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Somali (Cat)

The Somali is the long-haired version of the Abyssinian, with the exception of the coat length; they are the same cat.

General: The Somali is the long-haired version of the Abyssinian, with the exception of the coat length; they are the same cat. The overall impression of the ideal Somali is a medium to large cat, regal in appearance. Males are proportionately larger than females. The Somali shows firm muscle tone and is lithe and panther-like in activity showing a lively interest in all surroundings. The coat of the Somali has an iridescent quality reflecting warmth of color giving the impression of a colorful cat. Coat pattern is genetically a form of agouti ticking with even dark colored ticking contrasted with lighter bands of color. The evenness of the ticking and the lighter colored bands give a translucent effect. Although rarely seen today some Somalis may exhibit ear tufts, "thumb print" markings on the back of the ears or darker colored hocks. The Somali is of sound health and vigor, physically well balanced, and amenable to handling.

Head: The shape is a modified wedge with rounded contours as viewed form the front. In profile there shall be no flat planes, but a gentle transition between brow, nose and muzzle. There should be no evidence of a nose break. The head should be of ample length in general balance with the rest of the cat. In profile the skull is to show a gentle curve flowing over the head into an arched neck. The muzzle shall follow gentle contours in conformity with the head as viewed from the front and in profile. The chin shall be full, neither projecting or receding, having a rounded appearance. Adult males may have jowls. The muzzle shall not be sharply pointed and there shall be no evidence of snippiness, foxy appearance or whisker pinch.

Ears: Large, alert and moderately pointed, broad and cupped at base, arched forward, set as though listening. Hair on ears short and close lying.

Eyes: Almond shaped, large and expressive, neither round nor oriental and the slant is slightly toward the ear. Eyes accentuated by darker lid skin, encircled by a light colored area. Above each eye appears a short vertical darker pencil stroke amidst the lighter area. At the sides of each eye appears a curved darker pencil line as if a continuation of the upper eye lid. Accepted eye colors: gold, green or hazel.

Coat: Dense and resilient to the touch, has a lustrous sheen and is fine in texture. The coat lies fairly close to the body, however, the undercoat should be adequate enough to avoid any evidence of slickness. The coat is longest at the spine, gradually shortening over the saddle, flank, legs and head. The coat is of medium length, double coated and long enough to accommodate at least four alternating light and dark colored bands.

Body: Medium length, lithe and graceful, showing well developed muscular strength without coarseness. The cat is solid to the feel, and the rib cage is rounded with no evidence of flat sides. The back is slightly arched giving the appearance of a cat about to spring. The flank shall be reasonably level without tuck‑up. Conformation strikes a medium between the extremes of cobby and svelte lengthy type. Proportion and general balance to be desired more than mere size. The legs are muscular without coarseness. The Somali stands well off the ground and the length of the leg should be in proportion with the length of the body. The feet are oval and compact. When stroked the cat gives the impression of standing on tip toe. Toes; 5 in front and 4 in back. The tail is thick at the base, long and tapering, having a full brush.

Pattern: Outer parts of the body covered by shorter hair shall have not less than one band of ticking. Darker shadings along spine allowed if fully ticked. The underside of the body, chest and inside of legs to be evenly shaded to harmonize with the main color without ticking, barring, necklaces or belly marks. Deeper and brighter tones are preferred. White or off‑white to be confined only to the upper throat area, lips and around nostrils on all colors except silver and silver derivatives. Tail to be tipped in same color as ticking without rings. Kittens may exhibit uneven ticking.


Coat Faults: Slick coat. Excessive plushness. Wooliness in coat.

Color Faults: Mouse coat over a large area of the body (black or gray hair next to the skin with the absence of correct undercoat color). Mottling or speckling in unticked areas (underside of body, chest and inside legs).

Body Faults: Fine boning, oriental type.

Pattern Faults: Uneven ticking. Broken necklaces. Tabby stripes or bars. Lack of desired markings on head or tail.

Condition Faults: Flabbiness of body, lack of coat luster. Evidence of illness. Emaciation and lack of muscle tone.

NFA: White locket or white anywhere on the body other than around nostrils, chin and upper throat area on all colors except silver and silver derivatives. Kinked or abnormal tail. Unbroken necklace. Incorrect number of toes or deformed feet. Reversed ticking. (outermost tip of hair same as base color instead of ticking color). Wrong coat color for requirements. Wrong eye color.

Accepted Colors:
Cinnamon Silver
Chocolate Silver
Blue Silver
Fawn Silver

Revised 5/94

Source: AACE >>>