap up to high places, so they would be happy to access the outdoors. If keeping them as an indoor-only pet, be sure to have plenty of toys available (and change them regularly) as well as cat trees and towers to meet their needs.
Ocicats are not mute felines by any means, and they will chat with you regularly. However, they don't do it annoyingly or have a raspy tone like their Siamese ancestors. Many Ocicats are fans of water, too, and their curiosity is bound to lead them into the bath or shower with you. Plus, they adapt well to changes and tend not to find travelling stressful, as many other breeds do.
10 reasons to add an Ocicat to your family
- They are wild looking with a gentle nature - If you love spotted cats but worry about the wild instincts of hybrid breeds like Bengals and Savannahs, an Ocicat and its mild, tame nature is ideal.
- They are friendly and confident - Ocicats are not reserved or shy kitties. They enjoy guests coming over and thrive in high energy environments such as dinner parties.
- They have impressive athletic skills - Ocicats may not have any wild blood, but they can sprint and jump surprisingly high. They will also perform circus tricks by leaping between doors or bookcases.
- You can teach them obedience commands - Some cats will do as they please no matter how hard you try to train them. Luckily, Ocicats are not this way and respond very well to obedience training.
- They make fantastic travel companions - One of the Ocicat's best personality traits is that they are very adaptable and enjoy travelling. Rather than showing fear, they are very curious and intrigued when in vehicles, so they would love to go on a road trip with you!
- They love other animals - Ocicats enjoy the presence of other animals. They will form close bonds with other cats or dogs that they grow up around.
- They are incredibly playful - Ocicats have high energy levels and never get bored playing. So, if you're looking for a new hobby, your Ocicat will give you one!
- You can take them for walks - Ocicats take well to a leash and harness and are confident enough to go for walks with you around the neighbourhood.
- Their spotted fur comes in various colours - With twelve possible coat colours, Ocicats have a good variety, including some rare but beautiful shades like Lavender.
- They have eyeliner rimmed eyes - Ocicats have black rimming around their eyes, defining them and creating an appearance of eyeliner.
Best homes for an Ocicat
Ocicats do best in active households with owners who enjoy interacting with them and including them in the family activities as if they are a dog or child. What's more, their well-being may suffer in a home where they do not receive enough attention or feel left out. So, if you're looking for a new family member rather than just an animal to have around, you'll be the perfect fit for this gorgeous spotted cat.
Ocicats also prefer to be around other animals and don't particularly like to be solo pets. They are also great with kids, making them an excellent addition to a big family with multiple pets.