The Abyssinian cat personality is not for everyone. They are very active and almost never your classic lap cats. You’ll have to have plenty of room for them to explore and plenty of time to spend playing with them. They are very affectionate and will bask in your attention. Abyssinians often do well in a household with young children or even dogs, but they are unlikely to want to share your affections with another cat.
- A unique looking breed
- How well do they fit into family life?
- Are they generally healthy and long lived?
- Finding a good Abyssinian breeder
The Abyssinian cat has almond-shaped eyes and ticked and lustrous coat. They are medium-sized cats and weigh from six to ten pounds on average. This breed is playful and curious, and generally healthy. But like most purebreds, they are prone to some health issues.
Where Did They Come From?
Abyssinian cat breeds were first noted in English cat shows. They were recorded to have come from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) at the end of the war in the late 1800s. But interestingly, a detailed gene sequencing carried out at the University of California found that they acutally have genetic markers common to the earliest domestic breeds from Europe and Southeast Asia!
Other studies have linked this breed to the Bay of Bengal in India. However, it is believed that the breed actually descends from cats that existed in ancient Egypt. The Abyssinian cat breed resembles cats depicted in ancient Egyptian artwork.
At the moment it’s a rather marvellous mystery, but what we do know for sure is the adorable Abyssinian made its way to the United States during the early 1900s. However, the breed wasn’t recognized by The International Cat Association until 1979.
An Unusual Appearance
The Abyssinian has a long, strong, and streamlined body with equally long and graceful limbs. This gives the breed a jungle-cat look that is distinctively different from the typical domestic cat. They are known for their expressive almond-shaped eyes and large, wide-set ears.
Medium sized cats, male Abyssinians usually mature to 8 to 10 pounds. Females are smaller and usually mature to 6 to 7 pounds.
Colors and Coats
Most Abyssinian kittens are born with dark coats. This will gradually lighten to their permanent color as they mature. Regardless of the Abyssinian’s coat color at adulthood, all Abyssinians have the breed’s signature ticking. First, this means that there are bands of color in each hair. This gives them an agouti coat. Secondly, in a ticked coat, the hairs have a light base. From the base of the hair up to the tip of the hair, four to six bands of different colors can be seen. This gives the Abyssinian’s coat its shimmery quality.
A ticked coat is a genetic variant of the commonly seen tabby color. Therefore, “Abyssinian tabby cat” is still an accurate description. Some Abyssinians even have the traditional tabby “M” mark on their forehead. There are four main Abyssinian cat colors, ruddy, blue, sorrel and fawn. But they also come in a variety of other pattern that aren’t currently approved for shows.
Shedding and Allergies
The Abyssinian cat requires very little grooming with its thicker coat. However, they are not allergy free. All cats produce allergens found on the skin, in the fur, and in saliva.
Abyssinian Cat Personality
This kitty is no shrinking violet. I have never met one that didn’t have a high activity level, and very social personality. Abyssinians are extremely curious cats that enjoy exploring their surroundings. They will leave no stone unturned when they are introduced to a new environment.
Watch out, because you will find these feline acrobats high on a shelf, on top of a wardrobe, or squeezed into a seemingly inaccessible space between your couch and the wall. In addition to their juvenile love for play, Abyssinians are also super affectionate. While they may not have the calm temperament necessary for lap-cat status, Abyssinians will occasionally seek out their human for a few moments of quiet cuddle time.
Are They Easy To Entertain?
The Abyssinian cat generally likes to keep busy, however they’re usually happily entertained by activities going on around them. This is due to their curious nature and impressive intelligence. As a result, this makes them superb candidates for an active family, especially with children.
You’ll want to be sure that you play and interact with your Abyssinian. They thrive on companionship and want to be involved in your day. Remember, their curiosity gets the best of them when they are bored. They may open and close cabinet doors or even flick light switches on and off if they’re not being entertained!
Abyssinian Cat Health Problems
Abyssinian cat breeds are prone to several health conditions. Potential issues include
- Luxating patellas
- Vision problems
- Kidney disease
- Dental issues
You can have some hereditary health conditions screened for in the parents. Therefore, it is essential that you use a responsible breeder that can provide proof of all genetic testing for their cats.
How Long Do They Live?
Abyssinians generally live to be 12 to 15 years old. This is an average lifespan and a variety of factors play into a cat’s life expectancy.
Due to its popularity, there are many Abyssinian breeders to choose from. Some breeders raise specifically championship-quality Abyssinians. Others raise quality stock, but they may not be championship-qualified.
When purchasing any kitten, be sure that the litter is generally healthy before selecting one. And don’t forget to ask to see all the relevant health test certificates for your kitten’s parents before committing to a purchase.
Caring for a kitten is a big job. This is especially true for an inquisitive and energetic kitten, like an Abyssinian. And due to its status as a purebred and because of its a sought-after pet, the price can be quite high. Kittens sold by a breeder may range from a few hundred dollars to almost $1,200 USD for a championship-quality kitten.
My Abyssinian cat is very stressed having just moved house over two weeks ago. She keeps hissing and growling at me for no reason though she has settled down in other areas, like going outside etc.. Should I try Rescue Remedy or I can buy a product called Calmu from the vet? A couple of months before the move my elderly dog died. I think she is missing her plus the move has been all too much!!
Sorry to hear your cat is so stressed. Moving is tough for pets. Sadly, studies show that Rescue Remedies have no effect beyond that of a placebo. In other words, they don’t work. If your cat is not improving steadily then it might be worth having a chat with your vet or a qualified behaviorist. It’s possible that something else is wrong and that the move is a coincidence. The vet will check that there is nothing else causing your cat’s change in behavior and a behaviorist will be able to suggest ways that you can help your cat settle in happily. Hope she is soon back to her old self
Check for mice in your new home. She might be sensing them.
Get some Feliway. The plug-in diffusers work wonders. I have moved 4 x in the past 6 years and I have an Abyssinian kitty. She gets stressed but I have noticed the Feliway helps to calm her and then she adapts to her surroundings in a few days. I truly believe if it weren’t for the Feliway she’d be way worse. The pheromones help to calm them and their anxiety. One or two plug-ins should help.
I got a kitten from a rescue he is so cute and as all the markings and personality except wanting to be high he loves people and whatever we are doing he loves it but he is small, he is 9 months and people say it could be this breed when do they mature he loves food but not over weight . He is growing but slow and has white on him
I have Abyssinian and Siamese mix girl, she has the ticked Ruddy coat with the black spine all the tail, though white back paws! She has character of both the Siamese and Abyssinian, very clever and naughty! Lol .. she is affectionate but definitely on her terms! ?
Tom Davies says
Wow! I didn’t know they were the oldest Cats around
They look awesome!
I have a all white Cat! I don’t even know the breed
Any chance you know? I know it’s difficult without a picture lol
We seem to have a knack for cats adopting us! About 20 years ago after coming home from a family vacation we found a beautiful black and white cat on our deck. Unbeknown to us she was pregnant. Two months later she had five kittens. She passed about 2years who. We still have one of her kittens. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, my husband came home from work and found our cat stacking something under my car. When he check under the car a tiny black cat run out from under the car, right into the garage, and that’s were she stayed under a storage rack for about two weeks. Only coming out to eat or drink after we left the garage. We estimate her to be about 6 – 7 weeks at this point. We live in a very rural area and are used to cats coming and going. Mostly from near by farms. However she was definitely not a “barn” cat . After doing some research I now believe we have a Abyssinian cat. Now we are thinking someone dropped her off. So after this long story my question is should she be an indoor cat. At this point we have let her come and go from the garage. She seems to enjoy being on the deck chasing butterflies and falling leaves.
She is all black so she my be a mix, but she certainly looks exactly like all the pictures I have seen online. One last interesting tidbit. Before I knew she was a Abyssinian, whose also known as an “Aby” I named her Abby. I guess it was meant to be !
i guess too
my cats have been acting up all day i try to them down but they run away i have difficult times trying to calm them down