The Ocicat is a medium to large, well-spotted agouti cat of moderate type. It displays the look of an athletic animal: well-muscled and solid, graceful and lithe, yet with a fullness of body and chest. It is alert to its surroundings and shows great vitality. There are twelve accepted Ocicat colors divided into eight color classes with all specimens possessing darker spots which appear in deep contrast to a lighter background. 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 without any comparison to the color of other body markings (see Ocicat colors). Each hair (except on the tip of tail) has several bands of color. It is where these bands fall together that a thumbprint shaped spot is formed. This powerful, athletic, yet graceful spotted cat is particularly noted for its "wild" appearance.
HEAD: 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 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.
EARS: 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 should be set at a 45 degree angle, i.e., neither too high nor too low. When they occur, ear tufts extending vertically from the tips of the ears are a bonus.
EYES: large, almond shaped, and angling slightly upwards toward the ears with more than the length of an eye between the eyes.
TORSO: 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 its size. There should be some depth of chest with ribs slightly sprung, the back is level to slightly higher in the rear, and the flank reasonably level. Preference is given to the athletic, powerful, and lithe, and objection taken to the bulky or coarse. It should be noted that females are generally smaller than males. The overall structure and quality of this cat should be of greater consideration than mere size alone.
LEGS and FEET: legs should be of good substance and well-muscled, medium-long, powerful and in good proportion to the body. Feet should be oval and compact with five toes in front and four in back, with size in proportion to legs.
TAIL: fairly long, medium-slim with only a slight taper and with a dark tip.
COAT TEXTURE: short, smooth and satiny in texture with a lustrous sheen. Tight, close-lying and sleek, yet long enough to accommodate the necessary bands of color. There should be no suggestion of woolliness.
TICKING: 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.
COAT COLOR: all colors should be 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. Contrast is scored separately.
There are twelve separate colour/pattern combinations registered for ocicats, and these fall into five larger groups - chocolate, cinnamon, tawny, silver and fawn(dilute). Ocicats must not have cream/red coloration or they are disqualified from showing.
Though Ocicats fill the need for the exotic, they are easy to keep and require no special care. Their diets are the same as any domestic and their short coats need only the occasional bathing and grooming. They are not prone to any particular health problem and their broad genetic background gives them vigor and vitality.
Ocicats are quite bright and easily trained. Many will fetch, walk on a leash, respond to voice commands and readily adapt to household rules. Because of their adaptability, they are a joy to work with and easily get used to traveling. Their sociable nature may make them less suited than some other breeds to being left alone for long periods of time, but it does make them a good choice for a household already blessed with other cats or dogs.
The first breeder of Ocicats was Virginia Daly, of Berkley, Michigan, who attempted to breed an Abyssinian-pointed Siamese in 1964. The first generation of kittens appeared Abyssinian, but the surprising result in the second generation was a spotted kitten, Tonga, nicknamed an 'ocicat' by the breeder's daughter. Tonga was neutered and sold as a pet, but further breedings of his parents produced more spotted kittens, and became the base of a separate Ocicat breeding program.
The Ocicat is a new and still-rare breed of cat which has spots resembling a 'wild' cat and the temperament of a domestic animal, named for its resemblance to the ocelot.
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