The Ocicat is the only spotted domestic breed selectively bred to emulate cats of the wild. This muscular, athletic breed can be trained to play fetch and walk on a leash. A people-devoted feline, the Ocicat loves companionship and doesn’t like being left alone too long. This cat does well with other cats and cat friendly dogs. A healthy breed, the Ocicat may live to be 15 to 18 years old.
In 1964, Virginia Daly of Berkleg, Mich., experimentally crossed a Siamese with an Abyssinian hoping to produce an Aby-point Siamese. A male kitten in the litter was ivory with golden spots and copper eyes. Daly’s daughter named the breed Ocicat because the kitten, “Tonga,” resembled the spotted wildcat. Tonga was neutered and sold as a pet. A noted geneticist at Georgia University, Dr. Clyde Keeler, wanted to see a domestic cat that mimicked wild species that were becoming extinct. At his request, the breeding of Tonga’s parents was repeated, producing another spotted male, Dalai Dotson, who became the father of the Ocicat breed.