Cat breeds: the Somali cat characteristics and behavior

Highly intelligent and inquisitive, the Somali cat is a beautiful cat, sibling to the Abyssinian. He is very energetic and seems to never stop.

Highly intelligent and inquisitive, the Somali cat is a beautiful cat, sibling to the Abyssinian.  In fact, this cat breed is normally known as the long-haired version of the Abyssinian.


The ancestry of the Somali cat is a mystery.  It first appeared in America in the 1950s. These cats are believed to be developed from the crossing between the Abyssinian and the Longhair cat.   The name is a nod to Somalia, which is a neighbor to Ethiopia (formerly known as Abyssinia).

Physical characteristics

When you look at a Somali cat for the first time, you will clearly see why he is known as the “fox cat“.   Their hair, ruff, and pointed ears are very bushy. These curious cats are very well known for their dexterity.  Their hands allow them to manipulate things almost like a monkey.

His ticked coat has at least from four to twenty bands of color in each hair.  This coat can come in four distinctive colors:  red, blue, ruddy, and fawn.   They are medium-sized cats weighing 6 to 10 pounds.


This is one perky little fellow that will probably knock down things and jump on tables.  He is very energetic, and therefore, not recommended for the frail or the elderly.  He is highly intelligent and inquisitive.

If you live with one, you might notice that he seems to never sleep. He appears to be always in motion.  This playful cat loves to be the center of attention at all times, so make sure you can give him at least some.

Caring for a Somali cat

Taking care of this cat is a bit of a high maintenance.  They tend to pick up a lot of dirt from everywhere and can get really dirty.  You will need to brush them at least three times a week since their undercoat tends to mat. If you are planning to get one, consider that they can have some dental issues plus some other genetic conditions caused by them being a genetic cross.

If you feel overwhelmed by this energetic frolicking cat, here in Dogalize we can help.  We have many resources to help you care for and train your cat and not die trying.  Visit us and discover more.