The Sokoke etablished itself in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya, without human intervention. The Giriama tribe were the first people to live with these cats, and named them Kadzonzo.
Wildlife artist and horse breeder Jeni Slater, who was living on a coconut plantation in Kenya in the 1970s, brought home a feral litter of kittens, and raised them as pets. She soon saw they that were unique. She took an interest in what appeared to be a local, distinct breed, and began to feed the forest cats and breed them.
In 1984 Slater enlisted the help of her Danish friend Gloria Moeldrop, to help establish the breed, which she thought was endangered in its natural habitat. Moeldrop took a breeding pair to Denmark to establish a breeding program, and the first litter was born in 1985. In 1990 Moeldrop imported three more cats to widen the gene pool and keep the breed healthy.
The Sokoke gained recognition from the major cat fanciers associations in 1993. The breed continued to be strengthened through the efforts of Jeannie Knocker, a Kenya resident. She kept the native Sokoke cats in pens and exported kittens to Europe and America. The Sokoke remains a very rare breed, but has a number of breeders dedicated to keeping it strong.
The Sokoke is very active, never happier than when climbing trees, furniture, or you! They are very good at jumping and pouncing, and need lots of space to burn off their endless energy. This makes them outdoor cats - not one for the indoor apartment/sofa life.
The Sokoke forms very strong bonds with its owner and other cats, making re-homing very difficult, as they take a long time to adjust to new surroundings. This are very vocal, chattering with their owners and other pets.
Brown ticked tabby only.
- Status: Rare