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Somali Cat

Somali Cat photo

Ruddy Somali kitten age two and half months
Photograph by Julia Shepeleva. Some rights reserved.

The Somali is a longhaired domestic cat breed, resembling a fox in appearance. Somalis are well proportioned, medium sized cats with strong, muscular bodies. They have long, fine legs and small oval paws. They have medium sized, wedged shaped heads. Their ears are relatively large, set widely apart and rounded at the tips. Somalis have large, expressive almond shaped eyes which can be either amber, green or yellow. The most prominent characteristic is the tail. This is fairly long and broad at its base and very well furnished. The coat is in general fine, soft to the touch and very dense. The tail area is especially bushy.




The coat is ticked; each hair is ticked multiple times in two or three colors. The development of the ticking is slow and can take up to two years after a kitten is born for the coat to become fully ticked. The most common coat colors are ruddy, red, blue and fawn.


Somalis are extroverted, social cats that love human companionship. They like to give affection and their favorite place is their owner's lap. Somalis are very curious and like being involved in all the goings-on of the household. They are also very intelligent, learn quickly and have good memory. Somalis are quiet cats and when they do talk, they usually chirp instead of meow.

Suitable for

A Somali needs to have a close relationship with its owner to be happy, so it would best suit a person that can spend a considerable amount of time with it. Somalis get along with children and other pets, so they would do well in a family.


The cat sheds twice a year so they do not require frequent grooming. Since they are very playful, their owners need to provide them with a lot of toys. They also enjoy playing with others, so a playmate in the form of another cat would make your Somali extremely happy. Somalis usually have dental problems and several health issues that the Abyssinian, their parent breed, has. It is advisable to pay the vet regular visits so as to prevent a potential health problem.


Despite its name, the breed did not originate in Somalia. According to Wikipedia, the cat is an Australian breed initially. The breed was developed when longhaired Abyssinians began appearing naturally within an Abyssinian breeding program, in the 1950's. In the 60's, breeders started breeding Somalis deliberately. In the late 1970's the breed was accepted for championship status in major North American Associations. In the early 1980's the breed made its appearance in Europe.

More Somali Cat Pictures
Somali Cat photo

Young somali cat
Photograph by ErikaS. License: Public Domain.