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Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Purrrfect Facts About The Somali Cat Kids Will Love

Somali cat facts are about a beautiful cat breed.

Somalis are one of the most beautiful cat breeds with an interesting origin story. These cats are characterized by large almond-shaped eyes and large ears. They also have a really bushy tail. Somali cats appear to be of medium length and are available in a variety of coat colors. The ruddy Somali cat is the most well-known. Apart from that, other colored Somali cats are also quite popular.

The long hair of the Somali cat, which separated them from the Abyssinian cat (from whom they descended), is a result of a recessive gene. But how this gene was introduced in the Abyssinian cat is not known. Initially, the long-haired Abyssinians were not favored by breeders. Some of them still continued to keep and further breed these long-haired Abyssinian cats. Gradually, the breed caught on and people started keeping them as pets, for their beautiful appearance and lovely personality. The name 'Somali' was given by Evelyn Mague, an American breeder. Somali cats are pretty social in nature and can be kept around children as well. They are also quite an active breed and tend to play around all day. It is not that difficult to care for this cat breed either, and their grooming requirements are basic. Somalis love being the center of attention. However, these cats are affected by some serious health issues.

To read more interesting facts about the long-haired Somali cat, read on! If you like this article, you can also check out Maine coon and Egyptian mau facts.

Somali Cat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Somali cat?

Somalis are a kind of cat. They descended from the Abyssinian cat breed, due to a recessive gene in the Abyssinian.

What class of animal does a Somali cat belong to?

Somali cats belong to class Mammalia. They belong to the Felidae family and genus Felis.

How many Somalis are there in the world?

Somali cats are a domestic cat breed, and hence, their exact population has not been recorded. After World War II ended, the Abyssinian cat population dropped drastically. So, the number of Somali cats was also quite reduced. Breeding programs helped in bringing back the numbers of this breed.

Where does a Somali cat live?

The Abyssinian cat originated in Abyssinia, which is now known as Ethiopia. So, the roots of the Somali cat breed can be traced back there. In general, Somali cats are not found in the wild. Their presence is limited to houses and apartments, as pets.

What is a Somali's habitat?

Since these cats are mostly found in houses, their natural habitat consists of that. These cats are one of the more social breeds, so they like being around other cats and even pet dogs. They also have a very active personality and enjoy playing with toys.

Who do Somalis live with?

Somalis live with people, being a pet breed of cat. They like getting attention, and hence, do not like being left alone. Somali cats can also live alongside other pets.

How long does a Somali cat live?

Somali cats usually have a lifespan of 12-14 years. This can vary sometimes. They suffer from certain health problems owing to their breed. Some of the common health issues seen in this breed are renal amyloidosis, tooth decay, pyruvate kinase deficiency, and gingivitis. They also might be affected by retinal degeneration, which is hereditary in nature.

How do they reproduce?

Cats generally have more than one fertile phase in a year. These phases, which are known as estrous cycles, last for a few weeks. This is when the female cat looks out to mate, in order to give birth to kittens. After fertilization occurs, the gestation period can last for 60-67 days. Then, they give birth to three to six kittens. It can be believed that the Somali cat breeds follow a similar reproductive cycle since they belong to the same family as other domestic cats.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Somali cat breed has not been listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN. These cats are bred in captivity by several breeders. So, their population is not under any threat. They are still considered a rare breed, as they are the product of a certain gene.

Somali Cat Fun Facts

What do Somalis look like?

Somali cats are seen in a variety of coat shades. Somali cat colors which are most commonly accepted by organizations are fawn, blue, red, and sorrel. However, other colors like red silver, lilac, chocolate, and so on, are also accepted by many organizations. Somalis have a medium-built body, with quite a hairy tail, large ears, and green, hazel, or amber eyes. Their fur is very soft and dense. Just like the Abyssinian cat, the Somali cat also has a lean body with adequate muscles.

Somali cats are gentle around children.

How cute are they?

Somalis appear very cute and adorable. These longhaired cats with different coat colors are surely one of the most attractive breeds. The charming Somali cat personality and active behavior also add to their cuteness. A Somali kitten is also immensely lovable.

How do they communicate?

Somali cats are usually very quiet and have a soft voice. They love being groomed and brushed and usually purr in response.

How big is a Somali cat?

These longhaired Abyssinian cats have a length of 11-14 in or 28-35.5 cm. Their height is generally between 8-10 in or 20-25 cm. The Somali cat size appears slightly smaller than Siamese cats.

How fast can a Somali cat run?

The exact speed of Somalis is not known. However, just like the Abyssinian cats, Somalis are quite fast and agile. They have a strong muscular body and slim legs, which helps them in being very active. They also love climbing tall heights.

How much does a Somali cat ​weigh?

These cats usually weigh between 6.6-11 lb or 3-5 kg.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male Somali cats are known as tomcats, while the females are known as molly cats.

What would you call a baby Somali cat?

A baby Somali cat is called a Somali cat kitten.

What do they eat?

Being a popular pet cat breed, Somalis can be fed any high-quality cat food that has all the necessary nutrients present in it. They also like eating meat. A balanced diet is essential to maintain their health. However, they should not be overfed, as that can result in weight-related issues.

Are they rare?

Just like the Abyssinian cat, the Somali cat can be considered rare. Since their long coat is a result of a genetic phenomenon, they are not that commonly seen. That said, reputable breeders do produce authentic Somalis with the characteristic bushy tail and long hair.

Would they make a good pet?

The Somali cat temperament makes them the ideal pet. Their personality is quite friendly and affectionate. This personality allows them to be around children as well. They are very active and can be considered hyper. Since they are of medium size, they do not need a lot of space to live. Their grooming requirements are also moderate. Brushing their coat twice a week is sufficient. These cats shed their coat twice a year in large quantities. Apart from grooming, regular visits to the veterinarian, and vaccination is also important.

Did you know...

Evelyn Mague, the cat breeder named this cat 'Somali' because of the Ethiopian-Somali conflict. She did so because similar to the border between Somali and Ethiopia (then Abyssinia) which is man-made, the genetic border between Somali cats and Abyssinian cats is also man-made.

In 1979, the Somali breed was accepted by the Cat Fanciers' Association in North America.

They are also known as 'Fox cats' due to their thick tail and ears that resemble a fox.

Types of Somali cats

Somalis are available in a variety of coat colors. Each hair in its fur has a colored band along its length. This is known as ticking. This gives their hair a unique appearance. Some of the popular fur colors are lilac Somali cat (warm dove gray with the coat ticked with lilac), cream Somali cat (pale cream coat and rich cream ticking), white Somali cat, fawn Somali cat (pale mushroom base coat with fawn ticking), red Somali cat (pale red base coat and bright red ticking), black Somali cat, sorrel Somali cat (reddish base coat with bright red and cinnamon-colored ticking), and silver Somali cat (silvery-white and lustrous base coat with non-silver tickings). The usual Somali cat has a golden-brown and apricot base with distinct black tickings.

Getting your own Somali cat

It is advisable to buy a Somali cat from any trusty breeder since they have cats with less disposition to health concerns and are more authentic genetically. These cats can also be found in rescue centers. On average, a Somali cat price or kitten price can be between $1,000-$1,500.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Australian Mist, or Balinese cat.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Abyssinian cat coloring pages.

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