Cat breeds: the Sokoke cat characteristics and behavior

Also known as Sokoke Forest Cat, the Sokoke cat is a natural domestic cat developed in Kenya. This affectionate cat makes a great family companion.

Also known as Sokoke Forest Cat, the Sokoke cat is a natural domestic cat developed in Kenya.  This cat, one of the world´s rarest, looks like an ocelot thanks to his “African tabby pattern”.


The Sokoke cat is a naturally-occurring breed original from the Arabuko Sokoke forest in Kenya, Africa.  The natives of the forest, the Giriama, were the first ones to discover and live with the Sokoke cat (named khadzonzo or kadzonzo) for generations.

The ancestry of the Sokoke is unknown.  DNA testing places him in the family of Asian cats, descended from the Arabian wildcat and the street cat of coastal Kenya.

Due to the shrinking of the Arabuko Sokoke in Kenya, the population of this cat is also descending. Today, they are about 50-100 of these cats in existence around the world.

Physical characteristics 

The Sokoke cat looks like a wild version of the domestic tabby.  They are medium sized, muscular, pretty agile and athletic.  They have long muscular hind legs making them jump very high and run incredibly fast.  Their ears are broad at the base with rounded tips.  These can rotate 180 degrees making them very sensitive to surrounding sounds.

The coat of the Sokoke cat is unique in color and pattern. This blotched tabby coat is not silky but rather hard to touch.  Due to their African origin, they lack an undercoat and are sensitive to the cold.


This is a very smart cat.  They are pretty verbal and human-oriented cat, despite his feral origin.  They are very loving and affectionate and make great family companions.

Caring for a Sokoke cat

This pet’s hair is pretty low maintenance.   A weekly grooming with a rubber glove is all they need. Luckily for you, these cats love the water, so don´t be surprised if they decide to jump in the shower with you.

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