Sokoke Cat Facts For Kids

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.

Sokoke Cat Facts For Kids. Photos of purebred Sokokes are copyright Helmi Flick


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.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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  • Wonderful - and for once extinction isn't a primary discussion around these lovely looking cats. Maybe they are just too small and normal to be worth anything to humans with bad taste. I'd love to take care of a cat like this if I lived safely away from roads and people. I am really going to make it my goal in the next 10 years create the perfect environment for cats to grow up with the pleasures of the outdoors if they so choose.

    Then I will have more space and might be able to help some older unwanted cats for example (they must exist here and I have seen some in local classifieds). I'd even consider creating an old cats home for cats to come and live out their days peacefully and warmly with the nature all around for their pleasure.

    The only slightly dangerous animal we have are foxes but even they are not usually a danger to full grown cats so they say. This cat sounds like it would need to have outside access to survive and be happy - but what a pleasure and honour it would be to care for one or two of them.

      • Well if they are not endangered its better than if they are. Eating them is awful but if they are wild then it is not so awful for the locals I suppose. But if they have them as friends in their homes and then eat them I would find that simply appalling.

        There is not much of a cat problem here but perhaps if I had some kind of shelter it could be of use to the cats in the area. I know there are shelters but I think they are not over full so I am not sure of the need for another shelter in the area. I would like to look into it. Maybe I can be useful. I'd first like to move to a place that can be a paradise for cats. Eventually with land I could even enclose the perimeter or something. I'd like to give cat stuck for a long time in shelters a better place to live without needing to be adopted out. What I do know from online local adoption pages is that there are some special needs or just old or black or otherwise unwanted cats who do spend a really long time in the shelter. I'd like to be able to help those cats maybe. To see a cat not get adopted for 6 months or a year and then take them myself and offer them for adoption but without urgency since they would be living the good life already. That kind of thing. A retirement home for cats perhaps. Maybe I am being unrealistic but what I do know is that I have plenty of energy and will also have plenty of time eventually for them so why waste it. I like to see them happy. I like to help them. My father recently died and although I work and can look after myself I will be inheriting a part of his worth which would be enough to set something like this up quite easily I would imagine. I'd like to put it to good use. Thats why I am thinking of finding the right property in the area where cats can safely be outside and if I start taking in more than just myown cats then I'd enclose it with a perimeter fence etc etc. Am I just dreaming? It sounds really nice to me and all it takes is motivation and the money. Plus property is an investment worth having these days so it could work out well in many senses.

        I have been to Tamil Nadu. I did not know that. I'm glad I didn't know that!

        • The Sokoke is a semi-feral or domestic cat. Perhaps some are pure ferals but the small picture on bottom right of the collage on this page shows a boy with a Sokoke kitten so you can see this cat is pretty tame, feral cat or not. It is not a wild cat that is certain. They say they live in the forest. If that is so they do so as feral cats. Not good to eat them but this seems to anecdotal so we can't rely on it.

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Michael Broad

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