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Is the Somali right for you?

The basics:
Red like a fox and just as smart, the Somali is the Abyssinian’s longhaired brother. Both Abyssinians and Somalis can be born of the same litter. Keenly intelligent, endlessly playful, and impressively athletic, the Somali will keep you on your toes. This is not a couch potato cat to watch the world go by, but a curious, engaged, and adventurous feline. However, the Somali is not all fun and games: this affectionate, attentive, and interactive cat will make sure you never feel like you don’t have a friend.

Like the Abyssinian, the Somali’s name has nothing to do with where the breed comes from, but was probably chosen because the African nation of Somalia borders Abyssinia, today known as Ethiopia. The next natural question is why the Abyssinian is the Abyssinian: it was originally thought that the breed originated from that area, but recent evidence puts their origin closer to the Egyptian coast.

Appearance / health:
The Somali is a medium sized cat, muscular, but with long lines and a slim build. The torso is rounded and the back slightly arched which gives the impression that the Somali is about to pounce. The legs are long and strong with oval shaped feet. Their tail is full and bushy with very little taper, and sometimes described as fox-like. The Somali’s head is a rounded wedge with gentle contours. The muzzle is very moderate in size and length and the nose is gently curved from forehead to nose tip. Large ears sit alertly atop the head, moderately pointed and bearing long tufts of fur. The Somali’s eyes are large and almond-shaped, with a darkly outlined lid and a lighter circle in the fur around the eyes. Eye color ranges from gold to green.

Though double-coated, the Somali’s coat is extremely fine and soft to the touch. It’s a medium length with shorter fur over the shoulders. The Somali may also have a full neck ruff and fuzzy britches. The Somali’s rich coat is marked by ticking, with even bands of color alternating light and dark on the hair shafts. The Somali may have dark shading along the spine to the tip of the tail, dark shading on the legs, and tabby markings on the face. Somalis come in a wide variety of ticked coats, including ruddy, sorrel, blue, fawn, silver variations. They may also come in chocolate, lilac, red, cream, and various tortoiseshell variations, but these colors are not recognized by all breed registries. The most common Somali color is ruddy.

Like the Abyssinian, the Somali is prone to luxating patella, a knee condition, and to gingivitis.

Behavior / temperament:
The Somali is not the cat for the casual owner. Clever, curious, athletic, and active the Somali will leave no stone unturned, no cupboard unexplored, and no drawers un-rummaged. They seem to be constantly in motion: jumping, climbing, leaping, running. Fortunately, the Somali is light-footed and graceful, so destruction will probably be kept to a minimum.

The world is Somali’s playground! Bottle caps, twisty ties, and wads of paper can become favored playthings in an instant. Puzzle toys are usually a good investment. Many enjoy learning tricks, and can even excel at feline agility courses. At the core of it all is the Somali’s intense interest in your life, and spending time with you. For all that they are energetic and even rambunctious, these cats are deeply affectionate and crave personal interaction.

If your Somali must be left home for long periods of the day, it’s best for them to have a feline companion for company. Other Somalis, or their shorthaired brother the Abyssinian, are ideal matches, though the Somali will adore any playmate, including cat friendly dogs. The Somali does well in homes with children, adapting easily to hustle and bustle, and enjoying the extra time children will play with him.


energetic, inquisitive cats, foxy tail, friendly nature, playful cat, active cat


wild look, real litttle predators, great attention seekers

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