Is This Cat A Somali?

Is This Cat A Somali?

by Stenia
(Athens, Greece)

Is this cat a Somali?

Is this cat a Somali?

Hello, I think that Somali cat's are one of the most beautiful in the world. Unfortunately, Somali cats in Greece, where I live, it's very rare... I had found a semi-long hair cat looks like Somali, with beautiful eyes.

Her tail is more fluffy and black, like Somalis.

I don't know if she is mixed Somali or not. (sorry about my English) 😉

Stenia


Hi Stenia.... It is very nice to hear from you in Greece. I really like to hear from people who live in parts of the world where the cat fancy is not as well established as in the UK, USA and Europe generally.

About your cat. The Somali is a purebred cat. I don't know much about your cat except for the way she looks in your photograph so it is hard to give a firm and clear answer. However if one is not sure that a cat is purebred or not it is probably not purebred.

Please see "What Breed Is My Cat?"

She looks like a Somali at a distance. Your photograph shows a cat that is a tabby cat with tabby marking only on the head and tail. There is white on the muzzle and the chin. The colour is dull but the photo was taken in the shade where there is a colder colour balance (blue shade).

I suppose it is possible that this is a purebred Somali cat if for example it belongs to someone else who has the papers (pedigree) to prove it.

However it is more likely to be a feral or semi-domestic cat. If this cat is a feral cat then it still might carry the genes that make up a Somali cat. A Somali is an Abyssinian with the long haired gene. And the origins of the Abyssinian are uncertain but the Abyssinian is thought to originate from somewhere around Ethiopia. That is not far from Greece and it is not impossible to suppose that Abyssinian type cats migrated (or were imported) to Greece and the recessive long hair mutation turned them into Somalis.

So in short this cat is probably a Somali look-a-like but not purebred because there is no pedigree. It may be a Somali mix but that would mean a purebred Somali crossed with another cat, say a random bred cat. This is turn probably means that there are probably purebred Somalis not far from you. I personally prefer the idea that this cat is a feral cat that looks like a Somali.

I would like you to leave a comment and tell us if this is a feral cat. Does she have a human companion? Are you going to adopt her?

Thanks again for visiting and please come back.

Michael Avatar

Is This Cat A Somali? to Somali cats

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Is This Cat A Somali?

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Apr 07, 2010
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To Anonymous
by: Maggie Sharp

Anonymous (Stenia?), perhaps your cat is just a domestic medium hair? Saying that your kitty has spotting on it's legs has confirmed that your cat is NOT a Somali, you see, decades ago Somalis used to have banding on their legs, but that's long gone now, they never had spotting.. I have no idea how you resisted one of those NFCs, they're amazing!


Feb 28, 2010
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Roxy
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi again Stenia. A black line on the back going all the way to the tip of the tail is actually a very Somaly/Aby-like feature and might indicate a connection somehow.
It could be as simple as a great-grandfather - or maybe (as I suggested) because the original cats of the Eastern Mediteranian area are not that far removed from what much later became the Aby/Somali breeds.
Roxy seems to be a friendly cat, so I hope you'll be able to take care of her or find somebody who can. No cat deserves living as a feral, but one person of course can not help all the homeless cats of Athens. This cat however asked for your help, so... 🙂
If you can get a better photo of her, you can mail it to Michael and I'm sure he'll put it up. Mail to mjbmeister (at) googlemail.com - replace (at) with a παπάκι.

Finn Frode avatar


Feb 27, 2010
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Somali?
by: Anonymous

Miss Maggie, im also a fan o Norwegian forest cat (and i weant to adopt one from a cattery in greece, www.elvenstar.gr),this kitty hasn't got long enough hair and she isn't a very large cat like norwegian forest. She has spotted legs,and her color is very strange...


Feb 27, 2010
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Roxy
by: stenia

Thanks you about your answer...I call this kitty Roxy (or Wolfe), I've found her in the street. I was surprised when i saw that altough she didn't know me, she come toward me and she purrs... I've taken her a photo from my mobile phone, but it isn't clearly. She is tabby (makeral or spotted), that because she differs from Somalis.Her tail is black and she has a black line across her back. I want to adopt her, but i have already a cat. :/


Feb 24, 2010
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No, but she's a fine Eastern Med.
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Stenia. First of all we must remember that a Somali is basicly a semi-longhair Abyssinian. The main characteristic of these two breeds is the ticked coat, which means that each hair has a base color with three or four darker-colored bands, giving it a very special appearance.
It's hard to tell from the picture, but your cat doesn't look ticked, so most likely there is another explanation to it's special look. The gene for semilong-hair is recessive, which means that it can be carried for several generations without showing, but I believe it will be present more or less in all populations of non-purebred cats.
Semi-longhaired cats are far from unheard of in the Eastern Mediteranian. Just think of the breeds Turkish Angora and Van. Or check the kittens pictured in the article 'Istanbul Feral Cats or Wild Cat Hybrids' - they actually had some similarities to a Somali kitten of mine.
Boarders between countries change over time, but the cats have no part in that game. Gene testing however has shown that local cats all over the Eastern Mediteranian area are quite closely related. So my guess is that you have a semi-longhair cat of Greek domestic origin.
Some say that Cyprus was the craddle of domestic cats. Be happy with your fine mixed breed - she is an heir of the ancient original cats. 😉

Finn Frode avatar


Feb 24, 2010
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Respectfully disagree
by: Michael

Hi Maggie, thanks for your useful input. I disagree though.

The colour is modified by the photo being taken in deep shade with a sun. That throws a blue caste over subject matter neutralising the warm colour.

Also, I think the leg spotting/banding is the tail crossing over the leg.

Michael Avatar


Feb 24, 2010
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Not likely
by: Maggie Sharp

That colour is a grey/brown colour, which is not seen in the Somali breed, also I can see spotting on her leg, which is something, again, never ever seen in the breed. Ticking, spine line and perhaps a light broken necklace is all that's generally allowed when it comes to patterns. To me, your cat looks like a Norwegain Forest Cat, they're equally as wonderful as Somalis, a breed in which I'm a fan of.



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