The Somali cat is a lively and intelligent feline with a luxurious coat and a sleek body that gives it the nickname “fox cat.” This is due to its reddish hue and its large, fluffy tail. Known for their playful curiosity, Somalis enjoy interacting with humans but can easily get bored if not stimulated. They make wonderful pets for households with other animals or for those who are frequently at home. Although they are very affectionate, Somalis are not typically fond of being held and are not considered to be cuddly cats. When left alone, they can become mischievous and cause mischief around the house. As a medium-sized breed, they can weigh up to 12 pounds and grow up to 26 inches in length. Their medium-long fur comes in a variety of colors, including red, ruddy, blue, fawn, and sorrel, with ticked patterns and striking green or gold eyes. Due to their high energy levels, Somalis require plenty of exercise and playtime to maintain their happiness and well-being. Additionally, they are highly intelligent and tend to vocalize only when necessary. While they do shed moderately, they are not hypoallergenic. Originating from Australia, Somalis have a lifespan of up to 14 years.
The history of the Somali cat breed is shrouded in uncertainty and intrigue. Some experts speculate that in the early 1900s, long-haired cats of unknown origin were crossbred with the Abyssinian cat breed, introducing a recessive gene. However, there is no solid proof to confirm this theory. The first Somali cat, initially known as a “long-haired Abyssinian,” appeared in Australian cat shows in 1965. Since then, breeders have dedicated their efforts to develop the Somali as a unique breed, gaining recognition from all major cat associations. When it comes to grooming, Somali cats possess soft, silky coats that require regular brushing once or twice a week to prevent tangles. Fortunately, Somali cats typically relish the grooming process, making it a more enjoyable task for their owners.
Brushing their teeth on a regular basis is crucial for these felines since they are susceptible to periodontal disease. It is also advisable to schedule periodic dental cleanings for them to prevent any potential issues with their gums or teeth.