Abyssinian Cat

The Abyssinian Cat is one of the oldest known breeds of cat and is elegant with a muscular body and slender legs.  Read more about the Abyssinian Cat in our breed profile.

History Of The Abyssinian Cat

The Abyssinian cat is one of the oldest known breeds of cat and there is some uncertainty as to its history. The Abyssinian resembles the cats shown in Ancient Egyptian paintings and sculptures. The name "Abyssinian" is not related to its believed origins but the fact that the first Abyssinian cat exhibited in England was reported to have been imported from Abyssinia.

The first mention of the Abyssinian cat is in a British book by Gordon Staples published in 1874 accompanied with a coloured lithograph of an Abyssinian cat that was brought into the UK at the end of the war. However there are no records tracing today's Abyssinian cats to the Abyssinian cats imported into the UK at that time and there is some opinion that today's Abyssinian cat was created through crossings of various cat breeds in the UK.

However studies carried out by geneticists show that the Coast of the Indian Ocean and parts of South East Asia are the most likely origin of the Abyssinian cat and the Leiden Zoological Museum in Holland has an exhibit of a stuffed Abyssinian cat purchased in 1834-1836 labeled "Patrie, domestica India".

Appearance Of The Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinian cats are elegant with a muscular body and slender legs. The eyes of the Abyssinian cat are almond shaped and it has large, slightly pointed ears.

The coat of the Abyssinian cat can be either ruddy brown ticked with dark brown-black (the original colour known as Ruddy), red ticked with chocolate (known as Sorrel or Red), beige ticked with slate blue (known as Blue), beige ticked with brown (known as Fawn) or silver ticked with a black (known as Silver). Chocolate and Lilac also exist. The ticking throughout the coat is distinct.

Size Of The Abyssinian Cat

The Abyssinian is a medium sized cat.

Character Of The Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinian cats are intelligent, alert and active, they are a cat that likes to be busy. The Abyssinian cat likes people but is independent and will try to dominate the household.

Lifespan Of The Abyssinian Cat

The lifespan of the Abyssinian cat is 9-15 years.

Requirements Of The Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinian cats have no special requirements.

Inherited Defects Of The Abyssinian Cat

Although most Abyssinian cats are healthy, hereditary diseases that are known to appear in the breed are patellar luxation (dislocation or slipping kneecap), renal amyloidosis (kidney disease), retinal atrophy (a rare eye condition that leads to impaired vision).

More About Cats
Featured