The Ocicat is a medium to large, well-spotted agouti cat of moderate type. This breed displays the look of an athletic animal: well-muscled and solid, graceful and lithe, yet with a fullness of body and chest. This powerful, athletic, yet graceful spotted cat is particularly noted for having a “wild” appearance.
Ocicats may look like they walk on the wild side, but they are affectionate, adaptable, curious, and playful, and possess strong devotion to their human companions. Highly intelligent, active, and social, Ocicats quickly learn to respond to their names and can be taught a variety of tricks, including coming on command. Begging for food is another trick that Ocicats master with very little prompting.
The Ocicat personality is active, affectionate, and very social and adaptable. Ocicats tend to bond with only one person and prefer that person’s company to all others, although they are friendly and affectionate to others in the household. They get along well with other animals and people, and appreciate an animal companion to keep them company if left alone for any length of time.
Like their Abyssinian ancestors, Ocicats love to perform daring tap dances on top of your bookcases for your amusement. They are an active breed and require a good deal of space and plenty of toys and diversions to keep them occupied. Like their Siamese ancestors, Ocicats are vocal, but not annoyingly so. They want to tell you about their day when you come home at night, but they won’t bore you with every detail. In addition, their voices lack the Siamese rasp that some people find annoying. However, because they are a vocal breed, they are highly tuned to tone of voice, and harsh verbal reprimands can hurt their sensitive feelings, or even damage the trust they’ve placed in their favored humans.
Dalai Dotson, an Abyssinian-Siamese mix, is considered the first of the Ocicat breed. The name Ocicat came about because this cat is reminiscent of the spotted wild cat called the ocelot. 1966, CFA accepted the Ocicat for registration status, and Dalai Dotson was registered with CFA. In the minutes of the CFA annual meeting recognizing the Ocicat for registration, the breed was mistakenly described as a mix between the Abyssinian and the American Shorthair. When the error was brought to their attention, Siamese was added to the wording, without removing American Shorthair from the list. This error turned out to be a happy accident for the Ocicat; the American Shorthair influence also added size and musculature to a breed that originally resembled the lithe Abyssinian and the svelte Siamese.
In the 1980’s, the word got around about the beauty and personality of the breed, and many more individuals joined the Ocicat fan club. In May of 1986, the Ocicat attained CFA provisional status, and only one year later was granted championship status. TICA granted championship in 1987 as well. Today, all North American cat associations recognize the Ocicat for championship. The breed has gained in popularity and has a strong following.
Solid, hard, rather long-bodied with depth and fullness but never coarse. The Ocicat is a medium to large cat with substantial bone and muscle development, yet with an athletic appearance, and should have surprising weight for the size. There is often some depth of chest with ribs slightly sprung, the back is level to slightly higher in the rear, and the flank reasonably level. Many Ocicats are athletic, powerful, and lithe. It should be noted that females are generally smaller than males.
The skull is a modified wedge showing a slight curve from muzzle to cheek, with a visible, but gentle, rise from the bridge of the nose to the brow. The muzzle is broad and well defined with a suggestion of squareness and in profile shows good length. The chin is strong, and the jaw is firm with a proper bite. The moderate whisker pinch is not too severe. The head is carried gracefully on an arching neck. An allowance is made for jowls on mature males.
Alert, moderately large, and set so as to corner the upper, outside dimensions of the head. If an imaginary horizontal line is drawn across the brow, the ears are usually set at a 45 degree angle, i.e., neither too high nor too low. Ear tufts extending vertically from the tips of the ears sometimes occur.
Large, almond shaped, and angling slightly upwards toward the ears with more than the length of an eye between the eyes. Ocicats come in all colors except blue. There is no correspondence between eye color and coat color.
Legs should be of good substance and well-muscled, medium-long, powerful, and in good proportion to the body. Feet are oval and compact with five toes in front and four in back, with size in proportion to legs.
Fairly long, medium slim with only a slight taper and with a dark tip.
Texture short, smooth, and satiny with a lustrous sheen. Tight, close lying, and sleek, yet long enough to accommodate the necessary bands of color. No suggestion of woolliness. All hairs except the tip of the tail are banded. Within the markings, hairs are tipped with a darker color, while hairs in the ground color are tipped with a lighter color.
Tawny spotted, cinnamon spotted, chocolate spotted, blue spotted, fawn spotted, lavender spotted, ebony silver spotted, cinnamon silver spotted, chocolate silver spotted, blue silver spotted, fawn silver spotted, lavender silver spotted. Color is usually clear and pleasing. The lightest color is usually found on the face around the eyes, and on the chin and lower jaw. The darkest color is found on the tip of the tail. distinctive markings can be clearly seen from any orientation. Those on the face, legs, and tail may be darker than those on the torso. Ground color may be darker on the saddle and lighter on the underside, chin, and lower jaw. The determining factor in answering any and all questions as to the correct color of an Ocicat will be the color of the tail tip.