Did you know the Abyssinian cat is one of the oldest cat breeds? This kitty is active, affectionate, and social with humans and other animals. To learn more about this cat breed, keep reading.
|Abyssinian Cat Breed Overview|
|Nicknames||Aby, Abby Cat|
|Height||8 - 16 inches|
|Weight||6 - 12 pounds|
|Lifespan||9 - 15 years|
|Temperament||Social, Curious, Active|
|Suitable For||Young Adults, Households with Other Pets|
History Of The Abyssinian Cat
Abyssinian cats are known to be one of the oldest breeds. However, its history isn’t entirely known.
Also known as the Aby or Abby cats, this breed was thought to have come from Egypt. They resemble similar qualities of other breeds from Egypt and Egyptian statues.
However, recent genetic studies believe this cat breed originated in Southeast Asia, along the coast of the Indian Ocean.
On the other hand, the name “Abyssinian” comes from modern-day Ethiopia, which used to be known as Abyssinia. It’s a wonder if this was an Ethiopian cat who was initially birthed there.
In the 1860s, after the Abyssinian War, this cat breed was brought over to England. These cats were known as Abys. Then they were crossbred with other cats in England; thus, the Abyssinian was born.
According to the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), this cat breed was brought over to the United States of America in the early 1900s. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that this breed grew in popularity and became part of the breeding scene.
What Does The Abyssinian Cat Breed Look Like?
One feature to note about the Abyssinian cat breed is that they have a regal appearance about them. According to the CFA’s breed standard, this kitty is well-balanced, muscular, and shows a lively interest in what’s around it.
They have a slightly round wedged head that sits proportionately on their body. The ears are large and alert. What’s special about their ears is that they will have different colored tips, depending on their coat color.
For example, ruddy Abyssinians will have black-tipped ears. A cinnamon Abyssinian cat has chocolate brown tips on its ears. A blue Abyssinian cat has slate blue-tipped ears. Finally, fawn Abyssinians will have light cocoa brown tips on their ears.
In addition, they typically have large, almond-shaped eyes that are expressive. The body is medium to long and graceful. The front and back legs are proportionate to the rest of the body, looking like they’re standing on their tip-toes.
Finally, their tail is thick at the base. It tapers towards the end and is relatively long.
When fully grown, this cat breed is about eight to 16 inches long and weighs between six and 12 pounds.
What Coat Colors Do Abyssinian Cat Breeds Have?
This kitty can come in four different coat colors. They may have ticked coat patterns or facial markings, as well.
However, this breed’s coat colors may be any of the following:
Caring For Abyssinian Cats
Pet care is straightforward once you know what exactly your Abyssinian cat needs. Let’s talk about overall care for your Abyssinian kitten.
Do Abyssinian cats shed? Even though they have short coats, that doesn’t mean they don’t shed. Luckily, they won’t shed too much other than during shedding season.
However, to help keep them clean, weekly brushing is ideal. During shedding season, you can brush their coat three to four times per week.
In addition, remember to keep up with trimming their claws regularly. Clean their ears and brush their teeth regularly, as well.
Also, ensure they have access to a clean litter box.
When it comes to diet, talk to your veterinarian first. They’ll be able to help you decide which cat food is the best for your kitty. Also, they’ll be able to tell you how much you should feed your cat.
Remember, your cat’s diet should reflect its breed size, age, weight, and metabolism.
However, if you’re looking for some options for your adult cat, this high-protein dry cat food is a good option.
For kittens, this kibble is also high in protein.
Finally, if you have a senior cat at home, this wet canned food is excellent for aging.
Abys are active kitties. They enjoy climbing high and playing with various cat toys. So, you’ll want to ensure they have plenty of climbing structures, such as cat trees, in the home.
Also, take a break and give them some attention with a cat wand or other kitty toy.
Abyssinian kitties need plenty of physical exercise in addition to mental stimulation. So, you can provide food mats to hide treats, put them on a harness, and take them for a walk outside.
Cats aren’t like dogs in terms of being responsive to training. You certainly can try to teach them basic commands and teach them to walk on a harness and leash.
However, cats are independent and dance to the beat of their drum, so training may or may not always go as planned.
With proper care, Abyssinian cats have an average lifespan of about nine to 15 years.
Your cat should visit the vet at least once a year for an annual checkup. As kittens, they can go more frequently during their first year. These visits will allow you and the vet to ensure the kitten is growing and developing well.
Luckily, this breed is relatively healthy. However, Abyssinian cats are known to get some health problems, such as the following:
- Hyperesthesia Syndrome
- Kidney Disease
- Patellar Luxation
- Periodontal Disease
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKD)
- Renal Amyloidosis
Temperament Of The Abyssinian
Anyone with an Abyssinian cat in their home will be lucky to have one. Some of the Abyssinian personality traits are smart, curious, and active.
They enjoy exploring, which means they will find every nook and cranny (no matter how high) in your home.
There will never be a dull moment with this cat. However, if you’re looking for a laid-back kitty that will snuggle with you on the couch for long periods, this won’t be it.
They’re silly but also need a lot of stimulation. Aby cats are athletic and will want to play, run, and climb almost all the time. With that said, they’re observant. If you hide treats on them, they will find them.
In addition, they’re social kitties. So, they’ll enjoy quality time with you and warmly greet newcomers to the house.
Abyssinians get along well with other animals in the house. For example, they’ll do well with other cats, dogs, or even small animals such as guinea pigs. They’ll be curious but will learn to live with them.
However, they don’t like being held or picked up too often. This cat breed can tolerate young children as long as their space is respected.
Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?
Males and females have slight temperament differences.
For example, males can be more affectionate with their humans. On the other hand, they can also be too needy or clingy.
Females enjoy attention but are more independent. They can tolerate having some time alone once in a while.
Who Should Own Abyssinians?
Due to their active nature, Abyssinians will do best in a home with young adults. Their energy levels may be too much for elderly humans to care for.
In addition, they can do well with families that have young children but will prefer an adult-only home. They’ll do fine with other pets in the house, too.
Finally, they’ll do well with a family with someone home most of the time. This breed is prone to separation anxiety and likes to have company with them most of the time.
Where Can You Get An Abyssinian?
Abyssinian cats are hugely popular, especially in the United States. Due to that, it’s difficult to find this breed in an animal shelter or breed rescue organization. However, it’s still a good idea to try these places first.
Cats at the shelter or rescue are often there because they were surrendered by their previous owners and are looking for loving, forever homes. By adopting and not shopping, you can save a cat’s life.
However, you may or may not find a purebred Abyssinian kitten here. You may find an adult or senior cat. Alternatively, you may get a mixed breed with Abyssinian genes.
A good place to start would be the National Abyssinian Rescue.
On the other hand, you can go through a reputable breeder. However, research the breeders before deciding to work with them.
Unfortunately, some backyard breeders are more interested in making a profit rather than finding the kittens good homes. Also, they don’t breed the cats in healthy or safe conditions.
A good breeder will do the following:
- Socialize the kittens are early as possible
- Ensure the kittens are up to date with their vaccinations
- Meet with you in person and allow you to meet the litter and parents
- Answer any, and all of your questions (about the breed, their work, the adoption process, etc.)
- Have health documents, certifications, and family tree history for the kittens (to give to you upon adoption)
In addition, a good breeder won’t let the kittens leave their mother until they’re at least eight to nine weeks old.
You can check out the Abyssinian Cat Club of America or the CFA Breeder List to find reputable breeders to work with.
Question Corner: FAQs About The Abyssinian Cat
You can look through the frequently asked questions below if you’d like to learn more about Abyssinian cats.
What’s The Average Cost Of The Abyssinian?
The average Abyssinian price is between $500 and $1,200. The cost may vary depending on the number of kittens in the litter, their pedigree, the breeder’s reputation, and more. In some cases, Abyssinian kittens have gone for up to $5,000.
What’s The Average Litter Size Of Abyssinian Cats?
Due to their medium size, the average litter size for Abyssinian cats is about six kittens.
Are Abyssinian Cats Hypoallergenic?
Yes, but this doesn’t mean they don’t shed. Cats keep themselves clean. Thus, they’re covered in saliva. This breed is a good option if you have allergies, but it won’t eliminate them.
Are Abyssinian Cats Rare?
In a way, yes. This breed can be considered rare since they’re so popular. So, it could be difficult to find one in a shelter or even a breeder that has kittens available.
Are Abyssinian Cats Good Pets?
Absolutely. Abyssinians are a great choice if you’re an active family who wants a social, loving cat in the house. This breed will keep you on your toes at all times.
Are Abyssinian Cats Vocal?
This breed can be vocal, yes. They enjoy spending time with their humans and love attention. So, they’ll meow and purr a lot to show their content and to get your attention.
Is The Abyssinian Right For You?
There’s a lot to love about Abyssinian cats. This old cat breed is a good option for various homes. There will never be a dull moment with this cat around.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.