What colors are Somali cats? A comprehensive guide to the stunning coat variations.

Before we dive into the captivating world of Somali cat colors, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the breed itself. The Somali cat is a longhaired variant of the Abyssinian cat, renowned for its playful and curious nature. With their elegant and muscular bodies, large ears, and expressive almond-shaped eyes, Somali cats are truly a sight to behold.

The Evolution of Somali Cat Colors

The Somali cat breed boasts a wide range of coat colors, each more beautiful than the last. Let’s explore the different variations and learn about their unique characteristics.

The Original Color Variation: Ruddy

The ruddy variation is the original color of the Somali cat and closely resembles that of the Abyssinian breed. This warm, reddish-brown coat is adorned with dark ticking, giving the cat a wild and exotic appearance. The ruddy Somali cat’s coat is vibrant and rich, making it a favorite among many cat enthusiasts.

Exploring the Blue Variation

The blue variation of the Somali cat is a strikingly beautiful shade that captivates with its cool and mysterious allure. This color variation is a result of dilution of the original ruddy color, resulting in a bluish-gray coat with lighter ticking. Blue Somali cats exude a sense of calmness and elegance, making them a popular choice among cat lovers.

The Beautiful Sorrel Variation

The sorrel variation is a delightful reddish-brown color, similar to the ruddy variation but with a lighter and brighter tone. The sorrel Somali cat’s coat is eye-catching and radiant, showcasing the breed’s natural beauty. These cats are known for their playful and affectionate nature, making them wonderful companions.

Unveiling the Fawn Variation

The fawn variation is a soft and delicate color that adds a touch of ethereal beauty to the Somali cat. This variation is characterized by a pale, sandy coat with warm undertones. The fawn Somali cat’s coat is often described as velvety and luxurious, making it a favorite among those who appreciate subtlety and grace.

Discovering the Somali’s Silver Variation

The silver variation is a true showstopper, with its shimmering coat that glistens in the light. This color variation is the result of a genetic mutation that affects the production of pigment in the cat’s fur. Silver Somali cats have a striking contrast between their silver-tipped guard hairs and their warm base color, creating a truly mesmerizing effect.

Introducing the Ebony Variation

The ebony variation is a deep and lustrous black color that exudes elegance and sophistication. This striking coat variation is a result of a genetic mutation that inhibits the production of red pigment, resulting in a solid black coat. Ebony Somali cats are often described as mysterious and alluring, with a hint of wildness in their gaze.

The Intriguing Chocolate Variation

The chocolate variation is a rich and decadent color that resembles the delectable treat it’s named after. This variation is characterized by a warm, chocolate-brown coat that is both beautiful and unique. Chocolate Somali cats are known for their playful and affectionate nature, making them delightful companions.

The Rare Lilac Variation

The lilac variation is a rare and exquisite color that is sure to turn heads. This variation is characterized by a pale, lavender-gray coat with a delicate pink undertone. Lilac Somali cats are considered quite rare and are highly sought-after by cat enthusiasts who appreciate their ethereal beauty and gentle nature.

Factors Influencing Somali Cat Colors

The colors of Somali cats are influenced by various factors, including genetics, melanin production, and environmental factors. Let’s explore these factors to gain a deeper understanding of how coat variations arise.

Genetics and Inheritance

Coat color in Somali cats is determined by a combination of genetic factors passed down from their parents. Genes responsible for coat color are inherited in a complex manner, resulting in the wide range of variations seen in the breed. Understanding the intricacies of feline genetics can help explain the presence of specific coat colors in Somali cats.

The Role of Melanin

Melanin, the pigment responsible for the coloration of hair, is another important factor in determining Somali cat colors. The amount and distribution of melanin in the hair shafts contribute to the unique shades seen in different coat variations. Variations in melanin production and distribution can result in the wide array of colors observed in Somali cats.

Environmental Factors

While genetics and melanin production play a significant role in determining Somali cat colors, environmental factors can also influence coat variations. Factors such as sunlight exposure and temperature can impact the intensity and shade of a cat’s coat color. It’s fascinating to consider how external factors can interact with genetic predispositions to create the final coat color of a Somali cat.

Caring for Somali Cats Based on Coat Color

Caring for Somali cats involves considering their specific coat color and the unique needs associated with each variation. Let’s explore some general care tips as well as specific guidelines for different coat colors.

General Coat Care Tips

Regardless of the coat color, all Somali cats benefit from regular grooming and care. Brushing their coats regularly helps prevent matting and keeps their fur looking healthy and shiny. Additionally, providing a balanced diet and ensuring proper hydration are essential for maintaining the overall health and appearance of Somali cats.

Routine Grooming for Ruddy and Sorrel Variations

Ruddy and sorrel Somali cats have dense and medium-length coats that require regular grooming to keep them in top condition. Brushing these coats two to three times a week helps remove loose hair and prevent tangles. Paying attention to their ears and occasionally trimming their nails are also important aspects of their grooming routine.

Special Care for Longhaired Somali Variations

For longhaired Somali variations like the fawn, silver, ebony, and lilac, additional care is needed to maintain their luxurious coats. These cats should be brushed more frequently, preferably daily, to prevent matting and tangling. Using a wide-toothed comb or a slicker brush can help keep their long fur in pristine condition.

Addressing Coat Care Challenges for Silver, Ebony, and Lilac Variations

Silver, ebony, and lilac Somali cats may require extra attention due to the specific challenges associated with their coat colors. Their coats are more prone to showing dirt and may require more frequent bathing to keep them clean. It’s important to use cat-friendly shampoos and follow proper bathing techniques to ensure their coats remain healthy and vibrant.

Personality Traits Linked to Somali Cat Colors

While coat color does not determine a cat’s personality, some Somali cat enthusiasts have observed certain trends in behavior associated with different coat variations. Let’s explore these personality traits, keeping in mind that individual personalities can still vary.

Characteristics of Ruddy and Sorrel Somali Cats

Ruddy and sorrel Somali cats are often described as energetic, playful, and highly sociable. They enjoy interactive playtime and thrive in environments where they receive plenty of attention and stimulation. These cats are known for their affectionate nature and their tendency to form strong bonds with their human companions.

Exploring the Personalities of Blue, Fawn, and Silver Somali Cats

Blue, fawn, and silver Somali cats are often characterized as being more laid-back and relaxed compared to their ruddy and sorrel counterparts. They appreciate calm environments and enjoy observing their surroundings from a cozy spot. These cats are known for their gentle and easygoing nature, making them wonderful companions for those seeking a more tranquil feline companion.

The Distinct Personality Traits of Ebony and Lilac Somali Cats

Ebony and lilac Somali cats are often described as mysterious and independent. They have a touch of wildness in their gaze and possess a strong sense of curiosity. These cats enjoy exploring their environment and may exhibit more solitary behaviors compared to other Somali cat variations. However, they can still form strong bonds with their human companions and display moments of affection.


Somali cats are truly a marvel of nature, with their stunning coat variations adding to their allure. From the original ruddy color to the captivating silver, ebony, and lilac variations, each coat color possesses its own unique beauty. Understanding the evolution of Somali cat colors, factors that influence them, and how to care for each variation allows us to appreciate the breed’s diversity even more. So, whether you’re a Somali cat enthusiast or simply intrigued by their colors, these magnificent felines will continue to captivate us with their charm and elegance.

ThePetFaq Team