It can be super hard to choose between Abyssinian vs Somali cats. Especially because both breeds can appear quite similar! Both are great breeds to choose if you’re looking for an energetic cat that is going to bring a large personality to your home. However, they do have qualities that distinguish them from one another, like their strikingly different coats.
A Shared History?
Despite their name, it isn’t certain that Abyssinian cats are originally from Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia). It is supposedly where they were first imported to Britain from. But in reality, the history of Abyssinian cats before the breed was refined in Britain is mostly unknown.
There are several different theories, but no documentation proving the breed’s origin exists. Some even suggest the breed resembles cats depicted in ancient Egyptian artefacts! The breed was imported to America early in the 20th century and has continuously gained popularity ever since.
One of the reasons it’s hard to choose between the Abyssinian and Somali breeds is that they are so similar. Somalis are actually longhaired Abyssinians, created by a recessive gene in the Abyssinian breed. However, there is speculation over how the long-haired gene was introduced.
Abyssinian Cat vs Somali Cat Appearance
The main difference between the two breeds is in their fur. Abyssinians have short, ticked coats – this means each individual strand of hair has various bands of color. Somalis, on the other hand, have much longer fur, although it is also ticked.
Although their coats differ in length, they can both come in a huge variety of colors, including ruddy, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lilac, and fawn! Their thick coats and fluffy tails have caused Somali cats to be compared to foxes! You don’t need to be put off by the longer fur on Somalis either, as they require little grooming.
Somalis also often have tufts of hair on their ears and between their toes. So if you’re looking for a breed that looks luscious and fluffy, the Somali breed is a great choice. Both breeds have dramatic facial markings.
Other physical characteristics in both breeds are more similar, too. Both breeds have large ears, and large, almond-shaped eyes that range in color from copper to green.
Is One Bigger Than The Other?
Once again, it’s a tie! Somalis and Abyssinians are medium-sized cats, but also appear to be quite long and graceful in stature. Males generally weigh between 8 and 10 pounds, whereas females generally weigh between 6 and 6 pounds.
Abyssinian Cat vs Somali Cat Temperament
If you’re looking for cats who love to interact with their people, Somalis and Abyssinians are great choices. Both Abyssinian cats and Somali cats are intelligent breeds. This comes out in their natural curiosity about the world around them.
Abyssinians and Somalis are both energetic breeds that will follow you around the house, investigating everything around them. They’re known to be found high up where they can get a good view of everything happening, such as on kitchen cabinets or fridges!
They do love spending time with people that are happy to play with and entertain them. But they aren’t the best choice if you want a lap-cat that you can simply cuddle all day. They are incredibly loyal cats that can get bored easily, but will fit in great with an active, social family.
Is One Easier To Train Than The Other?
Although it isn’t as common as with dogs, training for cats is also a thing! And each of these cats is a great potential feline training buddy. They’re often seen following you around the house, observing your actions and are well motivated by treats like little scraps of meat or pieces of their dinner.
Abyssinian Cat vs Somali Cat Exercise
These cats are level pegging once again when it comes to fitness. Muscular but slim, they are both built for exercise. They’re naturally full of energy, which means they’re always going to be found running around your home, finding something new to do.
Cats are thought of as independent pets, which leads many people to believe that they don’t need as much exercise as other pets. However, cats can easily get overweight if we constantly give them treats and encourage them to laze around!
An easy way for cats to get exercise is by playing with us. Cats love running around and chasing things. Using toys that encourage this is a great way to keep your Abyssinian and Somali cats in great shape.
You don’t need to worry about these cats shying away from your efforts either. Both of these breeds love to play and interact with people!
Abyssinian Cat vs Somali Cat Health
Abyssinian cats and Somali cats aren’t known for getting unwell too often. This means they are generally a good choice for those that want a healthy pet. Obviously, you’ll still need to make sure your cat gets the right amount of food and exercise to encourage this tip-top health as much as possible!
And they do have the potential to experience some common health issues. One of the biggest, most common issues both Abyssinian cats and Somali cats experience is Progressive Retinal Atrophy. This is a hereditary eye disease that leads to blindness over time as the disease develops.
Another issue that Abyssinian cats and Somali cats are prone to is anemia. Symptoms include lethargy, rapid breathing, and disinterest in food.
Another common problem of Abyssinian cats is Familial Amyloidosis. In this disease amyloid protein builds up in tissues within your cat’s body, disrupting natural functions. Hereditary diseases like these demonstrate the importance of finding trustworthy breeders. They should know the medical history of your cat’s parents and grandparents.
Which Breed Makes A Better Pet?
If you’re after a cat you can cuddle all day, neither of these breeds are the best fit. But they’re both loyal, curious, intelligent pets that are great fun to interact with. Whether you get an Abyssinian or a Somali cat, you’re guaranteed a great addition to the family.