The Abyssinian cat is known as a feline of mystery and mischief. This cute and adorable breed of cat loves to climb, she loves being the center of attention and will keep you and your family entertained all day long.
Her past is somewhat of a mystery though, as nobody knows when the breed first came about, or where exactly she hails from. Abyssinia (Now known as Ethiopia) was thought to be her homeland. But there are other theories to where she originally came from.
Quick facts about the Abyssinian cat
- Abyssinian cats are very adaptable and respond well to changes.
- The Abyssinian breed is very affectionate and will love you dearly.
- They love children but are better with older kids rather than younger ones.
- This is a dog-friendly cat breed.
- Abyssinian cat breeds have high energy levels and love to play.
- An intelligent breed it is best to give them toys and puzzles to satisfy their brains.
Abyssinian Cat History
The Abyssinian cat was first noted in history in 1871 at the Crystal Palace cat show, remarkably taking third place. Prior to this, there isn’t any current reference to her breed or homeland.
From a report in Harper’s weekly, after the cat show noted January 27th, 1872 was the first references to the Abyssinian breed. They noted that she was ‘captures in the Abyssinian war’.
There are many theories about the origin of the Abyssinian breed including that the Abyssinian breed was the cat of the Pharaohs, and that she was a breed created in Britain by crossing tabbies which had ticked coats.
It is now thought that the breed originated from Southeast Asia. It is thought that British and Dutch traders could have brought the cats back with them, or they could have stowed away, from ports around the Indian ocean.
Abyssinian cats were first brought to America in the early 1900s and the first Abyssinian breeding program began in the 1930s. Predominately the breed was imported from Britain, by the end of the 2nd world war though, the cats were almost, completely wiped out.
Thanks to the breeding program in the USA the Abyssinian breed numbers jumped back up and is today a very sought after, healthy and wonderful domesticated house cat.
Abyssinian Cat Appearance
The Abyssinian is as adorable as much as she is a little rascal. An energy bound ball of fluffy fur is an adequate way to describe her looks.
The Abyssinian has a rounded, wedge-shaped head with large broad ears, like that of the Savannah breed. She watched you through large, almond-shaped eyes which are golden or green in color.
She has a muscular, compact body and is a powerhouse of leaps and bounds underneath her shimmering coat. She has muscular but petite legs, like that of a ballerina. Small rounded paws which make her look as if she was walking on her tippy toes.
Her tail is long and tapering and her coat Is an amazing feature which deserves its own place in cat fashion history.
Described as giving a golden, warm glow the Abyssinian has a coat which warms hearts wherever she may be. Her coat is ticked and fluffy which makes her looks like a miniature version of the African wild cat.
A ticked coat means each strand of hair has dark and light bands of color, which are what give the Abyssinian her glowy, wild and warm looks.
Her hair feels as luxurious as it looks, soft and silky to the touch – a fine medium sized coat.
Abyssinian cat colors;
- Ruddy brown
And there is a silver version for all the colors mentioned above.
Abyssinian Cat Size
The Abyssinian is a small sized cat and can weigh between 17 – 10 lbs.
With females weighing between 6 – 8 lbs.
Abyssinian Cat Personality and characteristics
The Abyssinian is the cat that never stops, she leaps, bounds, runs and jumps. If you can’t find her look up as they have a natural curiosity for climbing.
The Abyssinian breed is a very energetic breed of cat. They love to play and are constantly on the move, from running around the house as fast as possible to climbing where she shouldn’t be. This cat does it all.
If you have an outdoor enclosed space, she will love the fresh air and feel of grass underneath her paws as she jets about, she will likely enjoy climbing to the highest points in your room and will investigate every nook and cranny in her new home. Buying her a cat tree is a great way to keep her entertained and keep her off of your cabinets.
She will follow you around from room to room to see what you’re doing and to see how she can get your attention instead. She loves to play fetch and can be taught to walk on a cat leash. She has been known to outsmart her owners though and may well have you doing her bidding in no time!
The Abyssinian breed of cat is very intelligent and naturally curious, test her mind and keep her mentally active with puzzles and toys which reward her with a treat. Peacock feathers and cat toys will keep her entertained for hours.
She is a naturally nimble breed of cat and will have no problem moving from ledge to ledge, usually without breaking anything. They love to bird watch and a window perch or ledge where they can watch the world go by is a great idea for them.
Abyssinians have been known to run obstacle courses and can be taught agility and speed tricks making her a great show cat.
This breed of cat makes a great domestic pet for households with young children full of energy who may also be able to teach her tricks. They can be a little mischievous when left on their own and will likely find a way of entertaining themselves.
They aren’t best left in an empty house for too long. The Abyssinian does well with other pets including cat-friendly dogs, ferrets, and large birds. This is a cat whose energetic and playful personality makes her an extremely addictive house cat.
Abyssinian Cat Life Span
The Abyssinian has an average life span of 10 – 15 years
Abyssinian Cat Health
The Abyssinian cats breed are generally considered healthy and most breeders do their best to remove any cats with health issues from the breeding program. But there are still some things to be aware of when buying or adopting an Abyssinian breed.
- Early onset Periodontal disease
Gum disease in cats
- Patella luxation
A hereditary condition which makes the kneecap more susceptible to dislocation.
- Hyperesthesia syndrome
A mental health issue in cats which causes them to groom excessively and act in an anxiety driven way.
- Progressive retinal atrophy
Degenerative disease of the eyes.
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency
Deficiency of a regulatory enzyme required by the body for metabolizing energy in red blood cells. It can also cause cat anemia. It is a hereditary disease which can be tested for.
- Renal amyloidosis
Can lead to kidney failure.
Remember to visit your vet for regular check-ups and regularly check your cats’ ears and eyes.
Cat insurance is a great way to make sure your feline friend is protected from the costs which may occur through accidents, diseases or illnesses which could prove fatal and costly if not treated.
Abyssinian Cat Grooming
They Abys coat is reasonably simple to groom, brushing with a stainless-steel comb will help to remove dead skin cells, stop knots forming and spread out natural body oils.
A once a week grooming routine is fine, in shedding season though it may be worth moving this to twice a week.
When you’re grooming your cat or kitten don’t forget it is a perfect time to check their eyes and ears for any signs of redness and swelling or any smells forming.
The Abyssinian breed will need regular teeth brushing, you can ask your vet for the best type of toothbrush for your cat.
Adopting an Abyssinian Cat or Kitten
If you adopt an Abyssinian cat be sure to give her plenty of space and time to adjust to her new surroundings. Don’t overcrowd her and you will soon see her loving side emerge, she is full of energy and loves to run so give her a wide-open space to play.
Abyssinian breeders will be able to give you advice on how to welcome them into your home.
If you buy an Abyssinian kitten then always ask about the parents and any diseases or illnesses in the litter and family genes.