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Felinexpress.com Home > Cat Breeds > Somali


Somali Cat Breed

src:wikipedia. A blue Somali cat

The Somali cat has been compared to a small fox. With the large pointed ears, long furry coat, masked face and bushy tail the appeal of this cat is tremendous.

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.

The Somali is the long-haired cousin to the Abyssinian cat. The kittens began to appear sporadically in Abyssian litters, and were quietly neutered or spayed  sold as pet-quality or given away. No one seemed to know what to do with these long-haired fuzzballs that were being produced. 

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.

Highly intelligent and quite active, Somalis captivate all who own them.  According to award -winning author and journalist Valerie Volinski who has the pleasure of owning Somalis;

“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.”

Health/Genetic traits
Unlike some of the breed cats, Somalis are not afflicted with genetic problems. They are well- proportioned for their size, muscular and athletic. Their bodies are lithe. They move with the grace of a ballet dancer. Somali owners will attest that Somali’s quickly steal your heart.

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
Somalis are not readily found in the United States. Although they are popular, they are hard to come by. Somali breeders are few and far between and always have a waiting list for kittens.

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.

Entertainment Factor
At cat shows, Somalis are notorious for being able to get out of their cages. Once they do escape, they strut their stuff in front of the spectators or judges as if to say “Look at me!”

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.

  1. Korat
  2. Balinese
  3. Javanese
  4. Japanese Bobtail
  5. Somali
  6. Abyssinian
  7. Turkish Van
  8. Siamese
  9. Egyptian Mau
  10. Oriental Shorthair
  11. Tonkinese
  12. Bengal
  13. Norwegian Forest Cat
  14. Cornish Rex
  15. Siberian

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