Somali cat | Cat Breed Information & Facts – Pictures


The Somali is a majestic and truly royal cat with the appearance of a fox and the character of an ideal pet. Somalia always becomes the soul of the company, befriends people and pets with pleasure, strikes with a sharp mind and almost human habits. At the same time, it is so beautiful that it is impossible not to get such a charm.


Somali cat photos

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Physical characteristics

The Somali is a fairly large cat; however, it does not look overweight, on the contrary, even despite the long hair, it gives the impression of a graceful and strong animal.

These cats have slightly long legs, a fairly long, fluffy tail, and slightly larger than average pointed ears.

This cat has an average size and weight of 3-5 kg. The breed standard is the same for the Abyssinian and the Somali, the differences are only in the length of the coat.


Distinctive features

  • The head has the shape of a modified wedge, slightly rounded, without flat lines. A clean line of eyebrows, cheekbones, profile. There is no pronounced pinch and sharp fox muzzle;
  • The eyes are large, almond-shaped, bright and expressive. The eyes are as if abstracted with a black pencil – the dark eyelids stand out against the clarified background around the eyes. Color: yellow or green, very deep and rich;
  • The ears are large, alert, moderately pointed, wide, cupped at the base. Fluffy tufts of wool in the inner ear, tassels are desirable;
  • Body – of medium length, supple and graceful, well-developed muscles, rounded chest, slightly arched back, which gives the appearance of a cat before a jump;
  • The legs are proportional to the body, the pads are oval. When standing, the Somali appears agile and quick;
  • The tail is a brush in its own right, thick at the base, slightly narrowed, the length is proportional to the body;
  • Coat – medium length, very soft to the touch, fine, double. The denser the wool, the better. Above the shoulders the coat may be shorter, but fluffy paws, collar and breeches, tufts of wool between the toes are desirable.

Character and behavior

Cats of this breed are cheerful, positive and playful. The playfulness of these cats persists throughout life. If you do not have enough time to play with them, give them toys and they will entertain themselves.

Somalis belong to breeds with almost no aggression. They are smart, loyal and feel good in families with children, they will be happy to be friends in games. Representatives of the Somali breed are easy to train, and they will hug you with their paws without claws and without any training.

Somali cats feel the mood of the owner. They are quiet and unobtrusive when you are busy. However, they do not tolerate loneliness and restrictions on freedom, such as cages, small rooms in which they can be closed, which can adversely affect their health and cause neurosis.

They have a reputation for being silent, especially when compared to Abyssinians. They meow very rarely, their voice is quiet and pleasant. But they purr often, they can turn on the “motor” only because you paid attention to them.


Despite the fact that these cats are very lively and mobile, they are still susceptible to certain diseases. They are characterized by diseases of the teeth and gums – periodontal disease. Therefore, be sure to monitor your pet’s oral hygiene. They also have the following diseases:

  • Hyperesthesia
  • Kidney amyloidosis
  • Dislocation of the patella
  • Retinal atrophy.

Life expectancy

The life expectancy of the Somali cat is 11 to 16 years.


For the maintenance of its coat, it is enough to brush it every week although at the stage of moulting it is necessary to do it daily so that it does not get tangled and knots form.

Also, don’t forget the other chat procedures. This includes nail trimming 2-4 times a month, daily tooth brushing (given the nature of these animals, tooth brushing can be done 3 times a week), a bath at least once every two months .

Fun facts

  • The crosses for the creation of this breed were made in the 1950s.
  • The Somali cat was officially recognized in 1977 by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA).
  • The International Feline Federation (FIFe) only recognized the breed in 1983.
  • Breeders Ken McGill in Canada and Evelyn Mague in the United States gave them that name to differentiate them from the Abyssinians.

History of the breed

Somali is the long-haired version of the Abyssinian. The long-haired gene was introduced into the Abyssinian breed in the early 1900s, but the long-haired variety only became a separate breed in the 1960s.

The original introduction of the long-haired gene occurred in Britain and the Abyssinian carriers of the recessive gene were exported to Europe and America. The systematic breeding of Somali began in America.

Soon, Somali cat became popular elsewhere, especially in Australia, where they grew to exclude almost the Abyssinians.


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