The first breeder of Ocicats was Virginia Daly, of Berkley, Michigan, who attempted to breed Abyssinian-pointed Siamese in 1964. The first generation of kittens appeared Abyssinian, but the result in the second generation was not only the Abyssinian-pointed Siamese, but a spotted kiten, Tonga, nicknamed an 'ocicat' by the breeder's daughter. Tonga was neutered and sold as a pet, but further breedings of his parents produced more spotted kittens, and became the basis of a separate Ocicat breeding programme.
Other breeders joined in and used the same recipe. Siamese to Abyssinan, and offspring to Siamese. In addition, due to an error by CFA in recording the cross that produced the Ocicat, the American shorthair was introduced to the Ocicat giving the breed larger boning and adding silver to the 6 colours. The Ocicat was initially accepted for registration in the Cat Fancier's Association, Inc., and was moved into Championship for showing in 1987. Other registries followed and today the Ocicat is found all around the world, popular for its all-domestic temperament and wild appearance.
There are twelve colours approved by Ocicat Org., for the Ocicat breed. Tayny, chocolate and cinnamon, their dilutes, blue, lavender and fawn, and all of them with silver; black silver (ebony silver), chocolate silver, cinnamon silver, blue silver, lavender silver and fawn silver. Ocicats have almond shaped eyes perfect for seeing at night. They also have large, strong bodies, muscular legs with dark markings, and powerful, oval-shaped paws One of the most striking features about these cats are the dark contrasting spots covering the fur.
Ocicats are said to be a very outgoing breed and many owners say that their temperament is similar to a dogs. Most can easily be trained to fetch, walk on a leash and harness, come when called, speak, sit, lie down on command and a large array of other dog-related tricks. Most are especially good at feline agility because they are very toy-driven. Some even take readily to water. They are also very friendly and sociable. They are not often shy around strangers which makes them great family pets, and most can also get along well with animals of other species, although they are likely to assert their dominance over all involved. Ocicats make excellent pets for people who want to spend a lot of time with their cat, as they do require more attention than cats who aren't so people-oriented.
I think these cats are so fascinating and I love the story of how the breed originated.
I just had to add a few more lovely photos (all are courtesy of Zayenah Ocicats for which many thanks). Information, as usual, from Wikipedia.