If you like the Abyssinian's confident demeanor and muscular body but prefer the splendor of a longhaired cat, check out the Somali. This is a vibrant, gorgeous, and intellectual feline who enjoys being in the company of both humans and animals. He climbs higher, jumps further, and plays more aggressively than Abyssinians, and nothing escapes the notice of this perceptive and curious feline.
- Male: 6-10 lbs
- Female: 6-10 lbs
- Male: 7-11 inches
- Female: 7-11 inches
- 11-16 Years
The Somali appears to be modest in appearance, with smooth planes on his head. His triangular head has a little dip in it. His enormous ears are inclined forward, giving him an alert, aware appearance as if he is always paying attention. The alertness and intellect inherent in the breed are reflected in the eyes, which appear huge on the face.
The Somali's coat is thick, with large tufts of hair in the ears. The fur is silky but not woolly, and the tail is fluffy like a fox's. The Somali has a unique color. Each hair contains bands of color over the majority of the fur, with the coat seeming darker along the spine line. Under the neck, the underside of the cat, and the insides of the legs, the color softens and lightens. He has a rugged appearance, but it is not excessive, but for the color of her fur, which has bands of color that give him a richness and depth not seen in other breeds.
Somali cats are medium-sized cats, weighing 6–10 pounds on average, with wide almond eyes, large pointed ears, and striking facial markings, distinguishing features of the breed.
If you want a nice, docile lap cat or a living sculpture that requires minimal interaction, don't get a Somali. Like his Abyssinian sibling, the Somali is interested, active, athletic, and enjoys playing. He spends his days climbing to new heights, exploring every nook and cranny of your house, supervising everything you do, and bird-watching from a window or an outdoor enclosure, and he's always on the go.
Give your intelligent Somali puzzle toys that need him to think and move to release treats or kibble; teach him tricks with a clicker, and train him to run an agility course to keep him active and out of mischief! For his enjoyment, install a bird feeder in your window, or teach him to walk on a leash and take him for a walk.
This cat thrives in the company of someone of any age who spends a lot of time at home and enjoys engaging with him, such as an older child who will train and play with him. The Somali prefers to be the center of attention and would love to be the only cat in the house so that he may get your undivided attention.
The Somali is a vertically oriented cat. If you don't offer him some ceiling-height cat condos, he'll climb to the highest point in the room, whether it's a bookshelf, door top, or refrigerator.
They are not cats you want to leave alone for lengthy periods due to their extremely gregarious nature. When left alone at home with no playmates, the Somali is prone to tear the place up, searching for something to occupy its thoughts.
It may appear that the Somali never sleeps at times. He's always on the move, climbing up in the window to watch birds or squirrels, hopping on top of the refrigerator to keep an eye on supper preparations, perching on your desk to watch your fingers travel across the keyboard, and then swiping them away so you can concentrate on him instead. This bouncy, persistent cat likes being the center of attention and will go to great lengths to attain and retain it.
Give him puzzle toys that require him to think and move to release treats or kibble, teach him tricks with a clicker, and train him to run an agility course to keep your clever Somali active and out of mischief! — For his enjoyment, install a bird feeder in your window, or teach him to walk on a leash and take him for a walk.
The Somali has a strong affinity for heights. He prefers to be as high up as possible, so one or more ceiling-height cat trees will be ideal. If such isn't available, he's fully capable of climbing to the highest point in any room. He is fortunate because he is naturally graceful and only breaks things out of curiosity.
Somalis are adaptable throughout their lives and may thrive in any environment when they are loved and cared for. In a home where everyone is at work or school throughout the day, the Somali needs a friend, preferably another Somali or Aby, who can equal his activity level. If left to his ways, the Somali could easily deconstruct the house in his search for anything to do.
Somali cats have silky, velvety coats that need to be brushed regularly. 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 job much easier.
Consider brushing your Somali's teeth at home regularly if you have one. Because these cats are prone to periodontal disease, you should arrange veterinary dental cleanings regularly to avoid any complications.
Somali cats are rambunctious, intelligent, and active, and they require a lot of exercises compared to other cat breeds. Play with them several times a day to let them release their pent-up energy (plus, it helps you two bond).
You can even take your Somali cat for leashed walks if you feel 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 train because they are bright and ready to exercise. They are known to play fetch and learn interesting tasks such as sitting and staying on occasion. Just remember to keep the sessions upbeat and enjoyable.
Somalis are less likely to get into trouble at home if they have regular exercise and training sessions to tire their minds and bodies. However, if you leave your Somali home alone without exercising them, you may return to find ripped tissues, and a pile of rubbish can be dumped over.
While these medical issues are not widespread in the breed, they are known to exist. None of the conditions listed here are guaranteed to arise in your Somali cat. Purchasing your pet from a reliable breeder will help to mitigate these issues, such as:
Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a condition caused by a lack of functional red blood cells, leading to a lack of oxygen reaching bodily tissues, leading to mortality. Fatigue, jaundice (yellow skin and gums), an enlarged spleen, heavy panting, fever, convulsions, and red-colored urine are some of the symptoms. A genetic test for this recessive condition in Somali and Abyssinian cats is now available.
The Somali cat's dental problems can be caused by congenital issues exacerbated by inbreeding, resulting in the extraction of adult teeth due to dental abscesses beneath the gum line. Cats have been known to cease eating if not treated, leading to a life-threatening illness known as hepatic lipidosis. In the last decade, Somali breeders have concentrated effort on breeding out hereditary abnormalities that cause tooth difficulties.
The Somali is essentially an Abyssinian with long hair. The Abyssinian was bred in Great Britain from a cat brought back from Abyssinia by Lord Robert Napier during a military expedition. The cat brought to Britain by Lord Napier was named Zulu, and he was the forerunner of the exquisite Abyssinian breed and the Somali breed.
The Abyssinian's coat has a peculiar ticking pattern that reminded people of the camouflage pattern on the coat of a wild rabbit. Zulu was bred to random-bred cats with a similar coat pattern to perpetuate this, and the Abyssinian breed was born.
Some of the Abyssinian litters appeared to have longhaired kittens. Because long hair is not a desired characteristic in Abyssinians, longhaired kittens are changed and kept as pets. Many breeders, however, like the long hair on Abyssinian cats, and in the late 1960s, they developed a longhaired version of the Abyssinian, which they named the Somali.
Evelyn Mague, a cat fancier from New Jersey, was the American who created the new breed. While longhaired Abyssinians had been ostracized in the cat world for a long time, Evelyn saw the breed's promise. So she advertised for additional longhaired Abyssinians in Canada, Europe, and Australia and discovered she wasn't the only one with one of these longhaired beauties. Her next move was to enlist the help of other cats to expand the gene pool, and thus the Somali breed was born.
The gorgeous ticked coat may be seen on Somali and the Abyssinian. The Somali soon gained popularity because of her distinct appearance, wonderful demeanor, and ease of maintenance.
The Somali is an energetic and social dog that is ideal for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He can fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks quickly, and likes the attention he receives from children who respect him. Nothing frightens him, especially dogs, and he'll happily make friends with them if they don't upset him.
Somalis do not like to be left alone for long periods, so if you have a demanding job or a hectic schedule, you might consider adopting another cat, possibly a Somali.
A Somali is not the cat for you if you want a cat that will sit with you all day or snooze and entertain itself. These cats are vivacious, playful, and amusing. They prefer to be on the go, looking around the house and seeing what's happening.