Monday, September 12, 2016
Hybrid Cat Breeds: Sokoke
Not all breeds are thrown into the hybrid category because they're hybrids. Sometimes unrecognized breeds remain that way for a while because they're rare and a little different than most accepted breeds. The Sokoke is one if those cats. We don't really know where this breed comes from, but it seems likely that the Sokoke is a naturally occurring breed from Kenya. In 1978 a woman named Jeri Slater found two of these kittens on her coconut plantation in just that area. She kept them and later bred them.
It was her friend Gloria Moeldrup who brought two of these kittens to Europe in 1984. More were imported in 1991 and 1992, and finally FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline) recognized the breed in 1994. But this was in Europe. It would be some time before the Sokoke was brought to the United States.
When it did finally happen, it was purely due to the interested of Jeannie Knocker and her son. They researched the breed and contacted breeders in Europe, bringing the first Sokoke cats into the United States in 2001. They started their own breeding program with the seven cats they had obtained, but it wasn't until 2004 that TICA accepted the breed for registration. It was a further four years before the Sokoke was advanced to Preliminary New Breed Status. This breed is still struggling for recognition around the world, but it will happen eventually.
Medium in size, the Sokoke is muscular and strong. His head is narrow and his ears are small, giving him an exotic appearance. Thought TICA currently only recognizes the black and brown modified classic tabby coat pattern, the Sokoke actually has many colors. Pointed kittens have been produced and there have even been blue and longhaired kittens in the past few years. Though these are not currently recognized, they're all still Sokoke cats, so don't discount them if you're looking for a pet.
This athletic breed is curious, active, and highly territorial. He loves people and wants to be the center of attention, but he's not great with other cats or even dogs. People. He likes people. Lots of people. He loves a good game and will play fetch, chase, or anything else you can come up with if it means he gets to hang out with you.
If you're looking for an athletic cat who never sits still, the Sokoke might be for you. But keep him entertained or he might tear up your curtains from sheer boredom.