Abyssinian Cat Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Size: Medium. Average body.
Exercise Needs: Needs no exercise.
Ability to Adapt: High. Adjusts quickly.
Shedding: Moderate shedding.
Average Lifespan: From 9-15 years.
Price: From $500 to over $1200.
Weight: From 7-12 lbs.
Playfulness: Through the roof!
Social Skills: Great with children & other pets.
Need for Grooming: Once a week.
Health: Very good. Minor health issues.
The Abyssinian Cat is one of the oldest domestic cat breeds. It is well-known for its graceful lithe body, shimmering coat, and intelligent eyes.
It is a highly energetic breed that is always in motion and pursuit of higher places to climb. These traits make the Abyssinian Cat breed a perfect companion for people who have enough time to indulge in daily play sessions.
The Aby likes to be the center of everyone’s attention and is completely devoted to its owner. However, its restless nature prevents it from being a lap cat.
The Abyssinian Cat breed is known to have a few health problems. But with proper care, it can live a long happy life.
These cats are social and playful and get along with everyone. They develop a dog-like attachment to its owner.
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Where Did Abyssinian Cat Breed Originate?
The Abyssinian Cat, as we know it today, was developed in Britain. However, its true origin is still shrouded in mystery.
For many years it was believed that the Aby originated in Egypt since the breed’s appearance is so like the depictions of Ancient Egyptian Cats. Thanks to science and recent genetic testing, we now know for sure that the Aby comes from the coast of Indian Ocean and parts of Southeast Asia.
The breed made its appearance in Europe in the 1860s when Lord Robert Napier brought a cat named Zula with him to Britain after his military expeditions in Abyssinia. Because of Zula’s unique coat color and appearance, she was bred with random bred cats that possessed similar traits.
This created the breed as we know it today, with Zula as its foundation. In the 1900s Abyssinian Cats were imported to the U.S. And 30 years later the effort was made, and breeding programs were started.
Nowadays, the Abyssinian Cat breed is recognized by TICA and other cat associations and has full championship status.
What Does the Abyssinian Cat Look Like?
This is a medium-sized cat with a slender and graceful body that ends with long legs and tapering tail. The head is wedge-shaped with large broad ears and almond-shaped eyes that can come in gold and green color.
The body is finely boned, balanced and graceful and true to its foreign type. But at the same time, well-muscled and athletic to support the inquisitive and playful nature of this cat.
As per standards, the Abyssinian Cat size should be medium to large. On average, a fully grown Aby Cat is 60 cm (2ft) long.
Abyssinian Cat Colors (Coat)
The unique and glossy coat of Abyssinian Cat gives it a distinctive and wild-looking appearance. The shimmering quality of the coat comes from alternating patterns of darker and lighter color on each hair, also known as agouti effect.
This breed can come in a variety of colors. However, at present the TICA recognizes only four main colors as championship worthy. The championship-qualified colors include:
- Rudy, known as ‘Usual’
- Sorrel (cinnamon or red) and
However, some cat associations permit other coat colors including, Lilac, Chocolate, Black and variations of silver and grey colors.
Abyssinian Cat Personality Traits
This is one of those cat breeds who have a dog-like personality. And they are extremely devoted and loyal to their owners. They are highly energetic and known for their love of heights, jumping and mischievous behavior.
Abyssinian Cats are social and like to interact with people and other pets. They will be persistent in their efforts to find company.
This breed is also playful and seeks constant attention. This cat likes to be in the spotlight and won’t allow anyone to take the star status away from it.
They have an active and outgoing nature but are at the same time quiet cats. This is a soft-spoken breed which communicates in chirrups rather than meows. They prefer having company all the time.
This breed is social and friendly, likes to interact with people and to be the center of attention. The inquisitive nature and high intelligence keep the Aby engaged and curious about its surroundings. It’s constantly in search of new adventures!
Thanks to its restless nature and endless curiosity the Abyssinian can spend hours exploring every nook and cranny in a home to stay busy and entertained.
Abyssinian Cat Behavior
Due to their attention seeking and social nature, if these cats are left alone for longer periods of time and not provided with enough attention, they can become anxious and destructive.
They also get deeply attached to their owners and won’t mind being the only cat in the household. Some Abys may become aggressive towards other cats and will start fights over territory and the owner’s attention.
Before getting an Abyssinian Cat, consider how much time you will be able to spend with her daily.
All these behavioral problems are easily avoidable with proper socialization, regular play sessions, and a lot of affection.
Are Abyssinian Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
Abyssinian Cat breed is a highly adaptable. They adjust well to any change and settles right in. Well, that is if she gets enough attention! This trait stays constant throughout their whole life.
This breed adjusts quickly to environmental and lifestyle changes. Even if you adopt an adult or older Abyssinian Cat, it will immediately find its rightful place in your home.
If properly socialized it can also get along nicely with other pets and children. This is a highly energetic breed that runs faster, jumps higher and is overall, in perpetual motion.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
Are Abyssinian Cats friendly? Yes they are!
These cats will become fast friends with children and other pets in the household. Energetic and inquisitive Aby loves the company of older children who can keep up and participate in mischievous behavior.
On the other hand, they won’t be very interested to play with toddlers. Simply because they can’t match their energy levels. The Aby gets along well with dogs if they are properly introduced. It will even participate in the game of fetch.
However, this breed likes to be the sole focus of its owner and will make sure that all other pets know who’s in charge! Because of its playful nature, Abyssinian cat loves having company and thrives in homes with other cats, dogs, and ferrets.
Anyone who can match the energy levels of this breed is considered a playmate and involved in hours of play. Thanks to its friendly and adaptable nature, the Aby will become fast friends with everyone and won’t stop playing until all its playmates are knocked off their feet!
General Health and Potential Risks
The Abyssinian Cat has a long lifespan. It can live over 15 years with proper care. However, like all other purebred cats, the Abyssinian Cat breed is also prone to some hereditary health problems.
These health problems can be prevented with regular vet check-up. Some of the diseases commonly seen in this breed include:
- Periodontal disease: This is a progressive disease of the gums caused by poor dental hygiene and development of plaque and tartar.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy: This is a condition that affects the ventricle muscle. It reduces its ability to push the blood from the ventricle causing a strain to the heart. This condition usually affects cats older than 10 years and may result in heart failure.
- Psychogenic Alopecia: This is a condition that causes a cat to groom excessively to relieve stress. As it progresses, the grooming evolves into an obsessive behavior that can cause problems.
- Renal Amyloidosis: This is a serious condition in which an amyloid protein is deposited in kidneys. It causes kidney failure. If left untreated other organs like the spleen, liver, and pancreas are affected too.
Abyssinian Cat Lifespan
In general, this is a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 9-15 years. Reputable breeders of this cat breed who participate in genetic testing can provide health guarantees for all kittens.
This practice can help you avoid getting a cat with above mentioned hereditary health problems.
Since this breed is prone to periodontal disease you should start brushing your cat’s teeth from a young age. Practice proper cat dental care at least four times a week.
Abyssinian Cat has a shimmering medium-length coat that lies close to the body and has a silky and soft texture. The exotic looking coat is the distinctive feature of this breed. It looks like the coat of wild cats such as cougars.
They are considered a low maintenance breed since their short and dense coat doesn’t require constant care.
To keep your Aby in pristine condition, brush its coat once a week. Brushing the cat will remove dead skin cells and loose hair. It will also help distribute skin oils through the length of each hair and keep the coat silky and shiny.
Abyssinian Cat Shedding
Their thick and short coat sheds moderately so you can expect a small amount of cat hair on your furniture.
They will shed more during the shedding season at which time you can considering bathing them. A proper bath will help loosen the dead hair and keep your cat clean if need be. You should introduce a bathing routine from a young age to give your cat time to get used to it.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we have answered the most asked questions about the Abyssinian Cat breed.
How Much is Abyssinian Cat Price?
The exact cost of an Abyssinian Cat depends on the breeder and many other factors. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $900 to $1200.
If you aren’t particularly set on an exotic looking eye and/or coat color, and are looking for a pet quality Aby, you can probably find a kitten cheaper.
However, factors like lineage, show quality, and specific attributes are just some of the factors that increase the price of an Abyssinian Cat.
How Big Do Abyssinian Cats Get?
When it comes to weight, this breed comes in the middle range with males being slightly larger than females. The males weigh from 8-12 pounds, while females are smaller and usually weigh from 6-8 pounds.
Are Abyssinian Cats Hypoallergenic?
Female Abyssinian Cats have lower levels of Fel d1 protein, which is the most common allergen. Due to this fact, the Aby is less likely to provoke an allergic reaction compared to other cat breeds.
Although there isn’t a completely hypoallergenic cat breed, the Abyssinian may be a suitable choice if you or anyone in your family suffer from allergies.
Are Abyssinian Cats Cuddly?
These cats need a lot of attention and affection from their owners and are completely devoted to them. But Abyssinian Cats are not cuddly as such. Note that this does not indicate that they don’t like you.
So, do Abyssinian Cats like to be held then? Not every Aby cat likes to be held. They do enjoy being petted and some even like to be cuddled occasionally and will reward you with a loving purr.
Are Abyssinian Cats Vocal?
This isn’t among the chattiest cat breeds, but it is known to vocalize sometimes. They have soft and quiet voices that are pleasant to hear and not overly demanding.
Are Abyssinian Cats Rare?
According to the registration data for this breed, their numbers have been steady through the years. So, Abyssinian Cats are not rare. They are among the most popular cat breeds in North America.
Do Abyssinian Cats Like Water?
Abyssinians are known to like water. But it also depends on the individual personality of each cat. Abyssinian kittens will playfully chase a water stream from the tap and splash with their paws. Don’t leave them unsupervised while they are playing with water.
But as they grow older, their interest in water may gradually fade away.
Are Abyssinian Cats Aggressive?
Abyssinian Cat is not an aggressive breed. They may be territorial and favor certain persons over others tough!
They can be affectionate to children. However, parents should always supervise playtime to make sure that the child is not too rough with the cat (and gets scratched as a result).