What is an Ocicat?


The popularity of the ocicats has been rising during the recent years. In the USA, where the breed originates from, Ocicat is one of the most famous short hair breeds. No wonder, who can really resist the pattern of a wild cat and the outlook of a panther. Even the ocicat looks to be wild, it really is the most lovable, friendly and social breeds of all.

The history of Ocicat

Mrs. Virginia Daly created the first ocicat with a "lucky mistake". She wanted to create an aby-pointed siamese. She started the program by mating a ruddy abessinian male with a brown pointed siamese female. The kittens looked like the Abys of the 1960's. They had markings on their neck, front legs, and sometimes even on the hind legs. On of these kittens was called "Dalai She".

Dalai She was mated with a chocolate-pointed Siamese, CH Whitehead Elegante Sun (Sunny). The litter had kittens with the colours of a rainbow. There was only one aby-pointed Siamese, but more, there was a real jewel: a little guy with golden spots on an ivory background. He was a surprise. And because the young boy looked much like an Ocelot, Virginia's daughter decided to call him an Ocicat. Originally it was spelled OciCat. The first ocicat had also a name, Tonga.

But, as Tonga was not the goal of Virginia's breeding program, she neutered him and sold him as a pet. Through various occasions, Tonga was found to be more interesting of his looks, and so Virginia decided to try re-production of the ocicat. She mated Dalai She again with Sunny and as a result a spotted boy was born. This boy was called Dalai Dotson, and he was to be the first breeding male ocicat. Virginia continued the breeding of ocicats with some success and also with some drawbacks. On the later phases, American Short Hair (ASH) was brought also to the lines in order to enlargen the genepool. This brought the silver variants of ocicats.

Finally in 1986 ocicat was accepted as a breed in CFA. FIFe adopted the breed only in 1992. The first ocicats were imported to Finland in 1993.

Ocicat in Finland

Suvi Pohjola-Stenroos and Esa Stenroos (Galax Ocicats) imported the first ocicats to Finland in 1993 from Texas. They were lavender spotted male "Roope" (Gemlou Pink Panther) and cinnamon spotted female "Roosa" (Gemlou First Lady-of-Galax). Pretty soon after the arrival they were show in the Finnish shows. These two amongst the many other imported ocicats are behind our current ocicats. The work of Galax Ocicats is highly praised all over the ocicat world.

In the year 1999 a record number of ocicats were registered in Finland. Ocicats reached the sixth place with a total number of 91 registrations. By the end of the year 2003 a number of 583 ocicats has been registered in Finland.

Ocicat look

Ocicat is a big or a mid-size, muscular spotted cat. Ocicat weights more than it looks. The females are smaller than the males. The weight of a female varies from 3,5 kilos to 5 kilos. Males weight usually from 6 kilos to 8 kilos. Typically the ocicats are (and the only pattern with championship status) spotted, but occasionally classic tabby patterned ocicats are born. These have been used in breeding program with some good results. Further, solid ocicats are born occasionally, which is understable as the ocicat is an offsping of a non-patterned breed Aby.

All the 12 accepted ocicat colours are based on three base colours: tawny, chocolate and cinnamon. Dilute is a very common gene in ocicats, so we get three more colours of the base colours: blue, lavender (lilac) and fawn. Like mentioned above, ASH brough the silver background colour to ocicats. So when we add silver variants to the six other colours, we get 12 colours. All these colours are present in Finland, however chocolate and the diluted chocolate (lavender) are the most common colours.

The nature of Ocicat

Even though ocicat looks like a wild beast from the jungles, they are really the most loving, caring and social breeds. They attach to their owner 100%, and they usually even show that. Some of the ocicats are talkative, stating their opinion usually to everything (even to nuclear submarines). Ocicat needs to be everywhere in the house, nothing can be done without them knowing it. They are very modern, they are sitting together with the owners by the computer, they are surfing the net like they were born a mouse in their paws. Further, they are really active and playful. This is a character that stays with them throughout their lives. As they are active, the owners must give them the time they need, especially a "single" ocicat needs the full attention of the owner.

The breeding of Ocicats

Ocicat breeding in Finland started in 1993 by Galax Ocicat cattery. The first litter of two ocicats was born in autumn 1993. Last year some 20 ocicat breeders were listed in Finland.

The Finnish ocicats are nowadays very famous and well known all over.

Pictures of the ocicat colors:

The photo links above lead to Heikki Siltala's cat show galllery, all photos © Heikki Siltala.

Back to up

27.03.2018 :

Ocicat of the year 2017

26.02.2016 :

Joining to Ocicat ry for 2016

11.07.2015 :

Magazine Osikatti will soon publish the summer issue

Kittens available

Lastest updates: 9.7.2020

Litters planned

Lastest updates: 5.9.2020