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Somali

Somali

The Somali cat is of medium build; firm, lithe and well-muscled. The head forms a medium wedge with gentle contours and the ears are set wide apart and tufted. The eyes are almond-shaped, set well apart and are often amber, hazel, or green in colour. The deeper the shade, the better. The legs are long and have oval tufted paws. The coat is of medium length and the soft, fine hair is dense but lies flat against the body. Mature adult Somali cats will have a ruff and full breeches, but this will not be evident in kittens. On each hair, there should be at least three bands of ticking giving six contrasting colour sections from base to tip. The Somali cat comes in a choice of 28 colours. 'Usual' is a rich golden brown with an apricot base coat ticked with black.

The need-to-know
  • Highly active and inquisitive cat
  • Friendly but independent cat
  • Average build cat breed
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Outdoor cat
Somali cat is standing near to window

Personality

Somali cats are highly intelligent. The Somali breed is good-natured and playful and enjoys games and toys. Somali cats may be shyer and more independent than their Abyssinian cousins but enjoy human company. They are active and enjoy access to outdoor exercise.

Somali cat is lying under a blanket

History and Origins

Country of Origin: USA

The Somali cat is the long-haired version of the Abyssinian. The longhair gene was introduced into the Abyssinian breed in the early 1900s, but the longhaired variety was not bred specifically until the 1960s. The original introduction of the longhaired gene took place in Britain and Abyssinians carrying the recessive gene were exported to Europe and America. Systematic breeding of the Somali cat began in America. Somalis soon became popular in other parts, particularly Australia where they are bred almost to the exclusion of the Abyssinian.

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