The Cheetoh is a close cousin of the Ocicat, developed originally (in 2003, by Carol Drymon at the Windhaven cattery in America) by crossing Ocicats and Bengals. Although Cheetohs do havea small percentage of wild cat genes, inherited from their Bengal side, they have the sweet, affectionate temperament of a typical Ocicat. In fact, personality-wise, the two breeds are hard to tell apart.

Cheetohs, also sometimes known as ‘Ocigals’ in Australia, are large, muscular cats with the sleek, exotic appearance of a leopard in the body of a playful house cat. Like Ocicats, they are confident and intelligent, capable of learning to play fetch and go for walks on a leash with their owners. Cheetoh cats are also known for enjoying high places and, often, playing in water! They are more vocal than Ocicats, more than happy to talk to you and tell you how they feel. Cheetoh cats are also exceptionally healthy, due to their recent origin and careful breeding to avoid inherited problems; they will live, on average, 12 – 16 years.

Like both the Bengal and the Ocicat, Cheetoh cats have a short, sleek coat that is simple to groom and maintain. They do not typically have an undercoat, which means they shed far less than some other cat breeds. The low maintenance grooming requirements of a Cheetoh can be convenient for owners who prefer a cat with minimal grooming needs.

For more information, watch through the short video above, made by Animal Planet as part of the Cats 101 series, or take a look at the Cheetoh Breeders Association website.

What Colours do Cheetohs Have?

Black\Brown Spotted Sienna (Rust): The underlying coat colour may be any variation of sorrel, tawny, golden, reddish tan (hot rufus) and mahogany. Markings are shades of black, brown or tan. Light colored markings encircle the eyes and a white ground colour on the whisker pads, chin, chest, belly and inside legs is desirable. Eye color may be bronze or gold, copper, green, brown or hazel.

Black\Brown Spotted Tan (or Gold): The underlying coat color is a pale tan, golden, or tan, with silver highlights. The coat can also be ticked very slightly with a mixture of black, white and shades of grey. Spots and/or rosettes are sable brown or black in color. Light colored “spectacles” around eyes are desirable. Eyes are bronze or gold, copper, green, brown or hazel.

Smoke/Blue Spotted Silver or Ivory: The overall color is silver (a bright, very pale grey or white) or ivory (a pale cream colour), or in some cases a mixture of greys (i.e. black, white and varying shades of grey mixed together). Spots and/or rosettes are distinct, in black or grey. Light colored or white bars across the back of the ears are desirable, and light colored markings encircle the eyes. Eyes are bronze or gold, copper, green, brown or hazel.

Black Spotted Silver: The overall color is a cool sparkling silver, overlaid with intense black markings, spots and rosettes. Some ticking is allowed, but the degree of contrast should be intense. White bars across back of ears are desirable. Gold frost or glitter can appear across the shoulders and back. Eye colors are bronze or gold, copper, green, brown or hazel.

Lynx Pointed Snow: The body is white, cream or ivory, with grey, black or sable shading on back and rump. Extremities can be various shades of buff, light grey, sable or black. Gold, buff, sepia or mink coloured spots and/or rosettes cover the entire body, including the belly. Spots on legs are a bonus. The tail is black ringed with a black tip. The face has Sable or Black coloured markings and/or spots. Ears are a light grey or buff, with Sable or Black tip and Lynx Pointed. White bars across the backs of the ears are a bonus. Eyes are a deep, bright blue.

Black/Brown Marble (or Marmalade): The underlying coat colour may be sorrel, tawny, golden, tan, hot rufus (reddish tan), mahogany, or ivory, patterned in black, sable brown, or tan. Markings are definite patterns of swirls, circles, rosettes, spots etc. The belly is white or ivory, spotted with black, sable or tan. A definite pattern appears down the back in contrasting colours to the underlying coat colour. Tail and legs are similarly patterned as the body. White bars across the backs of the ears are a bonus. Eyes are bronze or gold, copper, green, brown or hazel.

Chocolate or Caramel Spotted Silver (Ivory) The underlying coat colour is very light ivory or silver with overtones of sienna for the cinnamon spotted colours. Spots and/or rosettes are sable brown or cinnamon in colour and are scattered over the shoulders, back, sides and haunches. Darker markings and/or spots on face and around eyes are a bonus. Light coloured “spectacles” around eyes are desirable. Eyes are bronze or gold, copper, green, brown or hazel.

**Other colours including Chocolate Spotted Silver, Cinnamon Spotted Silver and Cinnamon Spotted Ivory, Black Spots on Black undercoat, and Chocolate spots on Chocolate undercoat, are allowed.

The Cheetoh cat breed was recognised as a a registered breed with the United Feline Organization in November of 2004, and is listed as ‘experimental’ by The International Cat Association (TICA) and by the Australian National Cats Inc. organistion (ANCATS). This ‘experimental’ status is the first step to having the breed fully recognised, and is mainly because the breed is so new, and still relatively rare. Cheetohs are accepted for showing in Australia by ANCATs.