somali catThe Somali is best described as a long haired version of the Abyssinian and its colouring and beautiful bushy tail give it a fox-like appearance.

History and origin

The Somali first made its American appearance in the 1950s when longhaired kittens began appearing in Abyssinian litters. The gene governing long hair is recessive, which means one copy of the gene must be inherited from each parent for a kitten to have long hair. The gene can be passed on for generations without appearing, so no one knows exactly when or where the gene originated.


It is a medium sized cat, graceful and well-muscled, with eyes that are big and almond-shaped and full of expression.

The coat is not as long as in the Persian, and its silky texture means it is less likely to mat, but it still must be groomed regularly.


Each hair has many band of black of chocolate brown ticking. The four basic coat colours are tawny, cinnamon (sorrel), blue and beige-fawn, plus these four colours in the silver range. It takes along time for the beautiful richly coloured coat to develop fully; kittens are born very dark and only achieve a fully ticked, ruddy brown or reddish colouring at about 18 months old.


The Somali’s nature is vigorous, athletic and playful and curious. They are even-tempered and easy to handle and ideal for gentle children. They are very quiet cats with a soft voice which they don’t use a great deal.

For those who want a ‘party animal’ who enjoys people and games the Somali is an ideal choice.


The Somali’s soft, silky fur requires combing about twice a week. Attention should be paid to the longer fur on hindquarters and neck since mats can occur in those areas. Fortunately, most Somalis enjoy being groomed.