Strikingly beautiful, the Somali looks like a small wild fox with her full bushy tail and britches, large ears and dramatically ticked coat. This highly intelligent feline is known to open cupboards and fetch toys. The Somali loves attention and affection. The breed also is known for loving to play and having a zest for life. Highly adaptable, the Somali adjusts easily to new people and situations.
Contrary to popular belief, the Somali did not originate in Somalia. Rather, the breed is essentially a longhaired Abyssinian that resulted from a recessive gene. Originally, Abyssinian breeders were not happy when these longhaired kittens showed up in litters. It is believed the Somali resulted when longhaired cats were used by British Abyssinian breeders following World War II to repopulate the breed or possibly were due to a mutation.