? The Bengal Cat Versus The Ocicat – Just What Are The Differences?



Cat’s With Spots!

Are you looking to obtain a new cat or kitten and are considering a spotted purebred? Many people ask me what is the difference between The Bengal cat and an Ocicat.  Both have a wild look, as well as an abundance of character. Since this is being written by a Bengal, and I am a gentleman, I will go over the Ocita breed first, then the Bengal and finally I have written a comparison between my breed and my spotted pals. I have also included a couple of fun videos so you can see the Bengal cat and the Ocicat in action!



The Ocicat

The Ocicat were named after the Ocelot wildcat that is located in southwestern Texas all the way south to  Argentina. The Ocicat, nevertheless, does not have any type of Ocelot blood in their lineage. The initial Ocicat was created as a delightful accident in the very early 1960’s by a breeder Virginia Daly that was attempting to reproduce a Siamese cat with an Abyssinian. She found a stray tinted with gold areas as well as copper tinted eyes, when mated with a Siamese, the first of a new breed was born. Even though she named him Tonga, her daughter called him Ocicat since he reminded her of an infant Ocelot. 

Later the same cats were bred and a second Ocicat was born. This spotted wonder was named Dalai Dotson.  He came to be the standard for the Ocicat type. The initial Ocicat, Tonga, was shown at a cat show in 1965. The Ocicat  registry was developed in 1966. The Ocicat was so striking many people wanted to see the breed thrive, and signed up with Daley to help develop this gorgeous cat. The breeding program continued to emphasis Abyssinians and Siamese but some American Short-hair was introduced to bring in some lovely silver colors to the Ocicat coat.

Ocicats are extremely dynamic as well as smart. They are very verbal often being referred to as “talkers.” They are loyal, caring and have the tendency to bond tightly to their owners.  Ocicats are quite smart, but do not want to be left alone for too long.


The Bengal

Unlike the Ocicat, we Bengal’s have wild origins. The Bengal was bred by crossing the Asian Leopard Cat, a tiny wildcat with residential short haired pet cats. The name Bengal was originated from the Asian Leopard Cat’s Latin name, Felis bengalensis. It took the initial dog breeder Jean Mill, numerous generations to produce a stunning cat with all of looks and intelligence of the Asian Leopard Cat, but the delightful temperament of the typical household tabby cat. In 1985 Mill revealed her amazing felines for the very first time.

The contemporary Bengal is an extremely attractive cat with a sweet, zany, caring character, and fantastic agility.  We Bengals LOVE our people and become devoted and highly bonded with them.  Bengals like to climb.  You will regularly find us in bookshelves, cabinets, door tops and anywhere we can get that is high.  

We are really curious and interested in what you are doing. We love to play and remain kitten like pouncers well into old age. A lot of us love water and might pop in with you when you shower.  Some people have given us a bad reputation as destructive or hard to manage that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We do need lots of toys and a cat tree to entertain us but we are no more destructive than the average tabby cat.



The Bengal Cat Versus The Ocicat – Just What Are The Distinctions?

In general the Bengals are bigger than Ocicats – some Bengal males, like me, Dukey, are 15 pounds. I’m big boned and long. Typically Bengal males range  12-15 pounds, 10-12 for females. .

Ocicats are typically 9-12 pounds for males (some could weigh up to 14 pounds) and 7-9 pounds for the females.  Both breeds are slim and athletic, Bengals are bigger boned.




One large distinction in Bengals is a “bump” on the back of the head/neck – in between the shoulders. Ocicats do not have that. The fur looks the same to a casual observer but it is not the same. Ocicats have a close lying, tight, smooth fur. Bengals have a pelt which is like rabbit’s fur and a reason they are believed to be hypoallergenic by some people.  Many people who react with cat allergies will react to an Ocicat because it has fur and not to a Bengal because we have a pelt. The best way to find out is to visit a friend with a Bengal or a breeder, you may not react if you typically have cat allergies.

Ocicats have a longer head,  squarer muzzle and taller ears than the Bengal’s. While we Bengals have a much rounder looking heads with complete hair pads. Our ears are much shorter, rounded on the top, as well as NO ear tufts.



Among the crucial distinctions is that we Bengals have spots or rosettes that must be much more horizontal looking instead of the Ocicat’s bulls-eye pattern.  The spotting on an Ocicat ought to be rounded or thumbprint size  Whereas the spotting on a Bengal could be various types  rounded areas, rosettes, arrowhead, paw print. The Bengal cat also can have a marbled patterns – yet they must not be bulls-eye like in a traditional tabby pattern.

There are a lot of similarities in the markings on the head around the eyes. Although Bengals have straighter “brow” markings, while the Ocicats have an even more rounded stripe. This isn’t a big difference, but it is there.

The shade of the tummy is whiter in a Bengal and we have marvelous spots on our bellies. The pattern on an Ocicat’s tail is a line on the top with spots on the sides as opposed to stripes. The Bengal has extremely deep stripes (like a tiger) that walk around the whole tail (or nearly).

The stripes on the legs of an Ocicat are long extended places or places. The stripes on the legs of a Bengal appear like tiger stripes, which we are very proud of.



Finally,  I feel as a Bengal I am compelled to say that I am confident that Bengal’s are the SMARTEST cats on earth. If I had to pick between the two breeds, I would for sure chose to be me! Cheers! Dukey the proud Bengal cat!



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