Sokoke Cat Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Size: Medium. Average body.
Exercise Needs: Needs decent exercise.
Ability to Adapt: Medium. Takes time to adjust.
Shedding: Low shedding.
Average Lifespan: From 10-15 years.
Price: From $1000 to $2000.
Weight: From 6-10 lbs.
Playfulness: Through the roof!
Social Skills: Great with children & other pets.
Need for Grooming: Once a week.
Health: Excellent. No health issues.
The Sokoke Cat has an exotic wild look and is one of the rarest cat breeds. This is a medium-sized cat with a slender and graceful medium-long body. The body is supported by finely boned and slender legs and ends in a whip-like tail.
Their modified wedge-shaped heads sport high cheekbones, moderately large ears, and large almond-shaped eyes. The short and dense coat has tabby markings that look like tree bark.
This energetic and lively breed likes to jump and play. These cats form strong attachments to their owners and like to follow them around.
However, they aren’t lap cats and will be more content just to be near you. The Sokoke has an outgoing nature and likes meeting new people. Furthermore, they enjoy living with other cats and dogs.
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Where Did Sokoke Cat Breed Originate?
The Sokoke is a natural breed that stems from a feral khadzonzo cats that lived in Arabuko Sokoke National Forest in Kenya.
In 1978, Jeni Slater, a horse breeder, and wildlife artist found a cat with a litter on her coconut plantation. These cats were known to native people and were on the verge of extinction due to the exploitation of the forest resources.
Slater was captivated by the exotic looks and markings of these cats and decided to take two kittens with her. She nursed the kittens and was surprised by how tamed they were.
Once these cats were old enough, she bred them and decided to name the new breed African Shorthair.
In 1983, Slater was concerned for the future of this new breed. So, she gave two kittens to her friend Gloria Moeldrop to take with her to Denmark and establish a breed there. In 1989, Moeldrop imported more cats from Kenya to strengthen her bloodlines.
It was believed that the khadzonzo cats were hybrids that were the product of naturally occurring mating between African wildcats and domestic cats. However, recent DNA testing showed that khadonzo descended from Asian cats. That’s why, its descendant Sokoke, is a natural breed of domestic cats.
The new breed was named Sokoke after the place it was found-the Arabuko Sokoke Natural Forest. In 1993, the breed was recognized by Federation Internationale Feline. The International Cat Association granted the Sokoke a preliminary new breed status in 2004.
What Does the Sokoke Cat Look Like?
The Sokoke should be a medium-sized cat with a long and thin body. Although slim, the body is at the same time graceful and muscular and contributes to the overall wild appearance.
They have well-developed chests, rounded rib cages, and slender yet muscular necks. The body is supported by finely boned, slender legs and ends in a whip-like tail.
Their head is small in the proportion to the body and has a modified wedge shape. The head is adorned with moderately large ears, high cheekbones, and large almond-shaped eyes that come in green and amber shades.
Sokoke Cat Colors (Coat)
The Sokoke’s short and glossy coat comes in a tabby pattern.
They typically have blotched (large-spotted) tabby markings that extend all the way to the tip of the tail. The centers of the large spots are hollow-looking due to the agouti gene which also gives the coat a shimmering appearance.
The coat comes in shades of brown and looks a lot like tree bark. Depending on the association, this breed can also have black, melanistic, blue, and seal lynx point colors.
Selective breeding has led to the development of new patterns. So you can also find, chaotic, chained, and clouded marbling patterns.
Sokoke Cat Personality Traits
This is an affectionate and playful breed with dog-like personality. Hence, these cats get very attached to their owners and like to follow them around. However, they are also very independent and won’t demand constant attention.
The Sokoke will greet you by the front door when you come home from work and continue to follow you around the house. This is a highly vocal cat that will chat about her day and share her opinions about everything.
The Sokoke is an energetic and active cat that likes to jump and climb. So, consider investing in a tall cat tree that will fulfill your cat’s natural climbing urges.
Furthermore, this is a highly intelligent breed that will enjoy learning new things. So, you can train your cat to do tricks, learn commands, and even teach her how to walk on a cat leash. Your kitty will enjoy the challenge and also be more than happy to take a stroll around the block.
These cats have outgoing personalities and like to meet new people. Their friendly approach helps them get along with everyone and they become fast friends with other cats and dogs.
The Sokoke is deeply devoted and loyal to its owner. However, it isn’t a clingy and it won’t mind spending some time alone. Still, it is a good idea to provide your cat with catnip toys, so she won’t get bored while you aren’t around.
While it may look wild, the Sokoke is easily tamed and has an outgoing and playful temperament. This is an independent cat, so don’t expect a Sokoke to seek attention or jump in your lap. These cats show their affection by following you around and are generally always close by.
Being a very chatty cat, your Sokoke will carry on a conversation for hours on end and tell you about her day and everything else of interest. Thanks to their free-roaming ancestors, these cats are always alert and won’t hesitate to use their teeth or claws if threatened.
Sokoke Cat Behavior
Although independent the Sokoke doesn’t like to be left alone for long periods of time. If left to its own devices or ignored frequently, the Sokoke can become destructive and depressed.
However, you can easily prevent these issues by spending quality time with your cat every day. Consider getting another cat or a dog as a companion while you aren’t around.
Are Sokoke Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
The Sokoke is an adaptable breed that reacts well to new environments and change. However, these cats are very attached to their owners and can have problems if they are re-homed in adulthood. So, think about your long-term plans and how a cat fits into them before deciding to get this breed.
Furthermore, they can have problems dealing with a loss of a companion animal.
This is a moderately active cat that likes to play and also observe her surroundings lying in a window perch. Hence, you will have to interact with your cat daily for at least 20 minutes to keep her exercised. Involve your cat in hunting games and let her chase and jump after a teaser wand.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
The playful and outgoing Sokoke will fit nicely in an active home with older children. These cats love to play with kids and will chase after catnip mice toys for hours. Since Sokoke doesn’t tire easily, it will be a great playing buddy for children who can meet its energy levels.
These cats also get along with other cats and dogs, and love being the part of a group. Sokokes form deep bonds with other furry companions and are ideal additions to homes with more than one pet.
The moderately active Sokoke loves to play and will enjoy having lots of toys at her disposal including puzzles.
Spend at least 20 minutes a day playing with your cat and get her moving by throwing toys she can retrieve. Set up a kitty activity center for times when you aren’t around to stimulate your cat to play and get moving.
General Health and Potential Risks
The Sokoke has excellent health and doesn’t suffer from any genetic health problems.
However, they are more susceptible to common feline diseases compared to other cat breeds. That’s why you will have to keep your cat vaccinated and take her to regular vet appointments.
Furthermore, it is wise to limit your cat’s outdoor exposure to an enclosed playing area to avoid any health issues.
Sokoke Cat Lifespan
The Sokoke has an average life expectancy of 10-15 years. Due to its stable health, the Sokoke is a great choice if you don’t want to deal with long-term medical costs or take your cat to the vet frequently.
To maintain your cat’s robust health keep her regularly dewormed and invest in flea and tick prevention solutions.
The Sokoke has a short and dense coat that lies close to the body. These cats have little or no undercoat and are very easy to groom. Use a grooming glove to brush your cat once a week.
This way you will distribute skin oils through the length of fur and remove any loose hair and dirt.
Sokoke Cat Shedding
Since these cats don’t have an undercoat, they shed minimally. Hence, you won’t have to deal with cat hair all over your clothes and daily vacuuming. If by any chance your cat starts to shed more than usual, groom her with a rubber brush twice a week.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Sokoke Cat. Continue reading to learn more about this wild-looking but people-loving breed!
How Much is Sokoke Cat Price?
The exact price of a Sokoke kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. On average you can expect to pay from $1000 to $2000 for a purebred Sokoke.
Keep in mind that this is a fairly rare breed and that show quality cats may cost significantly more depending on the coat, heritage, and gender.
How Big Do Sokoke Cats Get?
As with all other cat breeds, males are larger and usually weigh from 8-10 pounds. Females are smaller and weigh from 6-8 pounds.
The Sokoke is a lithe and athletic cat that embodies elegance. Their slender legs aren’t built to support a fat body. That’s why it is important to keep this cat at a healthy weight and feed her with weight maintenance cat food. Feed your cat according to her age and activity level to prevent obesity and maintain her sleek look.