You aren’t going dotty when you see an Ocicat. You are indeed seeing a small spotted cat, but he’s not wild. Far from it. The Ocicat was created through crosses between Siamese, Abyssinian and American Shorthair cats. He might be named after the ocelot, a small South American wild felid, but he’s all domestic cat.
The Ocicat is one of those happy accidents that sometimes occur in cat breeding. In an attempt to achieve Abyssinian points in her Siamese cats, breeder Virginia Daly crossed a sealpoint Siamese and a ruddy Abyssinian in 1964. The resulting kittens looked like Abys, and when she crossed one of them with a Siamese, she got not only Aby-pointed Siamese but also one kitten who had an ivory-colored coat dotted with gold spots. She named him Tonga and sold him as a pet, but when repeat breedings produced more spotted kittens, they became the foundation of a new breed. American Shorthairs were also used in their development, to add greater size and bring in the silver color.
Ocicats were recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association in 1987. They are also recognized by all other cat registries.