Close
Click Here To Sign Up!
BaxterBoo Blog
May 3, 2013

Meet the Cat Breed: The Abyssinian

main image

Overview:

The Abyssinian is one of the most popular short-haired cats. Similar cats have been depicted in ancient Egyptian art. It has a distinctive ticked coat that features many colors on the same hair shaft. 

Physical Characteristics:

The Abyssinian has a regal appearance with fine, elegant features. The head is broad and moderately wedge shaped and features somewhat large, cupped upright ears and almond-shaped eyes. Everything in the Abyssinian is characterized as "balanced" in appearance, being neither too thick or thin, and all features in proportion to each other. They have strong, lithe bodies with long legs. Abys (as fanciers often call them) still retain the look of a wildcat. The distinctive ticked coat can be Ruddy, red (also called sorrel), blue, and fawn. Some countries also accept silver.

History of the Breed:

The origins of the Abyssinian are convoluted. They were named for where they were probably first imported from (Ethiopia used to be called Abyssinia) in the 1870s to England.  Genetic and scant historical records seem to indicate they originated somewhere in Southeast Asia, off the coast of the Indian Ocean. They do, however have a strong resemblance to the ancient statues of the Egyptians. The breed was further developed in Great Britain. The first Abyssinians were imported to the U.S. in the early 1900s, though a strong breeding program didn't begin until the 1930s. Today, the Abyssinian is second behind the Siamese in popularity for short-haired cat breeds.

Temperament:

The Abyssinian is very people oriented and nearly always on the move. They are not lap cats, but they are highly interested in human activities, and always there to assist. Because of their high intelligence and activity, they require a great deal of interaction from human and/or non-human companions or they will get bored and potentially find their own unauthorized entertainment. They like to train humans to play fetch.

  • Best suited for: Families who appreciate an active, entertaining cat who will participate in and supervise home activities.
  • Preferred living conditions: This cat will not do well home alone all day. They need a roommate in cat or canine form to be happy while you are at work.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy-care short coat sheds very little and may be less allergenic for some. Brush weekly.
  • Exercise needs: Enjoys active play and lots of appropriate scratching surface options.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to gingivitis, so regular brushing is required. Kidney disease has occasionally been observed.

Breed Club Links: Abyssinian Cat Club of America

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Aikiou Stimulo Interactive Feeding Center.

Have any stories about an Abyssinian? Please share!

Ready to adopt an Abyssinian? Visit Petfinder.com to find available cats.

Photo courtesy of K. Kendall.

 

What do you think?

Name:
You are not logged in.
This entry was posted by Mary.

Recent Articles

article image

December 7, 2016

Keeping Your Pet Happy and Healthy During the Holidays

The winter holidays are the most joyous times of the year for families. Your pet, however, may have a different outlook when it comes to the holiday season. There are things to consider when it comes to pet health during these times. You want make su


article image

December 7, 2016

Watch this: Corgi Pup Struggles With Stairs

Sometimes you need some encouragement to get past Wednesday!


article image

December 6, 2016

Share the Love, Become a Foster Pet Parent

  Have a hole in your heart but don’t feel like a long term commitment? Consider helping an animal in need. Every day there are shelter cats and dogs in need of temporary care. If you have extra love to give but aren’t able about to


Subscribe to

Baxter's Backyard!