If you are a cat lover who particularly favors exotic breeds, the Bengal and Ocicat breeds are your best options. These cats have striking spotted coats and bear an exotic look that is distinctively their own. If you cannot decide what breed to choose, why not take a moment and browse this article for some insightful information on these two breeds.
Ocicat Vs. Bengal: What are the differences?
These are the major differences between an Ocicat and a Bengal:
1. Bengals are bigger-boned and heavier than Ocicats.
Bengal cats are bigger than Ocicats. Bengal males weigh around 12 to 15 pounds, while females tip the scales at around 10 to 12 pounds. Meanwhile, Ocicat males weigh between 9 and 14 pounds with females weighing in between 7 and 9 pounds. While the Bengals are more heavy-boned, both of the breeds are slim and athletic.
2. The coat texture and shape of the head and ears are different.
From afar, one may think that the fur of a Bengal and Ocicat are similar, but this is not the case. Bengal cats have pelts like a rabbit’s fur; this is a probable reason why the breed is considered hypoallergenic. Ocicats have tight, close-lying, smooth fur. This breed has a longer head, taller ears, and a squarer muzzle compared to Bengals, which have a rounded head, shorter ears, and no ear tufts.
Bengals also have a bump on the back of the neck or head and in between the shoulders. This feature is missing in Ocicats.
3. Bengals have horizontal spots or rosettes while Ocicats have a bulls-eye coat pattern.
Bengals have horizontal-looking spots or rosettes in their coat pattern, while Ocicats have a bulls-eye coat pattern with spots that are rounded or thumbprint-sized. Bengals have varied types of spots such as rounded, rosettes, arrowhead, and paw print. This breed also has a marbled coat pattern (not like the traditional tabby pattern).
Aside from these differences, Bengals have straighter brow markings while Ocicats have a more rounded stripe. Bengals also have whiter shades in their tummies and there are spots in that area. Ocicats have a line on the top of the tail with spots on the sides, while Bengals have deep stripes around the whole tail. Ocicats also have stripes on the legs that are long and extended. Bengal cats have stripes on the legs that resemble tiger stripes.
Ocicat Vs. Bengal: Origin, personality and health issues
The first of the Ocicat breed was an Abyssinian-Siamese mix named Dalai Dotson. It was created by American breeder Virginia Daly. The name “Ocicat” is reminiscent of the spotted wild cat, Ocelot. The breed originated in the USA. While it is a mix of the Abyssinian and Siamese breeds, it also has American Shorthair blood, making this breed a domestic one.
Ocicats have an exotic appearance, but they are playful, curious, adaptable, and affectionate. They are very devoted to their humans, active, social, and intelligent. They respond when their names are called and they can be trained to do tricks, such as coming on command. These cats are also masters at begging for food.
Ocicats tend to bond with only one human, but may get along well with other animals. They are active and can prance about on top of bookshelves or cabinets. These cats tend to be vocal but not as annoying as their Siamese cousins.
Certain health issues among this breed include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes thickening of the heart muscle, and amyloidosis, a disease that causes lesions and organ failure.
This cat breed is a relatively new one created by breeder Jean Mill. It was created by crossbreeding an Asian Leopard cat with a domestic cat in the USA. The name “Bengal” was derived from the Asian Leopard cat’s Latin name which is “Felis Bengalensis.” This breed was developed to preserve the physical resemblance to its wild ancestor while being designated as a pleasant and trustworthy human companion. In the UK, it is currently the fifth most popular cat breed and has a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years.
Bengals have an energetic and playful nature. They are affectionate and intelligent, and tend to treat everything around them as toys. These cats are agile, love to climb, and make a strange sound that resembles cooing or chirping. They tend to be very vocal and demand companionship to prevent them from being bored.
This cat breed is not necessarily aggressive despite its wild and exotic look. However, they tend to become aggressive if they have a history of abuse or under-socialization, are unspayed or unneutered, are feeling unwell, or if there are changes in their routine.
Like most cats, this breed has certain health problems. These include progressive retinal atrophy, flat-chested kitten syndrome, hip dysplasia, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
What are the other spotted cat breeds?
Aside from the Ocicat and Bengal cat breed, other spotted cat breeds include the following:
This cat breed has green eyes and may come in silver, bronze, or smoke coloring. Its spots are randomly situated on the body and appear like stripes in some instances.
Savannah cats have oval, elongated, or round spots and stripes on the back. The breed was created by breeding a Serval and a domestic cat.
This cat breed has a bobbed tail with short or long hair. Most of these cats are polydactyl since they have additional digits on their feet. They have small spots and tend to be tabby in appearance.
This cat breed is agile, has a tendency to be vocal, and likes to be around its humans. These cats get along well with other cats and pets.
This cat breed is rare and looks like a house leopard, but despite the wild appearance, it is considered a lap cat.
The Ocicat and Bengal cat breeds both have distinctive wild and exotic looks because of their coat patterns. They are muscular, athletic, very active, and playful. While Bengal cats are certified climbers and jumpers, the Ocicats are smart and quick to learn new tricks. They have differences regarding their coat texture and patterns, but they are the same when it comes to being affectionate, playful, sociable, and relatively vocal.
Image: istockphoto.com / kenez