- Active, enthusiastic companions.
- Intelligent and enterprising.
- Some have an uncanny ability to use their paws like hands.
- Very adept at entertaining themselves.
- More tranquil than their Abyssinian relatives.
At one time these cats were considered the undesirable result of a recessive gene that caused some Abyssinians to be born with long hair. A few Abyssinian breeders liked the look and began a breeding program to develop the longhaired Abyssinians as a separate breed. The breed’s name was chosen because of the close proximity of Somali to Abyssinia. Accepted for championship status in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1978.
- Medium to large with a lithe, graceful body, well-developed muscles, and a full-brush tail.
- Fox-like appearance.
- Head is a modified, rounded wedge with large, alert, tufted ears.
- Eyes are almond shaped, large, and expressive.
- Fine, non-matting, medium-long, double coat with ruff and britches.
- Colors include blue (soft-gray ticked with slate blue. Undercoat should be a warm blush-beige or oatmeal), ruddy (reddish-brown ticked with black), red (warm, red ticked with chocolate brown) and fawn (cream ticked with pinkish brown).
- Each hair has two to three alternating bands of darker and lighter coloring known as ticking.
Health and Wellness:
- Gingivitis may occur in some lines. Preventive dental care and early treatment can keep this condition under control.
What you should know:
- Although many people believe that a Somali needs lots of space and should be kept outdoors, they are perfectly adapted to apartment life and are much happier, safer and healthier when they are kept indoors.