Cat that can steal dog-lovers' hearts

BRITTANY PICKETT
Last updated 05:00 15/08/2014
Kelly Payne and kitten Truffles
BRITTANY PICKETT / Fairfax NZ

FELINE FRIEND: Ocicat breeder Kelly Payne with one of her 4-month-old kittens, Truffles.

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If there's one kind of cat which can turn dog-lovers into cat fanciers, it's the ocicat.

Ocicats have a similar temperaments to dogs and some can be trained to fetch, sit on command and "speak".

Kelly Payne, of Invercargill, is one of two breeders of ocicats in New Zealand.

An ocicat looks like a miniature wild cat with spots and stripes but it has no wild DNA in its gene pool.

"They have a nice wild look to them which is why they are so popular," Payne said.

She has eight ocicats: three queens, two studs and three kittens, and fell in love with the breed when she began breeding them in 2009.

"They are quite affectionate and cuddly but also quite intelligent," she said.

She now breeds three litters a year.

One of the studs, Diago, a silver cinnamon spotted ocicat, will be on show at the Southland Cat Fanciers Club Show tomorrow.

He is the first stud Payne has bred herself under her breeding company Chez Ami.

Kittens Truffles, Stannis and Daario are 4 months old and live in her home, while the older cats live in her cattery.

Truffles, the only female in her litter, had a rare defect from the way she was placed in the womb, which resulted in her having one of her hind legs removed after birth, Payne said.

But she does not let that stop her.

The ocicat comes in 12 different colours and each breeding pair results in different colour combinations, she said.

Payne had to import genetics from Australia to add to the gene pool of her cats.

 

THE CAT'S WHISKERS

What: Southland Cat Fanciers Club Show

When: Saturday 10am until 5pm

How much: $4 for adults, $2 for children

Where: Invercargill Workingmen's Club 

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