Abyssinian Cats! Blues, Blacks, Ruddies & Silvers For Sale
- Sterlingsilver Cattery Abyssinian
- Lazy O Abys Abyssinian
- Chehalis, WA
Kittens For Sale!
CFA Show & Companion. Health Guaranteed. Bred for health & personality. Ruddys & reds. Complete vaccinations. Shots up-to-date, vet checked. Grand Champion lines. 28 years of breeding experience. Raised underfoot, in the house. Chehalis, Washington
- Jean Olson (360) 748-4539
- Email Website
- Kittens For Sale!
Abyssinians—The Clowns of the Cat Kingdom
The Abyssinian is a distinguished breed of domesticated cat with a very distinctive "ticked" coat, which has become one of the most popular breeds of short-haired cat in the U.S. There are many diverse stories about its origins, often revolving around Ethiopia, but its actual origins are uncertain. The Abyssinian is often considered to be the cat that the ancient Egyptians worshipped, as it looks similar to mummified cats that have been discovered. It certainly comes from the right area, as the earliest Abyssinian-type cats were imported from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), although these first specimens may have looked a little different from the attractively ticked and regal-looking cat that we see now.
There is no question that the Abyssinian resembles the African wildcat ancestor of the domestic cat, however. Genetic research suggests that the Abyssinian breed did originate from near the coast of the Indian Ocean, where colonists may have purchased animals from wild animal traders. The first Abyssinians to arrive in North America were probably imported in the early 1900s.
The Abyssinian has alert, relatively large ears, with a broad and moderately wedge-shaped head. The eyes are almond-shaped and may be gold, green, hazel, or copper. The ears are wide-set and tufted, the chin is clearly defined, and the neck is arched and elegant. The breed has a fine bone structure, with small oval paws and legs that are slender in proportion to the body. The tail is long, broad at the base, and tapers to a point. These are strong, lithe, muscular cats of medium size. The nose and chin usually form a straight vertical line when viewed from the side, and there may be an "M-shaped" marking on the forehead, known as "frown lines"--though the regal and poised Abyssinian has little to frown about!
The coats of the Abyssian, and a similar long-haired breed called the "Somali," are very unusual. The fur is medium-length, dense, and silky to the touch. The special coat of this breed is due to the presence of one dominant mutant gene known as "Ta. " Each individual hair has a light base color, with three or four darker colored bands towards the tip, resulting in the pattern called "ticking. " Only the Somali, Abyssinian, and Singapura breeds possess this distinctive ticking pattern.
Abyssinian color variations are rather complex. The original coat color is known as "Usual" in the UK, and as "Ruddy" elsewhere. This coat has a warm reddish-brown base with black ticking, with the feet and the backs of the hind legs black as well. Various other color patterns have developed from the original form, but the back of the hind legs and the pads of the paws are always darker than the rest of the coat.
Other color schemes include: Sorrel, which has a yellowish-brown base and chocolate brown ticking; Blue, with a light beige base color and blue ticking; and the rare Fawn, with a light cream base color and darker cream ticking. The Silver Abyssinian makes up a separate group within the breed. Although it has been in existence for decades, it is still not recognized by the worlds largest registry of pedigree cats, the Cat Fanciers Asssociation. Silvers have a pure silvery white undercoat, with markings that can be black, blue, warm cream, dark cream, or cinnamon.
Additionally, there are some rare colors that are only bred on a small scale in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom: the Tortoiseshell, Red, Cream, Chocolate, and Lilac. Kittens are born with dark coats that gradually lighten as they mature. The Abyssinian is not a prolific breeder, and is likely to have only three or four kittens per litter. The final coat color will develop when they are several months old. The typical life span of the breed is nine to fifteen years.
Abyssinians are extroverted, extremely active, willful, playful, and very intelligent. Abyssinians aren't for those who want decorative cats to match the rust-colored sofa. Courageous, curious, and very high-spirited, they will cheerfully entertain themselves, but they are most happy when involved in every aspect of your life, particularly at dinnertime.
Abyssinians regularly perform antics for your amusement, earning them the reputation of being the clowns of the cat kingdom. They will often perch on shoulders, crawl under covers, and sit on laps purring madly before racing off to bat imaginary butterflies and make flying leaps at the tallest bookcases. Natural athletes, no closed room or cupboard is safe from their agile paws and exploring minds.
They are usually too preoccupied with playing and exploring to be much interested in sitting in your lap. Unlike some other breeds, Abys, as they are called, have quiet and engaging voices, but that does not mean that they are not demanding of attention, and will not talk with you. They require a great deal of love and interaction with the family to keep them happy, and they can actually get depressed without enough daily loving and attention. The Abyssinian is extremely loyal and will become very attached to its family. Abyssinians may also form strong attachments to dogs!
The worst thing for an Abyssinian is to be deprived of human companionship, and it should live in a household where people are often present at home. The Abyssinian hates to be confined, needs plenty of space, and is a great climber, very appreciative of trees and high places; however, the breed also has a cautious streak and will not rush into risky situations.
Abys generally get along well with other cats, although they do demand their space, and some females can get irritable around other cats . They are well known for their curiosity, and they thoroughly enjoy investigating their surroundings, including the high places. However, they are also sensible cats, tending to be cautious. They are superb hunters, adore their toys, and can play for hours with just one. They can also be taught to fetch.
Although most Abyssinians are healthy cats, there are a few hereditary diseases that may appear in the breed. Progressive Retinal Atrophy has been reported, and it may show up as early as a few months of age in some cases. Cats with PRA should not be used for breeding. Both neurological and kidney disease have also been reported in the breed, and they may also develop a stress-related disorder which leads to hair loss because of their own over-grooming. However, the healthy coat is easy to care for. There is some shedding, so it should be brushed and combed occasionally, and may be "polished" with a damp chamois cloth to bring out the spectacular shine. If needed, Abys dont seem to mind bathing, which is a helpful feature too.
Karen Nordquist, of " Tailswest Abyssinians ," added some additional input about the breed she loves so much. She said that Abyssinians are very smart and loving, and like to be with you wherever you go. She said that they will learn your routine--when you normally come and go--and be waiting right by the door for you when you arrive home.
She added that they learn to talk and will carry on dialogues with you--not in the loud fashion of the Siamese, but in a gentler voice. She confirmed that Abys get along well with people of all ages, including children, and with other cats and dogs .
The females tend to be the more temperamental of the sexes, wanting to be "alpha. " When there are two females in the same house, one will always be the alpha. Teen-aged kittens may show the cautious streak that I mentioned above, and should always be approached calmly, slowly, and with a soothing voice. Karen told the story of several instances in which the new owner of a teen-aged Abyssinian called her on day two, and said, "I dont understand, I cant seem to bond with this cat. " On day four, a similar call came in, but by day ten, the calls stopped. These cats--even tiny kittens--need to be approached with a gentle touch.
All 'round, the Abyssinian sounds like a wonderful cat for the owner who is looking for a very active companion: extremely intelligent, congenial, easy to care for, and with an exquisitely beautiful coat.
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