The Somali cat, which is a medium to large size breed, has a solid muscle structure and is a very agile, curious and high activity level cat species. Somali cats are in the category of cats that are easy to train with their loyalty to their owners and high intelligence levels. Somali cats, which are a balanced and healthy breed, are also known in our country. They have a striking appearance with their long hair, large eyes and open ears. Somali cats, which are suitable for home life, are an ideal breed for those who will adopt a cat for the first time.
Personality & Character Traits of Somali Cat
If you want a cat that will sleep sluggishly in the house all day, then Somali cats will not be a suitable breed for you. Having all the personality traits of their ancestors, the Abyssinian cats add elegance and enthusiasm to any home with their stunningly beautiful semi-long fur.
Somali cats are also vigorous and extremely agile, just like their ancestors Abyssinians. They have a keen sense of humor and are highly active cats. They enjoy spending quality time with their owners and playing games. However, they do not stay away from playing games on their own, and they always keep themselves busy and maintain their body condition. This protects them from the problem of obesity due to excess weight and joint disorders that may occur in later ages. For them, maybe if they have more than food, everything is their game that they can’t give up. They love catch-and-fetch games. Also, many chase after a ball or plush toys containing catnip around the house, repeating it over and over again with endless energy. If their toy rolls under a household item (such as a sofa) that they cannot retrieve, they will come and give their owners a glance with their big eyes or poke their paws to indicate where their toys are. Somalis are such smart cats.
Thanks to their high intelligence level, they can develop their own tactics in their games. When these two prominent personality traits are combined with their love for their owners, a trainable cat breed emerges. Although Somalis get close to other members of the household, they are most attached to their owners and are most willing to spend time with them. This closeness is not enough to disturb its owners. They do not follow their owners every second, climb on their shoulders or become tethered to their feet.
Somali cats are curious. It is even said that they have similarities with foxes. In fact, their appearance resembles a fox. So much so that they can be more cunning than a fox. Because the tactics they develop in their games sometimes surprise even their owners. These mobile structures of theirs usually appear at certain times of the day. For example, when you wake up at four in the morning to the sound of a household item falling on the floor, your little friend woke up before you and is probably about to be at full energy. We mentioned that they are extremely intelligent. These personality traits add endlessly to their abilities in their activities. They are extremely active, inquisitive and high-spirited, with all of the above-mentioned active structure. They like to jump around the house, open closets and often get in trouble. We recommend that those who will adopt a Somali cat do not keep vases, frame-like items that can fall and break, especially in high places.
Their intelligence not only makes them superior in their games, but also puts them one step ahead of many other cats in their daily lives. They are determined cats. Once an idea is swirling in their little head, there is nothing to deter them from it. They definitely want to fulfill this idea that is swirling in their heads. Don’t worry… They’re not belligerent, just a little stubborn.
They are extremely people-oriented and truly affectionate breeds of cats. However, they are not lap cats either. They don’t like to be picked up and picked up, and in such a case they will fidget until you let them go. But while their owners are relaxing on the sofa, they do not neglect to be close to them. However, they want to be included in every aspect of their lives in a way that will not disturb their owners.
As elegant and playful as the Abyssinians, Somali cats are one of the best domestic cat breeds you can choose. Living with people-oriented and loving Somalis is almost like therapy and every day is fun with them.
Somali Cat History
There is no exact information about when and where the Somali cats first appeared. Some cat breeders think that these sweet-looking cats with long hair arose spontaneously in Abyssinia as a result of a natural mutation. However, some genetic studies indicate that Somali cats were mated with longhair cats in the Abyssinian breeder program in the UK, resulting in a new breed.
I and II in the late 1910s and 1940s. In the immediate aftermath of the World Wars, many cat breeds unfortunately came to the point of extinction. The Somali race also had its share. As with many other breeds, breeders had to breed them with Abyssinians for the continuation of the Somali breed. In fact, the first long-haired Abyssinian Raby Chuffa, who came to America from England in 1953 and is included in the pedigrees of many Abyssinians, is considered the ancestor of the Somali race in the North American continent.
Raby Chuffa is descended from a British Abyssinian cat named longhaired Mrs. It is thought to extend as far as Mews. To cat breeder Janet Roberson. Delivered by a sailor during World War II, Mrs. Mews gave birth to two kittens after mating, but they were not accepted by anyone because they were both defective Abyssinians. When the calendars showed in the 1960s, these two cats, which started to gain great popularity in America, became the leading roles in the studies to be raised from America to Europe, from Canada to Australia with their long hair, big eyes and temperament.
In 1972, the “Somali Cat Club of America” was established in the United States, and Somali cat enthusiasts began to come together. In 1975, the International Somali Cat Club affiliated with the American Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) was established, and in 1979, the Somali breed cat gained the championship status in the CFA and established itself all over the world.
Physical Qualities of Somali Cat
Somali cats have a medium-length body structure. Their lithe and graceful bodies give the impression of having well-developed musculature. The thorax is slightly rounded. The back is curved and gives the appearance of a stretched cat. It has a small and round head and relatively large and light colored eyes. Their ears are wide at the base and always open. Its tail has slightly more feathers than its body. In this way, they resemble foxes. Their silky soft fur, on the other hand, has extremely eye-catching colors.
The head structure of Somali cats has a slightly smaller size compared to the medium-length body structure. The slightly rounded head has a soft appearance. A slight elevation appears from the bridge of the nose to the forehead. Wide between the ears, creates a slightly pointed impression when viewed from the profile. Their jaws are full, not rounded either from below or from above. Their faces are slightly pointed, with a sharp look and upright ears, in an alert appearance.
Ears wide at the base tapering slightly towards the tips. The insides of the ears have horizontal tufts of hair that reach almost to the outside of the ear. The ears are open and always erect. This gives them an alert and lively appearance.
Their large almond-shaped eyes are extremely bright and expressive. The eyes are immediately visible on the small head. The eyes are surrounded by dark eyelid skin. The width between the two eyes is the size of an eye. Eye colors are usually golden or green. The richer and deeper the eye color in Somali cats, the better.
Legs and Feet
The legs and paws of Somali cats are proportional to their bodies. Paws are oval and compact. When standing, they give the impression of being agile and fast. The front paws have five toes and the hind paws have four toes.
The tail structures, which are thick at the base, end with a slight tapering towards the tips. Their tails, which have a balanced length with their favorites, are slightly more hairy. This makes them just like a fox.
Somali cats have a medium-length coat. With their soft and extremely fine coat, the denser the fur of Somali cats, the better. Except for the shoulders, the entire body is of medium length, and the tail has a slightly longer feather structure.
The fur colors of this breed consist of red-orange, dark and light brown, cinnamon and fawn-like tones. Its warm and bright colors have a harmonious contrast with the tail and head. A dark shading is seen from the tail end to the spine. Knees and tails are darker. Dark lines extending from the eyes and eyebrows continue to the forehead. The chin and jowl tend to be more open.
Somali Cat Care
Care and Nutrition
Because Somali cats belong to an active cat class, they need to be fed a quality diet suitable for their lifestyle. Cats are carnivores, as you know, and therefore need foods containing high-quality animal protein. You can buy both dry and wet foods containing said animal protein and feed them two meals a day to support their high energy. More meals or repetitive treats can push them to gain excess weight and thus become obese. After feeding, exercises should not be neglected.
Somali Cat Training
Being a great pet for families with their active, playful and extremely affectionate temperaments, Somali cats always feel good in a home with plenty of activity. Their devotion to their owners helps them to fulfill any command that may come from them with great enthusiasm. Moreover, their high level of intelligence makes it much easier for their owners to analyze the games they play on their own and during training.
You can encourage them to grab-and-bring games, and train them without too much difficulty by conditioning them with reward foods. Toilet training can easily be given to Somali cats. You can make them feel good with a climbing tree and a scratching post, and you can get them used to walking on a leash. As in training any cat breed, we must be patient and give the commands in a soft voice when training Somali cats. We should not shout at them or punish them.
Somali Cat Health
Somali cats are generally healthy, but may suffer from a number of hereditary diseases seen in their Abyssinian ancestors. The Somali breed may suffer from pyruvate kinase deficiency, which can cause the anemia that Abyssinian cats also suffer from. In order for this problem not to progress, tests must be done. However, retinal atrophy, an eye problem that can lead to blindness in later ages, can also be seen in Somali cats. Finally, periodontal diseases may also occur. For this reason, it is very important for their teeth to be cleaned by a veterinarian every few months for healthy growth.