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The Somali is a semi-long haired cat breed, originating from the Abyssinian (its sister breed). It’s a well proportioned medium sized cat, lithe and alert, with a semi-long colourful coat showing an even ticked pattern, and a full plume tail, which gives the cat the typical “little fox” look. Curious and playful, the Somali cat is actively engaged in all surroundings.


The Somali cat is basically a longhaired Abyssinian. It takes its name from the Abyssinian sister breed, as Somalia borders Abyssinia. Longhaired kittens occasionally appeared in Abyssinian litters in North America in the ‘50s. While most breeders refused to mention them, some others decided to start breeding this variety, most of all the judge McGill (Canada) and Evelyn Mague (USA). The Somali breed was first recognised by CFA in 1979 and then by FIFe in 1981.


The Somali is a well balanced, medium sized cat showing a muscular build. Though sharing most of its traits with its Abyssinian sister-breed, the Somali cat distinctive feature is the semi-long coat, colourful and warm, evenly ticked, which gives the Somali the typical “little-fox” look. Its broad and set aside ears and large almond eyes, give the Somali cat an alert look, though all lines are soft and graceful.


Somalis share a lively temperament with Abyssinians, displaying playful and energetic behaviour. Intelligent and quick learners, they enjoy interactive play and mental stimulation. Curious and adventurous, Somalis like exploring their environment and climbing to high places. Social cats, they form strong bonds with their human companions and seek their company. Adaptable and compatible with other pets, Somalis thrive in various living environments. A well-rounded care routine, including mental and physical stimulation, contributes to a happy and fulfilled Somali cat.

Breed Standard
Last modification of the Standard: 2016