The Abyssinian cat will seize the day and make the most of every moment! Yes indeed! This is a Carpe Diem cat! Affectionately abbreviated to “Aby”, the Abyssinian is one very cool cat.
An Abyssinian cat is curious, cheeky, and very good company. One of the most popular breeds in the US, an Aby will look at you with their wise and expressive eyes. Eyes that come with living their lives to the fullest!
Asian, African, Egyptian Cat Breeds? Top Theories on the Abyssinian’s Origin
In true mysterious cat fashion, the exact origins of the Abyssinian breed are unknown. There are a few different theories where they are from, and how far their lineage stretches back. Exactly which continent they came from is a mystery.
They are known for a love of heights, and adventure, so perhaps they jumped ship and set sail a few times! First recorded as a breed in England in the 1870s, their breeding in the United States only took off in the 1930s.
The name “Abyssinian” is thought to refer to the country Abyssinia in Africa (now Ethiopia). The first Aby cat exhibited in England, named Zula, was apparently brought back by British Soldiers from the Abyssinian war. Others believe they descend from ancient Egyptian cats.
They do have a similar appearance to the sacred cats depicted in ancient Egypt. They also bear a resemblance to felis libica, the African wildcat all domestic cats descend from, including brown tabbies.
Recent genetic testing indicates that this breed’s pedigree may originate further south in the Indian Ocean to South East Asia.
The Appearance of This Cat Species
Elegant and regal looking, this short-haired cat breed is medium to large sized. They have a lean and athletic build and muscular body. From the front, the Abyssinian cat has a wedge-shaped face.
They have big intelligent gold, green or hazel almond-shaped eyes. Their large ears are pointed, very alert and upright! Their front and hind legs are slender and long, with oval paws.
They stand high on their toes, so it can look like they’re walking on tiptoe. Their long tail is thick at the base and tapers to the tip.
Average Size and Weight of this Wild Looking Breed!
These fur babies may look like they walk a little on the wild side, but they are truly company cats who love humans! Usually medium to large sized, Abyssinian cats weigh between 8-12 pounds.
Males may be proportionately larger than females.
Coats and Colors Explained!
Abyssinian cats have ticked coat patterns. “Ticked” means each strand of hair has alternating bands of light and dark colors. Their hair is short and dense, but a fine texture that is soft and silky to the touch. In the US Standard, the Abyssinian cat breed is four colors:
- Ruddy: Also sometimes called burnt-sienna, this coat is an orange-brown color with ticking bands in black and dark brown.
- Red: This coat is a cinnamon color with ticking bands of chocolate brown and apricot color.
- Blue: This coat is described as warm rosy beige with ticking bands of soft grey or steel and light cocoa.
- Fawn: This coat is a dusty cream, with ticking bands of lilac fawn and pale cream.
Temperament and Personality of Abyssinian Cats!
These cats are personality plus! They are outgoing and very smart – very smart, don’t underestimate their ability to figure things out. They love to interact with the people and everything in the environment around them.
They’re fun loving and love to fool around. Playing with toys is a favorite pastime, and like a dog, you can teach them tricks. They will explore every nook and cranny in your home and check everything out.
While snuggly and affectionate, they are more of an explorer than a lap cat. They’ll often follow you around to watch what you’re up to too! They do like to be the center of attention, so they will probably love to live in a single cat household. That way they can have you all to themselves.
That said, if you are away a lot during the day and they will be on their own, they are then better off with some other feline company because they will miss you! They usually get along well with other animals and older kids.
These Felines Love to Climb More Than Most Breeds of Cats!
All cats instinctively like to be up high. It gives them both a sense of security from threats and a place to pounce on potential prey. There’s double that desire in an Abyssinian – these cool cats are acrobats!
Give them the opportunity to gracefully leap to a high position in your home or on their own cat tree. They’ll be in heaven!
How Long do These Cat Types Live?
The expected lifespan of an Abyssinian cat is usually between 12-15 years.
List of Cat Breed’s Potential Health Issues!
Any pets, whether pedigreed cats or beloved mixed breed moggies, can have health problems. With pedigrees, there can be issues known to occur in the breed. Those that may affect Aby cats include:
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency: This is a heredity condition involving a deficiency of pyruvate kinase, an enzyme needed for a healthy metabolism. Symptoms can include lethargy, an enlarged abdomen, pale gums, and jaundice.
- Renal amyloidosis: This is an inherited disease that affects the kidneys.
- Hyperesthesia syndrome: This is a neurological condition where cats may groom themselves so excessively they lose hair. Cats with this syndrome may seem agitated or twitchy when touched.
- Patellar Luxation: Also known as luxating patella, this is a hereditary condition involving dislocated kneecaps.
- Progressive retinal atrophy: This is a degenerative eye disease.
Abyssinian Cat for Sale!
Got your litter box and cat food ready to go already? Have you made up your mind that the awesome Aby is the one for you?
As always with any pedigree, always look for a reputable registered breeder who is known to give their cats the best start in life.
Kittens should not usually be rehomed until they are at least 12 to 16 weeks old. They should be able to show health records, and that the kitten has been socialized.
How Much do Abyssinian Kittens Cost?
Purebred Abyssinian kittens from recognized breeders will usually cost $500 to $1200.
Find a Reputable Breeder Who Can Tell Their Cat Species / Breeds Apart!
If you’re looking to buy any pedigreed cats, always do a bit of homework on the breeder. Responsible registered Abyssinian breeders will have programs to show the cat’s lineage.
They will have identified potential health problems and address these through their breeding. Sites like the Cat Fanciers Association can be a good place to start your search for a breeder.
Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter for Domestic Cat Breeds Up for Adoption!
Adopting a cat from a rescue group or local animal shelter is a rewarding experience. You will likely find kittens that may be a mix of an Aby and another breed. An adult Aby up for adoption can be a fine choice too – their playfulness and zest for life does not diminish with age!