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Have You Ever Heard About The Sokoke Cat Breed?

Have You Ever Heard About The Sokoke Cat Breed?

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Have you ever heard of the Sokoke cat? If the answer is no, here’s your opportunity to learn everything about this exotic cat breed. Who knows, maybe it will turn out to be the perfect pet for you!

This breed of cat is very rare, unique, and expensive. Besides being one of the rarest cat breeds, these cats are very intelligent and friendly, with a beautiful body and fur color.

Moreover, their personality is similar to a dog’s, therefore they are able to learn tricks, and they become very attached to their owners. That’s exactly why a Sokoke cat can be a man’s best cat friend.

So, if you’re a cat person who wants a loyal, dog-like pet, (and who’s ready to pay a spicy price for it), then read on as the Sokoke cat may be the perfect choice for you and your family!

All About The Sokoke Cat Breed!

Key Characteristics
Height 7-8 inches
Weight5-10 pounds
Lifespan 15-20 years
ColorsOrigin Kenya
Other namesAfrican Shorthair cat, Sokoke Forest cat, kadzonzo/khadzonzo
Temperament intelligent, friendly, affectionate

A Sokoke cat is a unique and rare cat that originated from Kenya. It’s also known as the African Shorthair cat, Sokoke Forest cat, or Kadzonzo/Khadzonzo.

This breed of cat is one of the rarest of them all, and this is very evident from their personality and their appearance. These cats are very energetic, so if you’re looking for a calm, cuddly cat, then a Sokoke might not be for you.

Sokoke cats have a dog-like personality, and while they can be sweet, cuddly, and lovely, they prefer plenty of play, running, jumping, following you around and generally being active.

If you want to adopt this type of cat, you have to be ready to give her the life she deserves and needs. Luckily, this article provides you with everything you should know about this specific cat breed.

So, read on and find out if a Sokoke cat breed could be the perfect match for you or if you should keep on looking!

The Breed’s Origin: What Is A Sokoke Cat?

A sokoke cat lying on the rocks

If you haven’t heard about the Sokoke cat, you are probably wondering what it is, where it’s from and what is so special about it. Read on!

The Sokoke cat was discovered accidentally in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and that’s how the breed got its name. A litter of Sokoke kittens was found in a coconut plantation, by horse breeder and wildlife artist Jeni Slater.

She wasn’t sure whether it was a wild cat or a domestic cat, because of the unusual markings that are specific to this cat breed. However, they seemed used to human interaction and she decided to start a breeding program.

Gloria Moeldrop later took some of these kittens to Denmark, Europe and that’s how the development of the breed continued and expanded.

Later on, a woman named Jeannie Knocker tamed adult feral cats from the Sokoke forest area using positive reinforcement and treats and another breeding program was started. She exported these kittens to the United States and Europe.

However, it’s believed that these cats were a new line of Sokoke cats due to differences they had from the first line which was bred by Jeni Slater. Perhaps other cat breeds contributed to the development of the new line of Sokoke cats.

Another interesting fact about these cats is that the part of Kenya near Mombasa was the home of a Kenyan tribe called Giriama. It’s believed that the Sokoke was a sacred animal to the tribe and they were very affectionate towards cats.

Natural Breed Of Cat

The Sokoke cat breed is a natural cat breed discovered in eastern Kenya, Africa. It’s not a human-made cat breed that was created by mixing different cat breeds like the Minskin cat. Sokoke cats actually originate from feral cats in that part of Kenya.

To many people, this cat breed is very mysterious as it’s very rare and there isn’t a lot of information about the breed. But, as well being one of the rarest cat breeds, these cats are known to be a natural breed and therefore many cat associations recognize it.

The Sokoke cat was recognized for the first time in 1993, and today, the breed is recognized by four cat associations:

• The International Cat Association (TICA)

• Canadian Cat Association (CCA)

• Federation Internationale Feline (FIFe)

• Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF)

Related Cat Breeds

Even though Sokoke cats are very rare and unique for many reasons, it’s believed that there are some cat breeds that are related to Sokoke cats, usually because of their look or distinctive markings.

One of these cat breeds is the Egyptian Mau with its beautiful leopard-like spots. According to researchers, this breed of cat may be related to the Sokake.

Another cat breed that could be related to the Sokoke cat is the feral Lamu which is a breed of cat that originates in the northern part of Kenya.

A Sokoke Cat’s Appearance

sokoke cat laying

Sokoke cats are medium-sized cats with athletic figures. They can weigh between 5-10 pound, and they are usually somewhere between 7-8 inches tall.

They’re characterized by their long, slim body and long legs. They have nice musculature, and male cats are usually somewhat larger than females.

These cats are excellent jumpers and runners thanks to their long, muscular legs. Their hind legs are somewhat longer than the front legs which enables them to be very good at running; this is especially important when hunting prey. Sokoke cats don‘t walk like other cats, they tip-toe. Again, this is a natural adaptation to enable them to move and hunt silently.

The Sokoke cat has a relatively small head. Sokoke cats have high cheekbones, a strong chin and almond-shaped eyes that are usually green, or sometimes amber, in color. They are often recognizable due to their large ears that stand straight up, and their elegant, tapered tails.

These cats really look like wild animals, and this is down to their coat color and pattern. They have a single coat in different colors and very distinctive markings. Their blotched tabby markings are very different from other types of cat with tabby patterns.

These cats usually come in a brown tabby color with a tabby pattern due to mutation by agouti ticking. There is also a Sokoke with a pale body color with darker tabby markings. These cats are called Snow Sokokes and they are even rarer and harder to find.

People from Kenya call these cats Kadzonzo which basically means tree bark. They call them that because of the distinctive ring-like markings on their body, which is sometimes called the african tabby.

You might want to read more about another rare cat – The Lykoi cat, also known as the Werewolf cat!

A Sokoke Cat’s Health And Care

cat looking up

As with every other cat breed, it’s very important to find out and learn everything about the Sokoke before you adopt one so that you know what to expect.

A cat’s health should be the most important thing for every cat owner, so you should know the health characteristics of the cat breed you’re getting and how to take proper care of it.

If you’re getting a Sokake cat, read on to find out everything there is to know about the Sokake cat’s health.


Sokoke cats are usually very healthy cats, and luckily no genetic diseases have been detected in this breed. However, they are more prone to several contagious diseases than the average cat breed.

It’s very important that your Sokoke is properly vaccinated and vet-checked.

If you want to avoid contagious diseases, then make sure you avoid contact between your cat and unvaccinated felines. For this reason, it is best to keep your cat indoors even though they’re very energetic cats.

In addition, regular vet-checks are of utmost importance when caring for a Sokake cat. If you’re not sure about something, consult with a vet who can give you tailored advice.

When it comes to this particular breed of cat, it’s essential to clean her ears regularly as well as to brush her teeth.

The Sokake cat may not enjoy being groomed so make sure you start teaching her from a young age, and don’t forget the treats to reward her for her good behavior!


Taking good care of your feline friend is one of the main principles of responsible pet ownership. Therefore, you should know what kind of coat a Sokoke cat has and how to take care of it properly. Moreover, it’s very important that your feline has a healthy balanced diet.

Of course, if you want a well-behaved kitty, then exercise and training are key. Make sure that you dedicate time every day to exercising and training your cat. If you want the best results, then start training her from a young age.

Sokoke cats are highly intelligent, and they may learn a lot with proper training.


Sokoke cats have short coats, therefore the amount of shedding is relatively low. Their coat doesn’t require any special attention, and it’s very easy to maintain. They require brushing only once a week. However, they’re not very fond of it.

This is why it’s necessary to start teaching her and getting her used to certain things from a young age. Use her favorite treats to reward her good behavior, and eventually the cat will learn that brushing, ear cleaning, and other necessary care are totally fine.

As they have a thin coat and minimal undercoat, Sokoke cats are more comfortable in the hotter climates than in cold ones.

As well as cleaning ears and teeth, you should pay attention to your cat’s nails and trim them regularly. It’s very important to take care of your cat’s claws as they are the cat’s main defense mechanism.

If not trimmed regularly, your feline friend may be prone to various claw issues such as cat claw infection, cat paw pad peeling, and similar problems.

Don’t forget to provide your Sokoke cat with scratching posts in its home environment, so that it can take care of its claws without destroying furniture around the house.


As Sokoke cats are extremely active cats, it won’t be hard to get them to exercise. You should provide them with enough space to run and jump without risking injuries or breaking something around the house.

Dedicate some of your free time to play with your feline, for exercise but also for bonding. When you’re not home, provide your feline friend with several interesting toys that will keep it busy until you get back home.

As these cats adore climbing and jumping up to high places, it is best to provide them with a few cat trees, especially cat trees that look like an actual tree, in order to give your feline a sense of nature.


There are no special rules when it comes to feeding the Sokoke cat. The most important thing, as with every other cat breed, is to feed your feline with top-quality cat food, recommended by vets.

Keep in mind that cats are obligate carnivores and that their food must be rich in protein and must consist mostly of meat. Also, another important thing is to feed your feline according to its age.

Provide your feline with fresh water all the time, especially during hot summer days when you should replace the water multiple times a day.


Knowing that these cats are highly energetic and adore running, climbing, and jumping, it wont come as a surprise to learn that they also need proper training from a young age if you don’t want to have to manage unwanted behavior.

Without proper training, your cat may continue being overly energetic, destroying your furniture or other things around the house. That’s why it’s important to redirect their attention.

Start training your cat from a young age for the best results. Sokoke cats are very intelligent and that makes them fast learners.

They will learn tricks very fast. While training, just ignore any unwanted behavior, and reward the good behavior. Let them know when they’re doing something good by giving them a treat.

Your Sokoke cat will be happier if she has boundaries that she understands and is given mental stimulation as well as the opportunity to use up her physical energy.

SEE ALSO: 7 Reasons Why Is My Cat Peeing On Furniture + Prevention Tips!

Activity Levels Of A Sokoke Cat

sokoke cat sitting on the boat

As previously mentioned, Sokoke cats are highly energetic, active cats who adore climbing, running, and jumping.

Because of this, it’s very important to provide them with enough space for their activities as well as tools that can keep their attention away from furniture and other belongings that you’d rather they didn’t mess with!

Surprisingly, these cats adore water, so don’t be surprised if your feline friend jumps into a sink or bathtub of water. They’re excellent swimmers and it’s a very good way to keep them active and healthy.

Personality Of A Sokoke Cat

Sokoke cats are lovely, friendly, intelligent cats with a personality that is often described as dog-like. So, if you’re looking for a feline friend that will keep you company everywhere you go, and who will be loyal to you, then a Sokoke cat may be the perfect choice for you.

These cats adore keeping their owners company so they often want to be included in every activity. Also, they’re very tolerant, and easily adapt to new people, children and even other pets.

Happily for their owners, they’re also very affectionate and loving animals, and they won’t hide their love. They’ll come to you for the cuddles and attention they crave.

Sokoke cats can be very talkative, meowing loudly, especially when they need something. However, I’m sure that their meowing won’t affect your love for them, how can it when they are so sweet?

Are Sokoke Cats Good Pets For Families?

Sokoke cats can be good pets for families, but they’re still not suitable for everyone. They’re best as pets for families with older children, as they may be too energetic for smaller children, or older owners.

However, they can also be good for families with other pets, especially dogs. Sokoke cats are very sociable animals, and with their dog-like personality, they can be a perfect companion for the family dog.

They cannot stand still, and they won’t spend the day mostly sleeping like other cats might, so they can get pretty bored during the day if you’re gone.

This is why it is essential that you provide them with various interesting things like toys to keep them occupied, or consider adopting another new cat as their companion.

The Perfect Environment For A Sokoke Cat

sokoke cat looking through balcony door

Considering their love of activity and their energy levels, these cats don’t really belong in small apartments. They should be in bigger homes, especially ones with safe backyards or other enclosed outdoor space.

This breed of cat adores running and jumping, so imagine what would happen to your apartment! On the other hand, in a bigger house with a yard, you can provide your feline with enough space for its activities, without risking it destroying the house.

Sokoke cats can adapt to an apartment, but it would be better for both of you to share a larger space.

Sokoke cats are more comfortable in a warm climate area than a cold one, so keep that in mind, especially as they have short coats with barely any undercoats.

The Average Price Of A Sokoke Kitten

Before asking the price of a Sokoke kitten, bear in mind that this is one of the rarest cat breeds and that they’re very unique. You won’t be surprised to learn that the average price for a Sokoke kitten is between $500-$2000.

If you want to buy this specific breed of cat, make sure that you find a reputable breeder, as it’s very hard to find this cat.


How Can You Tell If A Cat Is A Sokoke?

Sokoke cats are very popular for their distinctive tabby markings on their body. You can easily spot a Sokoke cat as her tabby markings should be muted and thickening throughout the pattern area.

Are Sokoke Cats Mean?

No, Sokoke cats aren’t mean! They’re very lovely, friendly, affectionate little cats. People may consider them a bit wild as they’re highly energetic, however, that’s just part of their unique nature.

They’re beautiful cats who make great pets for families with children and other pets and they love to have your affection and attention.

Is A Sokoke Rare?

Yes, the Sokoke cat breed is very rare. Although there are a lot of rare cat breeds in the world, the Sokoke cat is perhaps the rarest cat breed of them all.

Why Are Sokoke Cats So Expensive?

Sokoke cats are very expensive because this is the rarest cat breed in the world. Besides that, they’re very beautiful and very mysterious and are highly prized for the special tabby markings on their coats.

How Long Does A Sokoke Cat Live?

Sokoke cats are cats with good overall health and this can be seen in their lifespan that is between 15-20 years on average.

All In All

The Sokoke cat breed is one of the rarest cat breeds in the whole world, and this means that potential owners will have to pay a high price for one.

These cats originated from Kenya and are one of the newer cat breeds. They’re characterized by their beautiful athletic figure, small head, and distinctive tabby markings on their body.

Sokoke cats are highly energetic and they need a lot of space for their jumping, climbing, running, and other activities. So, it’s important to start training them from a young age.

They’re very healthy cats with no tendency towards genetic diseases, however, you still need to pay attention to her overall health. Take her to vet-checks regularly and pay special attention to her grooming, training, exercise, and diet.

Besides being so active, Sokoke cats still love to snuggle up with you. Sokoke cats are very affectionate cats who enjoy the company of people and other pets.

These cats can be very expensive, due to their rarity, however, it’s worth it if you’re certain that this cat breed is a perfect match for you!