The Somali cat is a mid-sized, medium- to long-haired breed that was developed from Abyssinians in Britain in the mid-twentieth century.
With their bushy tails, Somalis are often said to resemble miniature foxes, and they come in a range of coat colors and patterns.
In terms of behavior, these cats are energetic and playful and tend to get along well with children and other pets, though they are highly curious and may get into mischief if left alone for very long.
Should you buy pet insurance for your Somali cat?
Somali cats tend to be fairly healthy, living on average around 12 years.
They are, however, known to be a greater risk than many other cat breeds for a few medical conditions:
- Renal amyloidosis: this condition occurs when a cat’s body makes an abnormal protein, amyloid, that builds up in the body. Amyloidosis is particularly serious when it affects organs like the kidneys, though the symptoms—such as anorexia, vomiting, and buildup of fluid in the abdomen—can be caused by any number of problems. Diagnosis depends on thorough urinalysis and blood work and may require an ultrasound or biopsy. The disease can frequently be managed with blood transfusions or with surgery to remove damaged parts of the kidneys.
- Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA): this disease occurs when a cat’s immune system attacks its own red blood cells, resulting in anemia and susceptibility to other conditions. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, panting and general lethargy. Diagnosis is based on analysis of the blood and urine; treatment includes blood transfusions and on occasion surgical removal of the spleen.
- Myelodysplasia: another circulatory condition, this disease occurs when the cells responsible for making red and white blood cells cease to function properly, causing anemia and susceptibility to infection. Afflicted cats show non-specific behaviors such as anorexia and inactivity, but many respond well to hormone therapies and blood transfusions.
Health problems like amyloidosis and myelodysplasia can take time to diagnose and a lot of money to treat.
Knowing that their cats are susceptible, responsible owners plan in advance to avoid financial shock if and when issues arise, and many find that health insurance makes as much sense for their pets as for the other members of the family.
The right plan will help you stick to a budget and make sure that you never have to postpone or even forego necessary treatment for your feline friend.