Somali Cat - Complete Information, History, and Care

Portrait of a Somali cat lying down

Somali cats have luxurious curls and athletic bodies, making them lively and playful. Consider the Somali cat if you want a gregarious cat with a wild appearance and an inquisitive nature. Somalis are great performers due of their mischievous disposition. They work best with someone who spends the majority of their time at home; otherwise, they could get into mischief while you're gone.

Somalis are lovely cats with their long, velvety coats and strong frames. However, they may be naughty, so be sure you're ready before getting one as a pet. Continue reading to find out more about this unusual breed.

Breed Overview

Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

Length: 11 to 14 inches

Coat: Long

Coat Color: Smooth coat in red, ruddy, blue, fawn, and sorrel

Eye Color: Green or gold

Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years

Characteristics of Somali Cats

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly  Medium 
Pet-Friendly  Medium 
Exercise Needs  High 
Playfulness  High 
Energy Level  High 
Intelligence  High 
Tendency to Vocalize  Low 
Amount of Shedding Medium 
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History of the Somali Cat

Somali cats are long-haired Abyssinian cats with a mainly unknown background. Some experts believe that a recessive trait for long hair was introduced into the Abyssinian breed population in the early 1900s when purebred Abyssinians mixed with other cat breeds.

At 1965, the first Somali, then known as a "long-haired Abyssinian," was presented in Australian cat shows. Breeders began to create Somalis as a breed about this time. All major cat groups now recognize the Somali cat breed, which is distinctive and rather rare.

Somali Cat Care

Somali cats have smooth, velvety coats that require grooming on a regular basis. Brush your Somali's coat once or twice a week to maintain it tangle-free. Grooming Somali cats is typically a pleasurable experience for them, making your task much easier.

Consider cleaning your Somali's teeth at home on a regular basis if you have one. Because these cats are prone to periodontal disease, you should schedule regular veterinarian dental cleanings to avoid any issues.

Somali cats require more activity than other cat breeds since they are rambunctious, clever, and energetic. Play with them several times a day to let them release their pent-up energy (plus, it helps you two ).

You can even take your Somali cat on if you're feeling brave. Somalis enjoy being outside and spending time with their human companions, so this is a win-win situation. Somali cats are very easy to teach since they are bright and ready to exercise. They are known to play fetch and learn interesting skills like sit and stay on occasion. Just remember to keep the sessions upbeat and enjoyable.

Somalis are less likely to get into problems at home if they have frequent exercise and to tire out their minds and bodies. However, if you leave your Somali home alone without exercising them, you may return to find ripped tissues and a rubbish can thrown over.

Common Health Problems

All cats are prone to some genetic diseases. Most Somali cats are happy and healthy, but there are a few hereditary diseases they are prone to. 

Some Somalis, like some Abyssinian cats, may acquire a genetic health problem called pyruvate kinase deficiency, which can lead to anemia. If you're buying a Somali puppy from a breeder, make sure they test for this issue beforehand.

Progressive retinal atrophy is a disorder that Somalis are susceptible to. In cats, it causes gradual blindness. To find out if your kitten is vulnerable, ask your breeder if any of their cats have been impacted by this disease.

The Somali cat breed, like most other cat breeds, is susceptible to plaque and tartar accumulation, which can lead to periodontal disease. To avoid this, brush their teeth with a pet-specific toothpaste on a frequent basis. You should also schedule expert dental cleanings on a regular basis. Consult your veterinarian for particular advice.

Diet and Nutrition

Each cat breed has its own nutritional requirements. And cats have their own preferences—as every cat owner knows, they can be fussy eaters. Somalis, on the other hand, need high-quality cat food with sufficient of protein to stay in shape since they are so active and muscular. Avoid foods with needless fillers that have little nutritional value and stick to foods with high-quality components like fish and poultry.

Your best resource is your veterinarian. They will be able to let you know which foods will be best suited for your Somali cat.

Pros
  • Easy to train

  • Affectionate

  • Not chatty

Cons
  • Require regular grooming

  • Shy around strangers

  • Mischeivous

Where to Adopt or Buy a Somali Cat

If you're thinking about getting a Somali cat from a breeder, be sure they're trustworthy. Inquire about hereditary illnesses and ask for clean bills of health for their animals. If a breeder claims that their cats are disease-free, they are lying—all cats (and people, for that matter) are vulnerable to some sort of illness.

While there's no way to guarantee you won't end up with a sick kitten, you can greatly lower your chances by properly studying the breed and learning what to anticipate. Also, conduct your research before choosing a breeder to confirm that the company is respectable.

But breeders aren’t your only option—you can sometimes find Somalis at shelters as well. Most likely, Somalis in a shelter will be adults. Research rescues and shelters in your area to learn more.

Either way you go about it, you’re in for a treat when you adopt a Somali cat. Here’s where to look for your new furry friend:

  • Kahali Cattery
  • Petfinder
  • Front Range Abyssinians & Somalis
  • Somali Breed Council

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

If you’re interested in learning about other cat breeds like the Somali, check out breed profiles for these similar cats:

  •  
  • Siamese Cat Breed Profile

Otherwise, checkout all of our .

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