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The Somali is the ?red fox? of cats.ÿ It displays the same lively intelligent interest in its surrounding as its shorthair cousin, the Abyssinian.ÿ Fully coated, brilliantly colored, having lynx ear tipping and a long bushy tail, it is a beautiful cat to behold.ÿHistoryThese cats are named after the country of Somalia, which borders Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia), in Africa, and the name was chosen to reflect the breed?s close relationship with the Abyssinian.ÿ Longhaired kittens had occurred in Abyssinian litters for a number of years, but it was only in 1967 that the first steps were taken to develop these cats into a new breed.ÿ Now, the Somali is the semi-longhaired version of the Abyssinian.ÿ It should have the same body type as the Abyssinian, although some organizations allow Somalis to be of semi-foreign type, stating that the body conformation should be between the extremes of the cobby and the svelte lengthy types.DescriptionThe contemporary Somali has been carefully developed for color, pattern and type. It has a moderately long body, large ears and eyes and a smooth, resilient coat.ÿ The overall impression of the ideal Somali is a medium cat, regal in appearance.ÿ The Somali is foreign in type.ÿ Males are proportionately larger than females, the female being finer boned and usually more active than the male.ÿ The Somali shows firm muscular development and a lively interest in all surroundings.ÿ The coat of a Somali has an iridescent quality reflecting warmth of color giving the impression of a colorful cat.ÿ Coat pattern is a form of agouti ticking with even, dark-colored ticking contrasted with lighter bands giving the translucent effect.ÿ The Somali is of sound health and vigor, well-balanced physically and temperamentally, gentle and amenable to handlingThe coat should be very soft to the touch, very fine in texture; it should be dense and double coated.ÿ This cat is extremely slow in developing ticking, as are all longhaired cats, and allowances should be made for kittens and young mature cats.TemperamentThe Somali should be feral in appearance, yet they are extremely gentle and affectionate by nature.ÿ They make excellent companions and are quiet, not overly ?talkative? cats, even when in season.ÿ These cats are very inquisitive; nothing is too small to escape the adventure of investigation.ÿ They show a lively interest in all their surroundings and love to climb, yet very seldom disturb or break things, even when they weave between objects like a skier on a slalom course.ÿ Their loose skin helps them get in and out of tight places or human hands with ease.ÿ They do not like to be caged and will pace back and forth, much like a wild animal.ÿ These are wonderful cats who seem able to ?read? the needs of their favorite person.

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This breed information has been assembled from a number of area which include "The Legacy of the Cat" by Gloria Stephens, "Eyewitness Handbooks - Cats" by David Alderton and the "TICA Breed Standards".ÿ As well, much information was obtained on the Internet. It was submitted to us by Southern Alberta Calgary Cat Fanciers