Let's talk Ocicats

With their leopard-like markings, the beautiful Ocicat is certainly an eye-catching breed. Bred through a mix of the Abyssinian, the American Shorthair and the Siamese, this feline may have the appearance of a wild cat but their DNA is 100% domesticated. The Ocicat will latch onto one member of the household, but is generally affable with everyone. With socialisation and training, the Ocicat gets on well with other cats and dogs, as well as children. This feline is just as content to learn new tricks as they are to curl up in your lap.

Official name: Ocicat

Other names: Classicat

Origins: United States

Black and white portrait of an Ocicat
Shedding level:


Warm weather? High
Energy level (high, low, medium) *: Moderate Family pet? * High
Compatibility with other pets:

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

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Illustration of an Ocicat
30 - 35 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
4.5 - 6 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
30 - 35 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
2.5 - 4.5 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight

 Baby age:  Birth to 4 months
 Kitten age:  4 to 12 months
 Adult age:  1 to 7 years
 Mature age:  7 to 12 years
 Senior age:  From 12 years

Two Ocicat kittens playing with each other on the floor


Get to know the Ocicat

All you need to know about the breed

The beautiful Ocicat attracts admiring glances thanks to their unusual spotted coat. Many assume that this medium to large-sized cat is wild. In fact, the Ocicat is a playful breed who likes to be close to their people, sometimes even hitching a ride on your shoulder. “How close is too close?” does not exist for this devoted feline, and even applies to visitors, who provide an opportunity for more attention and potential lap-perching.

The Ocicat’s liveliness and intelligence make for a winning combination. Most can be trained to walk on a leash, doing puzzles that will test their smarts, and searching for their (intentionally) hidden toys. One thing to watch out for is their talent at opening doors and latches, which may be at the risk of your heirlooms.

This feline is on the sensitive side, so a firm but gentle communication will suffice if they happen to put a paw out of place. Your Ocicat would much prefer to always be by your side, but cope better if they have a feline or canine companion when you’re not around. Leaving the Ocicat home alone all day won’t work. But then again, why would you want to?

Ocicat stood in front of a tree trunk


2 facts about Ocicats

1. Knows when to zip it

While the Ocicat tends to be a sociable kitten, with a need for constant human (or furry) presence, they don’t make a lot of noise. Yes, they will purr contentedly on your return if you’ve been out of the house, but the Ocicat will not vocalise when there’s no reason to.

2. A soft spot for children

With such a playful personality, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Ocicats tend to be at ease around children—with the correct training and some supervision of course. The breed can be a little possessive of their toys but otherwise they’ll be content to run around, play games and jump as high as they can, in the company of little ones.


History of the breed

The Ocicat came to be through pure accident, proof that making mistakes is not always a bad thing! In 1964, the Michigan-based cat breeder, Virginia Daly, attempted to make an Abyssinian-pointed Siamese cat. The first litter garnered the expected results but the second litter produced one distinctive-looking kitten with a spotted coat. Daly’s daughter named the said kitten “Ocicat”, due to their more than passing resemblance to the wild Ocelot cat.

Daly continued to breed the Ocicat, and other American breeders began to follow suit, with official recognition from the Cat Fanciers’ Association arriving in 1986 and championship status the following year.

The American Shorthair has since been added to the Ocicat’s DNA makeup, creating a more athletic body and introducing their silver-coloured coat. They may be 1 of 12 different colours and an Ocicats’ spots will always be darker to contrast with their lighter-coloured coat.

The breed has gained a dedicated following but predominantly within its native country. Hopefully, the rest of the world will soon follow suit.

Black and white portrait of an Ocicat


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Ocicats

1. Eyes

Almond-shaped eyes, wide and large.

2. Body

A long, athletic body, with a broad chest and rounded ribs.

3. Coat

The coat is sleek and short and can be 1 of 12 colours.

Two Ocicats on a bed, one lying down, the other sitting up


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Ocicat
Ocicat stalking something in the grass


Caring for your Ocicat

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Ocicat is very low maintenance when it comes to grooming, with one brush per week required to remove dead hairs and keep their coat silky soft. Trim their nails once a month to prevent injury to their paw pads. Brush your Ocicat’s teeth daily as they are susceptible to periodontal disease. Ears should be checked weekly, and a damp cloth used to remove any noticeable dirt.
Ideally, they will have some space that they can run around in, as well as a variety of toys and playmates, to fulfil their exercise needs. The Ocicat can also be trained to walk on leash, ideal if you live in a quiet neighbourhood that is free of noise.
Their eager-to-please temperament means that the Ocicat is a delight when it comes to training. Be careful with the reprimands—a gentle explanation will go a long way as Ocicats are somewhat sensitive.


All about Ocicats

Yes, and then some. Once the Ocicat has finished with e jumping and playing, they will be more than content to curl up in your lap for a nap. Don’t forget, the breed is confident but also likes to have human attention 24/7 and is incredibly devoted to their humans.

The average life expectancy of an Ocicat is 15-18 years, and they generally experience good health. This adorable cat ticks a lot of cat-owner boxes, from their unique spotted coat to their playful temperament and willingness to cuddle. Ocicats are therefore suited to most types of people, so long as they can spend as much time as possible by their side.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Cat Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book