The Ocicat is a wholly domestic feline bred to look like the wild and exotic Ocelot. It comes in twelve coat colors in eight color classes. The coat should be short, smooth and satiny with a lustrous sheen. It should be tight and close lying, short yet long enough to accommodate the ticking. The should be an intricate 'M' on the forehead, with markings that extend over the head and break into small spots on the neck and shoulders. Mascara markings should be found around the eyes and on the cheeks. Spots should run in rows along the spine, with broken bracelets on the lower legs and throat. Large and well scattered thumbprint spots should be on the sides and subtly suggest the pattern of a tabby. All hairs but those in the tip of the tail are banded.
The head should be a modified wedge, showing a slight curve from muzzle to cheek. The muzzle is broad and well-defined, with a strong chin. Ears are alert, moderately large, and set to the upper, outside dimensions of the head. Ear tufts should extend vertically from the tips. Eyes are large and almond shaped, with more than one eye width spacing; all eye colors except blue are accepted.
Ocicat's should be solid and hard, long-bodied with depth and fullness but never coarse. It is a medium-large cat with substantial bone and muscle development, athletic in appearance; it should be heavy for its size. Legs should be well muscled, long and powerful, in good proportion to body with compact and oval feet.
The Ocicat is very much like a devoted dog in a feline skin. They are not demanding, but confident and dedicated; extroverted around strangers, this is not a breed that will shy away from curling up in a visiting lap. Kittens may become very possessive about toys, growling as they carry them around. They are vocal but not annoyingly so, and need space, toys and diversions to keep themselves occupied. The breed is bright and easily trained, walks on leashes, responds to voice commands, fetches and obeys rules. They are highly adaptable, good travelers, and get along well with other pets.
The Ocicat requires no special care, it eats the same food as other domestics because they ARE domestic. The require only occasional bathing and grooming. The breed is not prone to health problems thanks to its broad genetic background.
The Ocicat is an agouti or ticked, spotted cat that is the result of interbreeding Abyssinians, Siamese, and American Shorthairs; it is the only domestic breed selectively bred to emulate the cats of the wild. They are the unexpected result of an experimental breeding attempt to produce a Siamese with Abyssinian points. The first Ocicat kitten, named for its similarity to the wild Ocelot, was neutered and given as a pet; but when a Detroit newspaper publicized the cat, noted geneticist Dr. Clyde Keeler expressed a desire to see more of them. Dr. Keeler's interest encourage other breeders to begin breeding them and the breed received preliminary acceptance in 1966. It took another twenty years for them to develop the support necessary for provisional status and they received Championship status in 1987.