Sokoke cat | Information & Cat Breed Facts


The sokoke cat comes from the exotic African continent, where we find a feline whose appearance only highlights these origins. The sokoke cat has a spectacular coat, because its pattern resembles that of the bark of a tree, which is why in Kenya, its country of origin, it was called “Khadzonzos” which literally means “bark”.

Sokoke Cat
Sokoke Cat

Did you know that these cats live together and actually continue to live with African tribes in Kenya like the Giriama? In this ‘ Pets Feed ‘ article , we will learn more about this mysterious breed of cats with arboreal customs which gradually seems to make a dent in the category of domestic cats. Find out all about the sokoke cat below!

Origin of the sokoke cat

Sokoke cats, which were originally called Khadzonzos cats, are native to the African continent, in particular they are common throughout Kenya, where they live wildly in urban areas.

Some specimens of these felines were captured by an English breeder, named J. Slater, who, with one of his breeder friends, Gloria Modrup, decided to breed them and therefore to produce copies suitable for domestic life. The breeding program was quite successful, because after starting in 1978 a few years later, in 1984, the Sokoke cat breed was officially recognized in Denmark, extending the breed to other countries such as Italy, where they arrived in 1992.

Currently, the TICA catalogs the sokoke cat as a new preliminary breed, the FIFe has recognized it since 1993 and the CCA and the GCCF have also collected its standard, despite the small number of specimens that exist in America and Europe.

Origin: Kenya, Denmark, United States

Sokoke Cat
Sokoke Cat

Physical characteristics of the sokoke

The medium-sized Sokoke cat body is well developed, due to which the animals show increased speed and manoeuvrability in movement. A broad chest, pronounced neck and shoulder muscles provide strength and agility.

The hind legs of the animals are longer than the front ones and are located at a slight angle to the body. Because of this, it seems that the gait of the animal is on tiptoe, as if in a half-squat. The paws of cats are small and oval in shape. The tail is long or medium in length. At the very base, it is wider.

The head of Sokoke cats is wedge-shaped, elongated more in length than in width. Compared to the body, it looks small. The upper lobe of the skull is almost flat, the cheekbones are moderately expressed. But vibrissae pads are noticeably prominent, which round out the outlines of the muzzle. Ears wide at the base are always of medium size. The tips of the ears are gently rounded and often have tassels.

The eyes of the descendants of Kenyan predators are almond-shaped, set wide and slightly obliquely from the nose. The color of the iris can vary from light yellow to light green. This breed does not have a blue tint. The eyes have a clear black border. The nose of representatives of the Sokoke cat is wide, straight, with a slight break on the bridge of the nose.

The coat of cats and cats is very exotic. In terms of its quality, it is quite tough, short and tight to the surface of the body. The undercoat is either completely absent, or extremely weakly expressed. Each hair of the skin has a striped color. This feature creates a powdery effect, as if one shade is replaced by another. In general, the color of the pet’s fur is very bright and memorable: contrasting spots or stripes stand out against a light or dark background. In the description of the standard, this pattern is called “marble tabby”. There are also carriers of the recessive trait in the form of a snow color among cats. This color was first obtained in 2011 in one of the nurseries.

Sokoke cats have several distinctive features in color:

  • The very tip of the tail is always black;
  • There is a “necklace” on the neck in the form of one or more stripes;
  • A pattern resembling a butterfly is visible on the back;
  • The lateral side of the body is marked with a bull’s-eye pattern of broken lines;
  • On the forehead, the letter “M” stands out from intermittent stripes.
Sokoke Cat
Sokoke Cat

Character and temperament of the Sokoke cat

Being cats that, in many cases, live in the wild or semi-wild, we might think it is a dangerous breed or that it avoids contact with humans, but nothing is further from reality. Sokoke cats are one of the most friendly and special breeds in this regard. They are friendly, active and energetic cats, who need the attention and well-being of their owners, who ask for petting and are constantly looking for game.

Although for the level of activity he needs, it is recommended to have the Sokoke cat in large places such as houses that have land or landscaped areas. However, these cats also adapt to apartment life, provided they have areas where they can play and release their energy in a positive way.

The Sokoke cat also adapts very well in terms of living together, so much so that he is extremely respectful of other animals, be they cats or other pets, provided they are properly socialized. In the same way, he gets along with people of all ages and all conditions, being very affectionate and careful with everyone. Of course, it has been proven to be one of the most empathetic breeds of cats, fully perceiving the emotional needs of others and giving them to keep them happy and happy.

Difficulties can arise if there are small rodents or decorative birds in the house. Sooner or later, the hunting instinct will wake up in the Sokoke cat, and the cat will find a way to get to the hamster or parrot.

Sokoke Cat
Sokoke Cat


Due to the genetic characteristics of the Sokoke cat, no congenital or hereditary disease has been found. Indeed, it is a breed of cat that emerged naturally, following the course of natural selection, which made the strongest and most resistant specimens that survived on this wild African terrain.

However, we must not neglect the health and care of our Sokoke cat, we must, for example, ensure that their food is adequate and of quality, that they have the vaccines up to date, that examinations veterinarians are carried out in which the vaccination schedule is included and a regular deworming, which can be exercised daily or that his eyes, ears and mouth are clean and healthy. We will visit the veterinarian every 6 or 12 months.

One aspect to which we must pay particular attention is the weather conditions, because having a coat so short and not too dense, without woolly layer, our sokoke cat is quite sensitive to cold. Therefore, we must take care that the temperature in the house is warm, that when it is wet, we dry it completely or that our cat does not go outside when the temperatures are too low.


Since he is such a loving cat, the Sokoke will need us to pay attention to his emotional needs. This is why they are cats that do not take too long to be alone. If we do not pay enough attention, our feline can be sad, anxious or demanding, emitting continuous mews in order to attract our attention.

Having very short hairs, it will not be necessary to brush the Sokoke cat every day, once a week or both will be enough, baths are not necessary unless for some reason our cat has become dirty or muddy and we have to remove excess dirt. In these cases, we need to take a series of measures such as using an appropriate shampoo or ensuring that after the bath is finished, our cat is completely dry, otherwise it could catch a cold.

Because of his energy, we will have to provide our sokoke with the tools and resources necessary to exercise and thus maintain an adequate level of energy. For this, we can buy toys or scrapers of different levels to climb them, because they love this activity, in addition in Africa, it is common to spend the day climbing and descending trees. If we don’t want to buy them, we can also make our own toys at home.

Sokoke cat

Hygiene procedures

To keep the Sokoke cat look neat, it is regularly subjected to hygiene procedures:

The cat’s ears are weekly cleaned of accumulated dirt and dust. To do this, use cotton pads and special lotions without alcohol.

Sokoke eyes are daily wiped with a soft natural cloth moistened with boiled water or herbal infusion.

The teeth of the Kenyan forest are brushed 3-4 times a month with a special brush with a non-foaming paste to prevent the appearance of calculus and prevent the development of dental diseases.

Sokoke’s claws, as they grow, are cut off with a claw cutter so as not to touch living tissues and cause pain to the cat. With regular use of the scratching post, this procedure is usually not required.

The short, sleek coat of the Sokoke cat does not need to be combed frequently. To maintain a neat appearance, it is treated with a special grooming glove or a brush with natural bristles weekly. Bath the sokoke as it gets dirty using shampoos for short-haired breeds.


Sokoke cats can eat balanced industrial feed or quality natural food.

It is important that the sokoke diet is enriched with taurine and vitamin E.

When selecting drying, preference is given to premium or super-premium products with a simple and well-balanced composition. These requirements are fully met by such brands of feed:

  • Carnilove;
  • Grandorf;
  • Brit Care;
  • Bosch;
  • Pronature.

When feeding with natural products, the diet of sokoke is made up so that fresh meat of low-fat varieties predominates in it. Twice a week it is replaced with giblets or ocean fish. Also, the Kenyan forest is given cereals, eggs, sour milk and vegetables.

It is forbidden to feed a sokoke cat with bony river fish, fatty meats, smoked meats, sausages, potatoes, sweets and any food from the master’s table.

Sokoke Cat
Sokoke Cat

Pros and cons of the breed

Sokoke cats have not only advantages, but also disadvantages that you need to consider before buying a pet:


  • Attractive appearance
  • Friendly personality
  • Easy to clean


  • Strong hunting instinct
  • Excessive activity

Sokoke are unpretentious, beautiful, playful and sociable cats. Kenyan Woodlands will be excellent companions for those who are willing to put up with their energetic and mobile temperament.

Sokoke cat fun facts

  • This breed is completely natural, wild. Its ancestors were wild forest cats in Kenya. They are called Hadzonzo by the natives of Africa.
  • The name of the breed comes from the name of the Kenyan region of Sokoke.
  • Animal DNA is a combination of an Asian domestic cat and an Arabian wild cat.
  • Males of the breed often assist females in raising offspring.
  • Sokoke kittens cost an average of $ 500-1000. In connection with hereditary ailments, it is better to take the cat that has a pedigree and documents for it.
  • During the existence of the breed, many interesting things have been connected with it:
  • Sokoke have several alternative names. These cats are also known as Kenyan Forest and Soukok cats.
  • To establish the natural origin of sokoke, a special study was carried out. As a result, it was found out that they have a common DNA structure with spotted street cats of Eastern Kenya and cats of Lamu Island. Based on this, the Kenyan forestry was included in a separate racial group called the Arabian Sea.
  • In ancient times, when livestock was considered a luxury item, the Kenyan aborigines ate sokoke for food.
  • Because of the spiral woody pattern on the brown fur, forest cats were called “kanzonzo”, which means “like bark”.
Sokoke cat

Breed conclusions

Sokoke is an active, playful and independent cat from Kenya who delights in her wild, primordial beauty and predatory grace. Outwardly, the breed resembles a very small cheetah. The main feature of the Sokoke is its unusual color, reminiscent of a woody pattern, which ranges from beige to black. Any hair on the skin has light and dark stripes, it looks as if one color is “powdered” with another

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