Abyssinian Cats

Abyssinian Cat History:
Although the earliest record of Abyssinian Cats dates back to ancient Egypt, the word ‘Abyssinian’ itself is Ethiopian in origin. Genetic researchers believe the actual origin of the Abyssinian is somewhere near the coast of the Indian Ocean. Colonists possibly purchased them from animal traders. The breed was believed to have been developed in ancient Egypt, where paintings and sculptures often feature cats that resemble Abyssinians. Some felinologists believe there are still wild Abyssinians that survive today in the North Africa area.

Abyssinian Cat Characteristics:
Abyssinians are medium sized cats, with broad heads that have somewhat of a wedge shape. Its ears are large and pointed and its eye colors can be green, gold, hazel or copper-like. Abyssinians have long, slender legs and strong bodies, with a long tail tapering to a point.

The Abyssinian coat is dense, medium length and has a silky texture. Their coats are referred to as ‘ticked’, having several different bands of color. The hair is lighter at the root with three or four darker bands. The darkest ‘ticking’ occurs at the tip. This ‘ticked’ fur glistens in the sunlight. The Abyssinian coat makes grooming an easy task, with only an occasional bath and brushing needed to maintain the silkiness.

The original Abyssinian coat color has a deep reddish-brown base and black ticking. This coat is referred to as ‘Usual’ in the United Kingdom and ‘Ruddy’ in the rest of the world. The hind legs and feet of a ‘Usual’ or ‘Ruddy’ Abyssinian are always black. Various other colors have been developed over the years, although the markings on the coat remain the same. Sorrel Abyssinians, Fawn Abyssinians and Blue Abyssinians are growing in popularity.

All these members of the breed are accepted by the Cat Fancier’s Association, which is the largest registry of pedigreed cats in the world. The Silver Abyssinian, with a silver-white undercoat is not recognized as part of the breed, although they have been bred for several decades.

Abyssinian Cat Personality:
The Abyssinian is extremely active and playful. They are intelligent and extroverted animals. They are given to exploring and playing more than being what is known as ‘lap cat’. They are loving and loyal cats, enjoying toys and maybe even playing fetch with their owners. Abyssinians continue to be a popular breed and are often featured as show cats. They have fairly quiet voices and are known to be capable hunters.