This slender, shorthaired, medium-sized cat comes in several different colors; ruddy, red, blue, and fawn. Ruddy is the usual color. They usually have gold or light brown eyes. The Abyssinian is a very active, playful and inquisitive breed with a high intelligence and engaging personality. It will form a strong with you, your family and your family dog. Contact the cat breeders below for your next family friend.
What's Included: UTD vaccinations, Health guarantee, CFA registration application.
The Abyssinian has become one of the most popular breeds of short-haired cat in America. A distinguished type of domesticated cat with a very distinctive "ticked" coat, there are many diverse but unsubstantiated stories about its origins, often revolving around Ethiopia. Generally, the Abyssinian is a wonderful cat for an owner seeking a very active companion with extremely high intelligence. A congenial pet who is easy to care for, it will earn lifelong compliments for its exquisitely beautiful coat.
The Abyssinian is often considered to be the cat that the ancient Egyptians worshipped, as it resembles mummified cats that have been discovered. Although the earliest Abyssinian-type cats may have been imported from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), these first specimens probably differed in appearance from the regal-looking cat of today.
There is no question that the Abyssinian resembles the ancestor of the domestic cat, the African wildcat, however. Genetic research suggests that the Abyssinian breed originated 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 majestic and poised Abyssinian has little to frown about!
The coats of the Abyssinian, along with a similar long-haired breed called the "Somali," are very unusual. With fur that is medium in length, dense, and silky to the touch, the coat of this breed is special because of 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 unique 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 and 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 world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, the Cat Fanciers' Association. 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 does not produce prolific litters, and is likely to have only three or four kittens at a time. The final coat color will develop when kittens 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. Not for those who want decorative cats to match the rust-colored sofa, this courageous, curious, and very high-spirited, cat will cheerfully entertain itself, but is happiest 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 curious minds.
They are usually too preoccupied with shenanigans and exploration to be much interested in sitting in your lap. Unlike some other breeds, Abys, as they are called, have quiet and alluring voices, which they will use to demand your attention, and engage you in conversation. They require a great deal of love and interaction with the family to keep them satisfied, and they can actually get depressed without enough appreciation. The Abyssinian is extremely loyal and will become very attached to its family, including forming a strong bond with your 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 cannot tolerate confinement, needs plenty of space, and is a great climber, very attracted to 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 definitely demand their space, and some females can get irritable around other cats. They are well known for their intense interest in anything new, and they thoroughly enjoy investigating their most challenging surroundings. However, they are also sensible cats, tending to be prudent. They are superb hunters, adore their toys, and can play for hours with just one. They can also be taught to fetch.
Some aficionados report that Abyssinians are so smart 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. Able to learn to talk, they will carry on dialogues with you – not in the loud fashion of the Siamese, but in a gentler, more provocative voice.
The females tend to be the more temperamental of the sexes, wanting to be the "alpha" or dominant leader. When there are two females in the same house, one will always take predominance. Teenaged kittens may manifest more pronounced trepidation, and should always be approached calmly, slowly, and with a soothing voice. New owners of a teen-aged Abyssinian have expressed frustration with initially gaining the cat’s trust but by day ten confirmed success. These cats – even tiny kittens – need to be approached with extreme delicacy.
Health and Grooming
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 don’t seem to mind bathing, which can be quite convenient, to say the least!