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Sokoke

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Is the Sokoke right for you?

The basics:
The rare Sokoke is a cat that hails from the forests of Kenya, although more recently from Denmark. The breed developed naturally in Africa, and though some have suggested that the Sokoke is a wild hybrid, DNA evidence has since proven otherwise. This attentive, energetic, and social cat made its way to Europe with breeders who feared for the breeds continued survival in its native country, where it was largely feral. With a unique, swirling tabby coat and an exuberant personality, the Sokoke has now made its way across Europe and the United States, though it still remains relatively unknown.

Appearance / health:
The Sokoke is moderately sized cat, muscular but long and lean, not stocky. They have long legs, with the hind legs slightly longer than the front, with a straighter stifle so that the Sokoke has something of a slinking, tip-toeing gate. The tail is long, thin, and tapering. The head is somewhat small in comparison to the body, and the ears appear larger and taller as a result. They’re broad at the base with round tips, and may be tufted. From forehead to brow is almost flat, and the nose is long with only a very slight curvature. The cheekbones are high and angular, and the chin is strong and well-defined. The Sokoke’s almond shaped eyes vary in shade from amber to light green, and are darkly outlined.

The Sokoke’s unusual coat is its most distinguishing feature. Extremely short and sleek, it has no undercoat. They have a “blotched” tabby coat, though with a pattern distinctly different than the usual large-spotted tabbies. The Sokoke’s stripes, often described as “African tabby”, are large and swirling, somewhat resembling the patterns seen in some exotic wood grains. The colors are shades of brown from chestnut to nearly black, with dark ticking, similar to that of the Bengal or Ocicat.

Because the Sokoke is a natural breed that developed in relative isolation in Africa, they are somewhat more susceptible to common feline illness, like respiratory infections. They also do not do well in extremely cold temperatures.

Behavior / temperament:
The Sokoke is an active and athletic cat, somewhat independent but loyal. They are very attentive to their owner’s needs, but not clingy. They’re social and enjoy companionship, especially time spent playing, but if you’re looking for a lap cat, the Sokoke might disappoint you. Don’t think that they’re indifferent – they’ve just got too much energy to sit still for very long. You can rely on them to greet you at the door, and this somewhat chatty feline will happily discuss your day with you. The Sokoke actually bonds quite closely to the people in their lives, as well as other animals, and may need some extra time to adjust in re-homing situations.

The Sokoke will do best in homes where they can get a lot of interaction. Older children may be favorite playmates of the Sokoke, as they are well-matched in energy level. Both playful and intelligent, the Sokoke may enjoy learning tricks, walking on a leash, or even running feline agility.

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