What the heck's an Ocicat? This feline variety looks like a wild cat, but actually is very sweet natured and playful. They are intelligent, and enjoy human company, as well as the company of other cats.
Have you always been an admirer of the beautiful and dangerous leopards and ocelots?
While these spotted big cats can be lethal pets, there is a domesticated cat with a similar exotic appearance, the Ocicat.
Actually, these cats were developed completely by accident from two other domestic cat breeds.
When a breeder in the United States was trying to create a Siamese of a different color by breeding a Siamese cat to an Abyssinian, they instead ended up with a lovely spotted kitten.
Of course, while this kitty may look wild, this breed actually has a wonderful personality.
The Ocicat is a medium sized cat, weighing in at six to fourteen pounds, but their racey physique makes them look bigger. Its powerful, graceful body is set on muscular legs. This breed's head has a distinct wedge shape, which is topped by large, Siamese like ears.
These cats have eyes with a slightly Oriental shape that are surrounded by dark color. Many cat enthusiasts say this rim of color makes these cats look as though they are wearing glasses. A long, gracefully tapered tail completes the wild appearance of this breed.
While the original member of this breed was ivory colored with golden spots, there are now many additional recognized colors. You can find these spotted cats in Tawny, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Blue, Lavender, and Fawn colors.
In addition, these cats come in spotted tabby, spotted silver tabby, and spotted smoke patterns of all of the above colors. Some of these remind me of the Egyptian Mau, and suspiciously resemble the spots on my oldest cat, Priscilla (Priscilla is a tabby of unknown origin).
If you are a busy person who is rarely at home, you should not own an Ocicat. These cats are extremely people oriented and become depressed and upset if they are left alone for long periods of time.
This love of human company makes this breed, in fact, the ideal family cat. In fact, even visiting family and friends will be happily welcomed by these outgoing cats. While they thrive on human attention, this sociable cat also enjoys the company of other cats, making it an excellent breed choice for a multiple cat home.
These cats are very playful, so to keep your cat happy, you should be sure to provide plenty of toys. However, this doesn't mean you need to break the piggy bank. Simple toys, like a big feather or a crumpled piece of paper, provide hours of entertainment for these sweet natured cats.
These tend to be quite sturdy and healthy cats, and long-lived as well. This is likely due to their ancestral breeds also being healthy. Still, you'll want to learn more about cat health, and learn to spot the common cat illness symptoms, as any cat can become ill.
The Ocicat is one of the most intelligent cat breeds. You can easily teach your cat simple commands, such as how to come and fetch, but don't stop there. These quick learners have been able to learn quite a few other commands, as well.
One member of this breed named Bob is so smart, she even has her own blog. Yes, Bob is a she. Update: Sadly, Bob was killed by a car in May of 2007, but her sister Lizzy took over the blog.
If you don't enjoy grooming your cat, you will be happy to know that these cats do not actually need to be groomed frequently. A quick brushing once a week should keep your cat looking sleek, shiny, and healthy.
However, since this breed enjoys the attention, you may want to groom your cat several times a week. For your own well-being, I recommend a good grooming session at least once daily for lower blood pressure and a happier life!
If you'd like to spend lots of time with a cat that looks as striking as the jungle cats, then you may just want to consider the Ocicat. These cats provide the best of both worlds - a wild look and a sweet nature.