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Description of Somali Cat

The Breed History

Somali are a semi-longhaired Abyssinian cat. First records date back to Britain in the 1930s when a spontaneous mutation in Abyssinians occurred, or perhaps the different haircoat was introduced by crossing with longhaired breeds. Outcrossing did occur at some point since the Abyssinian gene pool was seriously depleted in wartime. Historical studies of some lines indicated an autosomal recessive gene for the longhaired coat was present, and periodically, longhaired kittens were born into litters. An American breeder in the 1960s selected Somali for a name because Somalia bordered Abyssinia (now Ethiopia). Outcrossing to Abyssinian is still allowed.

Physical Characteristics

Weight: Female 8-10 lb (3.5-4.5 kg), male 10-12 lb (4.5-5.5 kg) Coat: Ruddy cats are the most common color but blue, fawn and sorrel colors are also accepted. Some registries also allow newer colors.

Ruddy is also termed usual. The base color is a rich golden brown sometimes referred to as burnt sienna. Ticking pigment is black. Ticking on the Somali hair consists of 6-12 bands (in comparison to the lesser number in Abyssinians). The root of the hair is the lighter color. Kittens are darker, and their hair base color may be light or gray. Markings include spectacles, mascara eyeliner and a pencil line extending in line towards the ears. Tabby markings on forehead are usually present to some extent. Underside and legs and tail should be unmarked.

Coat is medium in length, a very soft and dense double coat. It is longer on ruff, britches and on the tail. It is a very bushy tail (part of the reason Somali cats have a nickname of "fox cat"). Coat is darker along topline and white is only found around mouth and chin. The coat doesn't finish maturing until about 18 months of age so ticking evaluation is compromised until then.

Eyes: Eyes are hazel, green or amber colored. Almond shaped eyes are large and slanting.

Points of Conformation: Medium-large sized cat, lithe and semi-foreign build, and the back is long. "Fox-like" is a frequent descriptor. Tail is thicker at the base and tapers slightly. Toe tufts are present and feet are compact and oval. The head is a rounded wedge shape, large ears are placed wide set and set well back, with interior furnishings and slightly rounded tips.

Grooming: Low grooming requirements; a gentle brushing every other day should suffice. Shedding occurs spring and fall and daily grooming is best at those times.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Somali Cat