Furry Hearts Blog

Somali – Perth Rare Breeds Project

I had never actually heard about the Somali breed prior to starting my rare breeds project. The gorgeous Nina was brought to my attention by a good friend who lived next door to Nina’s human mum Lynley.

Lynley has been a long-time cat lover, sharing her life with her previous cat Leo (nick name Wuzzy) for an amazing 22 years. The ginger and white moggy brought love and life to Lynley’s little family and fostered a love for cats in her children who were his best friends growing up. Lynley says he was the perfect gentleman, so affectionate and playful. Her love for him and how much she still misses him was obvious as she recounted stories about Wuzzy.

So, it was quite a while before she found her next perfect feline companion in Nina.


Nina came to Lynley in mid 2016 as a two-year-old recently retired from a champion breeding line; her pedigree being nearly as spectacular as is she. Not being very familiar with the Somali I did what any good researcher does before an assignment… I googled.

I found images that showed full, fox like tails and an impressive mane, not having met one before I imagined a large-statured kitty. Though, upon talking to Lynley, I discovered that the breed is actually quite delicate, similar in frame and feature to the slight Abyssinian except a long-haired version. In fact, the Somali is a relatively recent breed that derived from the longer haired deviations in the Abyssinian line, which were developed until it could be accepted as its own breed.

Officially a Tawny Somali, Nina has warm russet coloured fur with lighter highlights through her mane. Darker fur masking around her face, and dark points on her tail and feet creates a striking appearance. Her wide eyed curious expression and crazy long whiskers had me captivated, and I think you’ll agree that the way those whiskers curve and frame that pretty face is delightful… I couldn’t get enough!

Personality wise Lynley says Nina is a lovely little lady to have around, very affectionate without being demanding; such a joyful and heart-warming addition to her home. She was inquisitive and playful during my own visit, preferring to keep a close eye on me, and enjoying the attention I think, rather than electing to run and hide somewhere. Breed information says that the Somali is quite intelligent and engaging and it seems in that Nina was true to form.

Thank so so much Lynley for allowing me to spend time with you and Nina for a day, it was lovely meeting you both xo

For more information on the Somali:

Website listing breed characteristics

Facebook group for Somali fans, based in UK but one of the more active ones

Want to meet more rare breeds? you might be interested in these posts:


Devon Rex

Somali cat looking up into a light

Tawny Somali sitting on shag rug and looking up

That glorious full tawny mane.

Tawny Somali cat close up of whiskers

Nina’s amazing whiskers.

Tawny Somali cat profile close up


Tawny Somali close up of paws

Tawny Somali cat laying on footstool with one paw draped off the edge

Tawny Somali cat

Tawny Somali cat laying on footstool and backlit by a window

Somali cat playing with a feather

Somali hunter mode.

Somali cat sitting on a foot stool

The spectacularly pretty Somali.