If you are particularly into exotic-looking cat breeds, the Ocicat and the Egyptian Mau will be your best options. They have striking coat patterns that can make anyone think they are from the wild. Fortunately, these wonderful cat breeds are suitable as house pets and that means, you can take either one of them home.
If you’re having a hard time deciding which one is perfect for you, why not browse this article and have an in-depth understanding of these two breeds?
This all-domestic cat breed may look wild, but his gene pool doesn’t include any wild DNA. Virginia Daly, who’s from Berkley, Michigan, was the first to breed the Ocicat. He was established from the Abyssinian and the Siamese breeds. It was in the second generation when Tonga, the first Ocicat emerged. Daly’s daughter gave the breed the name “Ocicat” due to its resemblance to the Ocelot.
Tonga was, later on, neutered due to Daly’s disinterest to create a new breed. However, what she started was eventually carried on and several other Ocicats started adding up their numbers. Other breeders took interest in the Ocicat as well and used the same breeding program Daly has used.
Additionally, there has been an error caused by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) and the American Shorthair was introduced to the breed. It gave the Ocicat a larger boning and a new color: silver.
The Egyptian Mau is an African wild cat that has been successfully domesticated 4,000 years ago by the Egyptians. He has been a frequent subject of art by the said people and was widely used for duck hunting and was even worshipped by the cat cult.
Further data suggest that the Mau is closely related to several other cat breeds like the American Turkish Angora, Korat, and Maine Coon.
He was first exhibited in a show in Europe before World War I. Unfortunately, when the war occurred, the cat’s number decreased dramatically. Most survivors were found in Italy.
Nathalie Troubetskoy, an exiled Russian princess, was given a spotted Mau which she named Baba. She then flew to the US along with two other Maus and started her cattery. This was a remarkable starting point for the breed to be recognized by major cat organizations.
Size, Appearance, & Coloring
There is an ideal physical appearance Ocicats must adhere to if ever they are to compete in cat shows. Generally, he should have almond-shaped eyes, muscular legs, a wedge-shaped head, and ears that tilt at a 45-degree angle. Aside from these traits, the most attention-grabbing would be his thumb-print-shaped spots that are scattered uniformly across his body.
The overall image of the Ocicat displays power and strength. If measured at withers, his height can reach 9-11 inches. It is then complemented by around 6-15 pounds of weight.
The CFA including various registries worldwide recognizes 12 colors which include:
- Chocolate & cinnamon
- Chocolate silver
- Black silver
- Blue silver
- Cinnamon silver
- Fawn silver
- Lavender Silver
Just like the Ocicat, the Egyptian Mau is also known for its “wild” coat. The only difference is that the spots on his coat came out naturally. If he’s standing, you’d notice how his hind legs are longer than the ones in front. He has an athletic physique, muscular, strong, and lean.
He’s much taller than the Ocicat with a height that ranges from 7-14 inches and a weight of about 8-12 pounds.
He has tabby markings and spots from the head, toe, to the tip of the tail. There are various coat colors natural to this feline and those are:
Furthermore, he has an M marking on his oblong forehead with eyes that always seem curious.
The strong contribution of both the Abyssinian and Siamese cats to the Ocicat has also largely affected the offspring’s temperament. Since both his parents have been domesticated for thousands of years, the Ocicat is also a great pet for your family. He is fond of greeting guests in the doorway and showing his excellent social skills.
Friendliness is a natural trait for this feline, so that means he’ll get along with kids and pets as long as they know how to be gentle. Often, people would notice that the Ocicat can act like a dog. He can be trained to fetch or walk on a leash. Other than that, you can also teach him to do tricks and verbal commands.
Having an Ocicat would mean giving him lots of your attention. If you aren’t home often, having a second pet will keep him from having separation anxiety.
The Egyptian Mau is a friendly cat, but he often tends to develop a special bond with one particular person. When it comes to strangers, it would take some time before he’ll warm-up. He’s generally standoffish and wouldn’t show aggression signs.
If you are out and about often, you won’t have to worry about it. The Mau is an independent cat, but it would also be nice to have someone to interact with while you’re gone.
Install cat towers as he loves to watch things from a height. If there’s none, he’ll end up sitting on top of your cupboards or bookshelf. This cat is not that vocal, but when he lets out his voice, you’ll hear wonderful chirps and meows.
Aside from the desirable personality traits found from the Ocicat, you’d also be delighted to know that he won’t require any special type of exercise. Cats typically love to scout the environment whether it be just indoors or at their owner’s yard. Having trees around is good when owning a feline. Your Ocicat won’t hesitate to dash to it and climb up on it!
Since he is adaptable when it comes to being leashed, you can take him out on a walk in the park or around the neighborhood. If you want to give him a little more freedom, a fenced area for a game of fetch will do.
Most Maus are playful. Give them toys so their daily pent-up energy is released. They can be possessive and protective of their toys, so make sure kids don’t just grab them away. Mental stimulation is needed as well to improve intelligence. Puzzle toys that offer a reward after showing a certain behavior are ideal.
Let him go out regularly too. He’d love to personally survey his surroundings. Since he’s independent, you don’t have to tailor a sort of exercise for him. He’s energetic and would prefer to move a lot.
Single-coated, the Ocicat would do better indoors. His coat will require minimal grooming to keep the coat in top condition. It is suggested that you use a Chamois cloth to make his hair look dazzling. Other than that, brushing him weekly will remove all dead and loose hairs. Try not to brush too hard nor too light to avoid damaging his skin and coat.
Baths are not very much necessary. However, it will be if he’s become dirty after a whole day of fun and games.
Be ready to combat hair fall while owning the Egyptian Mau. He’s not great for hypersensitive owners, but his shedding can be manageable at some point. He requires no special grooming nor an extensive one, but he enjoys frequent coat brushing.
Run a high-quality brush throughout his body to keep his shedding in control while at the same time taking it as an opportunity to bond.
Being aware of the diseases common to him is important. Information allows you to tailor a preventative plan to preserve his good health or prevent some risks. Watch out for any of these medical problems:
- Fatty liver
The crossbreeding that resulted in the Egyptian Mau did a great job in making him more robust. Sadly, there are still certain illnesses that can develop as he ages. Mostly, the kinds of medical problems common in the breed are:
- Bacterial & viral infection
- Patellar luxation
Cost per Kitten
Adoption: $75 to $150
Reputable Breeder: $800 to $1,500
Adoption: $75 to $150
Reputable Breeder: $1,000 to $1,200
Which Cat Breed Is Perfect for You?
Cat lovers who are into clingy and dependent cats will love the Ocicat. He’ll shower anyone with his affection and attention. Guaranteed, he’s low maintenance, active, and highly sociable. Go for the Egyptian Mau if independent cats are your preference. He’ll just need more attention for his grooming needs and would love to not have anyone near his favorite toys.
The differences may be subtle, but the right cat will be dictated by your lifestyle and taste. So, which one is it?