A medium sized cat with a well-muscled build, the Somali is best described as a long haired version of the Abyssinian. Their colouring and beautiful bushy tail give them a fox-like appearance. Their eyes are big and almond-shaped and full of expression. The Somali comes in four basic coat colours - tawny, cinnamon, blue and beige-fawn. These four colours come in the silver range too.
The Somali's nature is vigorous, athletic, playful and curious. They are even-tempered, easy to handle and ideal for gentle children. They are very quiet cats with a soft voice which they hardly use. For those looking for a cat that enjoys the company of people and loves to play games the Somali is an ideal choice.
The Somali's coat is not as long as a Persian's, and their silky texture means it is less likely to mat, but it still must be groomed regularly. Each hair has many bands of black or chocolate brown ticking and it takes a long time for the beautiful richly coloured coat to develop fully. Somali kittens are born with a very dark coat and only achieve the fully ticked, ruddy brown or reddish colouring at about 18 months old.