Cat breeds: Somali

Cat breeds: Somali

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FIFe classification and history

Country of origin: United States.

Somali is the long-haired version of the Abyssinian. Contrary to what the name implies, the first specimens of this breed were obtained during a breeding program for the Abyssinian breed in the United States. The long-haired specimens were seen with disappointment by the breeders, and only later some breeders began to take an interest in this unwanted result. A selection program was started and only around 1960 this new breed got the first recognition from some international feline associations. In 1978 she was recognized and in 1982 he was awarded Somali to underline his close relationship with the Abyssinian.
Today it is quite common and is presented at cat shows all over the world.

General aspect

The most distinctive feature of the Somali cat is the hair characterized by the so-called ticking effect: each individual hair has a basic color, interrupted by two or three bands of darker pigment and always ends with a dark tip. Somali represents a perfect combination of wild aspect and extremely affectionate disposition. At birth they have a dark coat that lightens with age (definitive coloring at about two years). The female reaches sexual maturity at six months of age, but is making her reproduce at the second heat (at one year).

Somali cat (photo


The character is similar to that of the Abyssinian. Very sociable animal, it needs love and companionship (of man or other animals - cat or dog). Only females, every now and then, are riotous to divide the space with other animals, especially if the space available is limited. It is good and patient with children. Cheerful and outgoing, he loves climbing and jumping. He lives without problems in the apartment, but the ideal is a house with a terrace or with an attached garden. If this is not possible, it is advisable to provide him with a robust structure on which to vent his liveliness. Curious and intelligent, it subjects every new element to meticulous inspection. Not meowing much. As a puppy it is often reckless, while as an adult it tends to be a little more thoughtful.


The soft and silky coat does not require excessive care. A not too energetic weekly pass with a horsehair brush and, occasionally, with a wide-toothed comb in particular where the hair is thicker is sufficient. The ears must be cleaned only if necessary with a specific product: after applying a few drops and gently massaging the auricle, remove the product with a damp cloth. The nails can be blunted with special scissors. Very greedy, he tends to gain weight easily if you don't keep it under control.

Variety of color

In addition to the original one (Usual or Ruddy), other colors have also been selected (Sorrel, Blu, Fulvo, Silver). The Usual or Ruddy coat is reddish brown with dark tips. In cats of this variety the legs and the back of the hind limbs are always black. As already mentioned, the hair is characterized by the so-called ticking effect. Whatever the color of the coat, limited white areas are allowed on the chin and on the face and there are few specimens that do not have it.


Category: Semi Long Hair.
Build: medium, muscular and slender.
Head: broad, with relatively elongated muzzle; the nose forms a slight stop with the forehead; obvious chin; black-bordered truffle.
Eyes: almond-shaped, oblique and lively; the eyelids are marked by a black line. Regardless of the color of the coat, the eyes are amber, green or yellow, however always of a very light shade.
Pointed ears, with low and wide hairline and abundant curved hairs that protrude from the pavilions.
Limbs: thin in relation to the body and with light bone structure; small and oval legs.
Tail: quite long, strong, with thick hair.
Hair: of medium length, much longer and thicker on the thighs, tail, belly and ruff; soft, fine and silky.
Some flaws: grayish shades on the coat, broken collar; lack of ticking; marks on the front legs; lack of black line around the eyes.

Abyssinian and Somali
Maria Grazia Bregani - Castel Negrino Publishing Group - June 2008

The Abyssinian, of ancient origins, is an affectionate cat of great charm and particular beauty. Very lively, as an almost unstoppable puppy, very attentive to everything that happens around him, a great lover of the game even as an adult, to the inexhaustible curiosity that distinguishes him adds an intelligence ...
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