The Ocicat is a new and still-rare
of cat which has
spots resembling a 'wild' cat and the temperament of a
domestic animal, named for its resemblance to the ocelot.
Despite its appearance, there is no 'wild'
DNA in the Ocicat's
genepool. The species is actually a mixture of
Abyssinian, and later
American Shorthairs (silver tabbies) were added to the mix for their silver
colour and distinct markings.
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.
There are twelve separate colour/pattern combinations registered for ocicats,
and these fall into five larger groups - chocolate, cinnamon, tawny, silver and
dilute. Ocicats must not have cream/red coloration or they are disqualified from