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Somali

Somali

Strikingly beautiful, the Somali looks like a small wild fox with her full bushy tail and britches, large ears and dramatically ticked coat. This highly intelligent feline is known to open cupboards and fetch toys. The Somali loves attention and affection. The breed also is known for loving to play and having a zest for life. Highly adaptable, the Somali adjusts easily to new people and situations.

DID YOU KNOW? Contrary to popular belief, the Somali did not originate in Somalia. Rather, the breed is essentially a longhaired Abyssinian that resulted from a recessive gene. Originally, Abyssinian breeders were not happy when these longhaired kittens showed up in litters. It is believed the Somali resulted when longhaired cats were used by British Abyssinian breeders following World War II to repopulate the breed or possibly were due to a mutation.

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

Pet Card

  • Living Considerations: Good in multi-pet households, not hypoallergenic
  • Size: Medium to large, with males weighing 4.5 to 5.5 kilograms and females weighing 3 to 4.5 kilograms
  • Coat: Medium, fine, soft
  • Temperament: Mischievous, tenacious, intelligent, affectionate
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Shedding: Yes
  • Vocalisation: Quiet, may softly chirp
Somali cat is standing near to window

Personality

Somali cats are highly intelligent. The Somali breed is good natured and playful and enjoy 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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