Fox cat, squirrel cat… There are many comparisons to describe a Somali. It is true that with their copper-colored look and their shining coat they are impressive cats who have nothing to envy the rest of the wild creatures.
The origin of the Somali is one of the most controversial topics there is. Did they appear in a spontaneous way in one of an Abyssians and a long-haired breed descendent’s litter? Nobody knows for sure. What we do know is that after a very long time some cute fury and fluffy kitties were born in the Abyssians litters.
It was a great outcome; the Somali were well received since they were unique in the Abyssians litters. In 1963, Mary Mailling, Abyssian breeder, brought a small long-haired kitten to the Feline Exposition in Calgary. Facing the astonished breeders, the judge, far from rejecting it, liked it and asked Mary to give it to him.
At the same time in the United States, Evelyne Mague started to select those “long-hair” when she realized that two of her Abyssians carried this gene. This pioneer had also the honor to baptize this breed with the name of Somali, because the Abyssian breeders insisted on denying the presence of the long-hair in their litters. In 1976, a group of breeders presented a complete document about the origin of the Somali allowing them to be part of the Championship. In 1978, the breed was recognized by Cat Fancier Association, the biggest feline federation in America and after that by the other world associations.