Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinian Cat


Abyssinian Cat Characteristic


Abyssinian (æbɪˈsɪniən) cats are a special type of tabby cat known for their ticked coat, in which individual hairs are banded with different colors.  It's a domestic shorthair cat breed.  They're known for their remarkable intelligence and attentiveness.  Some say that those are inherent in the breed.  Abyssinian is very intelligent, highly energetic, and inquisitive. 

Constant grooming is not required as once a week grooming is enough for Abyssinian cats.  They love to explore and they would definitely investigate every corner of your house.  These cats love to jump and climb.  So, if you're looking for an active and intelligent breed, they might be the right fit for you.  Read on for more information about Abys.  

Abyssinian cats are one of the oldest known cat breeds in the world.  There are many controversies about the origin and history of this breed; however, the name was given because of the country of origin, which is Abyssinia (now called Ethiopia).  Some believe that they originated on the coast of the Indian Ocean and in parts of Southeast Asia.  They're also known as the Russian cat, the British Ticked cat, and the Spanish cat.

According to historians, ancient Egyptians worshiped cats about 5000 years ago.  You may notice that Abyssinians look similar to the cat sculptures and drawings founded in ancient Egypt.  After the Abyssinian War in 1868, a cat named Zula was imported to Britain when British troops left Abyssinia (Egypt) according to the first recorded document of the breed.  However, there's no evidence to support that it was the exact same breed but that's how the name originated.   

During World War II and feline leukemia virus in the late 1960s almost caused the extinction of the Abyssinian cats.  They survived after bringing back into Britain for the re-establishment of the breed.  Since then, Abyssinians have gained popularity throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand because of their intelligence, affection, and people-oriented personality.   The Abyssinian remains a very popular pet and show cat. 

Abyssinian cat statue

Origin: Asia region
Lifespan: 9 - 15 years
Size: Medium
Coat: Short
Pattern: Ticked
Shedding: Minimal
Body Colors: Ruddy, red, blue, fawn
Eye Colors: Gold, green, hazel or copper
Cost: $500 to $1200
Hypoallergenic? No
  • Slender
  • Fine-boned
  • Medium-sized
  • Wedge-shaped head
  • Relatively large pointed ears
  • Almond-shaped eyes
  • Small oval paws
  • Long and tapering tail
They are known to become depressed without activities and the attention of their human friend.  They do not sound like your expected "meow".  It's a soft chirrup-like vocalization.
  • Extremely intelligent
  • Very attentive
  • Generally extroverted
  • Playful and constantly active but tend to be quiet
  • Very Curious
  • Seek a lot of attention
  • Love to be shown off
  • Affectionate and friendly towards children and people
  • Get along with other animals
  • Soft and quiet voice
Healthcare Tips
Abyssinian cats have some known genetic health issues so they may have a higher risk for the following:
  • Gingivitis (the most common form of periodontal disease)
  • Familial renal amyloidosis/ AA amyloidosis (a kidney disorder)
  • Retinal degeneration (due to mutations in the rdAc gene)
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency

Due to Abyssinian's high activity level, it's recommended to feed them with a high-protein and slightly more carbs diet.  

Fun Cat Facts
  • The first know Abyssinian cat is a female named Zula
  • An Abyssinian named Cinnamon is the first cat to have its entire genome published
  • They are called the clowns of the cat kingdom
  • Today's known Abyssinian cat was bred in Britain
  • Some people call them "Aby-grabbys” because they tend to grab things of their interest
  • One of the most popular early Abyssinian was “Aluminium” born in 1905, owned by Mrs. Carew-Cox
  • In France, there is a documented existence of an Abyssinian Cat named "Ras Tafari" in the late 1920s
  • The breed was recognized in England by GCCF (The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy) in 1929 and the first American Aby litter was born in 1935

Please note that the characteristics mentioned here are based on the frequently observed traits of this breed.  Personalities and appearances of cats could vary based on the individual.  Please consult the breeder or the adoption organization for the specific details of the pet.

Read all about Abyssinians if you're interested in at abyssiniandatabase.com.

So, what do you think about Abys?  Are they an interesting cat breed?  Comment what you think and let us know some funny things your Aby does if you have one. 


Cat facts 

What is the price of Abyssinian cats?
An Abyssinian cat could cost about $500 - $1200.  Make sure you buy one from a recognized Abyssinian cat breeder.

What is the lifespan of Abyssinian cats?
The average life expectancy of an Abyssinian cat is about 9 to 15 years. 

What are the things to know about Abyssinian cat personality?
They are very intelligent, playful and constantly active, seek a lot of attention, like show off, very friendly, get along with children, people, and other animals, and tend to be quiet. 

What are the Abyssinian cat colors?
The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes 4 main colors: ruddy, blue (slate blue-gray), red (cinnamon red), and fawn (plate tan).  You may find some other colors such as chocolate and lilac, which were recently recognized by TICA and GCCF (The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy).

Where I can find the Abyssinian cat breeders?
You can find recognized cat breeders on the TICA website, who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.  The locations are Tucson (Arizona), San Jose (California), Brookston (Indiana), Brooklyn (New York), Choctaw (Oklahoma), Bend (Oregon), and Lummi Island and Medina (Washington).  

Please remember that TICA does not endorse any of these Abyssinian cat breeders and they do not make any warranty on the breeding or business practices.  So, carefully choose a responsible cat breeder to find your loving Aby.

Where I can find an Abyssinian cat rescue place to adopt the Abyssinian cats?
It could be hard to find these cats to adopt because many cat owners love Abys.  If you're in luck, you may find them on PetfinderAdoptapet, or Abyrescue Facebook page.

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