🐾Sokoke cat: Your new pet
Meet the exotic Sokoke cat, a very European pet of African origin, who went from being a semi-wild cat to an attractive domestic cat in many homes.
The story of this kitten begins in the 70s, when English breeders made a trip to a region in the west of Kenya called Sokoke, for being a wet forest, where they found a peculiar kitten, with a beautiful fur that resembled the bark of a tree, and that lived in the surroundings of urban settlements and many rural areas. Amazed by its beauty, these breeders adopted two kittens and imported them to Europe, where they began their breeding program to adapt this striking breed to family life as a new breed of feline pets. Soon, the breed became well known and famous, since they had good acceptance.
When you see the cat Sokoke, you will find a very striking specimen, medium-sized and with an elongated body, but with thick features and developed muscles, being a great climber. Its green or amber eyes match its brown fur, over which a series of darker lines and figures patterns are drawn, offering a good camouflage in the middle of nature. Its short hair is soft and thick, always bright, which indicates good health.
It can be thought that its character is a bit stubborn because it was adapted from wildlife to domestic life, and although there are more reserved specimens than others, the vast majority of Sokoke cats are friendly, affectionate, social and playful felines, capable of living along with all family members without problems. They are attached to their owners and quite empathetic; it seems that their special sensitivity allows them to feel the humor and emotions of people. They demand attention for their affection as well as their great energy since they enjoy playing, especially outdoors.
Sokoke cats are carnivorous like all felines. Their diet should be highly rich in protein. They get the strength and brightness of their fur from good nutrition. This kitten enjoys an excellent physical condition, it can even live for up to 15 years. It is not known for common congenital diseases, although it has some sensitivity to cold environments that make it susceptible to colds.
Caring for a Sokoke is as simple as caring for any other domestic cat: love, food, recreation, hygiene, and health will be enough to keep a happy kitten that is a faithful companion to all family members, from grandpa to grandson. The Sokoke turns out to be a lovely cat, which will give a perfect exotic touch, directly from Africa to your home.
🐾History and Origin
This curious and striking breed of cats known as Sokoke is native from the African continent, where they are called “khadzonzos”. It is a very popular and well-known breed in various countries in Africa, such as in Kenya, where they live wildly in the middle of urban areas of cities and also in rural communities.
The history of this breed of cats begins thanks to the intervention of two English breeders of cats, whose names were Jane Slater and Gloria Modrup, both friends and lovers of cats. On a trip to Kenya, the breeders came across these beautiful and impressive kittens and decided to capture some and adapt them into a new breed of domestic cats, around the decade of the 70s.
It was then that both breeders began a breeding program for African Sokoke cats, which had an excellent impact and acceptance, and quickly unveiled this beautiful breed throughout the European continent. Its popularity grew in such a way that once the breed standard was defined, various feline associations around the world recognized it among domestic cat breeds.
After a trip to England, in 1983, some Danish tourists imported a pair of Sokoke cats to their native country, Denmark, observing that these kittens had perfect adaptation to the cold climate of that region of Europe. A year later, in 1984, the Sokoke cats were accepted and recognized as a domestic feline breed in that country. European expansion continued in the following years. They arrived in Italy in 1992.
Other major feline breed organizations worldwide have already accepted the Sokoke breed standard. We have, for example, the case of the International Federation of Felines who included it among their races since 1993; in the same way, the Sokoke are accepted by the CEC and the GCCF. On the other hand, the TICA is still under observation and evaluation of this breed, including the Sokoke in the category of “new preliminary race”, hoping that in the next few years it will be declared as such.
There are currently few specimens of Sokoke cats outside Africa, mainly in Kenya where they inhabit rainforest regions as wild cats. They are more popular in Europe, where they have become popular and exclusive pets. In the Americas, their number is even smaller, copies are brought imported from European cities. Breeding programs for this new breed of domestic cats are still being developed.
The Sokoke owe their name to that region in West Africa with rainforest characteristics where the majority of them live.
🐾Characteristics of the breed
The Sokoke felines have an impressive, striking and attractive physique, easy to recognize and distinguish. It is a medium-sized cat, with a weight range from 3 to 5 kilos, being slightly higher in males.
Its body is characterized by a strong and thick, elongated structure, which in turn gives it a strong and stylish appearance. A compact bone structure is observed, with robust bones. The Sokoke felines have a vigorous and well-developed musculature, characteristics that are evident in the limbs. It has thick and muscular legs that are strong, agile and elongated, although it can be seen that the back legs are slightly longer than the front ones, and end in oval-shaped feet with thick pads; these are characteristics that make the Sokoke a good climber.
Concerning the head, Sokoke cats have a rounded wedge-shaped skull, small in size, with a flat forehead without a prominent nasal stop. A pair of oval eyes, arranged in an oblique direction of medium size is distinguished in its face. Usually, the color can go from light green to brown amber, combined with the fur. We see a pair of medium ears, which are wide at the base and are tuned as they approach the upper angle, the upper tip is rounded and arranged in an upright attitude. Some specimens may have tufts or brushes at the tip of the ears, a very favorable feature for the breed.
Sokoke cats have a medium nose, a strong and slightly prominent chin, and well-defined pads are seen around the whisker region.
Likely, the characteristic that most attracts the attention of this breed of felines is its beautiful fur. The Sokokes’ fur is short, shiny and soft, although thick and slightly silky. Some specimens may have a second layer of sub-hair, but it is an exceptional feature. The color of the fur is significant, a tabby shade, so the background color of the fur is brown while this mottled pattern is dark brown that matches the background color and often resembles the bark of the tree with different shades.
The color can also resemble an amber or brown shade; it is usually bright. The tabby design is characterized by presenting a series of dark lines and marks on a lighter background.
As for the tail, it usually ends in a fine black tip. It starts wide at the base and narrows towards the end. In the tail region, the fur is arranged in a pattern of lines, alternating between light and dark bands. The white color is not characteristic of this breed, they are barely seen sometimes on the neck, chin or under the nose.
As we see, the Sokoke is a kitten with a perfect African design, worthy of admiration!
🐾Character and personality
The character of Sokoke cats has certain peculiarities in terms of living and dealing with humans since they are cats that, in their native African country, Kenya, tend to live in a semi-wild state, around urban and rural areas.
It was from the moment that their breeding program began when they started to be trained and educated to live as pets with humans, however, this introduction to life as pets is relatively new and may still have certain peculiarities in their personality, typical of its origins.
As we know, the vast majority of cats are independent and tend to be less affectionate than other pets, perhaps even somewhat arid. However, although some of the Sokoke specimens remain independent, they have adapted perfectly to domestic life with people. Reports indicate that these specimens have managed to be friendly and social, keeping their great energy, while also requiring physical activity, which leads them to seek attention and love from their masters to invite them to play with them.
The Sokoke cats are strong, agile and very active cats. Since their introduction as pets, they have become good companions in human homes. They adapt well to any space and climate, although it is true that because of their playful personality it is preferred that these cats live in a home with enough space where they can move freely and play. The Sokoke adore gardens with abundant branches and flowers. They constantly look for their owner to invite him to play or perform any physical activity; they are affectionate and friendly in general.
Besides, this kitten has the peculiarity of being friendly and respectful of other breeds and also of other species of pets. It must be remembered that this is a characteristic of learned personality and that it will depend a lot on the training that the Sokoke has received in terms of coexistence and social training.
Sokoke kittens get to live well with people of any age, whether its grandparents or children; usually this kitten has learned to be careful and gentle with others around him. It is said that the special characteristic of the personality of this kitten is empathy, going as far as to believe that they can come to understand people’s emotions, being even able to provide support, sustenance, and affection when someone needs it.
We can say that the Sokoke is a cheerful and happy cat, although it is usually independent, curious around its environment, with an explorer character. It retains certain characteristics of its wild, temperamental, vivacious, hunter, intelligent and skillful lifestyle.
Although it is not commonly known among households, people who own a Sokoke know that it is a great choice, a strong, fun, playful, sociable and tolerant kitten. It has even learned some form of communication with its masters through meows, therefore, the Sokoke has a very special relationship with its adoptive family. No doubt it will seem like a sensational pet.
🐾Diet and feeding
The feeding of the Sokoke is fundamentally carnivorous, not only because it is a breed of cats of semi-wild behavior, but also because like all felines it is carnivorous. Sokoke must be fed a balanced diet, mainly based on animal protein: beef, chicken or fish products, as well as a certain portion of vegetables that provide vegetable protein and essential carbohydrates to its diet, should also be a regular part of its meals.
The most popular food options for your feline pet are industrially made products and homemade menus. The latter has recently become a boom in the world of pet care because it is always a good feeding option for your Sokoke as long as you prepare the meals the right way and in the correct proportions.
First, you should know that the food will be distributed in portions of around 40 to 90gr during the day. Usually, there are two dishes a day, although you can include additional snacks for cats between meals, which are especially useful during training or playing, to please and reward it from time to time. When preparing food at home for your Sokoke cat, consider certain rules: the main thing is to know that most of the portion should be proteins of high nutritional value that are derived from animals, fish being highly recommended as a first option because it is richer in nutrients and easily digested. The rest of the ration you will complete with some vegetables such as carrots, turnips, garlic.
The second key point to make your cat’s food at home is to know how to prepare the food. Remember that all foods should be well cooked since the ingestion of raw foods brings both infectious and digestive diseases, so avoid giving food without cooking to your cat. Also, it is always better to boil naturally along with the vegetables than the seasoned, loaded of salt and condiments.
Consult with your veterinarian whenever you have doubts about what foods you should feed your cat with and how to prepare them.
On the other hand, we also present the option of industrial products that are easily available to purchase in the market, with a variety of combinations of nutrients adapted according to age, breed, and ready to serve on the plate. It is an easy and practical type of food for busy owners.
The key to dry feed is to choose a product that is of good quality, whose highest nutritional composition is protein, and that is preferably free of aggregate cereals. With this form of feeding, it will be easier for you to control food rations. There is also the wet feed, which is foods with more flavor and greater water content, ideal to vary a little food and stimulate your cat’s appetite. It is advised that the wet feed be a resource to use occasionally to make food attractive, and not a form of routine feeding, as it is also high in fat.
It is probable that, due to their wild origin, the Sokoke are cats that have good health and a strong and resistant structure; it has been observed that they have a life expectancy that exceeds 12 years and round up to 15 years, an age they can reach and even surpass if they are given the necessary health care, food, and others in relation to the quality of life.
This breed is characterized by being strong, of compact physical build, thick features, and powerful muscles, and also an excellent state of health. Since their breeding and adaptation for living with humans, Sokoke cats have not identified genetic diseases that are inherited, common or characteristic of this breed.
Although they tend to have good health, Sokoke kittens are not exempt from suffering from some diseases. For example, this breed, although it has adapted to life in the middle of cold climates in Europe, the Sokoke is susceptible to sudden changes in temperature, which is logical if you think about it since their original habitat is the humid forests of western Africa. For this reason, during seasons of the year with cold climates or in case of sudden changes in temperature, such as moving from a warm to a cold region, they can easily catch colds and viral respiratory issues. They are particularly sensitive, especially when it comes to kittens. In these cases, it is recommended to take the necessary forecasts.
Like the majority of house pets, and even more so this independent, semi-wild kitten adapted to domestic life still maintains some explorer and adventurer behaviors, so, during one of its walks, it can be exposed to getting infested with parasites, fleas, and ticks.
You must be vigilant about these diseases, and do not forget to take it regularly to the veterinarian, at least twice a year, so that the health professional is responsible for providing it with the necessary vaccines, dewormer and relevant treatments that your Sokoke cat needs to live healthily.
The fact that the Sokoke is an athletic, playful and very energetic feline breed, protects it from some ailments such as obesity. However, be sure to always provide quality food and stimulate it enough to perform regular physical activity. These habits reinforce their state of health.
Speaking a bit about the development of the breed, Sokoke cats usually have 2 to 4 offspring per delivery, with a gestation that lasts 65 to 70 days. In the first two months, the kittens must only receive a breastfeeding diet, then they can gradually incorporate semi-solid foods, such as feed grains moistened in milk. After three months of age, they may be ready to go with their adoptive family and begin their training and adaptation program to their new home.
Do not forget to offer good emotional support to your Sokoke kitten; it is said that the specimens of this breed are empathic and objective animals that manage to perceive and feel the sensations of their humans. Therefore, pampering and caressing, as well as quality moments together, are essential for good emotional health.
Sokoke cats are very special felines. To the surprise of most, they have transformed from beautiful semi-wild cats in Africa to affectionate, friendly and playful pets in many European and American countries.
To take care of this beautiful breed of kittens you just need to love it, because the attention it deserves are basically the same as you would give any other breed of domestic cats, paying attention to their health and vitality, providing a good diet, taking care of their hygiene and grooming, and offering it the ideal family environment that allows it to receive the love and affection it needs, as well as games and fun.
Sokoke specimens as pets are great companions. The descriptions of their adoptive families tell us about a domestic feline who is kind to everyone in the home, sociable with guests as well as other animals, and also very attached to its master. This kitten is usually sweet and affectionate, likes to share quality moments with its family, share caresses and make constant invitations to its loved ones to play, only being a bit more reserved with strangers.
For this reason, make sure to offer your Sokoke cat enough time for the attention it requires, so that this kitten can fulfill its emotional needs for affection and attention that allow it to create a bond of trust and familiarity that improves its behavior and allows good relationships and adaptation at home. However, you must also respect their independence and sense of freedom; like all cats, Sokoke likes to explore and browse, so it will indicate when it needs your affection.
It is not advisable to leave it for a long time alone at home, as it demands a moderate level of attention, which, if not satisfied, can begin to develop anxiety behaviors such as continuously meowing for attention, and even scratching objects. If you go to work, be sure to leave some toys laying around, among them a scraper, so that it can be entertained (and also to protect your furniture).
Sokokes prefer a home where it has enough space to move freely, play and have fun. That is why houses with gardens or outdoor spaces are recommended, although, this does not mean that this kitten cannot adapt well to the dimensions of an apartment, it will only need some walks to fulfill its playing needs.
Regarding hygiene, Sokoke has the advantage of having a short and soft fur, which allows brushing once or twice a week. Baths are not routine; they only need to bathe as long as it is really dirty. For those occasions, you should use special shampoo for cats to take care of their fur and the pH of their skin.
Once you have bathed it, dry it very well with a towel and then pass the dryer at a moderate distance so that it does not burn, preventing it from catching a cold. Usually, the bathing routine is not difficult; Sokoke kittens are reputed to be good swimmers and they like to take a dip every once in a while.
If you follow these simple cares it will be very easy to take care of your Sokoke kitten and thus enjoy a loving family for many more years.