16 facts about the Somali cat

Here are 16 facts about the one of the most attractive of all the purebred cats; the Somali. Intro: one of the great strengths, for me, in terms of their attractiveness is that they are a very normal looking cat but with a very refined and elegant appearance. In other words, this is a very classy looking purebred cat. Anybody looking at this companion animal will know that the cat has been carefully created through selective breeding. You don’t see random bred cats like this. This is not to say that I favour purebred cats over random-bred cats because I don’t but in discussing the purebreds this breed should be more popular on appearance alone.

Somali cat
Somali cat. I am afraid I don’t know who took the photo. Nice to see such a classy cat outside on a leash. I bet they were stopped by passers by.
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  1. The Somali cat is the “red fox” of the cat fancy. This cat does have a noticeable hint of the fox about them.
  2. This is the semi-longhaired version of the better-known Abyssinian cat.
  3. The perfect Somali should be medium-sized and look exactly like an Abyssinian cat which meets the breed standard with one difference: a glorious semi-longhair coat.
  4. In cat fancy language the body confirmation is described as “foreign type”. This means on the slender side.
  5. The cat’s coat should have a warm quality about it.
  6. This breed originated because the recessive long-hair gene became visible in the selective breeding process of Abyssinian cats. Initially it was unwanted as Abyssinian cat breeders were unhappy seeing long-haired versions of their beautiful shorthaired cat in litters. Breeders spend a lot of effort getting their cats to type i.e. per the breed standard, so it looked like a failure to have long haired cats in their breeding line. Some breeders refused to admit that they had them. The problem was swept under the carpet.
  7. In the late 1960s when Evelyn Mague, the president of a private cat shelter at the time, liked the unwanted kittens and decided to start a new breed against the wishes of many Abyssinian breeders
  8. Nowadays, they are regarded as one of the more attractive purebred cats. Arguably it is the most attractive breed of them all but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  9. The Somali is a well-proportioned, medium-sized cat with slim, long and well-muscled legs, having a regal stance.
  10. The coat is agouti “with two or three alternating bands of rufoused colour on each hair” (Gloria Stephens). ‘Rufoused’ means reddish/orange tones.
  11. The head is described as “a modified wedge with rounded contours”.
  12. The eyes range in colour from yellow to green to rich copper and are almond-shaped.
  13. The coat may give the appearance that the cat is bigger than he or she is.
  14. The fox-like tail is outstanding and I would describe it as “plumed” to use another cat fancy term.
  15. Like the Abyssinian, the Somali is shown in the traditional category, tabby division: ruddy, sorrel, blue and fawn.
  16. This cat is described as intelligent and active. They love to play and they love their owners.
Somali cat breed
Somali cat breed. Beautiful cat. Photo in public domain (assessed).


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