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Ocicat

Emma Stenhouse

Height: 9-11 inches
Weight: 6-15 pounds
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Cinnamon, cinnamon-silver, fawn, fawn-silver, blue, blue-silver, lavender, lavender-silver, chocolate, chocolate-silver, tawny, ebony-silver
Suitable for: Families who can provide plenty of companionship and affection
Temperament: Active and outgoing, intelligent and affectionate, playful and energetic

The Ocicat might look like a wild cat, but in personality, they’re anything but! These adorable cats were purposefully bred to have a unique coat pattern that looks like the wild Ocelot, hence their unusual name. The Ocicat is an outgoing and affectionate breed, and they like plenty of interaction with their families. They don’t cope well with being left home alone all day and need the companionship of people or in a pinch, other pets.

Their distinctive spotted coats come in a wide range of 12 different colors, all of which are stunning! These muscular cats can be trained to learn a wide range of tricks, and their outgoing and confident nature makes them the perfect choice as a cat to take on road trips and other adventures with you. If you’re tempted by the sound of this eye-catching breed, read on to find out everything that you need to know about the Ocicat.

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Ocicat Kittens — Before You Buy

Energy
Shedding
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

Ocicat kittens may look irresistible, but don’t be tempted to rush into buying one before you’re 100% sure that you can provide what they need. These sociable cats crave affection and attention, so they may be a little more high-maintenance than other, more laidback breeds. They also have a few different health conditions that you need to be aware of before reserving that cute kitten.

What’s the Price of Ocicat Kittens?

Ocicats aren’t cheap, so you’ll need to budget for roughly $800-$2,500 to reserve your new kitten. There are also other costs that you’ll need to consider over the whole life of your new kitten that will exceed this initial cost.

The price of your new kitten will depend on a few different things, including the kitten’s ancestry, if they’re going to be registered with a breed organization like the Cat Fancier’s Association, and the breeder’s reputation.

Any Ocicat breeder with a good reputation for breeding healthy kittens will be more than happy to talk you through everything that you need to know about this breed. That includes any health conditions that affect the breed and the health tests that they may have carried out on the parent cats and the kittens. They should also be happy for you to meet both parent cats so you can get a better idea of their personality and temperament. This can give you a good idea as to how your kitten may turn out once they’re mature and if you can provide what they need.

It’s also a good idea to ask for references from previous customers. Many breeders will also offer a written health guarantee and will be happy to help support you and answer any questions that you may have once you take your new kitten home.

Besides budgeting for the initial cost of your kitten, you’ll also need to consider your ongoing costs. Some of these will be one-off purchases, while others will need to be purchased regularly. Your kitten checklist should include things like:

  • Food
  • Food and water bowls
  • Grooming brushes
  • Litter tray and litter
  • Collar, harness, and leash
  • Cat carrier
  • Bedding
  • Cat toys
  • Flea treatment
  • Worming medication
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Microchipping
  • Vaccinations
  • Veterinary check-ups

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Ocicat

1. They were first bred in 1964

The first Ocicat is widely accepted to be the result of a cross between a Siamese and an Abyssinian. The original intention was to create a Siamese-looking cat with an Abyssinian’s pointed coat. Some of the kittens had unique spots, and one named Dalai Dotson is considered to be the first Ocicat. In later years, the American Shorthair breed was used to add muscle and size to the Ocicat breed, which formerly was quite svelte, like their Siamese ancestors.

In 1966, the Cat Fancier’s Association accepted the breed for registration, and they were formally given championship status in 1987.

2. Ocicats have an unusual coat pattern

While the spotted coat of the Ocicat wasn’t the intention when they were bred, it’s become one of the best-loved things about this breed. Unlike many other domestic cat breeds, their spotted coat makes them look like a mini wild cat! This coat comes in 12 different spotted combinations. While it’s hard to tell exactly what color a kitten’s coat will be when they’re mature, a good clue is the color of their tail tip.

3. The Ocicat has a playful temperament

While most cats would turn their nose up at the idea of being compared to a dog, the Ocicat does have a dog-like temperament. They’re exceptionally playful and love to interact with their families. They’re playful and sociable and enjoy the mental and physical challenges of training. With a little time and effort, you can teach your Ocicat all kinds of impressive tricks! They also love to come on walks once they’ve been trained to accept a harness and leash.

ocicat outdoors
Image Credit: Agarianna76, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Ocicat

Ocicats are known and loved for their outgoing and amenable temperament. They often follow their owners around the house and may request that you carry them as you move from room to room. As soon as you’re sitting down, you can expect your Ocicat to demand attention. While they will be happy to entertain themselves if you’re working, they’ll be keeping a close eye on you and will pounce as soon as you’re finished!

They don’t enjoy being left home alone all day, as they thrive on regular company and interaction. While they may cope with a few hours every day, they’ll manage better if they have another cat or even a dog to keep them company. Thanks to their Siamese heritage, the Ocicat can be vocal, and they’ll keep you up to date on all their thoughts.

Ocicats are extremely intelligent, which also means they may create trouble if you don’t offer them enough enrichment in the home. They need plenty of opportunities to climb, play, and explore. If your cat is going to live indoors, consider creating an outdoor cat enclosure where they can spend time enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. A birdwatching station is also a good idea.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Ocicats are a great choice as a family cat. They’re adaptable, so they can enjoy living in a busy family household and can be quite sociable with visitors. They love the opportunity to play with kids, as long as the children are taught to respect cats and interact with them carefully. Ocicats do enjoy being carried but only on their terms! They also enjoy training sessions, which can be a fun and rewarding way for kids and cats to bond.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Ocicats are confident and adaptable, so they usually get along well with other pets. As long as they’re introduced slowly and carefully, Ocicats can happily live alongside dogs. In fact, if they’re introduced when young, they may end up being great playmates with a dog, which is a good way to help keep your Ocicat entertained when you have to leave the house.

They can be quite domineering, so they will get along best with a laidback cat or dog that acknowledges that the Ocicat is going to be the boss of the household!

Ocicats have a medium prey drive, so if you keep rodents or other small pets, it’s best to set up a dedicated area of the house where your cat doesn’t have access to them.

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Things to Know When Owning an Ocicat

Adding any new cat to your family is a big decision. It’s important to consider if you can meet their needs on a daily basis, and if not, you might want a different breed that’s more compatible with your lifestyle. Here’s what else to think about when deciding if an Ocicat will be a good addition to your family.

Food & Diet Requirements

Ocicats are active and thrive on a good-quality cat food with a high percentage of protein. Whether you decide to feed wet or dry food or a mixture of both will be up to you. You should also take your Ocicat’s preferences into account!

Whichever you choose, make sure it has a high percentage of protein and features real meat as the first ingredient. Always select a food that’s designed for your cat’s specific life stage. A kitten won’t get all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need from a food designed for adults. As your cat matures, consider switching to a feed designed for senior cats. These often include additional fatty acids or supplements designed to support joint health.

Ocicats are active but avoid overfeeding them. Obesity is a problem for domestic cats and can lead to a wide range of health conditions, including diabetes, joint problems, and heart issues.

sleeping ocicat
Image Credit: Nataliia Gr, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐈

Ocicats are naturally an active breed and need plenty of opportunities to exercise. They won’t be happy lounging around the house all day, so consider ways that you can help them stay active. Adding a range of enrichment to their environment, including cat trees, scratching posts, and beds that are high off the ground, will add interest and keep your Ocicat content.

Offering a wide range of toys will also help your Ocicat stay mentally active. They love completing food puzzles and will enjoy treasure hunts. Ocicats will also enjoy training sessions and can be taught a wide range of tricks, even walking on a harness and leash!

Training 🧶

Ocicats are intelligent and motivated, making them a great training partner. Using positive reinforcement with plenty of treats, you can teach your Ocicat a wide range of commands, which is sure to impress visitors! Once they’ve been trained to accept a harness and leash, Ocicats love the opportunity to explore their neighborhood, and this is a great way to keep them mentally and physically active.

Grooming ✂️

Ocicats have a short coat that is easy to take care of. They just need a brush once a week to take care of any shedding hairs. At the same time, check their body over for any cuts or scrapes that they may have picked up as they raced around your house.

It’s a good idea to check your cat’s teeth, claws, and ears when you groom them. Dental disease is common in cats, and keeping an eye on their teeth means you can quickly get on top of any problems as they arise. You can brush your cat’s teeth if your vet recommends it. Your Ocicat may need their claws trimmed occasionally, but if they have a variety of cat scratchers around the house, this may not be a problem. If your cat’s ears look red or they have a large buildup of wax, ask your vet for advice, as your cat may have picked up an infection.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Ocicats are overall a relatively healthy breed, but they do suffer from a few more health conditions than most domestic cat breeds. Any reputable breeder will be able to give you a full rundown of all these conditions. They may also carry out health tests on the parent cats and kittens, and you can request a copy of these results. The main health conditions affecting Ocicats include the following.

Minor Conditions
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Retinal degeneration
Serious Conditions
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Protein deposits in their liver

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Male vs. Female

If you’re convinced that the Ocicat is the perfect cat breed for you and your family, the next step is finding a litter of available kittens and deciding if you’d prefer a male or female!

As a general rule, male Ocicats are slightly larger. They may also be more affectionate and people-oriented than their female littermates. This isn’t always the case, though, so we always recommend choosing a kitten based on their personality. Visiting a litter and taking the time to get to know the kittens will help you decide which one appeals to you the most. You may find yourself falling in love with a female kitten when you expected to choose a male!

If you’re concerned about hormonal behaviors, like a male urine spraying or a female coming into heat, then these are usually prevented by having your kitten neutered or spayed at an appropriate age. Most veterinarians recommend having your cat spayed or neutered, so speak to them for advice about the benefits of these procedures and the best time to book in your kitten.

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Final Thoughts

The Ocicat is a charming, outgoing, and affectionate breed. These cats bond strongly with their owners and adore being the center of attention. They’re intelligent and active and love the challenge of training sessions and even going for walks on a harness and leash. You’ll need to make sure you offer plenty of enrichment around the house to keep your cat mentally and physically active.

Ocicats prefer a household where there will always be someone home to keep them company, at least for most of the day. They get along well with other pets, and their confident nature means they enjoy spending time with kids too.

Ocicats do have a few more health conditions than most domestic cat breeds, so make sure you spend time finding a reputable breeder who carries out a range of health tests on the parent cats and kittens. If you decide to bring an Ocicat home to join your family, life will never be the same again!

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Featured Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock

Emma Stenhouse

Emma is a freelance writer, specializing in writing about pets, outdoor pursuits, and the environment. Originally from the UK, she has lived in Costa Rica and New Zealand before moving to a smallholding in Spain with her husband, their 4-year-old daughter, and their dogs, cats, horses, and poultry. When she's not writing, Emma can be found taking her dogs for walks in the rolling fields around their home...and usually, at least some of the cats come along, too! Emma is passionate about rescuing animals and providing them with a new life after being abandoned or abused. As well as their own four rescue dogs, she also fosters dogs for re-homing, providing them with love and training while searching for their forever homes.