The history of ocicat
The OCICAT is a beuatiful breed of cat that was born into a Michigan household in 1964. The breed was comprised primarily of Abyssinian (ABY) and Siamese (SIA) with the later addition of the American Shorthair (ASH). The breeder and co-creator, Mrs. Virginia Daly, wanted to create a new breed of cat called an Aby "pointed" Siamese. That is to say, a cat that has the Abyssinian color on the "pointed" areas of the Siamese.
After all breeding (Abyssinians and Siameses) there was an additional "gift" in a litter. There was a little guy in the litter that was spotted. The kitten was named Tonga. He had golden spots with an ivory background. He was definetinely the biggest surprise of the litter. Mrs. Daly's daughter thought the kitten looked so much like the wild cat Ocelot, hence the name Ocicat. Mrs. Virginia Daly had originally spelled the name of the breed as OciCat.
Tonga was never used in Mrs. Daly's breeding program. Instead, he was sold with a neuter agreement to a medical studdent named Thomas Brown. It was a short time later, Mrs. Daly saw an article that talked about an extinct cat called Egyptian Spotted Fishing Cat. Upon reading further, Dr. Clyde Keeler remarked on how he hoped that someone might try yo produce a cat like the Egyptian Spotted Fishing Cat. Mrs. Daly conacted Dr. Keeler regarding Tonga and how she produced him. She also told him about having sold Tonga as a pet. Dr. Keeler had hoped that Mrs. Daly could breed TOnga back to his mother, Dalai She. He told Mrs. Daly of this breeding suggestion. Since Tonga and "She" could not get their breding schedules to work, "She" was re-bred to Tonga's dad "Sunny". This breeding produced Tonga's brother, Dalai Dotson. Tonga was the first Ocicat, but Dotson was the first Ocicat sire.
The first show
Mrs. Daly continued working to further develop the Ocicat. The kittens that Mrs. Daly produced eventually made it to the show ring in the form of Exhibition only. Tonga was first shown at the Detroit Persian Society, Inc. cat show on February 20-21, 1965. Tonga was listed on special exhibit. He was exhibit number 171.
Tonga was listed in the catalog as:
Also being shown was Tonga's mother, "Dalai She". She was only listed as the mother of the Ocicat.
The way to an official breed
Mrs. Daly continued her work with the Ocicat. Unfortunately the spotted treasures she was creating had to be put on hold. Mrs. Daly had an ailing family member that had moved into Mrs. Daly's home. This caused the Ocicat breeding program to be placed on the back burner. It was for this reason that the opportunity for Provisional status was not obtained ion 1966, but in 1986.
The Ocicat was first registered by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1966 under Article V-Eligibility for registration.
The Ocicat was registered by FiFe only in 1992.
The first Ocicats came to Europe to Germany in the end of 1980's. The first Ocicat came to Finland on the year 1993. Nowadays we have over 500 Ocicats in Finland.