Abyssinian & Somali Cat Breed Standard
Abyssinian and Somali Breed Standard
Abyssinians look like a small mountain lion or cougar with almond eyes set in a dramatically marked expressive face and a spectacularly warmly ticked coat that produces a shimmering iridescence whether still or in motion. They are athletic, alert and very active. Even though they are well-muscled their movement is lithe, graceful and very quick. Their carriage is confident and regal, but their antics have caused some to call them "Aby-silly-ans"! The Somali is simply and beautifully a semi-long-haired Abyssinian. It has the same expressive face but with a shaggy ticked coat, ear tufts and a fox-like tail. The Abyssinians and Somalis are also known as the 'preposition' cats because they leave no niche unexplored; they are above, below, in, under, across, beside, between, into, over, among and through everywhere! Perhaps alliteration is an easier way to describe the Abyssinian and Somali: active, awesome, agile, astounding, alert, animated, affectionate, amusing, athletic, astute, amiable and attentive.
The Abyssinian is a short-haired cat whose coat has an irridescent warmth of color produced by the Agouti ticking, where each shaft of hair has 4-6 bands of alternating rich color similar to that of a bunny coat. The coat is resilient and when rubbed against the lay of the coat it snaps back into place. Similarly colored, the Somali is semi-long-haired with a coat that is very soft and finely textured. Coat texture for both is generally soft, but varies somewhat with different colors because the pigment particles have different shapes and distribution within the hair shaft causing the textural variation.
The Aby/Somali head type is a modified wedge with rounded contours. In profile, there is a rise from the bridge of the nose to the forehead with a brow ridge that helps establish the wild appearance to the face. The ears are large and arched forward in alertness not to miss out on anything. The eyes are large, almond-shaped jewels, expressive and richly colored gold, amber or green surrounded by a ring of dark color (eyeliner) that is then surrounded by a lighter color. The muzzle is rounded in contour without being pointy or pinched in appearance.
They are a medium sized cat with males weighing 8-10 pounds and females 6-7 pounds. The body is medium long, lithe and graceful with the muscular strength of a fine-motor skilled athlete. The Aby/Somali is solidly built with a level flank and a slight arch to the back that is more noticeable when the cat is sitting. The legs are slim, long and well-muscled with oval-shaped feet and an appearance of standing on tip-toes.
Abys and Somalis are bred in
the following colors: Ruddy, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Blue, Lilac and Fawn
and the silver version of these colors where an icy white coloration closest
to the skin is followed by ticking up the hair shaft.
Information Taken From TICA