If you are like us and like naturally-occurring cat breeds, you might be interested in learning more about the Sokoke cat breed. This is not the most famous cat breed out there, but these cats are rather interesting. They look absolutely stunning. These cats might have wild roots, but they make fantastic companions that fit well into families that will keep them company. They have an unusually sounding name, but if you know their name comes from the Arabuko Sokoke Forest in Kenya, it might not seem so weird. Here’s what you should know about the Sokoke cat breed.






6-10 lb





Life Expectancy:

9-15 years

Breed History

We already mentioned that the Sokoke is a naturally occurring cat breed. That means their development is entirely free of human intervention. Some cat breeds were developed because humans intentionally crossbreed different pureblooded breeds. The Sokoke is different, and these cats evolved through survival of the fittest.

Like other naturally occurring cat breeds, the exact date and time of their origin will probably forever remain a mystery. However, we know what made cat owners aware of the breed. Jeannie Knocker, a documentarist, started researching the breed. She published her findings and placed the Sokoke on the world map. The breed was internationally recognized in 2004.


Cat Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Amount of Shedding
Social Needs
Affection Level
Kid Friendly
Pet Friendly
General Health

The thing that makes a cat breed different from other cat breeds is its characteristics. The Sokoke has plenty of unique ones that make them very interesting and appealing to cat owners across the globe. Here are the few main things we will focus on.


This cat comes from Africa, where it developed naturally. The African climate is generally very warm, so it isn’t a huge surprise these cats have a short, thin coat. They had no need for thick insulation, so they developed a coat that fitted the environment.

Sokoke cats

Coat color

The second unique thing these cats have is their brown tabby pattern. While tabby patterns are not rare in the feline kingdom, the ones that look like the tree’s bark are. This unique pattern is called the “African Tabby.”


The Sokoke is considered a medium-sized cat. They are somewhat unusual since they have longer legs and narrower faces than other domesticated African cats. An adult Sokoke usually weighs 6 - 10 pounds.


While physical characteristics are certainly interesting in a cat breed, future owners should really focus on the cat’s temperament. The main things that make a cat a good pet are things like playfulness, activity, affection, and adaptability. Luckily, the Sokoke possesses all of those characteristics. These cats are often described as - dogs. They are intelligent, learn tricks easily, and are very loyal. Unlike most other cat breeds, the Sokoke loves playing in and around water. However, if you have a Koi pond, it would be best to keep this little hunter away from it.


If you know a lot about the feline kingdom, you probably already know that even pureblooded cats can be prone to some breed-specific health issues. However, since the Sokoke breed is only recently “discovered” and studied, vets and other researchers simply cannot say whether there are any breed-specific health issues with this breed. There simply isn’t enough data on this breed that could allow us to make decent health predictions and warnings. Nevertheless, you should stick to things like regular ear and paw control. Also, make sure you don’t skip vet visits.

World Cat Finder Team

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Updated at31.12.2021.