Although superficially solid white, the Suqutranese (Socotranese) is essentially a ticked cat. It is a Somali-type semi longhair with white fur with glistening silver banding. UK registries and Somali breed societies frown upon anyone advertising "White Somalis" so the Suqutranese is not well known.
The Suqutranese standard is nearly identical to that of the Somali except the coat must be completely white with silver-white ticking and the nose-leather and paw-pads to be pink. The breeders were hopeful that approval for the breed would be granted by the Cat Association of Great Britain. However, in August 1995 the Somali Cat Breed Advisory Committee took offence at advertisement in various publications for "so-called White Somalis" and issued a statement that Somalis are cats with ticked coats i.e. each hair has several alternating bands of two colours. Any cat with a coat of only one colour is not a Somali and should not be described or sold as such. Since the Suqutranese has a silvery ticked coat and has its own breed name (White Somali being a descriptive term only), this seemed to be a breed society concerned about purity of coloured Somalis. Since then, nothing has been heard of the Suqutranese which is a great pity. A number of Somali breeders overseas have shown interest in re-creating the Suqutranese and it would make a glamourous new addition to the showbench. It would also not be too difficult to reproduce the results (under a less political cat registry) by using a silver Somali male on suitable white females.
Caroline Garrard and Charles and Betty Barrett were holidaying on the island of Suqutra (a.k.a. Socotra) off the coast of Somalia where they noticed a pure white cat with the conformation and temperament of a Somali. Its white fur had well-defined bands of silvery white clearly visible on the individual hairs. Ms Garrard had a pedigree usual silver Somali male (Clyde) and two white shorthair females. She bred an odd-eyed "White Somali" kitten (Fanny) in 1988 from white queen Fifi Farouche and Clyde. First generation kittens were a mixture of Somali colours and pure whites, mostly semi-longhairs of Somali type. In 1989, Fanny was mated back to her father, producing five White Somali kittens. Fanny’s second litter, also in 1989, comprised four White Somalis and one usual silver semi-longhair. Ms Garrard and the Barretts set up a breeding programme to seek recognition for white semi-longhairs of Somali type. They named the breed "Suqutranese" since "White Somali" was unacceptable to registries. Fanny and three of her offspring (2 females and one male) were shown at the CA of Great Britain show in March 1990.
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