Sokoke Breeders and other links


    Sokoke cats (or African Shorthair) originated from the Sokoke Arabuke forest in Kenya and became known in Europe in the 20th century. In 1978 a Kenyan farmer found a litter of kittens in a coconut plantation. They were very special with a "blotched tabby" pattern and "foreign" body type. Like many African species, these cats are virtually extinct in the wild.

    The Kenyan tribes differentiate three wild genera of these cats and several domesticated ones. In ancient times these cats were part of the diet of the Giriama tribe and were eaten in preference to the domestic stock. The Giriama name for Sokoke cats is "Katzonzo," which means: "look like tree bark."

    The first Sokoke cats were imported to Denmark in the 1980's. Records of them and their offspring have been kept very carefully. Sokoke cats were accepted by FIFe only in 1993. This breed preserves unique genes that are unknown among the traditional cat breeds. They remain a real feline mystery, because they could belong to an unknown genus or may be a mixture of an African wild cat and a European domestic cat. Some scientists consider the Sokoke cat to be the missing link to the emergence of the classic tabby pattern in the majority of all domesticated cats.

    The famous anthropologist, Dr. Richard Leakey suggests they come from a previously unknown branch of the Taita Wild Cat

    Other researchers believe they are an independent genera and may be the "Missing Link" to the appearance of the classic tabby pattern in modern domestic cats.

    They have been a FiFe Championship Breed for ten years, and are accepted by CCA, and UFO as Experimental and NBC Breeds respectively.

    Sokoke Standard -

    Sokoke - - The original name of the breed was Khadzonzos. This name was given to the cat by the local people, the Giriama tribe, who had known of the cat for a considerable time. It is speculated that this breed of cat had been around for possibly centuries before the intervention of the West. "Khadzonzo" means "look like tree bark" in the language of the Giriama people and it is plain to see why. The coat of this cat is a modified tabby (a marbled appearance much like the marbled Bengal), which looks like tree bark.


    TICA has accepted the Sokoke since August 29th of 2003 for registration.

    In 1993 the Sokoke was accepted for Championship status in FiFe

    In 1998 the first Sokoke arrived in the US and UFO accepted the breed in New Breed

    Type and characteristics


    Modified wedge, appearing small in relation to body. On top of skull almost flat.  Medium Nose, straight, short curved bridge.  High Cheek bones and strong chin.


    Medium large ears, broad at base, tips are rounded, tufts are desirable


    Large eyes, wide apart, slightly slanted towards the nose, almond shaped.  The eye color is brilliant and expressive, amber to light green.


    Very short, glossy and silky, little or no under coat.


    Medium Long


    Long, slender, muscular.  Position of hind legs is characteristic, longer than fore legs.


    Sokoke cats have retained the characteristics of the wild animals, such as independence, self-assurance, pride and intelligence. They form close bonds with humans and are very sensitive to the mood of the owner. They lack aggression and will never bite; they just mark with teeth or claws, if they don't like rough play. They are not lap cats and should not be persuaded to sleep peacefully, if they want to run and play.

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    Sokoke Breeders and other links

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    The Sokoke: Cat Breed FAQ -

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