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Somalis are recognized in four colors, blue and fawn (known as the dilute colors) and the more standard, ruddy and red. Although they sport a long-haired coat, they require very little grooming as their hair doesn’t mat as easily as a Persian’s coat does.
Their body is medium build, their masked face surrounds almond- shaped eyes. Their wild, feral-looking mask is accomplished by the ticking of the fur, the alternating colors that form bands on the cat. These bands can also be seen on the tail.
The Somali’s eyes can range from copper-colored to a deep-green. Unlike some cats that have tufted ears, the Somali have tufts between their paws.
In 1960 cat fanciers began to notice these striking kittens and soon breeders were breeding strictly for these long- haired kittens. Thanks to the dedication of these breeders and their early persistence, in 1970 Somalis were recognized as a breed specific cat by all the cat associations in North America.
“They are not quiet cats. They trill when they want attention or when they are excited. They love to play fetch, and are very dog-like. I call them dogs in cat clothing.”
Healthwise, Somalis are known to battle gingivitis, so regular dental exams are a must. Feeding the cats raw bones or dry food will help them to scrape the tartar off their teeth.
Finding a Kitten
Unlike other cats, Somali’s don’t give birth to a large number of kittens. Generally two to three kittens per litter. The kittens do not mature in the normal fashion of other cats. They will reach their full size when they are 18 months old.
The wait for a Somali kitten is longer than most. Breeders will not release kittens until 12 weeks of age at the earliest.
The contract for these kittens is specific. These are indoor cats that should be cherished never declawed. The kittens must be spayed or neutered at the applicable age.
Prices can vary on Somali kittens, depending on the breeder. They start at $600.00 and up.
Look for retired adult queens for sale on the breeder’s website, if you don’t wish to wait for a kitten.
At home they seek to entertain by opening cupboards, turning on water spigots, hiding in special spots they’ve picked out.
They are capable of running sideways, and they love to play in their water bowl. Many Somali toys quickly get baptized.
Your Somali would rather sit on your shoulder instead of lie at your feet. She would rather be lying on the book you are reading, and in the middle of any project you might have going on. It can prove to be an adventure with a Somali in the home. An adventure that both of you will enjoy!
Mary Anne Miller is a free lance writer, website content provider and member of The Cat Writers’ Association.