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Veterinarian Reviewed on January 4, 2008 by Dr. Janice Huntingford


Physical Characteristics

Breed Group:

Semi-Longhaired Group.


6-12 pounds.


Somalis grow to an average size as compared to other cats.


Somalis come in many different colours, but the four standard colours are red, fawn, ruddy, and blue.


Somalis have medium-long coats with banding and fluffy tails.



Somalis are very social and exuberant cats. They have a very inquisitive nature and like to explore anything and everything. Somalis have monkey-like personalities and love to run, jump, and play.

Country of Origin:



This breed was created in the United States during the 1950s. As a rather spontaneous development from Abyssinian breeding programs, the Somali breed shares many traits and characteristics with Abyssinians. Somalis received championship status in the 1970s.


This breed was named for the country of Somalia in Africa. The Somali is occasionally also known as the Fox Cat.


Somewhat fox-like in appearance, these cats are also quick and intelligent like foxes. Quiet and sweet-natured, Somalis love freedom and like to roam and to have lots of space. These cats like humans as well as other pets.



Somalis are highly intelligent cats and can be trained relatively easily.


These active cats require plenty of space and don’t like to be confined.


Somalis are best suited to homes where they will receive plenty of attention and will have plenty of space to run and play. While these cats don’t particularly like to be confined indoors, it is often best to keep them contained within a cat run when outdoors, due to their tendency to roam. Somalis are exuberant companions that like to groom their owners’ hair. Their own coats require regular grooming but are otherwise easy to maintain.


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List of cat breeds

Read also: Siamese
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Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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