Somali cats are sometimes known as long-haired Abyssinians. The very first Somalis appeared by accident, thanks to a quirk of genetics. Around the 1940's, some Abyssinian cats suddenly started having the occasional long-haired kitten, which wasn’t supposed to happen and confused their breeders mightily! However, some of those breeders were delighted and intrigued by the new, long-hair ‘version’ of the Abyssinian cat. By the 1970's, the long-hair Abyssinian was officially recognized as the Somali by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. Today, Somali cats remain a popular choice for both pet owners and breeders.
The Fox Cat
Somali cats are covered in soft, long-hair which is particularly lengthy around their tails and sometimes their ears. These tufty ears and bushy tails have earned them the adorable nickname of ‘The Fox Cat’. Of course, this long, luxurious fur needs some care and attention. If you decide to get a Somali cat, be prepared to put some time aside for regular grooming. Somali cats shed their thick, winter coat in spring, so you may find you need to groom your cat daily around this time.
A stainless steel comb helps remove dead cells from the cat’s fur and skin, and also spreads the cat’s natural oils over their coat, which keeps it in great condition. The bonus of this grooming time is that it becomes a wonderful bonding session for you and your pet. Check their fur for mats, clumps of dirt that they’ve missed during their own cleaning time and above all, enjoy the one-on-one time with your fluffy friend.
Confident and Clever
Somali cats are known for being cheeky, curious and playful, and can be quite a handful if you’ve only ever owned sedate cats before! They love to get up high, often leaping on top of cupboards or onto curtain rails. They like to see what you are doing, so be prepared for a nosy, furry face poking into whatever you are doing. This is a cat that will not only try and sit on your laptop while you are working, but probably try and press the keys and chase the mouse cursor around the screen too.
The Somali’s brain is always active and sharp, so playing with your Somali is a must. Have toys that they can chase, roll, grab and pounce on. In the absence of toys, your Somali will insist on playing with you instead, so be prepared for an attention seeking feline who simply won’t take no for an answer. The reward for this is a loyal, friendly beast who adores you unconditionally. Their deep, throaty purrs and love of attention make them ideal pets for someone who is home most of the time. If you work or are out frequently, the Somali needs the company of a cat with a similar temperament or they may become unhappy and even destructive. Boredom is this cat’s enemy!
Somali Cats are the Perfect Indoor Cat
Because of their love of attention and human company, Somali cats are the perfect indoor cat. If you have no garden or outdoor space, a Somali could be perfect for you as long as you can give them the affection they crave. Because Somali cats are so in demand, they are at risk of being stolen if allowed to roam freely outside, which is yet another great reason to keep them as indoor only cats.
As long as you have a protein-rich diet for them, a spotlessly clean litter tray, and plenty of toys and stimulation, your indoor Somali will be happy and healthy for as much as 16 years. They are usually great with kids and even other pets, so they make a great addition to any family!
Have you ever met a Somali cat? What’s your favorite thing about them? Tell us in the comments below!
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