All About Abyssinian Cats and Kittens
The Abyssinian cats are the most popular breeds of shorthair cats in the USA.
Read all about Abyssinian cats temperaments, abyssinian cat origins and all you need to know about abyssinian cats before buying an abyssinian kitten!
Abyssinians are medium sized cats, with a strong, lithe body, slender legs and a fine bone structure.
The Abyssinian cat has alert, relatively large pointed ears.
Abyssinians have almond shaped eyes which vary between either gold, green, hazel or copper.
Their paws are small and oval shaped.
The Abyssinian cat’s tail is fairly long, being broad at the base and tapering to a point.
A m-shaped marking is often found in the fur on the forehead. The m-shaped marking, also called “frown lines”, appears above the Abyssinian’s eyes.
The abyssinian cat breed has a quiet, engaging voice.
Abyssinian Cat Coloring
Abys can be colored ruddy, sorrel (red, cinnamon), blue fawn or red.
The feet and the backs of the hind legs are always black.
Rare colours include the Tortoiseshell, Cream, Red, Chocolate and Lilac, which are all bred on a small scale in the Netherlands and UK.
Silver Abyssinians are a different story. Although this colour has been in existence for tens of years, it is not recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. In Silver Abyssinians, the undercoat is always a pure silvery white.
Purely Silver Abyssinian cats are harder to breed because they sometimes have undesirable tan patches in the coat. In addition to this, any spots in the coat show up more clearly on a silver coat.
The Abyssinian cats (also known as ‘abys’) have a very special coat which is not only dense and silky to the touch but also different than all other cats.
This is due to one dominant mutant gene known as Ta.
Each hair has a base color with three or four darker-colored bands; the hair is the lighter colour at the root, and the darker “ticking” color at the tip.
This ticking is found only in the Somali, Abyssinian and Singapura.
Abyssinian kittens are born with dark coats that gradually lighten as they mature. It usually takes several months for the final coat colour to be established.
Abyssinian Cat Breed Temperament
What are Abyssinian cats like?
Abyssinians are extroverted, extremely active, playful, willful and intelligent. They are usually not “lap cats”, being too preoccupied with exploring and playing.
They can be very successful show cats.
Some abyssinian cats however, are shy towards strangers and timid in public.
Abyssinian cats and kittens, need a great deal of love and interaction with the family to keep them happy and can get depressed without daily activity and attention.
They generally get along well with other cats, although they need their space and the females can sometimes be irritable around other cats.
Abyssinians are known to be curious and enjoy exploring their surroundings, including heights. Abyssinian cats are formidable hunters.
They love playing with cat toys and can play for hours with a ball or mouse.
Some Abyssinian kittens have even been taught to play fetch.
Abyssinian Cats History and Origin
The name ‘Abyssinian’ refers to Ethiopia, although most of the stories about the origins of Abyssinians refer to Egypt.
Through genetic research it is thought that the breed originated near the coast of the Indian Ocean, where colonists may have purchased the cats from wild animal traders.
The breed was then developed in Egypt.
Abyssinians are sometimes believed to have originated from one Egyptian female kitten named Zula, who was taken from a port in Alexandria by a British soldier and brought to England in 1868.
Abyssinian breed is thought to be a few thousand years old and to come from Ancient Egypt, as the cats resemble those in ancient paintings.
Ancient Egyptians made sculptures of them.
There are also stories that wild ‘Abyssinians’ still live in parts of North Africa today.