Section 4 – FOREIGN – Group 3
The Ocicat and its classic patterned counterpart, the Ocicat Classic, are impressive muscular and athletic cats with the look of the wild, however there are no wild genes used in Ocicat bloodlines. The exotic look of the Ocicat belies its affectionate personality and wonderful temperament. An entirely domestic cat offering the look of the big wild cats, while maintaining the lovely, predictable disposition of the domestic cat makes the Ocicat a sought after breed.
The Ocicat was created by accident in 1964 when an American breeder was trying to develop a Siamese with ticked points as in the Abyssinian. The matings eventually produced a stunning spotted kitten, which was thought to look similar to an Ocelot resulting in the breed name of Ocicat. The Ocicat was then selectively bred to mimic the look of a wild cat by using three recognised pedigree breeds, namely the Siamese, Abyssinian and American Shorthair. Their popularlity has since spread throughout the world, with the first Ocicats coming to the UK in the late 1980s. The Ocicat Classic is bred in the same way as the Ocicat, and became fully recognised by GCCF as a new breed in 2013.
The Ocicat Classic is a sister breed in GCCF to the Ocicat. The Ocicat Classic is the beautiful classic tabby relative of the Ocicat, sharing the same genetic background and history.
The Ocicat is a medium to large spotted cat, which should have a well muscled, athletic build, with a fairly long tail in good proportion to the body. Ocicats have a strong and dense bone structure, which makes both males and females surprisingly heavy for their size. Their gait mimics the bigger wild cats, with a lowslung stance and high rising shoulder blades when walking, which gives a fluid grace to their movement. Ocicats should have moderately large ears and large almond shaped eyes, which are angled slightly adding to the cat’s exotic look. The spots are well scattered all over the body and form a distinctive bullseye pattern on the sides, with a spot circled by spots.
The Ocicat Classic’s pattern is based on the classic tabby pattern, with a tabby M on the forehead, butterfly markings on the shoulder and swirls and stripes on the body. The pattern should be symetrical, with the pattern on one side of the cat being the mirror of the other side. On each flank there should be an ‘oyster-shaped’ patch which should ideally be surrounded by one or more unbroken rings, with only the tummy being spotted.
The Ocicat and Ocicat Classic come in 12 colours in total – Tawny, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Blue, Lilac and Fawn and then the same 6 colors but on a silver background. The rich darker coloured cats most resemble wild cats, with the more subtle colours and silver varieties offering some beautiful and striking alternatives. In all colours the coat should be short and close-lying with a satin sheen to express the wonderful spotted or classic patterns.
These beautiful cats make loving, intelligent and playful companions. They are highly intelligent, social and people-focused cats. Many owners remark on their dog like tendencies, as they enjoy interacting with their human family, respond very well to the voice and can easily be trained. Many will readily play fetch and can be taught house rules easily, responding well to positive verbal reward. They are confident and outgoing with visitors, often making a point of welcoming a newcomer to the home and making new friends! They are attentive family members, often following their owners around to see what they are doing, and are easily captivated by children, as small people often do some very exciting things! They are energetic and athletic so can jump to high places and will be eager to play a game or have a cuddle, as long as they don’t miss anything!
Because of their adaptability they are a joy to be with, they are not demanding and seem to take life in their stride. However, their intelligence and social nature makes them less suited than some breeds to being left alone for long periods of time. While not noisy, the Ocicat can be reasonably vocal and will make an ideal companion for busy active households with other pets, or households where someone is around a lot of the time.
The Ocicat and Ocicat Classic has a low maintenance coat which needs no special attention. While brushing is not a direct requirement, many enjoy the attention of being brushed. The coat can be kept in tip top condition by running a brush over it now and again to remove the dead hairs, followed by a polish with a chamois to add extra shine.
Although seen as an exotic breed, the Ocicat and Ocicat Classic requires no special care, with their broad genetic background giving them a robust vigour and vitality.
The Ocicat and Ocicat Classic has an average life span, like most cats, of 15 to 18 years.