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Sokoke Breed Description

This Sokoke Breed Description Article is Listed in Sokoke Cat Breed Information

Sokoke Breed Description

Sokoke Cat | Breed History | Breed Description

The Sokoke is a very active cat. It has kept all its instincts from the nature and this makes the sokoke a very special cat too. If frightened it will “freeze”, tighten its muscles, jump right up and kick off with the hind feet when it lands. It will flee so fast you wouldn’t know where it went before it’s gone. To flee is this cats defense, and the sokoke is not an aggressive cat at all. It flees as long as there is a possibility to do so and will only use theeth or claws if very threatened and stuck in a corner.

The Sokoke is a long legged moderate-sized cat with a short dense coat without any undercoat. It looks a little like a ocelot having an “African tabby pattern” with ticked hairs in the dark part of the pattern. It’s movement pattern can be compared with a cheetahs. They mature very slowly, and only reach sexual maturity at the age 1,5-2 years.

The body is elegant and very muscular, not cobby. High on the legs, back legs a bit higher than the front legs (as seen in many sprinters, e.g. the cheetah). The head looks small compared to the body. The top of the head between the ears is almost flat and has the same width as the base of an ear, with high, angular well-marked cheek bones. Nose medium long and almost straight.

Well defined strong chin. Medium ears in harmony with the head but seem larger. Broad at base with slightly rounded tips, tufts are allowed.The base of the ears is parallel with the lines extending from the corner of the eyes. The ears are always in a listening position. The eyes are almond shaped, obliquely placed. Colour from various shades of amber to light green, outlined with darker colour in accordance with the body colour.

The coat is one of the most unusual features of the Sokoke cat. It is shiny and extremely short and elastic, not silky, lying close to the body with no undercoat. It has African tabby-pattern and resembles a blotched tabby, with and “old wood” pattern on the sides, and a sandy ground colour. Pattern colour varies from warm light brown to very dark chestnut brown almost black. There are absolutely no white hairs on a Sokoke cat.  The tail is long, thin, stiff and whiplike with broad rings.

However lately a few “snow Sokokes” has been born. They have the blotched tabby pattern on the body (from cream to greyish beige). There are stripes in the same colour all the way up the legs, striped tail and a “masked” face. They are without necklaces and belly spots. All paw pads are black. The eyes are blue. The snow Sokoke has not yet been recognized.

Characteristics and Temperament: Even if the Sokoke looks like one of the wild cats and has retained all the characteristics of the wild cats, does it bond very strongly to its human – independent and loving, but never clinging. It is totally bereft of aggression and only marks with teeth or claws if strongly threatened. All muscles tense if in danger, ready to flee quickly.

The Sokoke is a very sensitive cat and swings with the mood of its human. It is active and quite talkative, having a strong voice, it is an independent cat but it much enjoys the company of its’ humans. It is a proud and highly intelligent cat and you can communicate at a high level using voice and and body language.

Because they are totally domestic by nature, Sokokes can be kept without permits and licenses normally required in the keeping of wild or endangered species. These little “cheetahs” are totally dependable in personality, they require no elaborate housing facilities, and they are a practical size for a family pet. Qualities that persevere from the wild are: super efficient ears, eyes and whiskers.
Camouflaged coats, agile and athletic bodies, a unique self-confidence, and a high level of intelligence.

Additionally, the breed strives to preserve genes unknown among the traditional domestic breeds. FIFe’s breed council is taking special interest in preserving these rare genes, and have made strict breeding plans for the few breeding cats. They have not been mixed with domestic cats and are therefore totally unique and is by some though to be a completely independent genera.

Being a cat of the rainforest, the Sokoke has a special relation to water and will just swim across any stream that crosses their path, they don’t seem to enjoy it but take is as a part of life. Another special characteristic is their hard muscular bodies, rendered even more athletic by their extremely short coat through which every muscle can be seen. The Sokoke cat thrives in groups and gets along well with other cats.

Special Medical Concerns: The first generations of Sokoke cats in Denmark seemed very prone to the infections that our native cats handle with ease or at least easily with the help of vaccinations. But current generations seems to have overcome this problem and has now no generic health problems. It just has to be remembered that the coat is very short and bereft of any undercoat so the cat chills easily. ~ Helle Lauridsen, Kibutata Cattery