Loyal, affectionate, inquisitive and athletic, this ancient breed has become one of the most popular cat breeds in the U.S. and worldwide. While the exact origin of the Abyssinian is unknown, genetic testing suggests this breed probably originated near the coast of the Indian Ocean, and the Abyssinian bears a striking resemblance to the cats seen in ancient Egyptian artwork.
Though beautiful and exotic-looking, it is the gregarious and fun-loving nature of the breed that has made it a welcome addition to so many homes. With exceptional intelligence and a high energy level, the Abyssinian has been described as the Border Collie of the cat world. They are intensely curious and crave interaction with their owners and the environment around them. They’re also an athletic cat, graceful and agile, and very capable of exploring their surroundings from top to bottom! Though Abys tend to be quiet cats with soft voices, they are also known for their characteristic trill of greeting which is quite unlike the “meow” of other breeds.
Appearance / health:
The Abyssinian is a medium-sized cat, with males weighing around 8-10 pounds, and females 6-7 pounds. Though the Abyssinian has long, slender legs, small paws, and a fine bone structure, this is a strong and muscular cat. Its head is broad and moderately wedge-shaped, with almond-shaped eyes that can be gold, green, hazel, or copper, accentuated with a fine black line around them. Their relatively large ears are broad and alert, moderately pointed at the tip, and are occasionally tufted. A distinct M-shaped pattern can be seen in the fur on the forehead. The tail and paws may have tabby markings, but no stripes should be present on the body. The Abyssinian is a short-haired breed. The long-haired variant is known as a Somali.
The Abyssinian is known for its distinctive ticked coat. Each hair has a base color with three or four darker bands – the hair is a lighter color at the root, and the darker ‘ticking’ color at the tip. The coat is traditionally a warm golden color, but the breed also comes in blue, fawn, chocolate, cinnamon (sorrel), and red colors. One striking variation is the Silver Abyssinian, with a coat containing shades of white, cream, and grey.
The Abyssinian is a mostly healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12 -15 years. The breed may be prone to a knee condition known as “luxating patella”, and to gingivitis.
Behavior / temperament:
The Abyssinian is an intensely curious and playful cat with a high need for activity and attention. While someone looking for a calm lap-cat might be disappointed, Abyssinians are incredibly loyal and affectionate, and love to be involved in everything you do. An Abyssinian who is left alone for long periods of time may become bored and depressed. They are social with other animals, but may feel neglected if there is too much competition for their owner’s affection. The owner of an Abyssinian should be prepared for an athletic cat that loves heights, and loves to climb and explore.
exquisite beauty, Gorgeous Cats, social cat, soft churing noise, strong personality, intelligence
kidney complications, vocal breed, expensive taste
clean coat, mousy funerals, athletic looking cat, little objects jewelry, long muscular body
17 years of Absolute Joy
There's not a day goes by when I don't think of Ella and smile.
Born in an old Amsterdam house in the early 90's to my neighbour's Abyssinian cat Letitia upstairs (I used to play with and feed Ella's Mother Letitia when my neighbour was away on holiday)
I made my neighbour promise that if Letitia ever had kittens that she would let me purchase one as I already smitten with this exquisite breed of cat. They are so beautiful and there is something very special about an Abyssinian, Naughty? yes I know, but you can’t help but forgive them anything they do. Ella was very adaptable and in 1998 when I had to return to Brighton in the UK Ella took the whole process of six months quarantine in her stride and was not affected negatively at all. Fortunately I found a top notch cattery in East Sussex and was able to visit and sit with Ella at least 3 times a week.
She was happy there and spent hours watching the birds in the trees. The six months separation was harder for me than her but the time soon passed.
Due to my work commitments Ella became a travelling cat and soon after in the footsteps of Dick Whittington and his marvellous cat we packed our bags and moved to London..then Paris....then Amsterdam again...then Berlin....then Alsace...then Brittany...Ella loved the adventure and the companionship. We were inseparable.
Always there at my side with the loudest purr ever. As attentive and loyal as a dog. Mischievous and cunning. Intelligent and Fearless, Affectionate and Loving, Gentle but Alert, Graceful and Sophisticated, Energetic and sometimes infuriating, Active and fast.
What more could you ask of a friend and companion. Unfortunately Ella's age took its toll and after a short illness Ella sadly passed away in 2009.
I will finish as I began......There's not a day goes by when I don't think of Ella and smile..
From robobur May 24 2014 2:57PM
Rid Your Cat of Hairballs
It is a well-known fact that most cats do not drink large amounts of water. When examining their urine, we find they concentrate their urine greatly- confirmation of smaller amounts of water intake. When pets take larger amounts of water, they produce more urine that is more dilute. In order to encourage water intake, some owners feed only wet (canned) cat foods. There is more water in canned food than dried kibble, thus increasing the water intake. Other owners may elect to add a small amount of salt to the diet. This can increase the thirst and therefore increase the amount of water taken. Another option may require some investigative work. Owners observe their pets closely, I have discovered. They find their cat's water intake preferences. These include fresh water during the day, use of fountains for water intake or faucets. Some cats only like to drink outdoor and some only indoor. There are challenges with each pet. Finding a great way to increase water intake helps moisten the stool in the end and therefore helps prevent constipation - a goal for every cat owner. .
From T Lee 326 days ago
Physical exam before beginning treatment
A comprehensive physical exam is a must before beginning any treatment for a "behavior problem." Any sudden changes in your cats behavior may indicate an underlying medical problem. Your veterinarian will do a complete physical exam to check for any obvious signs of pain or injury. Also, they will check a temperature to ensure there is no fever. Another important indicator is checking the weight of your pet. Unexplained weight loss or weight gain may indicate an underlying metabolic disorder. Based on their physical exam, the vet may recommend bloodwork as well to check the kidney, liver, and thyroid functions of your cat. They may also need this information before starting medication for your cat as a baseline, so that the values can be monitored if your pet is on behavior-altering medications long term. .
From sat14 367 days ago
Adopt a Abyssinian from a shelter near you