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Sokoke

 
Alternative Name
Sokoke Forest Cat Khadzonzos

Basic Info

The Sokoke is a breed of cat. The original name of the breed was Khadzonzos. The Khadzonzos cats were discovered in the Sokoke-Arabuke forest, on the Kenyan coast, by Jeni Slater in 1978. Gloria Moeldrop, a friend of Slater's, brought some of the cats home with her to Denmark to breed. In 1990, she imported more cats from Kenya to strengthen the breeding stock. The cats were first shown in Copenhagen in 1995. The breed was officially recognized by the FIFe in 1993, with the name changed to Sokoke, after where they came from. Sokokes have blotched tabby coats in shades of brown, with amber to light green eyes. Their coats are short and coarse, with little to no undercoat. Their bodies are long and thin, with long legs. The back legs should be longer than the front legs, similar to an ocelot. Sokokes are very active and enjoy climbing and "talking" to their people. The appearance of the Sokoke immediately strikes a cord that they are from Kenya. The qualities they retain from the wild are their super efficient ears and slanted almond-shaped eyes in various shades of amber to light green. Moderately sized, their unique and attractive African tabby pattern varies from a warm light brown to an almost black chestnut brown. They resemble an ocelot. The quality of their coat, one of their most unique features, is: shiny, extremely short, elastic, silky, and without any undercoat. The Sokoke's elegant body and impressive stance evoke an air of stately self-confidence. A silhouette of a Sokoke's proud stature reveals: a strong chin, an almost straight medium nose, well defined cheekbones, ears upright in an alert listening position, and a slender body set off by slightly longer hind legs, and a long, thin whip-like tail. Their agile and athletic build is based on the special characteristic of their hard muscular bodies. Because of their extremely short coat every muscle can be seen. In motion, their movement pattern can be compared with that of a cheetah.

Health

Your SOKOKE Cat Care Checklist S:Short, dense coat needs little care. O:Only stroking their fur with your hand keeps their coat healthy. K:Keep their mental health in balance with a good daily brushing of their fur. O:Only good food and lots of fresh water. Stay up-to-date on required vaccinations. K:Keep an eye on the temperature; without an undercoat the Sokoke chills easily. E:Enjoy them -- they too thrive on love.

Sokoke picture
Habitat

N/A

Behavior

Graced with an affectionate, intelligent, and interactive personality, their mere presence creates the delight of taking on a challenging new hobby. Almost dog-like in its nature, the Sokoke is loving and develops a strong bond with its human, but is not the clinging type. They strike a balance of pride and independence with the endearing quality of choosing to honor you, by sleeping in your lap and standing by you -- always ready to be petted. Highly intelligent, the Sokoke enjoys the company of humans and in fact 'joins in', since they are eloquent 'talkers' that use a high level voice as well as body language. Both curious and sweet, a Sokoke is a very sensitive cat that tends to reflect the moods of its human. Because they are physically active, playful, and 'talkative' a receptive audience and space are necessary. They thrive in groups, get along well with other cats, and are a practical size for a family pet.

Origin

Kenya

History

The original home of the Sokoke Forest Cat was amidst the rain forests in East Africa, on the Kenyan coast in the Sokoke Arabuke Forest. Historically, the only reference found was from the Giriama tribe whose name for the cat was 'Kadzonzo' Tribal elders' specific descriptions of the Sokoke cats proved that the cats had a close relationship with the old tribal culture. Little was known about the Sokoke cat until 1978 when a Kenyan farmer, Jeni Slater, found an unusual litter of kittens on her coconut plantation. Driven by her strong commitment to raising the cats combined with the good fortune of meeting locals who shared her fear that this rare breed might not survive, Jeni Slater's story in the history of the Sokoke cat is now paramount. The long journey includes: moving a breeding pair to Denmark, the first showing of Sokoke cats in Copenhagen in 1984, followed by the birth of the pairs ('Jenny' and 'Mzuri') first litter in 1985. The breed is still under development in Europe. The ultimate goal has been to breed enough cats to keep the rare Sokoke breed alive and healthy. There seems to be some debate over the exact species name of this beautiful cat, and a research project is ongoing at the University of California Davis to help clarify their exact taxonomy. Some have classified them as "Felis lybica", while others maintain they should be classified as "Felis taita" It may be the case that they fall into another species all together. When they have completed their DNA studies at UC Davis the riddle may finally be solved.

Common Foods

cat food, milk

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