Somali cats are the long haired Abyssinian breed. The breed was brought to the forefront in the 1950s, as a result of few of the breeding programs between the bottle brush tails and long fluffy coat Abyssinians.
The Abyssinian and Somali cats share the same personality, and they both are active, curious, playful and intelligent. The only difference between Somali and Abyssinian cats is that the Somalis shed very little excess hair.
Interesting Physical Characteristics
Somali catshave a striking bushy tail which is combined with its ruddy coat, to earn them the name of fox cats in some groups. In addition to their fluffy tail, Somali cats have a dark stripe which runs down the back and ears of these kittens giving them a ‘fox look’. This explains why, they are also known as the fox cats in some circles.
Somali cats have a characteristic body coat: it is ticked with a variation of tabby markings, and some Somali cats also have full tabby stripes on their bodies and like Abyssinian cats, Somali cats have a dark rim around their eyes, which makes them look as if they are wearing kohl. On their bodies, they also have small amount of white on their muzzles and chins.
The average life expectancy of a Somali cats was recorded up to 20 years, but Kathy Black was a Somali cat that crossed 30 years recently and is still going strong. So till yet, the life expectancy of a Somali cat has not been confirmed.
Specific Color Patterns
The essence of a Somali cats’ coat is considered to be the ticking and each hair is tickled into multiples of any two specific colors. For example, the usual or ruddy Somali cat is golden brown ticked with a black pattern. In total, there are 28 known patterns of Somali cats like this. Additionally, all organizations welcome and respect the usual/ruddy, sorrel/red and blue/fawn color patterns the most. There are many other color patterns also accepted of Somali cats such as chocolate, lilac, cream, red, sorrel tortie, blue tortie, chocolate tortie, lilac tortie.
Somali cats have beautiful eyes and they may range in the color shades of gold or green and it is said that the more depth and richness present in the eyes, the better.
Genetic Problems in Somali Cats
It was noted in 1990s that many purebred Somali cats had significant dental problems, noted as a result of the congenital problems that they were facing. It led to many Somali kittens having their teeth removed once they became adults. If they were not removed, dental abscesses formed below the gum-line which acted as a barrier for the cat to eat and hence, these cats started to develop hepatic lipidosis which is a life threatening condition. However, moderate control was taken over this problem, and now with careful monitoring being done on Somali cats, much progress has been made in rooting out this unfortunate congenital trait present within them.
Cristian GonzalezHowdy! I created this website to learn all about the amazing creatures that are the animals. I have two cats called Santiago and Valentina.