Abyssinian & Somali
Head = 30 points
Profile = 5
Muzzle = 5
Skull = 5
Ears = 5
Eye shape = 5
Neck = 5
Body = 35 points
Torso = 10
Legs and feet = 10
Boning = 5
Tail = 5
Musculature = 5
Coat and texture = 10 points
Colour and pattern = 25 points
Colour = 10
Ticking = 10
Eye colour = 5
Divisions: tabby (ticked tabby pattern only), silver/smoke (ticked tabby pattern only)
NB: brown ticked tabby is called ruddy, cinnamon ticked tabby is called sorrel)
Abyssinian X Abyssinian
Somali X Somali
Abyssinian X Somali
The Abyssinian is a cat breed known for a very long time, and whose origin is mysterious and controversial. The Somali is the semi-longhair variety of the Abyssinian. Both should have a royal look. Medium in size, males are proportionally larger than females. Well muscled, the Abyssinian and the Somali are supple and agile like panthers and show a great interest in their environment. Their ticked coat has the quality to reflect the light. Because of his hair length, the Somali may seem a bit heavier than he really is.
the shape is a modified wedge with rounded contours and no flat plane, viewed from the side or the front. The profile lines show gentle contours: the skull is slightly rounded, with a slightly rounded forehead, a slight indentation between forehead and nose, without a break. The nose should not be too long. A slight bump is not a fault, if it does not bring any break or important curving. The length of the head should be in proportion to the body. The head is proudly flowing into an elegant neck.
viewed from the front as from the side, the muzzle shows gently rounded contours, without being pointed or pinched. The chin is full and gently curved, without being projecting or receding. Jowls are allowed in adult males. The nose leather is outlined in harmony with coat colour. The lips should also show the same colour.
Brilliant and expressive, the eyes are large. Almond shaped, their opening is neither round nor oriental. Admitted colours are gold, hazel or green in any shade, as long as they are even-coloured. They display a “Cleopatra” fine Mascara line, in relation with coat colour, encircled by a light coloured area. Above each eye, there is a short vertical darker pencil stroke amidst the light area.
large, alert and moderately pointed, the ears have a deep cup shape and are widely opened at base. Tilting forward, they are set as if the cat was listening. Moderately wide set, they are neither parallel nor vertical. The outer edge should be rather low, but not as much as in Oriental-typed cats. Hair on ears should be short and close-lying, preferably tipped, in conformity with the colour requirements. The Somali has good ear furnishings. A “thumb print” marking is desirable on the back of the ear.
rather long and graceful, the neck is gently arched.
foreign in type, the body is medium long, lithe and graceful with a well developed musculature. It is firm to the touch and elegant, never massive. The rib cage is slightly rounded, with no evidence of flat sides. The back is slightly arched as if the cat was about to spring.
slim in proportion to the body, the legs are long, well-muscled and straight.
small, oval and compact. When standing, the Abyssinian and the Somali give the impression to be on tip toe. Paw pads colour should be in relationship with coat colour.
rather thick at base, the tail is fairly long, but in proportion to the body. It is relatively tapering for the Abyssinian and plumed for the Somali.
Coat and texture:
the Abyssinian’s coat is resilient to the touch, with a lustrous sheen and a fine texture. It is short but should have sufficient length for each hair shaft to show at least four alternating light and dark bands, called ticking. The coat is close-lying, longer on the spine, getting gradually shorter on the head, flanks and legs. Without being woolly, the undercoat is a specific feature of the silky and resilient coat of the Abyssinian. The Somali’s coat is semi-long, rather close-lying. It is shorter over the shoulders and spine, getting gradually longer on the flanks. Ruff and britches should be well furnished. No woolliness desired in undercoat.
Colour and Ticking:
coat colour is an essential feature of the Abyssinian and Somali breeds. It should not be drab in any way but on the contrary show the deepest possible contrast. The coat seems to be glowing, which emphasizes the colour intensity. Each hair shaft should display at least four alternating light and dark coloured bands, called ticking, except on underside areas, i.e. belly, chest, throat, inner side of legs and underside of tail which are not ticked. Colour on these areas should be even. From skin to tip, ticked hair shafts should start with a light coloured band and end up with a dark coloured band (distal end). The Abyssinian and the Somali are tabby cats, therefore, their whisker pads, chin and upper throat area are lighter coloured, off-white preferred to white. One should notice darker shading along the spine which strengthens the wild look of those breeds. ‘Soles’, i.e. darker colour behind legs, are welcome.
he pattern is the same as in non-silver cats but the lighter coloured bands between the ticking ground colour are replaced by a tone to be as silver as possible. The reddish shades, called ‘rufousing’, even if not desirable, are not to be considered a major fault, most of all if it is situated along the spine.
alert and lively, neither skinny nor fat.
Non-silvers: coldness or grey, sandy or drab tones. White extending to the throat. Undercoat with unrelated colour (for instance, grey-coloured in a ruddy or sorrel cat)
Silvers: definite rufousing areas, yellowish undercoat instead of pure white.All colours: one to two broken necklaces, tabby markings anywhere other than on the head. Uneven or indistinct eye colour in adults.
Ticking or pattern faults: non ticked spots or areas anywhere other than on the throat, belly inner side of legs, and underside of tail; lack of evenness in ticking. Plush or woolly coat. Round head, with obvious break or straight profile Whippy tail.
Withhold all awards
White colour beyond throat (in non-silver cats)
White locket, unbroken necklace or presence of more than two broken necklaces, non-agouti cat.
Reversed ticking (outermost tip of hair shaft light instead of dark).
Colourless paw pads.
General show penalties and withholdings.