Somali Cat

The Somali cat is a very elegant, semi-longhair cat.

Origin and Breed History

It emerged from the Abyssinian cat, which differs from the Somali only in its short fur. Their names, be it Abyssinian or Somali, suggest a north-east African origin. But there is no evidence for this. Rather, both originally – like every normal house cat – descend from the falcon. Initially, the Abyssinian cat was bred as a pedigree cat in England. It was bred to look like a desert cat as early as the 19th century, probably with the crossbreeding of Siamese cats. As early as 1954, the zoology professor and cat connoisseur Friedrich Schwangart identified the Abyssinian cats as “not exotic from Africa, but an English breeding product that in some respects resembles the wildcats there.”

One cannot deny the Abyssinian or Somali that they are of impressive elegance and beauty. So you bring everything with you for a pleasant feline companion. Because they also wanted a variant with longer hair, the so-called Somali cat emerged from the Abyssinian and shares the same standard with her to this day. 1970 began in the USA to breed this cat with the longer fur in a targeted manner. Unfortunately, it is not documented which cats were crossed into the Abyssinians for this purpose. The Somali cat was recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline in 1981. Despite its very attractive appearance, it has remained quite rare in Germany.


The Somali cat is a small to medium-sized cat with half-length hair. She has a lithe, lean but muscular build. According to the standard, she should have a well-developed breast. Male cats weigh 4 to 5 kilograms, cats 3 to 4 kilograms. The fur is short, fine, and closed. It should be springy when you touch it. It has a special gene variant which, as a result, gives the fur a silky feel. The breeders call this ticking. With a ticked coat, each individual hair has several bands. The fur as a whole shows no markings except for an iridescent, silky structure. All wild colors as well as blue, sorrel, beige-fawn, in each case also with silver variants, count as recognized colors. The Somali has noticeably large ears. Her head is wedge-shaped and the eyes are large.

Temperament and Essence

In appearance, the Somali is a diva. In terms of her nature, she is active, powerful, and persistent, almost a track and field athlete. Among the cats, she is the opposite of a couch potato. Sure, she also regularly takes her sleeping units and likes to cuddle with mum and dad, but she prefers to be sporty. It is not a cat for professionals who are out all day or people who want to share their peace and quiet with a cat. On the other hand, a Somali cat is happy when it can play with children or dogs. She is a lot of joy when you enjoy sharing her life-affirming, lively explorations and climbs. She is not a lap cat, but she can be cuddly and affectionate.


The Somali cat needs suitable toys and, above all, lots of climbing opportunities. When the weather is good, she likes to stroll through the garden. But it can also be kept in the apartment if it has enough climbing opportunities, toys, and, above all, play partners. Their attitude as a group is recommended. Somalis are sociable and get along well with other animal housemates – provided both sides have the chance to get used to each other.


The Somali cat is intelligent, affectionate, and easy to train. If it comes from a reputable breeder who has looked after and socialized parent animals and kittens well, then it will fit into the rules and habits of its family by itself. With a little guidance, she can be house-trained quickly and easily.

Care and Health

The Somali cat is easy to care for. The coat of the Somali cat only needs to be brushed here and there.

Diseases Typical of the Breed

A number of hereditary diseases typical of pedigree cats can also be common in Somali or Abyssinian cats. They can also suffer from hereditary pyruvate kinase deficiency (PK), a metabolic disease. Treatment is not possible. Another metabolic disorder, renal amyloidosis (RA), is also common, as is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), an eye disease that can lead to blindness.

Nutrition / Feed

The Somali cat is usually a problem-free border for a cat.

Life Expectancy

A Somali cat bred healthily and without excessive inbreeding, can live to be 12 to 15 years old.

Buy Somali Cat

If you want to get a Somali cat, you should make sure at the breeder that the parents and kittens grow up in good circumstances, especially with a close social connection to the human family. You should look at the family tree. No ancestor should appear twice here in order to rule out excessive inbreeding. Both parents should absolutely test negative for the hereditary diseases common in Somalis. Reputable breeders indicate this on their own in their advertisements. Of course, the kittens should be vaccinated, dewormed, and chipped several times. Somali cats kittens from a reputable breed should cost around 800 euros.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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