The Not-so-wild Child

When it comes to the Oci­cat, there is more than meets the eye

Clubpets - - SCRATCHING POST -

Ado­mes­tic fe­line that re­sem­bles a minia­ture wild cat, the Oci­cat is named af­ter the Ocelot, a small South Amer­i­can wild cat. The Oci­cat is eas­ily recog­nis­able from the spots on its coat, which are sim­i­lar to the spots on an Ocelot. The Oci­cat how­ever, is any­thing but wild.

First bred by breeder Vir­ginia Daly in the 1960s, the Oci­cat is the re­sult of an un­ex­pected out­come. De­spite trac­ing its roots to the Abyssinian and the Si­amese, the kit­tens had been born with spot­ted coats.

The sil­ver coat of the Oci­cat was later achieved with the ad­di­tion of Amer­i­can Shorthairs.

Oci­cats have short tight coats, with spot­ted bod­ies and a dis­tinc­tive shape ‘M’ on their fore­heads. They gen­er­ally come in sil­ver coats with vari­ants of choco­late, tawny, blue, laven­der and fawn. The Oci­cat may grow to be slightly larger than the av­er­age do­mes­tic cat and weighs at an av­er­age of three to six kilo­grammes. They may not ap­pear big, but they def­i­nitely weigh more than they look.

Un­like most of its fe­line coun­ter­parts, the Oci­cat en­joys be­ing around peo­ple. A loyal pet, the Oci­cat likes to fol­low its own­ers around the house. A so­cia­ble an­i­mal, this fe­line is also open to the idea of pet­ting and sit­ting on the laps of guests.

Its love for hu­man com­pany also al­lows it to ride on the shoul­ders of peo­ple or to be car­ried around.

The Oci­cat is of­ten re­ferred to as ‘a dog trapped in a cat’s body’. Not only can it be trained to walk on a leash, it can be taught dog-re­lated com­mands such as sit, speak, and fetch. With its high level of in­tel­li­gence, it can fig­ure out how to open doors and latches with ease – so do cat proof the apart­ment be­fore get­ting an Oci­cat. Due to its play­ful na­ture, it is rec­om­mended to pro­vide a va­ri­ety of puz­zle toys, to keep your pet men­tally and phys­i­cally stim­u­lated.

Sim­i­lar to all fe­lines, Oci­cats re­quire a bal­anced diet that con­sists of both wet and dry food. Foods high in pro­tein, such as meat and/or fish, are rec­om­mended. An un­fussy fe­line, no spe­cial re­quire­ments are re­quired for this cat.

Groom­ing for the Oci­cat is a sim­ple process. Al­though its short coat re­quires lit­tle groom­ing, do be sure to brush or comb your pet, to re­move ex­cess fur. Weekly nail trims on the other hand, will help to pre­vent nails from grow­ing into its toe-pad and wound­ing your pet. As the Oci­cat is prone to pe­ri­odon­tal dis­eases, it is ad­vis­able to brush its teeth daily. Al­though Oci­cats may be prone to com­mon heart and liver dis­eases, it is noth­ing a reg­u­lar vet­eri­nary check-up can­not pick up.

“Not only can it be trained to walk on a leash, it can be taught dog-re­lated com­mands such as sit, speak, and fetch.”

Al­though it makes a great fam­ily ad­di­tion, the Oci­cat tends to be a rel­a­tively vo­cal. This be­hav­iour how­ever, can be con­trolled through ver­bal cor­rec­tion. The Oci­cat does not like to be alone, so be sure it has com­pany. In ad­di­tion to its so­cia­ble na­ture and en­joy­ment of hu­man com­pan­ion­ship, the Oci­cat also gets along well with chil­dren and other pets.

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