The Somali cat is a relative of the Abyssinian and shares that breed’s attractive features – the main difference being the Somali cat is a semi-long-haired breed.
Somali Cat History
Somali cats emerged from Abyssinian breeding programs in the 1950s and have only recently been recognised as a separate breed. There are already a good number of breeders in Australia as they quickly became known as a wonderful breed of cat to have as a pet.
They have a distinctive marking on their forehead but the rest of the coat is of only one colour. Some cats may have some tabby-like markings but these are seen as imperfections for show animals.
Somali cats are striking due to the construction of their coat. Each hair has bands of contrasting colours making it look like that of its wild larger cousins. Somalis have a distinctive bushy tail like that of a fox and come in a variety of colours. However in Australia the most common colours are blue, fawn, cinnamon and tawny.
Somalis are intelligent cats, they love company and are playful and curious. Perhaps the most endearing quality of the Somali cat is their affectionate nature, which makes them the perfect companion. They love being involved in human activities and will follow you around the house and “help” with the housework. Their friendly nature means they get on with other pets easily. They are extremely curious and unlike other cats, have a fascination with water. Many have been known to keep themselves amused an extended time “patting” water that comes out of a tap. Certainly there will be unconcerned about getting a little wet in order to retrieve fish from a fish tank to let you do have fish ensure is always kept in place or otherwise you might find a self making some unwilling savings on your cat food bill.
Somalis can be taught to walk on a leash and may even rival your dog at their ability and enjoyment of playing fetch. They like to keep busy but they have very poor road sense so it is advisable to keep your cat indoors. Their social nature means they don’t like being left alone for long periods of time. If you do work long hours it will be worth considering having two cats so they can offer each other companionship when you are not around.
Care and Grooming
Despite having reasonably long hair Somalis don’t need excessive grooming, an enjoyable brush once a week will be sufficient. Somali cats love to keep their coat in good condition and are unusual amongst cat breeds as they will happily extend the favour to their human friends. Somalis will happily help groom your hair as a sign of their affection and need to keep your fur looking as good as theirs.
Somali have a big personality and they certainly know how to command the center of attention. They can be quite vocal and enjoy having a “conversation” with the humans on their staff. Another endearing feature of this breed is their “smile”. The Somali cat’s mouth turns up at the edges giving the impression it views the world with a gentle humour. Indeed it will give its owners an enormous amount of joy with its affection and playful nature.
Somali cats are still quite difficult to obtain in Australia however there are a number of well-regarded breeders you can contact to secure one of these uniquely delightful cats.