Cat Breeds

Somali Cat Advantages and Challenges


  • Somali cats are adaptable to other pets and gentle older kids
  • Somali cats are usually very active and playful
  • Somali cats are highly intelligent and very social
  • Most Somali cats are very affectionate and loyal
  • Somali cats are exotically beautiful
  • Some Somali cats require little grooming


  • Somali cats tend to get underfoot – not a good choice for frail or elderly pet lovers
  • Somali cats are alert and curious – prone to finding trouble!
  • Most Somali cats are very independent-minded
  • Somali cats are people-oriented and should not be left alone for long periods

Somali Cat Physical Characteristics


  • Medium/large


  • Semi longhair


  • Several, including ruddy, red, blue, silver, orange, tortie and fawn
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Somali Cat Personality

Described as an 'Abyssinian in an overcoat', the Somali cat has been compared to a sweet-faced wild fox with its long ears, full ruff and luxuriously fluffytail.

An active and playful breed, the Somali cat needs room to run around, lots of loving attention and plenty of stimulating toys. The Somali cat is notoriously curious and clever, which often gets this little one into trouble. Adept at opening cupboards and drawers, the Somali cat can sometimes also work the faucets, as it dearly loves to play with water.With bursts of energy several times a day, this kitty will tear through the house, tossing its toys around and leaping high into the air.

Loving and affectionate, the Somali cat thrives on human companionship. An extremely loyal and people-oriented cat, this little one wants to be a big part of your life. If your schedule keeps you away from home for more than a few hours each day, then your pet would enjoy having a pet of its own – another active cat will be fine company for your Somali cat, and they can entertain each other while you’re away.

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Somali Cat History and General Information

History and Origin

The long-haired cousin to the Abyssinian, this cat resembles the Aby in temperament if not in looks. The Somali’s long, silky coat was at one time considered an undesirable and accidental Abyssinian trait by breeders, who took care to work only with shorthaired Aby kittens. In the 1960's, however, a few breeders saw the beauty of these longer-haired “mistakes” and soon the Somali cat breed - named after the country nextdoor to Abbysinia was born. By the late 1970s, the Somali was accepted by all North American cat associations for championship status.

Grooming requirements

Despite the luxurious look of the Somali’s coat, it’s surprisingly easy to care for. Resistant to matting, the thick coat only requires a combing or brushing once a week or so. Well known for its “hairdressing gene”, your Somali cat will likely want to “groom” your hair for you in return!

The Somali cat breed sheds twice yearly, during which time more frequent grooming is a good idea to keep loose hair under control and off the carpet.

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Somali Cat Health

Health Ailments

Overall, the Somali cat is a remarkably hardy cat, with few associated health problems.

However, a few lines of Somali may be prone to a type of anemia called auto immune hemolytic anemia (AIHA). If you have a Somali with anemia or anemia-like symptoms, request a PCV blood test from your vet. Symptoms of AIHA can be mistaken for a fairly common cat disorder, feline infectious anemia (FIA) which is treated with antibiotics that aren’t effective for AIHA.

Somali cats, like many other cats, can be prone to gingivitis. Yearly dental checks by a licensed veterinarian are a good idea.

As with any breed, selecting a qualified breeder or buying from a reputable pet store will help ensure that your Somali will be free of any hereditary purebred ailments. Maintaining your cat’s proper weight and grooming requirements will also help insure its good health, along with regular checkups at the vet.

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Somali Cat Community

Your Somali Cat

Send us pictures and stories about your Somali Cat.

Somali Cat Discussion Group

Get tips from other Somali Cat lovers – and submit a few ideas of your own.

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