Abyssinian

Abyssinian Cat

Size
Small to medium, with males weighing 7 to 10 pounds and females weighing 6 to 8 pounds
Coat
Medium
Color
Ruddy, red, blue, fawn

Abyssinians are highly intelligent and intensely inquisitive. They love to investigate and will leave no nook or cranny unexplored. They’re sometimes referred to as “Aby-grabbys” because they tend to take things that grab their interest. The playful Aby loves to jump and climb. Keep a variety of toys on hand to keep her occupied, including puzzle toys that challenge her intelligence.

Seemingly always in motion, she’ll slow down occasionally to curl up next to you on the couch or in bed. Although independent, she does best with another Aby companion to match her high activity levels while you’re away. Abyssinians love attention from you and respectful children and get along well with cat-friendly dogs, as well as other pets, like large parrots and ferrets.

Did you know?

Lifespan

9 to 15 years

Colors

Abyssinians have what is known as a “ticked” coat, which alternates light and dark bands of color on each hair

shaft. The warmth glow of their coat resembles wild cats like cougars. The coat comes in four primary colors: ruddy brown, red, blue and fawn. Some associations permit additional colors, however.

Characteristics

The Abyssinian has a wedge-shaped, yet rounded head with broad ears and almond-shaped eyes in shades of gold or green. Her body is muscular and athletic, but slim, and supported by fine-boned legs.

History

An Abyssinian was first exhibited in 1871 at the Crystal Palace cat show. She took third place. There are no records of her origin, but her owner said she had been imported from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) during the war. Although this story gives the breed its name, genetic tests have suggested Abys originated from the coastal regions of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, brought to Europe by British and Dutch traders.

They were first imported to the U.S. in 1900, but a breeding program wasn’t implemented until the 1930s when more Abyssinians were imported from Britain. Only a dozen or so of the cats survived the decimation of World War II in Europe, but thanks to their import to the U.S., the breed bounced back and has steadily grown in popularity.

Facts

  • Some call Abys “Cats from the Blue Nile”, believing they’re the sacred cat of Egyptian Pharaohs.
  • Others believe the breed was created in Britain by crossing silver and brown tabbies with “ticked” coats.
  • The Somali is a longhaired Abyssinian.
Caring for Abyssinians

Shedding

Weekly grooming is sufficient to maintain your Aby’s coat, but you may need more frequent brushing and bathing during shedding seasons to remove the loose hair faster.

Health

Although responsible breeders do their best to test for and eliminate genetic health problems, cats may still develop certain diseases or conditions. Abyssinians may have a higher risk for the following:

  • Early periodontal disease
  • Hyperesthesia syndrome
  • Patellar luxation
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency
  • Renal amyloidosis

Choosing the Best Food for Abyssinian Cats

Feeding your Aby a high-protein cat food such as Purina Pro Plan True Nature Adult Grain Free Natural Salmon & Egg Recipe will support her activity levels so she has plenty of energy to play throughout the day. 

Choosing the Best Food for Abyssinian Kittens

Your Abyssinian kitten needs a complete and balanced kitten food like Purina Pro Plan True Nature Kitten Grain Free Natural Chicken & Egg Recipe to support her development and growth during her first year of life.

To explore other products for your Abyssinian, see our Product Selector.