The Somali originated as a longhaired mutation of the Abyssinian. For many years, longer coated kittens had been showing up in Abyssinian litters but it wasn't until the 1960's that several breeders decided to develop these cats as a separate breed named the Somali.
The Somali is a well proportioned medium sized cat with firm muscular development. Large tufted ears and dark pencil strokes above gold or green eyes distinguish a modified wedge shaped head.
The Somali has the same ticked coat as the Aby but it is silkier, softer and much longer. Instead of two or three bands of ticking on each hair, there are 10 to 12 and the colouring is deeper and altogether richer. The tail is very full like a fox's brush. The Canadian Cat Association recognizes the Somali in the same Aby colours of ruddy, sorrel, blue and fawn.
The Somali is a high-energy, adventurous, often mischievous extrovert and loves being the center of attention. Favorite pastimes include shoulder-riding, lap-sitting and bed-snuggling.
Breed Secretary: Irene McGill email