- The origins of this longhaired breed are shrouded in mystery, but popular theory is that a longhaired gene somehow infiltrated the Abyssinian breed population as an undesirable recessive gene.
- The population of Abyssinians had shrunk to 12 after World War II, prompting mating with other cats that produced some longhaired litters.
- The first "longhaired Abyssinian (aka Somali) was shown in cat shows in Australia in 1965.
- Today, all major cat associations recognize the Somali in four colors: ruddy, fawn, blue and red.
Somali Behavior Concerns
- Curious, alert and adventurous.
- Quite skilled at turning on faucets with their paws or swiping socks out of drawers.
- High energy and playful and often engage in bursts of energy a few times each day.
- Needs regular play sessions to expend its energy properly and avoid misbehaving out of boredom. This is one cat who loves to play fetch and chase games.
- Smart but willful, so you need to make training sessions positive and rewarding.
- Gentle around children and adapts easily to other family pets.
- Very social and will often greet houseguests or show off by performing tricks.
- Not very vocal, but does emits soft mews and trills.
Look of Somalis
- The Somali is simply a longhaired Abyssinian who shares the dark rim around their eyes that looks like eyeliner and wisps of white under their chins.
- Its fluffy, bushy tail is one of its hallmark looks along with its ruddy-colored coat that looks like a small fox or a colorfully marked squirrel. Its build is medium and athletic.
- All Somalis also sport a traditional tabby "M" on the center of their foreheads and exotic, wild looks.
- Somali, when standing still, appears to look like he is standing on his toes.
Grooming Somali Cats
- This breed's soft, silky coat requires combing once or twice a week.
- Generally matt-free and does not shed much.
Suggested Nutritional Needs for Somali
Please consult with your veterinarian about the type of dieta nd amount to feed your cat during their different life stages. Different breeds may have a greater risk of obesity based upon their diet, metabloism, activity and age. Thus, your veterinarian is your best source for information on this topic.
Fun Facts of Somalis
- Somali cats love to fuss with people's hair, including moustaches and beards and are jokingly said to possess the "hairdresser gene."
- They love to plop on laps and purr and begin to knead, or what's affectionately known as "making biscuits."