ocicat breed information

common health issues

Amyloidosis is a group of diseases in which the protein amyloid is deposited in organs. In most cats, the liver is the target organ for deposition, and over time, amyloid deposits cause a fragile liver prone to bleeding and liver failure. The disease often appears to occur suddenly in the liver because there are few early signs.

Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart walls become thickened, making it difficult for the heart to pump properly. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can lead to congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and blood clots. Symptoms include heart murmurs and coughing.

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a disease of red blood cell metabolism. A shortened red blood cell life span leads to anemia and can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Exercise intolerance, pale mucous membranes and weakness can signal anemia. Untreated, this condition is fatal either due to anemia or liver failure. Treatment is possible with a bone marrow transplant.

The first Ocicat was the surprise result of a cross between an Abyssinian and a Siamese in 1964. Michigan-based breeder Virginia Daly was attempting to produce an Aby-point Siamese, and one of the resulting kittens was ivory with golden spots. Daly’s daughter dubbed the kitten, named Tonga, an “ocicat”, for his resemblance to an ocelot. Tonga was neutered and sold as a pet, but when noted geneticist Dr. Clyde Keeler, expressed his desire to see more, the breeding was repeated to produce more Ocicats. Today the Ocicat is gaining popularity around the world for his all-domestic temperament but wild appearance.

A large, active animal, the Ocicat is athletic and well-muscled. His short, satiny coat can come in many colors, but spots are always present. He may look like a wildcat, but the Ocicat is dog-like in his devotion to his family. He is confident and extroverted, good with strangers and new playmates alike. He prefers not to be left alone for long periods, and will do well with other cats or dogs to keep him company. He is also intelligent and easily trained in both feline agility and dog-like tricks, such as playing fetch and walking on a leash.

Despite his exotic appearance, Ocicats are still prone to hereditary and chronic conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Ocicats are prone to include kidney diseases such as amyloidosis; cardiac conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; and blood conditions such as pyruvate kinase deficiency.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Ocicat inherits anything more than spots, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)