Somalis might be the world's first feline hairdressers. This cat will love to tangle her paws in your beard, moustache, or headsuit—and you're going to let her get away with it, because look at that face. And even when she's at rest, a Somali looks as though she's dancing en pointe
. This is a very cultured kitty—even if she's not actually from Somalia!
The Somali looks kind of like a feline fox, with their pointed ears, bushy ruffs, and fluffy tails. They're also notoriously dexterous and can hold or manipulate objects surprisingly well. You might need to discourage this cat from helping herself to your breakfast.
This breed can grow to between 6-12 pounds and lives an average of 13-17 years.
Did someone say “toy?” Yes, please!
I talk when necessary
You can SEE me thinking
I'm a cat and proud of it
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS THE SOMALI'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
This is a curious cat. Some might say they border on ornery (not us, certainly, but some). Somalis thrive on human affection and attention—they love to spend time with their people. This breed can do all right on her own while you're at work, but she'll be much happier with a furry friend to keep her company.
WHAT IS SOMALI BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This is an alert, lively, and playful breed. Somali are busy kitties: they need to splash in the sink, open all the cabinets, bounce around the house, and “help” you with daily tasks like food prep.
HOW CAN I KEEP MY SOMALI ENTERTAINED?
Believe it or not, your truculent Somali can be trained to walk around the block on a harness and leash, or to play fetch. She might even agree to navigate the local agility course! But only if you convince your Somali that these interactions will get her the positive reinforcement she craves. You can also put her brains to good use (and keep her from trying to find new cabinets and drawers to rearrange) by giving her a puzzle toy to outsmart.
CARE & HEALTH
WHAT DO SOMALIS LOOK LIKE AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Somalis look like Abyssinians with long hair because they are. Their coats are ticked, which means they can have up to twenty color bands on each hair and makes them look sort of speckled. This breed comes in blue, red, fawn, and ruddy color variations. Plan to comb your Somali a few times a week.
Your cat's coat and skin can tell you a lot about her health and wellbeing. Healthy cats have coats that are smooth and shiny; they should have supple, clear skin. Nutrition and wellness factor heavily into the texture and luster of your kitty's coat, but you can help keep her looking and feeling her best with regular skin care and grooming.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO SOMALIS HAVE?
As a breed, Somalis are generally healthy. Some are prone to tooth decay, gum disease, or a protein buildup disorder. Like many cats, they can also be susceptible to anemia.
Remember that cats often hide disease symptoms! It's important to bring your furry friend in for veterinary checkups at least once a year.
ARE SOMALIS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
Somalis aren't among the breeds generally recommended for allergy sufferers, though they are infrequent shedders. But shedding less doesn't make these breeds hypoallergenic. Dander found in urine, dead skin, and saliva (not pet hair) is what sets off allergy sufferers. Lighter-shedding cats will distribute fewer allergens around your home, though.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS MY SOMALI'S BEST DAY?
She'll love climbing all over your bookshelves, watching the Bird Channel out the window, and doing her best impression of a feline dervish through all the rooms of your house.
SHOULD I ADOPT A SOMALI?
If you're the sort of person who finds feline mischief charming and who craves delightful chaos of a kitty comet streaking through your home, the Somali is just the cat for you.
Have you decided that a Somali is the purr-fect cat for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.