It has the appearance of a wild spotted cat, but it has an all domestic temperament. This is because no wild cats were used in creating this breed.
The Ocicat has an affectionate character and they love to interact with their humans. This makes them nice company, if you like an active cat who wants to supervise all you do. If you are searching a couch potato that would make a nice ornament, you might want to consider another breed. This is a cat that follows you around carrying toys just in case you need some entertainment (the best of which is of course entertaining the Ocicat cat with the chosen toy). From this you may draw the conclusion they are very playful and in fact they are not totally happy in a home where people do not play with them.
The Oci will do its utmost to get you playing with them, so you’d just better give in. If you don’t, being the intelligent breed they are, they will invent toys from anything that even remotely looks (or doesn’t look) like a toy. If they are not played with, they get bored and just like little children they will then invent all sorts of mischief. You might consider giving them puzzle toys during the days – you put a little treat inside the toy and trying to get this out will keep your Oci occupied for a long time.
Just be careful when handling their toys – they can be a bit possessive of them, and Ocicat cats have very quick reflexes. So taking a toy off your Ocicat cat is not not easy – you may end up in a tug-of-war or at least scratches in your fingers (Well, I don’t have the pleasure of having an Ocicat, but my Somali cat Rolli is also lightning fast, so I get these kind of scratches all the time no matter how fast I try to be). Also the Ocicat may become over-exited when they play – they do love it so very much.
Because of their lightning speed reactions, you should not wonder if your Ocicat lies with eyes half closed until something “huntable” comes into view. The second this happens your Oci-lightning strikes. It is a marvelous hunter. You can see the hunter in the way the Ocicat moves – its shoulders move loosely and it seems to have a stalking pose.
Because of their active nature and the fact they love being taught tricks and like to please you, this is a breed you might consider if you’d like to train your cat to cat agility. You will notice the tendency to this when you observe your Ocicat kitten. They are such energy balls you really need to take care your house is kitten proof… Always remember that as with any cat positive reinforcement is the key to teaching them tricks. (Now I have not seen this myself, but I have heard an Ocicat learned to wave bye-bye to its owners.)
(Thank you, Ozcatz Cattery for the permission to use your beautiful photo.)
With patience you can teach your Ocicat cat tricks: to fetch, to come on command (they respond to whistles too) and walk on a leash, to sit and to wait.. . Some learn to lie down on command. They even learn to recognize individual words – they learn what the word “no” means. (This could be a trait that comes from the Abys – there are two Abys in our home, and they both believe the word “no” when it is said with a normal, low voice, and in a positive tone – quite amazing for a cat, really!)
The Ocicats have very nimble paws. Combine this with their great intelligence and curiosity. And then remember that they learn to open closet doors, so do keep them locked if you wish your little ornaments and treasures to stay in one piece.
This cat is really a bit of a comedian and have even been called “social butterflies”. They have huge personalities – intelligent and full of charm. They enjoy discussions with you (some are more vocal than others), but don’t have the loud and raspy voice of their Siamese ancestors. If you answer back to them you’ll soon find yourself in a long discussion of different miaows, calls, chirps and cries. And they find this conversing quite normal.
The Ocicat cats love attention and that means “full attention”. Still, this does not mean they are a demanding breed that will hang from your clothes to get themselves noticed. But they do take part in your business.
The Ocicats really love to supervise and observe all you do. So don’t be surprised if your Ocicat decides to travel on your shoulder to see all you do even better. As they are great jumpers and hunters (probably because of their Aby ancestry), they have no problem in reaching the heights. There have been stories of Ocicats jumping on top of ceiling fans. (I do hope the fans in question were not moving, as flying is the one skill the Ocicat doesn’t have.)
Because of their love of high places combined with their busy personalities you should provide them with a terrace (built so they cannot escape) or at least a climb-post-system.
The Ocicat cat breed is deeply devoted to their humans, and like many cats they often have one Special Purrson they love the most (many feel that in this this cat breeds reminds a dog almost). And there is no point in trying to become that SP – it is the Ocicat who does the choosing. But being diplomats, they do show their affection to other family members too.
This is also a cat that likes strangers and is there with you at the door meeting your guests. They also expect to sit on your guests’ laps, and play with them. “Don’t be a stanger” is their motto.
The Ocicats do get along well with other animals also – and actually it is a good idea to have another animal to keep your Ocicat company if you are not at home during the day. The Ocis make it clear who is the boss – with other cats they can be slightly dominant – if you observe them, you will notice they stare directly at the other animals, which is a cat’s way to show they are the boss. (And that includes staring straight at you too, but then again you already knew you were their staff.) But they are friendly towards other animals once the boss-issue has been dealth with. It is not unheard of to find male Ocicats taking care of kittens too.
(Thank you, Ozcatz Cattery, for the permission to use this photo of your beautiful Sharic Lady Cheetah.)
Many Ocicats love to travel – so if you want to have a cat you can take with you on vacations, the Ocicat might be just the breed for you. Of course you need to take care your curious cat doesn’t vanish to experience some extra adventure.
They really are very very curious about everything, so sneaking out for an adventure is in their nature. They do not like closed doors.
So keep those doors and windows closed! And remember – because of their intelligence they can learn to open those doors and latches. Remember this also when you travel with your Ocicat in a cage. Made double sure the lock is securely closed.
This is one cat breed that doesn’t seem to fear water. They have even been known to take showers with their humans.
The Ocicat cat breed gets along well with children also.
As a show cat they are usually easy to handle, if you have trained them to travel from early age. (And as they actually enjoy travelling so this should not be a difficult thing).
At the end of the day you will probably find your Ocicat sleeping on your bed, and often under the covers right next to you.
This is a low-maintenance cat, a weekly brushing is enough to keep its coat fine and shining. A rubber curry brush (made of flexible rubber) is a good brush for this, because it removes dead hair and encourages the production of distribution of natural skin oils by promoting better blood circulation in the skin. These oils in turn give the fur a healthy shine. Use this brush with gentle circular motions. If you wish, you may finish the grooming with a chamois to polish the coat even more – you cat will positively “sparkle” after this treatment.
The Ocicat cat breed is prone to gingivitis, so you should make your cat used to teeth brushing from an early age. If your Oci totally disagrees with this procedure, there are professionals who can help you.
Ocis can also have a bit of a stress-tummy. If they get stressed, they may throw up. Remember that constantly changing the diet may also upset the stomach, but all in all the Ocicat cat breed has no specific diet requirements.
The Ocicat cat is a healthy breed, thanks to their broad genetic background. There are no problems caused by inbreeding or a popular sire. This is the blessing of a hybrid cat breed, also called the “hybrid vigor”, a trait especially strong in the first generations of any cross-bred animals. The life expectancy of an Ocicat is over 15 years, and some have reached the age of 20.
The photo of the reclining Ocicat is the copyright of Julesru at www.istockphoto.com - do not copy.
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