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rec.pets.cats: Ocicats Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: cats-faq/breeds/ocicats
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 12 Mar 1997

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     * Michael & Laura Raybaud
       Rabeau Ocicats
       (810) 771-5602
     * Don & Rachel Wood
       Wyldots Ocicats
     * Jimmy & Stephanie Thompson
       Wrentree Ocicats
       (719) 395-2610
   Copyright (c)1994, 1995 by the authors, All Rights Reserved.

          A. Head
          B. Body
          C. Coat & Color
          D. Pattern
          A. Temperament
          B. Training
          C. Adaptability
          D. Intelligence
          A. Origin
          B. Breed Recognition
          C. Health/Longevity
          A. Tawny Class
          B. Chocolate Class
          C. Cinnamon Class
          D. Dilute Class
         1. Blue
         2. Fawn
         3. Lavender
          E. Silver Class
         1. Silver
         2. Chocolate Silver
         3. Cinnamon Silver
         4. Blue Silver
         5. Fawn Silver
         6. Lavender Silver
          F. A.O.V. (Any Other Variety) Class
          A. Quality Levels
         1. Pet
         2. Breeder
         3. Show

   "Spots! Is it tame? What kind of cat is this? "It must be something
   special!" Indeed they are. When we take our Ocicats out in public, we
   are constantly questioned about them. This magnificent spotted cat
   never fails to steal the show, not to mention the hearts of those
   fortunate enough to own one.
   In the years we have been involved with the breed, typical comments at
   shows have changed from a perplexed "Ocicat? ...What is that?" To "I
   have heard so much about them, we drove two hours just to come and
   seen one."
   Rare, wonderful, exotic, and beautiful are all words used to describe
   this breed of cat. The Ocicat clearly answers the wish many cat
   fanciers have for a well muscled, imposing, and intelligent cat that
   resembles the spotted cats of the wild, while displaying the gentle
   temperament of a domestic cat. Ocicats are the best of both worlds:
   the feral look of a wild jungle cat, without the wild cat blood and
   thus, none of the problems associated with raising an animal that has
   wild blood.
   The Ocicat is still considered a rare breed, but the interest in, and
   number of people breeding and showing this feline has risen steadily.

   The most general breakdown of the Ocicat Show Standard is the Head,
   Body, Coat and Color, and Pattern. Each of these four areas of
   confirmation is allotted 25 points for a total standard score of 100.
   Point's and description:
   _A. HEAD_
          + Skull: 5 points
          + Muzzle: 10 points
          + Ears: 5 points
          + Eyes: 5 points
   Large alert ears at a 45 degree angle, slightly slanted almond shaped
   eyes and a modified wedge head completes the picture, of a cat that
   looks as if it would be more at home in a Tarzan movie than in your
   living room. Eye color is typically golden, green or copper.
   _B. BODY_
          + Torso: 15 points
          + Legs & Feet: 5 points
          + Tail: 5 points
   The Ocicat is a well-spotted cat of medium to large size, displaying
   the look of an athletic animal. They are well muscled and solid,
   graceful and lithe, yet with a fullness of body and chest. People are
   usually surprised when they first hold an Ocicat, as Ocicats are very
   heavy for their size. An Ocicats weight is primarily composed of
   muscle and great bone. Female Ocicats weigh between 6 to 9 pounds.
   Male Ocicats weigh between 9 & 14 pounds and larger.
   _C. COAT & COLOR_
          + Coat Texture: 5 points
          + Color: 5 points
          + Contrast: 10 points
          + Eye Color: 5 points
   The short, spotted coat lays flat against their bodies and shining
   like satin over rippling muscles. An Ocicat radiates power and grace.
          + Pattern: 25 points
   While the Ocicat is not the only spotted breed, it is distinctively
   different in its spotting pattern. The Ocicat has thumbprint-shaped
   spots in a bullseye pattern on the torso (from the classic tabby
   pattern). In contrast, the Egyptian Mau's spots are randomly
   scattered. Each hair has several bands of color and where these bands
   fall together a thumbprint-shaped spot is formed.

  A. Temperament
   The Ocicat looks wild and displays the characteristics of the wild
   cats in the jungle, but the temperament of the Ocicat is that of a
   true "pussy cat." It is a lot like a dog in that it is absolutely
   devoted to its people. The Ocicat is not a demanding, clinging vine
   type. An Ocicat owner often feels like they have a shadow following
   behind them. These cats do not meet strangers, just new laps upon
   which to sit. Lapts are not a requirement - many Ocicats will gladly
   perch on your shoulders and "allow" you to carry them around the
   house. They check out the possibilities for that new playmate too.
   Their playful inclination coupled with an unmatched curiosity often
   result in humorous and comical antics. We find that Ocicats are
   extremely playful, but when playtime is over, they curl up on their
   people's lap for an extended purring session.
  B. Training
   Ocicats are quite bright and easily trained. Many will fetch, walk on
   a leash, respond to whistled commands and readily adapt to household
   rules. Because of their adaptability, they are a joy to show in the
   show ring. If accustomed early to traveling and being handled by
   strangers, they look forward to road trips and conduct themselves in
   the show ring with glee.
  C. Adaptability/Sociability
   Their adaptability also makes them ideal companion animals, whether
   you are a stay-at-home or frequent traveler in search of a travel
   companion. They are extremely people-oriented, living well with
   children and people of all ages and types. They do not display an
   aloof temperament and actually act more like a dog than a cat. Their
   sociable nature may make them less suited than some other breeds to
   being left alone for long periods on a regular basis, but it does make
   them a good choice for a house hold already blessed with other cats
   and dogs. In general, they get along well in groups and with
   individuals of other breeds as long as their personalities and
   energies do not conflict.
  D. Intelligence
   The intelligence of the Ocicat is also intriguing. There are times
   when Ocies are fully capable of opening doors or cage latches, many
   others who in a "dog-like" manner will fetch, and the interesting case
   of an Ocicat who would sit and wave "bye-bye".
   The Ocicat is also a consummate hunter, lion-like in repose but when a
   possible prey is presented they are like lightning with their
   attention. It is a full body, intense attention and they will leap
   higher that you can imagine to catch whatever has their interest. A
   few moments later, they sit or recline and you would not know they
   have moved.

  A. Origin
   The origins of the Ocicat can be traced back to 1964, when Virginia
   Daly of Berkeley, MI crossed a Seal Point Siamese and a Ruddy
   Abyssinian, in hopes of developing an Aby-pointed Siamese. The first
   generations of cats were phenotypically Abyssinian. A cross between
   one of these females and a Siamese produced not only the Aby-pointed
   Siamese, but also a spotted cat, Tonga, dubbed an "Ocicat" by
   Virginia's daughter, due to its resemblance to its wild cousin, the
   Ocelot. Tonga was neutered and sold as a pet. Subsequent breedings of
   the sire, dam, and other Abyssinians and Siamese formed the foundation
   of the Ocicat breeding program. American Shorthairs were eventually
   added to introduce the silver color, placement of spots, and enhance
   size and boning.
  B. Breed Recognition
   The Ocicat was promoted to provisional status in the Cat Fanciers
   Association in 1986. At that time, the registry was closed to Siamese
   and American Shorthair outcrosses, although the use of Abyssinians is
   allowed until 2005. The Ocicat reached championship competition status
   in both CFA and TICA for the 1987 show season. The breed is recognized
   in all other registries as well.
  C. Health/Longevity
    1. Health
   To the best of our knowledge, there are no genetic problems
   specifically associated with the Ocicat. The decision to allow the use
   of Abyssininan outcrosses until 2005 will allow the creation of new
   Ocicat bloodlines, with the intent on keeping the gene pool diverse
   enough to prevent genetic defects from arising. Of course, responsible
   breeding is the key to producing healthy, robust cats. We strongly
   recommend that prospective buyers check out breeders and pedigrees
   before purchasing an Ocicat, or any purebred animal.
    2. Longevity
   Ocicats have known to live as long as 18 years of age.

   There are currently two Ocicat clubs. They are: Ocicats International
   and Ocicats of North America. For more information regarding these
   clubs send your request to the address at the beginning of this

   Ocicats currently have twelve colors recognized for show competition.
   The colors are broken down into the following Color Classes for
   _A. Tawny Class _
          Tawny: Black or brown spotting on a ruddy or bronze agouti
          ground. The nose leather is brick red rimmed with black and the
          paw pads are black or seal brown.
          CH Rabeau's Buddy Boy (Tawny Spotted Male)
   _B. Chocolate Class_
          Chocolate: Chocolate spotting on a warm ivory agouti ground.
          The nose leather is pink rimmed with chocolate and the paw pads
          are chocolate pink.
          GRC,RW Shamizod's Rusty Nail of Rabeau (Chocolate Spotted Male)
          The color chocolate is one of the popular colors of the Ocicat
          and probably the most misunderstood. This color has a very wide
          range. On one end of the scale chocolate is referred to by
          breeders and exhibitors as "HOT." On the other end it is
          referred to as "COOL" or "COLD." There are many shades of
          chocolate such as: milk, bittersweet, and dark.
          Hot Chocolate refers to warm russet tones in the background
          color of the coat with chocolate spotting. The russet tones are
          also called rufous because of the rust color. The rust color is
          considered warm or hot by breeders and exhibitors.
          Cool Chocolate refers to the background color, which is more
          oatmeal ivory color with chocolate spotting. With the lack of
          rust in the background, the background is a more cool color.
   _C. Cinnamon Class:_
          Cinnamon: Cinnamon spotting on a warm ivory agouti ground. The
          nose leather is pink rimmed with cinnamon and the paw pads are
          pink or rose.
          GRC Lovedots Bit O Honey of Rabeau & CH Lovedots Spice of
          Rabeau (Cinnamon Spotted Females)
   _D. Dilute Class_
         1. Blue: Blue spotting on a pale blue or buff agouti ground. The
            nose leather is blue rimmed with dark blue and the paw pads
            are blue.
            CH Rabeau's Blu Mist of Wyldots (Blue Spotted Female)
         2. Fawn: Fawn spotting on a pale ivory agouti ground. The nose
            leather is pink rimmed in fawn and the paw pads are pink.
         3. Lavender: Lavender spotting on a pale buff or ivory agouti
            ground. The nose leather is pink rimmed with dark lavender
            and the paw pads are lavender-pink.
   _E. Silver Class_
         1. Silver: Black spotting on a pale silver/white agouti ground.
            The nose leather is brick red rimmed with black and the paw
            pads are black.
            CH Rabeau's Tiffany (Silver Spotted Female) 
         2. Chocolate Silver: Chocolate spotting on a white agouti
            ground. The nose leather is pink rimmed with chocolate and
            the paw pads are chocolate pink.
            GRC Rabeau's Sparkling Krystal (Chocolate Silver Female) 
         3. Cinnamon Silver: Cinnamon spotting on a white agouti ground.
            The nose leather is pink rimmed with cinnamon and the paw
            pads are pink or rose.
         4. Blue Silver: Blue spotting on a white agouti ground. The nose
            leather is blue rimmed with dark blue and the paw pads are
         5. Fawn Silver: Fawn spotting on a white agouti ground. The nose
            leather is pink rimmed in fawn and the paw pads are pink.
         6. Lavender Silver: Lavender spotting on a white agouti ground.
            The nose leather is pink rimmed with dark lavender and the
            paw pads are lavender pink.
   _F. A.O.V. (Any Other Variety) Class_
          Solids/Smokes (Very faint spotting), Classic/Mackerel Tabbies
          (American Shorthair markings).

   A. Quality Levels
          As in all registered breeds of Cats, the Ocicat is available in
          different levels: Pet, Breeder, and Show.
         1. Pet
            A Pet quality Ocicat may be one of solid color, classic or
            mackerel tabby markings, blue eyed type, smoke with a ghost
            pattern, or a spotted with serious flaws in pattern or
         2. Breeder
            A Breeder quality ocicat is one that displays excellent
            conformation or other qualities, but would be disqualified
            from the show ring by virtue of non-standard pattern (i.e.
            classic tabbies or solids), or markings (i.e. barring on the
         3. Show
            A Show quality Ocicat closely resembles the written standard
            in type and pattern.
   For a copy of the complete breed standard, contact CFA.
   We hope that this article about the Ocicat is helpful to all who read
   it. If there is anything we can do for you, please contact us at the
   numbers above.
    Ocicat FAQ 
    Michael & Laura Raybaud,
    Last updated 4/11/95

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