Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Posted Dec 05, 2008
I have two Abys. Hatshepsut, a Blue spay, has a mind of her own and is a very one person cat. Aditya. who is three, is a Tawny (Ruddy/Usual) neuter, is shy at first with strangers but friendly and gets on well with my Somali, Vico. He and Hatshepsut have a non-aggression treaty.
From my experience they are great little cats, affectionate friendly to me, and active. They are never boring. Their downside is that they can be desructive because they like to hurtle about and don't watch where they are going. They race up curtains and along curtain rails and seem more arboreal than terrestrial. If you don't like that sort of thing, you'd better pick another breed. Another thing is that the spay doesn't like other cats but I rather suspect this is a girl cat thing. I have usually had neuters as pets in the past so am not so used to girl cats but my friend has a number and they don't seem to get on with the other cats there either. I guess they are like rabbit does, more territorial than the male of the species.
They are playful and Hatshepsut is a good mouser. She doesn't muck about playing, she goes for the kill. This is very useful when you breed cavies and rabbits as mice are attracted by the feed that falls to the ground and these pests can carry disease. If I have a problem I take Hatshepsut out her run and put her in the caviary (I have described her often as "the mobile, organic mouse-trap"). Problem sorted.
Their short coats need very little maintenance, just a brush in spring and autumn when moulting. Mine are not fussy eaters. They know the rules. You don't have to eat that but if you don't, you won't get anything else. Abys should not be fat. They should be lithe and athletic wth good muscle tone. So plenty of exercise and don't overfeed.
They don't talk much unless they have something to say and their voices are quiet. Some have described them as "bell-like" so I tend to say that my Aby is chiming at me. Like the Somalis they are good purrers. However, they are not usually a lap cat but they will sit beside you or at or on your feet. They are very responsive when you stroke them, turning into impossible shapes, head down tale up, or going upside down or else stretching out and pulling themselves along the carpet by one paw. They have to know what is going on and will come and tell you things like "There's cavy in the laundry tub". (Yes, I know, I put him there to be washed for a show).
They like to play and again a robust fishing toy or laser pointer are good. They are strong and surprisingly heavy when you pick them up for such a fine-boned, athletic looking cat.
In short, they are distinctive looking cat like a small mountain lion but they do need plenty of room to run about as they are active. So watch the breakables, too. Some of them don't like other cats much. Others are fine. They are intelligent, very sharp and soon suss things out. I have to say they are more intelligent than Somalis who are a bit dim at times. They are affectionate but can be a bit stand-offish with strangers, though they will thaw out especially if the visitor doesn't force the issue, which cat people don't anyway. They soon work out who has "cat slave" stamped on their foreheads. They get on all right with other animals like rabbits (even though rabbits bully and dominate cats) and cavies (they ignore them once past the baby rat-like stage).