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Somali Facts

Common Name:
Most widely used name for this species
The area where the animal first came from
North America
Average Size:
The average length (L) or height (H) of the animal
60cm (2ft)
Average Weight:
The average measurement of how heavy the animal is
4.5kg (10lbs)
Average Lifespan:
The average time the animal lives for
19 years
The domestic group such as cat or dog
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Cream, Brown, Lilac, Fawn, Golden, Black, White, Ginger
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
The way the animal thinks, behaves or reacts
Active, curious and playful

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Somali Location

Map of Somali Locations
Map of North America


The Somali is a long-haired Abyssinian cat meaning that its origins lie in Northern Africa. Despite this though, the Somali cat is primarily found and bred across the United States today.

The Somali cat breed appeared spontaneously in the 1950s from Abyssinian breeding programs when a number of Abyssinian kittens were born with bottle-brush tails and long fluffy coats. Unlike most long-haired cats, Somalis shed very little excess hair.

Abyssinians and Somalis share the same personality (active, intelligent, playful, curious) and appearance. The only difference between them is the fur length and therefore the amount of grooming required.

The Somali cat is a popular breed of domestic cat as they are active, playful, curious and affectionate. The Somali cat is known to thrive on the company of other animals including humans and other household pets.

Despite their elegant appearance and bouncy nature, the Somali cat is known to be prone to having problems with its teeth. As with Abyssinian cats, the Somali cat also shares the same defective kidney gene which is known to be present in at least 5% of all Somali cats.

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First Published: 11th November 2008, Last Updated: 10th September 2018

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 11 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 11 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 11 Nov 2008]