Cat Breeds

Sokoke cat

Sokoke is a natural breed of domestic cat that developed in the Arabuko Sokoke forest in Kenya. A short-haired cat with a characteristic coat, agile and graceful.


Although sokoke has a “wild” appearance, it is in fact easy to grow. He can be a charming companion who establishes a deep bond with his guardian. Although he usually does not want to sit on his knees all the time, he likes to follow a man around the house, showing him his feelings.

By nature, sociable sokoke gets along well with other cats and other domestic animals. He is full of energy and likes to play, while he hates being left alone for a long time. Characteristic of his lifestyle is the sudden, violent “breaks”, followed by a period of calm – until the next “fun attack.” Sokoke loves running, races and jumps – he needs it to give energy a boost. He should be given the opportunity to climb and jump, e.g. placing scratchers at home – “cat’s trees”.

This is one of the breeds described as quite “dog” in behavior. Sokoke is eager to retrieve and easily learn various tricks in exchange for treats, as well as walking on a leash. In addition, which is probably even rarer in cats, they happily run to the door to welcome the owner returning home.

He is a talkative cat who can talk for hours. He perfectly reads human emotions and calms down “reptiles” when he sees that his man is sad. On the other hand, sokoke can be firm – when he feels threatened, he won’t hesitate to use his claws and teeth. These cats often show strong territorial instincts.

Sokoke cat

Sokoke cat. Advantages and disadvantages

Sokoke – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!


  • badly tolerates loneliness
  • is prone to violent mischief
  • a very rare breed and difficult to get


  • faithful as a dog – he establishes a very strong bond with his guardian
  • willingly stays with people, is a great companion for children
  • active, smart and very mobile, able to learn various tricks
  • is not afraid of water, treats bathing like fun
  • gets along well with other pets at home
Sokoke cat


There are currently no data on possible genetic health problems in this breed.


The healthiest juice for Sokoke is a properly balanced diet or high-quality wet feed. You can also include dry food in his diet, but then you should make sure that he drinks enough water (cats tend to drink very small amounts of water, which badly affects the kidneys).


As a short-haired cat, sokoke does not require labor-intensive care, the more that it does not have an undercoat. Just brushing once a week. Molting not very abundantly. We bathe the cat only when it is necessary, but it is worth getting used to it from a small age, so that it was possible at all. Sokoke tends to have ear infections, especially ear mites, which is why they should be cleaned regularly. Claws, especially on outgoing cats, should be cut every 10-15 days. It is good to clean your teeth once a week.

Sokoke cat

Sokoke cat. History

Sokoke is one of the few natural breeds of cats that evolved without any human intervention, adapting to the local environment. Initially, they appeared in the Arabuko Sokoke forest in eastern Kenya and only later began to breed them. This is an old breed, but rare. DNA research has shown that it is not a hybrid with the wild cat species, as originally thought, but comes from Asian cats, which in turn are descendants of wild cats from Arabia.

In 1978, Kenyan farmer Jeni Slater noticed two feral cats on her coconut plantation – a male and female of an unusual color for Kenyan cats, the so-called classic (brindle, in which the stripes form spirals and rings). The “wild” appearance and the unusual color of the animals fascinated her to such an extent that she decided to tame them, and then start breeding. It turned out that they were not real wild animals, but domestic cats that simply adapted to the local environment.

After some time, African friend Jeni, Gloria Moeldrup, fell in love with murmurs. In 1984 she imported two and then another three cats. She presented them at an exhibition in Odense, where they aroused great interest. In 1992, one sokoke was brought to Italy. This is how the foundations for a formally bred breed were created.

In 2001, sokoke growers got the news that another sokoke was found in Kenya. For years, unsuccessful attempts were made to recruit new breed members to breed to introduce “fresh blood” – European and American sokoke was clearly beginning to show signs of inbreeding depression. Difficulties in acquiring new individuals resulted, among others from the resistance of local tribes who opposed catching cats, considering them to be divine animals. Due to the lack of access to sokoke, even crosswords with other domestic cats were discussed, but no one really wanted to do that.

When the pictures sent from Kenya proved that they were probably sokoke, the joy was enormous. It turned out that the whole group of sokoke was gathered on the Kenyan farm of Jeannie Knocker. Cats were brought at the request of the film crew who wanted to make a documentary about Kenyan cats. Unfortunately, the project was ultimately unsuccessful and Mrs Knocker stayed with the cats and the materials collected about them. In this situation, she willingly shared both breeders in Europe and the USA, who fed their breeding programs with them. The more eager that the sokoke found by the film crew came from a different part of the Arabuko Sokoke forest than those found by Jeni Slater.

The breed was recognized by FIFe with the right to become a champion in January 1994. TICA started to register it in 2004, and obtained the status of the pre-recognized Sokoke breed in May 2008. It is most frequently bred in Scandinavia. It is not available in Poland yet.


Sokoke – African Shorthair – Shorthair and Somali cats – III cat. FIFe

EMS code: SOK

  • Origin: Kenya
  • Character: sociable, fun-loving, strongly associated with man.
  • Activity: inquisitive, lively, lively, hates boredom, walks on a leash, plays in the water.
  • Size: medium, long and graceful cat.
  • Weight: medium cat; 2.7-4.5 kg.
  • Torso: medium long, slim, muscular.
  • Head shape: moderately wedge-shaped, seems small in relation to the body. High, well-defined cheekbones. Medium-length nose bridge, straight
  • Ears: medium-sized, broad at the base, tips slightly rounded, brushes desirable at the ends, set medium-high, at a distance of the width of the ear from one another.
  • Eyes: Large, set well apart, slightly oblique to the nose, slightly almond-shaped, amber to light green color.
  • Tail: medium long, pointed.
  • LIMBS: Hindlegs clearly longer than the forelegs, which means that the cat seems to be on its toes when moving – this is even deeper when it is aroused.
  • Coat: very short, close-fitting and shiny, with minimal or no undercoat.
  • Color: any shade of black classic tabby, it is desirable that the light areas have hair with an agouti (ticking) pattern, which is characteristic of this breed.
  • Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: generally healthy cat; tends to have ear mites
  • Lifespan: 9-15 years

Interesting facts

Natives of the Giriama tribe describe sokoke with the word khadzonzo. Khadzo means ‘beautiful’ and nzo means ‘come’, so the whole thing means ‘come here beautiful’. Interestingly, they use the same term in reference to the Żeneta – a mammal from the family of the warvery (there are many species of Żenet, in Kenya there is the Genet servalina Żeneta ). It should be noted that they distinguish these animals – Żenety eat, while Sokoke does not.

A new variety of Sokoke, called Snow Sokoke, has been created – with shades of cream or grayish beige.

Unlike most cats, sokoke are not afraid of water and love to swim.

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