For a long time, in the Abyssinian litters, moreover of a type much more substantial than that of today, appear kittens with soft and half-long hair.
But the breeders considered them as irrelevant and removed them from breeding. The gene responsible for the mid-long hair was introduced by crossing between the Abyssinian and long-haired cats ( Persians or Angoras).
In Canada, it was not until the sixties that breeders Don Richings, Mary Mailing and Judge Ken Mac Gill became interested in these new cats.
In 1967, the American breeder Evelyn Mague managed to fix the mid-length hair character at the Abyssinian.
The new breed was named Somali, in reference to the neighboring country of Ethiopia, the supposed cradle of the Abyssinian. E. Mague created the Lynn Lee's cattery and the first breed club in the United States.
She exhibited the first Somali in 1972. The CFA recognizes the breed in 1978.
FIFe homologated the breed in 1982. This cat is very popular with an ever-increasing public.
Somali Cat Characteristics:
Medium-long hair, dense, very fine and soft.
Short on the face, front of the limbs and shoulders; mid-length on the back, flanks, chest and belly.
It is long on the throat (collar), on the back of the thighs (panties) and the tail (plume).
Front view, forms a triangle with rounded contours. Front slightly convex.
In profile, the head has a soft curve. Mussel neither small nor pointed. A pinch is a fault (t) .
Nose of average length, without stop-Menton firm and well developed.
This cat, very lively, is active but not exuberant. Robust, well balanced, of a placid character, he is calmer than the Abyssinian.
Endowed with a mild temperament, he is sociable with his congeners and foreigners.
Very playful, he lives in good agreement with the children. Tender, very affectionate, he requires a lot of attention, but would be less possessive than the Abyssinian.
Although he is a little afraid of the cold, he does not really live in an apartment.
Great hunter, a garden suits him well. The maintenance of his fur only requires weekly brushing.
In times of moulting, it will be daily. The kittens are born almost two-colored: dark on the top and clear on the sloping parts.
Ticking takes place only very gradually.