Do you know Somali cats? They are descendants of the Abyssinian breed of cats, known for their thick, soft fur and fox-like appearance . You will be dazzled by the beauty of these cats when you meet the Errol cat
Errol, is the spitting image of how a Somali cat looks like a fox. He is very beautiful and his Instagram account is full of beautiful photos and, as a curiosity, he will be two years old next April 2020.
Errol, is the youngest furry in an already famous household, he lives with the influential cats Xafi and Auri.
In these two media, Errol has a very committed audience that follows each of his adventures.
Next, I will describe curiosities that you should know about Somali cats.
History of Somali cats
It is not known when and where the first Somali appeared. Some advocates think that the long coat was a spontaneous natural mutation of the Abyssinian. However, genetic studies indicate that this cat probably originated around the turn of the century in England when breeders, with little breeding population, used long-haired cats in their Abyssinian cat breeding programs.
Selene’s Raby Chuffa cat who came to the United States from Great Britain in 1953, is considered the father of the Somali breed on that continent, Canadian and American Somalis descend from that cat.
Raby Chuffa’s pedigree dates back to Roverdale Purrkins , an English Abyssinian cat whose mother, Mrs. Mews, was of unknown ancestry and likely carried the long-haired gene. Mews had two kittens: Roverdale Purrkins, registered as Abyssinian, and another unregistered black male.
Robertson used Purrkins to start his Roverdale kennel. Their cats and other Abyssinians of British origin were exported to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. When long-haired kittens appeared among Abyssinian lines (possible as long as two Abyssinians carrying the recessive gene for long hair were raised together), the kittens were looked down upon by breeders for breeding.
In the 1960s breeders, seeing how interesting long hair was in a breed that was rapidly gaining popularity in North America, began trying to make long hair their own. At the same time, breeders in Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand also started working with the new breed.
Abyssinian breeder Evelyn Mague would be one of the first to work with the longhaired breed in the USA after finding that two of her Abyssinians, Lord Dublin of Lynn-Lee and Trill-By of Lo-Mi-R, carried the long-haired gene. He came up with the name “Somali” because Somalia borders Ethiopia, the country formerly called Abyssinia, after which it was called Abyssinian.
In 1972, Evelyn Mague founded the Somali Cat Club of America. In 1975, the CFA-affiliated International Somali Cat Club was created, and in 1979, the Somali attained CFA champion status.
Physical characteristics of the Somali cat
The Somali retain a wild appearance, they are known for their alertness, in such a way that the standards for this breed include “alert” in the physical description. The eyes are almond-shaped and can be green or copper-gold. Its head has a slightly rounded wedge shape and large pointed ears.
They are cats with a fluffy tail, bushy at the base and slightly tapered at the end, which earned them the nickname “Cat fox.”
The body is supported by thin, fine-boned legs on small, oval, compact legs. It is often said that Somalis seem to walk on tiptoe.
Its coat of hair is semi-long, silky, fine and dense. There are different varieties depending on the color tone of the 3 bands of your hair: Fawn (dark cream and muted beige); Sorrel (chocolate and peach); Wild or Ruddy (black and peach); Blue (cream and bluish gray).
Medium to large in size, muscular and shapely, it is elegant but solidly built. This is a slow developing breed, reaching full size, maturity and potential around 18 months.
Male cats can weigh up to 7 kg, in females the maximum weight is 5.5 kg.
Somali cat personality
Like his “brother” the Abyssinian cat, the Somali lives life to the fullest. Nothing escapes the attention of this highly intelligent and inquisitive cat, a quality that makes life with him entertaining and challenging.
Sometimes it may seem like you never sleep. He’s always on the go, jumping out the window to see birds, climbing into the fridge to supervise food preparation, perching on your desk to watch your fingers move over the keyboard. He is a playful cat who loves to be the center of attention and will do anything to achieve it.
The Somali loves to play, so try to have a variety of toys to keep him busy.
The love of heights is a characteristic trait of this breed. You like to be as tall as possible and will appreciate having one or more cat trees at ceiling height. It is very capable of reaching the highest point in any room. Fortunately, he is skilled and rarely breaks objects unless simply out of curiosity.
Somalis adapt well to any home where they are loved and receive a lot of attention, but don’t leave them alone for long hours. Sometimes he is introverted and suspicious, but this is because he needs time to gain confidence and show affection to the people around him.
Somali cat breed health
In general, they are cats that are in good health. There are no known diseases of genetic origin.
But, health problems that can affect the Somali cat include the following:
- Early-onset periodontal disease.
- Hyperesthesia syndrome, a neurological problem that can cause cats to groom themselves excessively, leading to hair loss and frenzy.
- Patellar luxation, a hereditary dislocation of the kneecap that can range from mild to severe. Severe cases can be relieved with surgery.
- Progressive retinal atrophy, a degenerative eye disease.
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency(PKD), for which a genetic test is available to identify carriers.
- Renal amyloidosis, a hereditary disease that occurs when the protein called amyloid is deposited in the organs of the body, mainly the kidneys, in Abyssinians. Eventually it leads to kidney failure.
Somali cat care
To maintain your hair, it is enough to brush it every 8 days, although in the shedding stage it is necessary to do it daily so that it does not get tangled and knotted. Comb the coat of hair with a stainless steel comb to remove dead hair, prevent or eliminate tangles, and distribute skin oils.
Check its beautiful glue for stuck dirt, you can clean it with a baby wipe.
Routine tooth brushing is necessary to prevent periodontal disease . Daily dental hygiene is better, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Trim your nails every two weeks. Clean the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any dirt. Use a piece of cloth for each eye to avoid spreading any infection.
Check the ears weekly. If they are dirty, you can clean them with a cotton ball or a soft cloth dampened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Do not use cotton swabs, so as not to damage the inside of the ear.
It’s a good idea to keep a Somali as an indoor-only cat to protect it from diseases carried by other cats, attacks by dogs or foxes, and other dangers encountered by cats that go outside, such as being hit by a car.
Price of a Somali cat
First, in Spain there are no recognized breeders of this breed of cats, so if you want to acquire it you will have many difficulties, you may have to import it from another country.
A lover of this breed can sell them for 700 euros or more , although if you opt for a breeder cat it will have a higher price.
As an advice, you should opt for a cattery, because, among other things, they regularly test cats for hereditary diseases, they cross their animals scientifically to prevent feline neonatal isoerythrolysis . Additionally, a breeder will give you advice and support about kittens for the first few months.
They will also give you the vaccination record and the results of the health tests of their young. It all adds up, so if you want to have a Somali cat in your home, you must be prepared to shell out a significant amount of money.
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