• 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.

Body Type:
  • 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.
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