Abyssinian & Somali Standards in Australia

Following extensive discussions and many iterations, the Cat Co-Ordinating Council of Australia promulgated a full set of new cat standards in June 2001, applicable to all governing bodies under the CCCA “umbrella”, i.e., they are the standards for between about 65% and 75% of all pedigreed cats in Australia. The Abyssinian and Somali standards are reprinted below as they appear in the CCCA release but reformatted to minimise space.

Abyssinian Standard

GENERAL TYPE STANDARD

The Abyssinian is a cat of foreign type of medium build, firm, lithe and muscular; never coarse. It is an alert, active cat and when standing it gives an impression of being on tip-toes.  The coat is rich, lustrous and distinctly ticked.  Males are generally larger than females.

 

HEAD -  a medium, slightly rounded wedge without flat planes; the brow, cheek and profile lines all showing a gentle contour. There is a slight rise from the bridge of the nose to a broad forehead, with good width between the ears, with a shallow indentation forming the muzzle, which should have no evidence of snipiness or a whisker pinch. In profile, the skull is to show a gentle curve, flowing over the head into an arched neck. The head should have ample length to be in proportion to the rest of the cat.

 

EARS - relatively large, moderately pointed, broad and cupped at the base, set wide apart and neither too high nor too low. They are tilted slightly forward as though the cat is listening, to give an alert expression, are well-furnished, have a thumbprint and are preferably tufted on the tips.

 

EYES - almond-shaped, neither round nor oriental, set well apart. They are large, bright and expressive and accentuated by the fine, darker line of the lid encircled by a light coloured area.

 

NOSE - medium in length and moderately broad in proportion with the head. The bridge is to be gently contoured, with no straight lines or flat planes.

 

CHEEKS - gently contoured to follow the line of the head. Allowance should be made for jowls in adult males.

 

JAWS - gently rounded, not sharply pointed, pinched or square.

 

CHIN - firm and rounded. In profile, of good depth and in a vertical line with the tip of the nose.

 

NECK - medium in length, slightly arched, elegant and well-balanced.

 

BODY - of medium length, lithe and graceful, but showing well-developed muscular strength without coarseness. The cat is solid to the feel and the rib cage is rounded with no evidence of flat sides. The flanks are reasonably level without tuck-up. Proportion and balance are to be desired more than mere size.

 

LEGS - deceptively well-muscled, relatively long and slim.

 

PAWS - neat, oval and compact.

 

TAIL - thicker at the base, proportionately long and tapering. A whip is undesirable.

 

 

SCALE   OF   POINTS

 

                                    Head and neck                                             15        

                                    Ears                                                    5

                                    Eye shape                                           5          25

 

                                    Body                                                  15

                                    Legs and paws                                   5

                                    Tail                                                      5          25

 

                                    Coat texture and length                 10

                                    Condition                                            5          15

 

                                    Eye colour                                          5

                                    Coat colour                                      15

                                    Coat ticking and clarity                15            35

                                    Total                                                                100


FAULTS/PENALTIES

 

REFER TO GENERAL LIST COVERING ALL BREEDS, PLUS:

 

FAULTS -      - Should not be oriental in type.

                        - Insufficient or incorrect ticking.

                        - Too strong a broken necklace.

                        - Cold or grey tones in the coat of non-silver varieties.

                        - Belly spots on adults.

                        - Incorrect coat texture.

                        - Lack of pigmentation around the eyes.

                        - Odd or incorrect paw pad colour.

                        - Whisker pinch.

                        - Rufous tones in Silvers.

 

WITHHOLD  CHALLENGE  -

 

                        - Distinct bars or rings on legs or tail.

                        - Unbroken necklace.

                        - White anywhere other than under chin, near nostrils or upper throat, except in Silvers.

                        - Incorrect undercoat colour over a major part of the body.

 

 

COAT   AND   COLOUR

 

COAT LENGTH AND TEXTURE  - short, but long enough to accommodate two or three bands of ticking. Fine and close, resilient to the touch and with a lustrous sheen.

 

COAT PATTERN - Ticking is to be distinct and even, with dark coloured bands contrasting with lighter coloured bands on the hair shafts. The undercoat is clear to the roots and complements the surface colour, with no coldness or grey tones. Any spinal shading is to be of the deeper colour. Preference is given to cats unmarked on the undersides, chest and legs. Darker hair colour should extend from between the toes to well up the back of the hind legs, preferably to the hocks, also showing as a solid tip at the extreme end of the tail. The tail is without rings.

 

There is an "M" on the head between the eyes and ears. Pencillings extend from the eyes and brows,    there is cheekbone shading, with dots and shading on whisker pads.

 

COAT COLOUR  - deeper colour shades are preferred, however intensity of ticking is not to be sacrificed for depth of colour. Hair tips are to be the darkest colour.  The colour round the nostrils, under the chin and upper throat is to be lighter, but of a tint to harmonise with the belly, chest and forelegs. In all colours other than Silver, white in these places is a fault. In the Silver group, high grade silver is most desirable.

 

EYE RIMS AND NOSE LEATHER  - appropriate to and specified in individual coat colours. Eyes rims are to have a line of darker colour around them.

 

PAW PADS  - appropriate to and specified in individual coat colours.

 

EYE COLOUR - in a range from deep gold, gold, hazel or green, with the more richness and depth of colour the better. Applicable to all coat colours.

 

 

ABYSSINIAN COAT COLOURS:

 

TAWNY (RUDDY)

Coat:               Glowing, warm, rich tawny brown, with a paler orange-brown undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with black/dark brown. Deeper shades preferred.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to Clear, unmarked orange-brown.

Tail:                 Tipped with black.

Nose leather:  Brick red.

Paw pads:              Black or brown.

 

 

BLUE

Coat:              Soft blue, with an oatmeal undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with deeper blue.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to Clear, unmarked, warm oatmeal with pinkish tone.

Tail:                 Tipped with deeper blue.

Nose leather:              Mauve-pink rimmed with blue.

Paw pads:              Mauve-blue.

 

 

CINNAMON (SORREL)

Coat:               Glowing, warm, rich cinnamon-red, with a paler cinnamon-apricot undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with bright tan brown. Deeper shades preferred.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to clear, unmarked deep apricot.

Tail:                 Tipped with bright tan brown.

Nose leather:              Rose pink.

Paw pads:              Pink.

 

FAWN

Coat:               Warm rose beige, with a pale pinkish buff undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with light cocoa brown.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to unmarked blush beige.

Tail:                 Tipped with light cocoa brown.

Nose leather:              Rose beige.

Paw pads:              Rose beige.

 

 

CHOCOLATE

Coat:               Rich chocolate brown, with a paler chocolate undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with deep chocolate brown. Deeper shades preferred.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to clear, unmarked paler chocolate. 

Tail:                 Tipped with deep chocolate brown.

Nose leather:              Chocolate-pink.

Paw pads:              Chocolate-pink.

 

 

LILAC

Coat:               Pale dusty lilac, with a pale oatmeal undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with deeper lilac.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to clear, unmarked warm oatmeal. 

Tail:                 Tipped with deeper lilac.

Nose leather:              Lilac-pink.

Paw pads:              Lilac-pink.

 

 

SILVER

 

BLACK  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with black

Belly and inside of forelegs: Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with black.

Nose leather:              Black or brick-red.

Paw pads:              Black or brown.

 

 

BLUE  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with blue.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with blue.

Nose leather:              Blue or mauve-pink.

Paw pads:              Mauve-blue.

 

 

CINNAMON  (SORREL)  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with bright tan brown.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with bright tan brown.

Nose leather:              Pink.

Paw pads:              Pink.

 

 

FAWN  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat, ticked with light cocoa brown.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:  Tipped with cocoa brown.

Nose leather:              Rose-beige.

Paw pads:              Rose-beige.

 

 

CHOCOLATE  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with deep chocolate brown.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with deep chocolate brown.

Nose leather:              Chocolate-pink.

Paw pads:        Deep pink.

 

 

LILAC  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat, ticked with dusty lilac.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with dusty lilac.

Nose leather:  Lilac-pink.

Paw pads:        Lilac-pink.


SOMALI Standard

GENERAL TYPE STANDARD

 

The Somali is a semi-longhaired cat of Abyssinian type. It is a cat of  foreign type of medium build, firm, lithe and muscular; never coarse. It is an alert, active cat and when standing it gives an impression of being on tip-toes. The coat is rich, lustrous and distinctly ticked. Males are generally larger than females.

 

HEAD -  a medium, slightly rounded wedge without flat planes; the brow, cheek and profile lines all showing a gentle contour. There is a slight rise from the bridge of the nose to a broad forehead, with good width between the ears, with a shallow indentation forming the muzzle, which should have no evidence of foxiness or of a whisker pinch. In profile, the skull is to show a gentle curve, flowing over the head into an arched neck. The head should have ample length to be in proportion to  the rest of the cat.

 

EARS - relatively large, moderately pointed, broad and cupped at the base, set wide apart and neither too high nor too low. They are tilted slightly forward as though the cat is listening, to give an alert expression, are  well-furnished, have a thumbprint and are preferably tufted on the tips.

 

EYES - almond-shaped, neither round nor oriental, set well apart. They are large, bright and expressive and accentuated by the fine, darker line of the lid encircled by a light coloured area.

 

NOSE - medium in length and moderately broad in proportion

with the head. The bridge is to be gently contoured, with no straight lines or flat planes.

 

CHEEKS - gently contoured to follow the line of the head. Allowance should be made for jowls in adult males.

 

JAWS - gently rounded, not sharply pointed, pinched or square.

 

CHIN - firm and rounded. In profile, of good depth and in a vertical line with the tip of the nose.

 

NECK - medium in length, slightly arched, graceful and well-balanced.

 

BODY - of medium length, lithe and graceful, but showing well-developed muscular strength without coarseness. The cat is solid to the feel and the rib cage is rounded with no evidence of flat sides. The flanks are reasonably level without tuck-up.  Proportion and general balance are to be desired more than mere size. The Somali appears to be a slightly heavier build than the Abyssinian due to the difference in coat.

 

LEGS - deceptively well-muscled, relatively long and slim.

 

PAWS - neat, oval and compact.

 

TAIL - thicker at the base, proportionately long and tapering, carrying a full, feathery plume. A whip is undesirable.

 

SCALE OF POINTS

 

                                    Head and neck                                    15        

                                    Ears                                        5

                                    Eye shape                               5            25

 

                                    Body                                      15

                                    Legs and paws                       5

                                    Tail                                          5            25

 

                                    Coat texture and length     10

                                    Condition                                5            15

 

                                    Eye colour                               5

                                    Coat colour                           15

                                    Coat ticking and clarity     15            35

 

                                    Total                                                     100

 

 

FAULTS/PENALTIES

 

REFER TO GENERAL LIST COVERING ALL BREEDS, PLUS:

 

FAULTS -      - Should not be oriental in type

                        - Insufficient or incorrect ticking.

                        - Cold or grey tones in the coat of non-silver varieties.

                        - Rufous tones in Silvers.

                        - Too strong a broken necklace.

                        - Belly spots on adults.

                        - Incorrect coat texture.

                        - Lack of pigmentation around the eyes.

                        - Odd or incorrect paw pad colour.

                        - Whisker pinch.

 

WITHHOLD  CHALLENGE -

                        - Distinct bars or rings on legs or tail.

                        - Unbroken necklace.

                        - White anywhere other than under chin, near nostrils or upper throat, except in                                  

Silvers.

- Incorrect undercoat colour over a major part of the body.

 

COAT   AND   COLOUR

 

COAT LENGTH AND TEXTURE - coat is of medium length on the body, giving a full-coated appearance, except over the shoulders, where there is a slightly shorter, closer-lying coat. Preference is given to a full ruff and breeches. Coat may have two or three bands of ticking, except on the belly and inside of forelegs. 

 

Texture is very soft, extremely fine and has a lustrous sheen. The thick, fine, double coat gives a feeling of density.

 

COAT PATTERN - ticking is to be distinct and even, with dark coloured bands contrasting with lighter coloured bands on the hair shafts. The undercoat is clear to the roots and complements the surface colour, with no coldness or grey tones. Any spinal shading is to be of the deeper colour. Preference is given to cats unmarked on the undersides, chest and legs. Darker hair colour should extend well up the back of the hind legs, preferably to the hocks, also showing as a solid tip at the extreme end of the tail. The tail is without rings.

 

There is an "M" on the head between the eyes and ears. Pencillings extend from the eyes and brows,    there is cheekbone shading, plus dots and shading on whisker pads.

 

COAT COLOUR - deeper colour shades are preferred, however intensity of ticking is not to be sacrificed for depth of colour. Hair tips are to be the darkest colour.  The colour round the nostrils, under the chin and upper throat is to be lighter, but of a tint to harmonise with the belly, chest and forelegs. In all colours other than Silver, white in these places is a fault. In the Silver group, high grade silver is most desirable.

 

NOTE: The Somali is extremely slow in showing mature ticking and coat length. Allowance should be made for this in kittens and young cats.

 

EYE RIMS AND NOSE LEATHER  - appropriate to and specified in individual coat colours. Eye rims are to have a line of darker colour around them.

 

PAW PADS  - appropriate to and specified in individual coat colours.

 

EYE COLOUR - in a range from deep gold, gold, hazel or green, with the more richness and depth of colour the better. Applicable to all coat colours.

 

 

SOMALI  COAT  COLOURS:

 

TAWNY (RUDDY)

Coat:               Glowing, warm, rich tawny brown, with a paler orange-brown undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with black/dark brown. Deeper shades preferred.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to Clear, unmarked orange-brown.

Tail:                 Tipped with black.

Nose leather:              Brick red.

Paw pads:              Black or brown.

 

 

BLUE

Coat:               Soft blue, with an oatmeal undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with deeper blue.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to clear, unmarked, warm oatmeal with pinkish tone.

Tail:                 Tipped with deeper blue.

Nose leather:              Mauve-pink rimmed with blue.

Paw pads:              Mauve-blue.

 

CINNAMON (SORREL)

Coat:               Glowing, warm, rich cinnamon-red, with a paler cinnamon-apricot undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with bright tan brown. Deeper shades preferred.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to clear, unmarked deep apricot.

Tail:                 Tipped with bright tan brown.

Nose leather:              Rose pink.

Paw pads:              Pink.

 

 

FAWN

Coat:               Warm rose beige, with a pale pinkish buff undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with light cocoa brown.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to unmarked blush beige.

Tail:                 Tipped with light cocoa brown.

Nose leather:              Rose beige.

Paw pads:              Rose beige.

 

 

CHOCOLATE

Coat:               Rich chocolate brown, with a paler chocolate undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with deep chocolate brown. Deeper shades preferred.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to clear, unmarked paler chocolate. 

Tail:                 Tipped with deep chocolate brown.

Nose leather:              Chocolate-pink.

Paw pads:              Chocolate-pink.

 

LILAC

Coat:               Pale dusty lilac, with a pale oatmeal undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with deeper lilac.

Belly and inside of forelegs: Tint to harmonise with the main body colour. Preference given to clear, unmarked warm oatmeal.  

Tail:                 Tipped with deeper lilac.

Nose leather:              Lilac-pink.

Paw pads:              Lilac-pink.

 

SILVER

 

BLACK  SILVER

Coat:                           Sparkling white,  with a white undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with black

Belly and inside of forelegs: Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with black.

Nose leather:              Black or brick-red.

Paw pads:              Black or brown.

 

 

BLUE  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with blue.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with blue.

Nose leather:              Blue or mauve-pink.

Paw pads:              Mauve-blue.

 

 

CINNAMON  (SORREL)  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with bright tan brown.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with bright tan brown.

Nose leather:              Pink.

Paw pads:              Pink.

 

 

FAWN  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat, ticked with light cocoa brown.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:  Tipped with cocoa brown.

Nose leather:              Rose-beige.

Paw pads:              Rose-beige.

 

 

CHOCOLATE  SILVER

Coat:               Sparkling white, with a white undercoat clear to the roots, ticked with deep chocolate brown.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with deep chocolate brown.

Nose leather:              Chocolate-pink.

Paw pads:        Deep pink.

 

LILAC  SILVER

Coat:              Sparkling white, with a white undercoat, ticked with dusty lilac.

Belly and inside of forelegs:  Sparkling white. Preference given to clear, unmarked white.

Tail:                 Tipped with dusty lilac.

Nose leather:              Lilac-pink.

Paw pads:        Lilac-pink.


This page was last updated on 01-Apr-05

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