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Ethiopian (Abyssinian) Cat Breed

Ethiopian cat, Abyssinian
Ethiopia Cat Breed

Abyssinian (now called Ethiopia) Temperament

Abyssinian cats are:
  • Out going.
  • Very active.
  • Playful.
  • Wilful.
  • Intelligent.

They are believed by some to be the most active breed of cat. They tend to be a non lap cat as they would much rather be playing and exploring. Abyssinian's make very good show cats and are very popular among owners and breeders. Not every Abyssinian cat is show worthy, a standard colouring is important along with some being shy towards strangers. They can also be very vocal.

Abyssinian's are commonly and affectionately referred to as Abys and require a lot of daily attention in order to keep them happy and from become depressed. Fortunately they get on well with other cats you may have to keep them company although females need space as they can become irritated. Being very active cats they are very curious, this leads them to a lot of exploring. During their exploring they are unlikely to take unnecessary risks. Being very smart and agile cats they are great hunters and they love to play and can do so for hours. They may also be taught to play fetch. Read also: British Longhair Cat Breed Information.

Where does the Abyssinian come from?

The origins of the Abyssinian are uncertain however it is believed to have come from Egypt.

What type of Body does the Abyssinian have?

The Abyssinian body characteristics include:
  • Medium length body.
  • Lithe.
  • Very well developed muscles.
  • Slender legs compared to the body.
  • Fine bone structure.
  • Small oval paws.
  • Fairly long tail that is broad at the base and tapers to a point.
  • A broad head that is moderately wedge shaped.
  • Almond shaped eyes with colours ranging from gold, green, hazel or copper.
  • When viewed in profile the nose and chine form a vertical line.
  • When alert their ears and large, broad, cupped at the base and slightly pointed at the tips with tufts of hair being common.
  • For show cats, large ear tufts are seen as a must have.
  • On the forehead, an M shape mark is commonly seen.
  • At the corners of their eyes a black marking is common, referred to as mascara lines.

What type of coat does an Abyssinian have?

The Abyssinian's coat is a medium length coat that is dense and feels silky. The Abyssinian cat owes its unusual coat to a single dominant mutant gene known as Ta. Each individual hair has a base colour followed by 3 to 4 darker bands. The base or the root of the hair is the lightest part with the darkest being at the tip also called the ticking. Ticking is found mainly in Somali, Abyssinian and Singapura.

The coat colour in the United Kingdom is called Usual were elsewhere it is known as Ruddy. Abyssinian's have a lovely warm reddish brown base colour along with black ticking. Their feet and the backs of their hind legs are black. Read also: Turkish Van Cat Breed Information.

From the original colouring, other coloured Abyssinian's have been bred. However the pads and hind legs have stayed a darker colour compared to the rest of the cats coat. A new colour bred and also popular is a Sorrel colour. This is a cinnamon base with a chocolate brown ticking, paws and hind legs. Blue Abyssinian's are another cat that has been bred to have a light beige base with blue ticking, paws and hind legs. The rare Fawn Abyssinian has a light cream base with a darker cream ticking, paws and hind legs.

Due to the Cat Fanciers Association, Silver Abyssinians are put into a different group even though there existence extends decades. The Silver Abyssinian has a pure silver white undercoat with markings ranging from black, blue, warm dark cream and cinnamon. Pure silver Abyssinians are very difficult to breed as patches occur in the coat and are more obvious due to the silver white base colour.

Rare coloured Abyssinians are breed in the UK and Holland in small numbers some being tortoiseshell, red, cream, chocolate and lilac.

Kittens are often a dark colour with their actual coat colour growing through after a couple of months.

History of the Abyssinian?

Their name Abyssinian refers to Ethiopia however most stories that related to there origin comes from Egypt. Research into there genetics have found that they may have come from the coast of the Indian Ocean, having been purchased from wild animal traders with the breed being developed in Egypt.

The Abyssinian breed is believed to have come from an Egyptian female kitten called Zula, This kitten was then taken from Alexandria to England by a British soldier. The story has not been proven as there isn't a solid link between Zula and the very first cat to be listed as an Abyssinian in 1882.

They are believed to be a few thousand years old and come from Egypt as they resemble cats in ancient paintings.

Food the Abyssinian eats?

The Abyssinian will eat normal cat foods weather its a tined food or biscuit, however they are prone to upset stomachs and may need there diet monitored.

Is the Abyssinian an indoor or outdoor cat?

The Abyssinian is a very active cat, so if you intend on keeping him or her inside they will need plenty of attention to keep them happy.

Does the Abyssinian have health problem?

The Abyssinian is a relatively healthy cat if treated correctly and given up to date vaccinations. To help reduce catching a disease, keeping your cat inside is recommended so they don't meat a stray and catch something. For more details about Abyssinian cat breed, click here.

Abyssinian Cat Facts


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