The Somali Cat is a copy of the long-haired Abyssinian, which spread in Britain from a feline introduced by Lord Robert Napier after a military mission to Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia) and was christened Zulu, base of the Abyssinian and Somali races.
The coat of the abyssinian remembered that of the wild rabbit. Therefore, to perpetuate it, he crossed paths with mixed cats with that hair thus emerging this breed.
Some of the Abyssinians who were born in those early litters looked like long hair. As this aspect was not desirable in The Abyssinians, they were sterilized and used as pets.
However, many breeders liked this feature and, in the late 1960s, these breeders created a long-haired version they called Somali. Thanks to their unique appearance, charming personality and easy care, Somalis soon gained popularity.
Features of the Somali Cat
The Somali cat has a triangular head, with a discreet slit in it. Its ears, slightly inclined forward, gives it a certain sense of attention to what happens around it. His eyes are great for a deep look that captivates his owners.
The coat of the Somali cat is dense and stands out large tufts in the ears. To the touch, her hair is soft, just like in her bushy tail. It has various color stripes along the body, being darker in the column environment.
The color of her hair is lightened under the neck, in the lower area and inside her legs. This combination of colors gives it a wild appearance, being therefore one of the most demanded breeds among these small felines.
Somali Cat Behavior
The Somali cat is very energetic, playful and intuitive. His character requires some personal space, so it is highly recommended that you provide him with a spacious home to move through, since his hunter instinct will push him out to the outside and explore the environment.
Sometimes it also shows more introverted and distrustful behavior but this is because it needs time to gain confidence and show affection to the people around you. It is also a very intelligent breed, so it will quickly acquire everything you want to teach it.
Main Diseases of the Somali Cat
The Somali cat especially accuses the cold, so excessive exposure to low temperatures can lead to a listless and energyless exposure. In addition, this feline is prone to colds and other associated conditions that can break your health.
Therefore, if you live in places where cold and precipitation tend to dominate, it is advisable that you acquire another breed that best suits this environment.
Somali cats barely have genetic taras. However, propensity to contract chronic gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) or kidney problems has been observed in these animals, although the percentage of those with these diseases is not very high.
However, these aspects should be taken into account as you will have to be attentive to them and go to the veterinary specialist at the first symptom of a problem.
Nevertheless, the Somali cat is one of the strongest and healthiest breeds of cats that exist, without characteristic conditions, so they will generally enjoy good health.
Finally, as in other cats with long or semilargo hair, the Somali cat sometimes suffers bezoars in its digestive system, which can be eliminated naturally by an additional supply of paraffin or malt.
Somali Cat Basic Care
For the maintenance of your fur, it is enough to brush it every 8 days although in the moulting stage it is necessary to do it daily in order not to be tangled and knotted. As with other breeds of cats, it requires hygiene-related care such as eye and ear cleaning, nail cutting and frequent bathing.
In addition, it is important that you keep track of the veterinarian, especially to establish a schedule of vaccines, explorations and their corresponding dewormings.
As for its diet, it should be healthy and balanced, based on meat, including leftover food.
Somali Cat Curiosities
The crosses for the creation of this breed were made in the 1950s.
This breed was officially recognized in 1977 by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA).
The International Feline Federation (FIFe) recently recognized the breed in 1983.
Breeders Ken McGill in Canada and Evelyn Mague in the United States gave them that name to differentiate them from the Abyssinians.