The Sokoke is a very rare breed of cat. The cat comes from an area that includes the Arabuko Sokoke Forest in Kenya, Africa where it is a feral cat and perhaps sometimes a domestic cat. However, domestic cats in Africa are, in general, not quite so domesticated as they are in America and Europe where it is a purebred, pedigree cat. The cat is also called the Sokoke Forest Cat.
The early history is not completely clear. Some people say that the Sokoke is a hybrid cat. This means it is a mix of more than one type of cat. It is believed that the Sokoke is a mix of African feral and domestic cats and British domestic tabby cats that lived with the British when a lot of them they lived in Kenya until 1963. From 1895 until 1963 the British ruled Kenya.
The people who live in the area from where the Sokoke comes say it has been there for a very long time – going back further than when the British were in Kenya. They gave the cat a name “Khadzonzo” which roughly translated means the cat’s coat looks like the bark of a tree. This seems quite likely.
It may be that both stories are correct. Anyway, in 1978 this cat was noticed by a European person, Jeni Slater, living in the area. In 1984 and 1990 a cat breeder, Gloria Moeldrup, who was Jeni’s friend, brought some Sokokes back from Kenya to her country, Denmark. They mated and had kittens. This is the beginning of the breed.
In 1998 the first Sokokes were shipped to the USA starting the breed in that country.
How The Sokoke Looks
Overall, this is an athletic, slender looking cat. This is typical of feral and domestic cats from hot climates. This is a normal looking tabby cat. The coat is a classic, “blotched tabby”. This means there are dark swirls of fur against a lighter brown background. It looks a bit like marble.
The fur is short and dense. There is very little undercoat. The body is slender. The legs are long. The tail is also long. The eye color is amber to light green. “Amber” is an orange color. There are some snow colored Sokoke cats as well, but not many.
This cat is talkative, lively, alert and sensitive. Apparently the cat has a voice that cannot be ignored. As this cat lived in a forest, you would expect that it likes to climb and be good at it. It is a friendly cat that likes human company. However, there is touch of the wild about the Sokoke that makes her exciting to be around.
Regrettably I don’t like to list breeders because often they stop breeding which means the information becomes out of date quickly. You might try TICA for information about a suitable breeding cattery. Thanks.