A Somali cat is a long-haired version of Abyssinian cat, one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. But it does not have an interesting or long history itself. Even though it is named after an African country, first Somali cats were born in the United States and America has also played an important role in their recognition.
However, their occurrence was a coincidence, as a matter of fact. Abyssinian cat keepers were sometimes negatively surprised when one or more semi-longhaired kittens were in a litter. They were taken out and gifted to someone in the beginnings, but there has been an increasing interest in them later on and keepers decided to start breeding the Abyssinian cats with semi-long hair to create a new variety. In the end of 1960s’, the breed was acknowledged by many breeders’ associations.
Therefore, it will probably be no surprise that the character of Somali cats is not very different from that of Abyssinian cats. The most significant character trait of both breeds is their great need of attention and contact with people. They really suffer by being alone and they will even appreciate a company of another cat or even a dog in distress, even though this is not their preferred choice. But be careful about getting another pet, some Somali cats might get jealous.
Although they are calm animals, they are very extrovert and remind you of their presence quite well, even though they can’t be compared to Siamese cats in this regard. You’ll have a lot of fun with kittens. They are very active and playful and keen to take the initiative. But be prepared that they like to climb things. Get them enough scratchers and cat furniture before they destroy yours. They are enormously intelligent, smart and curious cats. They subject everything new to an inspection, starting from a shopping bag and ending at guests. They are little nosey-parkers and you can hide nothing from them.
Although Somali cats need a lot of attention, their fur does not. You can keep it in a good shape with minimum care. The fur has a smooth texture; therefore, it does not tend to get tangled a lot. Its original colour is ruddy, but new attractive colours gradually occurred. All of them have remarkable ticking – the basic fur colour alternates with two or three darker stripes on individual hairs as it does for example in a wild rabbit. The interesting fact is that Somali kittens are born with dark fur and it gets lighter as they get older. They can grow up to their final colour and ticking even until they are two years old.
Have you got good experience with this breed? Even though I generally tend to like mavericks more, these little soft dependent cats have enchanted me. For lonely souls, they can be good companions that will make you busy.