Ocicat

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The spotted leopard of the cat fancy, the Ocicat is one of the newer recognized breeds, a man made mix of Abyssinian, Siamese and American Shorthair.ÿ It is a large cat with a feral look.ÿ Care is given in breeding the Ocicat to perpetuate a loving, sweet disposition.HistoryThe first Ocicat, Tonga, was born in 1964.ÿ Her breeder was experimenting with a breeding program.ÿ The breeder wanted to put the agouti tabby pattern on her lynx point Siamese by crossing Abyssinian and Siamese.ÿ A female hybrid from this cross was mated to a chocolate point Siamese.ÿ Among the offspring was the sought-after agouti lynx point Siamese who had bright golden spots on an ivory ground color.ÿ Tonga was neutered and sold as a pet, however when more such cats arrived from further matings of Tonga?s dam and sire, their beauty could not be ignored.ÿ A serious breeding program for Ocicats began.ÿ A few dedicated breeders have worked over the past twenty years to perfect the color, pattern, type and disposition of this cat.ÿ Early breeders not only worked with the Abyssinian and Siamese, but introduced the American Shorthair into the gene pool to increase the size of the offspring.ÿ This also brought in the desired silver gene.Today, breeders no longer use the Siamese or the American Shorthair.ÿ Since 1986, only the Abyssinian can be used as an outcross to improve type and enlarge the gene pool.ÿ In 1987 the Ocicat was granted championship status in most major North American organizations.DescriptionThe Ocicat is a large, spotted tabby cat of a moderate type, noted for its ?wild? appearance.ÿ The breeders? intention was to create a cat that captured the distinctive look of a feral spotted cat while preserving the good temperament of the domestic animal.ÿ While closest in type to the Abyssinian, the Ocicat is a larger, more robust and athletic animal than today?s show quality Abyssinian.ÿ The average female weighs seven to ten pounds, the male twelve to fifteen pounds.The semi-foreign body type is substantial.ÿ The medium-long legs are well-muscled and sturdy; with the hind legs slightly longer than the forelegs.ÿ The tail should be long.ÿ The head is a modified wedge with rounded contours, with a slight stop from the bridge of the nose to the brow, a good muzzle and a strong chin.ÿ The moderately large ears are set on the corners of the head; lynx tipping is desirable.ÿ The large, almond-shaped eyes are rather wide-set.ÿ The fine coat, which should be long enough to carry several bands of ticking, is thick, tight and close-lying.The pattern of the Ocicat is unique, with large, thumbprint-shaped spots that appear to be randomly scattered across the torso following the classic tabby markings.ÿ The sides never match; each should show a spot circled by spots mimicking the classic tabby ?bull?s eye?.ÿ The better Ocicats have spots on the haunches, shoulders, legs and tail and have dorsal spots rather than a stripe.ÿ Ocicats are shown only in the spotted tabby pattern and the brown or black based colors (which may or may not be silvered).TemperamentOcicats are loving and gentle and very intelligent.ÿ They can be taught to respond to voice commands and seem to enjoy performing tricks.ÿ They look like spotted leopards yet have the loving disposition of any domestic pussycat.

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This breed information has been assembled from a number of area which include "The Legacy of the Cat" by Gloria Stephens, "Eyewitness Handbooks - Cats" by David Alderton and the "TICA Breed Standards".ÿ As well, much information was obtained on the Internet. It was submitted to us by Southern Alberta Calgary Cat Fanciers