1964 the original Ocicat was the unexpected result of an experimental
breeding which attempted to produce an Aby-pointed Siamese. Virginia
Daly, noted CFA breeder living in Michigan, knew the possibility
of getting the sought after Aby-point and was willing to invest
the time she knew it would take to breed the two generations
that were necessary. But the ivory kitten with golden spots
was a surprise! Mrs. Daly's daughter named the breed the Ocicat,
because of its resemblance to the ocelot. Tonga, the first Ocicat
was neutered and sold as a pet. When the Detroit newspaper publicized
the lovely spotted cat and noted geneticist, Dr. Clyde
Keeler, expressed his desire to see a domestic cat which would mimic some of the vanishing wild species,
the breeding was repeated to produce more Ocicats. Other breeders
followed Mrs. Daly's recipe to develop other Ocicat lines with
a broad genetic base.
Ocicat was recognized for CFA registration in 1966, but issues in Mrs. Daly's personal life meant it took
another twenty years to develop the breed and gain the support
for provisional status. The Ocicat was advanced to championship
status May 1987. Since then, several have achieved National and Regional wins, or Grand
Championship status, and many morehave gained championships. They can now be seen at most shows, and a few Ocicats have been exported to other countries where their popularity and numbers are increasing dramatically.
was tremendous controversy about the genetics of inheritance
associated with the spotted pattern. In the earlier days of the cat fancy, when life was simpler, all patterned cats were believed to display one of the three tabby patterns: ticked (Aby), mackerel (tiger striped), or classic (blotched or bull's eye).It was thought then that spotting had occured as a separate pattern. However, further investigation has revealed that spotting is simply a modifier of the underlying pattern. In the case of the Ocicat, that underlying pattern is that of a classic tabby. Mackerel tabbies were eliminated from the breed early on, as they did not produce the desired spot size (the mackerel tabby has narrow striping). The spotted pattern of the Ocicat, at least on the better
examples of the breed, is consequently notedly different from other spotted
breeds or varieties. It is more dramatic, and generally shows off the bullseye found in the classic pattern. Selective breeding has moved this pattern forward to create a cat with lovely
pattern and dramatic color.
come in many colors,
all those colors associated with the two foundation breeds: tawny
(ruddy), chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lavender, fawn, plus silver, ebony
silver, chocolate silver, cinnamon silver, blue silver, lavender silver,
and fawn silver from the American Shorthair.