As a kid, did you ever dream of owning a wild animal? Maybe a baby tiger or even a baby leopard? If so, there’s a good chance you might be interested in adopting an Ocicat cat because these little guys are the next best thing to owning a natural baby leopard. Plus, if you decide to adopt an Ocicat kitten, or better yet, an adult rescue Ocicat cat, you’re not likely to be arrested for doing so, and you’re certainly not going to be eaten by your little guy.
But just because…
These guys look cool, but that doesn’t mean you should buy one. Because like any “true” cat lover can tell you, each cat breed will have its own “quirks” regarding how they will behave. This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own an Ocicat cat so that if you ever do get a chance to own one, you won’t be disappointed six months later that you decided to make one of these magnificent animals a part of your family. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Ocicat Cat Breed Fast Facts
Country of Origin: United States
Size: Medium to Large
Weight: 12 to 15 pounds
Eyes: Almond-shape eyes
Head shape: Round
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Origin of the Ocicat
Now, when you have a cat that is this “cool” looking, you almost want to make up a better origin story than the one that is true. The sad part is that these magnificent animals weren’t discovered deep within the Amazon, and they’re not the result of a wild Ocelot cat crossbreeding with a domesticated animal. These guys were first created in 1964 as an accidental “byproduct” of trying to make a pointed Siamese cat with a “ticked” pattern tabby. Or, more specifically, a chocolate-pointed Siamese male was bred with a half-Siamese female and half-Abyssinian.
And wouldn’t you know it…It worked!
The original Ocicat breeders could produce the pointed Siamese with a ticked pattern. Still, they also made an “odd” little ivory-colored kitten named Tonga, with golden spots and an uncanny resemblance to the wild South American cat known as an Ocelot. And while the pointed ticked pattern Siamese kittens were undoubtedly cute, they weren’t as exciting as these new “exotic” kittens, which is why the original breeders continued to “experiment” with Tonga’s parents, ultimately leading to the creation of an entirely new cat breed.
American Shorthairs were introduced into the breeding mix to give the Ocicat a larger build, which would be able to accentuate his spotted coat. Today, Ocicat breeders will breed cats to produce patterns, including ticked, ivory, solid designs, and the “classic” golden bullseye pattern. Each of which is considered “acceptable” by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA)
As we just noted, the cat breed can come in various patterns, but a few “traits” will remain constant regardless of what color “type” of Ocicat you choose to adopt. Traits such as they’re all going to be rather long and muscular. And while they may range in size from medium to large, they will all have almond-shaped eyes and ears far apart and stand alert.
Now, because it’s often difficult to know how large Ocicat kittens will become, if you know that you have a preference for either a large or medium-sized spotted cat, you’ll want to be sure that you let your Ocicat breeder know right away because some Ocicat breeders may also have a preference as well and only choose to breed one size or another.
For us here at…
IndulgeYourPet, we don’t necessarily have a preference regarding how big or small an Ocicat is. What attracts us to one particular cat vs. another is their coat pattern (we love bull’s eye versions) and those with the classic fawn silver coloring. But who are we to say what “kind” of Ocicat is better than another? You may prefer a tawny or a chocolate! Either way, you’re going to have a fantastic-looking cat and…. Isn’t it always the cat’s personality that makes us fall in love with them anyway?
Personality and Temperament
So, while it is true that you should never really make any “assumptions” about how an individual cat may or may not behave, in general, it’s pretty safe to assume that your Ocicat will not act like the wild animal they were named after. What you’ll most likely get if you adopt an Ocicat kitten or rescue cat is a very well-mannered cat that loves to play and be an active family member. This is why these little guys have become very popular with families with young children and for folks who like to “train” cats.
Yep, that’s right, some cats are trainable! And the Ocicat cat is one of those unusual cat breeds that will listen to their owners. Some folks have even taught their Ocicats how to play fetch, cruise around the neighborhood on a leash, or plant themselves on your shoulder while you venture out and about!
So if you find yourself in a situation where you are a “cat person” and your significant other is a “dog person,” perhaps getting an Ocicat could be a way to meet everyone’s desires since this is no typical cat. Instead, you get the trainability of a canine mixed with the tenacity and curiosity of a feline all in one!
Potential Health Concerns
Anytime you decide to adopt a pedigree cat, you always risk having an animal that could be an increased risk for a variety of inheritable diseases. While it is true that the Ocicat cat breed is “generally” healthy, there are some conditions you should be aware of and look for when deciding which Ocicat breeder you should use.
Also, knowing what medical conditions your Ocicat kitten could be at risk for will give you an idea of what “kind” of questions you should ask when meeting with your Ocicat breeder. Medical conditions that could affect your Ocicat kitten may include:
- Liver or renal amyloidosis
- Pyruvate Kinase deficiency
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- And periodontal disease.
This is why if you are seriously considering adopting a new Ocicat for a pet, you should take a moment and consider possibly purchasing a pet insurance policy. This way, if your furry little family member does get sick or injured in the future, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of their medical care.
Now, will a pet insurance policy be the “right” choice for everyone?
No, of course not. But without understanding what these “types” of insurance policies will and won’t cover and not knowing how much they cost, it’s pretty much impossible to tell if a pet insurance policy might be RIGHT for you!
For more information about who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies, please check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.