Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

Abyssinian Cat - Breed Profile with Facts

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9 min read

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On This Page

  • Abyssinian Cat History
  • Abyssinian Cat Personality and Temperament
  • Abyssinian Cat Appearance
  • Abyssinian Cat Coat and Colors
  • Abyssinian Cat Care
  • Abyssinian Cat vs. Somali
  • Abyssinian Cat vs. Siamese
  • Getting an Abyssinian Cat

An Abyssinian is a medium-sized, muscular-bodied, short-haired cat that is smart and temperamentally balanced. These lively creatures are active and show interest in their surroundings.

These super intelligent and inquisitive cats love to explore things and leave no corner investigated. Due to this habit, they are often called “Aby-Grabby” as they take everything that strikes their interest.

If you are a pet lover or an admirer of the different cat breeds, learning interesting information about Abyssinian cats will be exciting for you.

Continue reading the blog to learn about the origin, personality traits, and general information about Abyssinian cats.

Abyssinian Cat History

The Abyssinian cat has a rich but controversial history. People have different theories about the origination of this cat breed.

According to one group, the Abyssinian cats are the oldest domestic cats, and their traces are found back in ancient Egyptian times. Archeologists have been studying the mummified cats in the Egyptian tomb that resembled the Abyssinian cats.

The image of cats presented in Egyptian murals and sculptures do look like Abyssinian cats, but they also resemble the African wildcats, because of which the origination of Abys gets a little sketchy.

Another theory suggests that the ancestors of these cats came from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia). During the Abyssinian War in 1868, a cat named Zula was transported to England from Abyssinia. This cat had small ears and a head shape that was quite different from an Abyssinian cat.

Breeders believe that linking Zula with today’s cats is unjustified, and the breed died out completely. The Abyssinian cats were recreated in Britain, crossing the British Bunny cats. The distinctive ticked coat of the Abyssinian cats is believed to be inherited from the British Bunny cat breed.

The other concept highlights that the origination of an Abyssinian cat happened along the Indian Ocean and the parts of Southeast Asia.

According to the current concept of the existence of the Abyssinian cats, professionals say that the cat breed was promoted by the British, but during World War II, it was decimated. In the 1900s, two Abyssinian cats from England were brought to America that were bred, and the current cats are its descendants.

Abyssinian Cat Personality and Temperament

Unlike other cat breeds that are comfortable around humans and provide companionship, Abyssinian cats are not like that. They will hardly sit in your lap or allow you to cuddle them as they are not friendly.

Abyssinian cats are a courageous, high-spirited, and struggle-free breed that is cheerful in nature and knows how to keep themselves entertained. These cats can not be considered selfish or aloof as they can be really affectionate and devoted to their owners.

Their investigative nature will make them follow you from room to room to keep an eye on you and what you are doing. Abyssinian cats are generally a happy breed that will like spending time with their families, but rather than sitting in their owner’s lap, they prefer sitting next to or close to you.

Being an active breed, Abyssinian cats are always busy performing antic for your and their own pleasure. Due to this, Abyssinian cats are often known as clowns of the cat world. It is hard to predict what your Abyssinian cat might do next as they will be sitting next to you purring and abruptly plan to catch imaginary butterflies in the hallway.

Abyssinian cats are athletic and really smart. Confining these cats to a cupboard or a closed room is not the right option as their agile paws and exploring minds will defeat all the barriers and hindrances.

This cat breed is not very vocal and will just purr with great enthusiasm before you serve their dinner. They are expressive beings, so if you do not leave someone with them for their company when you go out, they will let you know that they are bored

So if you think your Abyssinian cat would understand you had a tiring day and need to relax, you are definitely not a person to own an Aby.

Abyssinian Cat Appearance

An Abyssinian is a medium-sized cat that is fine-boned and slender. They are lithe and graceful with a well-developed body structure. These cats are strong and have a stocky svelte body type.

These cats have moderately wedge-shaped heads, with contoured brows and cheekbones. Their features are beautifully aligned with the nose and chin, ideally forming a straight line in the profile.

Unlike other breeds, an Abyssinian cat has altered, larger, and pointed ears. They are broad and cup-shaped from the bottom, presenting as if these cats are attentively listening to you. Moreover, these cats have large almond-shaped eyes that are bright and expressive.

These unique cats are aware of their beauty and exactly know how to keep the right attitude with other people.

Abyssinian Cat Coat and Colors

Usually, when Abyssinian kittens are born, they have a darker coat that gets lighter with age. Their body coat is short but very fine and dense, due to which they feel soft and silky. The ticked effect is a trademark of this cat breed that is a variant of the tabby pattern.

The hair coat of the cat is evenly distributed from its spine to tail, with darker patches of hair on the leg’s hind and paws. Although the coat on the body is medium in length, it still carries two to three dark bands of color.

The Abyssinian cat breed is originally in warm deep reddish-brown color with a beautiful black ticking pattern. These cats come in a variety of colors, including red, blue, and fawn. In addition to this, silver color is also common in England, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Abyssinian’s close-lying and distinctive coat is a result of a dominant mutant gene known as Ta.

Abyssinian Cat Care

Just as other living things, Abyssinians need care and affection from their owners to be clean, active, and healthy. If you can not manage to provide a good life to your Abyssinian friend, it is pointless to have one.

These cats require proper diet and exercise to be healthy and happy. Every Abyssinian cat owner should be concerned about its diet, health, and grooming which are the basic necessities of your furry friend.

Diet and Nutrition

The diet your Abyssinian cat takes has a lot to do with its overall health. A nutritious diet should be provided to your cat to meet its basic body requirements and keep it active.

The dietary needs of the cat depend on its size, sex, and activity level. The more active your cat is, the more nutrition it will need. Select a high-quality cat food to make sure a balanced diet is provided to your four-legged companion.

Whether you go with a commercially manufactured cat food or a homemade meal prepared according to the professional’s advice, the cat food should be rich in basic nutrients.

It is suggested to consult your veterinarian to formulate a proper diet schedule for your Abyssinian cat. It will help you maintain your cat’s healthy eating routine, preventing several health issues.

Like other breeds, Abyssinian cats should not be overfed as they have a tendency for obesity. Feed and treat them at a limit according to your vet’s advice.


Generally, Abyssinian is a healthy cat breed, but they are prone to some serious medical health problems as well. Some conditions are inherited, while others can be developed due to external environmental factors.

It is essential that you pay attention to your cat’s health and any symptom that is visible to treat the condition timely. Even if you think your cat is healthy, a proper examination should be done.

Following are the common health problems that your Abyssinian cat can get:

  • Periodontal disease
  • Patellar luxation
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Familial renal amyloidosis

To ensure your pet’s health, pay regular visits to the vet and never ignore any symptoms. Even a minor symptom can result in severe medical conditions.

Abyssinian cats require a high level of exercise in their daily routine to stay active. Arrange activities and interactive games for your cat, indoors as well as outdoors, to fulfill its exercise requirements.


Unlike other fancy breeds, Abyssinian cats are very low maintenance. They do not require regular grooming because of their short coat. You can brush them once a week to get rid of dander and debris.

Moreover, Abyssinian cats do not need to be bathed regularly. But you can give them a shower in their shedding season to reduce dander and loose hair. In addition to this, oral hygiene is equally important.

Make your cat used to brush its teeth regularly. It will prevent the cat from getting periodontal disease. The pointed ears of your Abyssinian cat require cleaning as well. In order to get rid of debris, dirt, and other infections, weekly cleaning of the ears should be done. Use a soft cloth or a cotton ball to deeply cleanse the ears. If you see redness, inflammation, and smelly ears, consult the veterinarian immediately.

Abyssinian Cat vs. Somali

Abyssinians have a resemblance with many other cats, because of which people get confused. However, having a similarity in appearance does not make a cat the same breed.

Abyssinian cats are frequently confused with Somalis due to many similarities. But in reality, these two are very different cat breeds. Somalis have a longer, ruff, and rump coat as compared to Abyssinian cats.

Moreover, Somali cats have fluffier tails. Because of their long coat, Somali cats require higher maintenance in comparison to Abyssinians. In addition to this, there is a difference in the Abyssinian and Somali cat’s ticked color of the coat.

Another difference is in their life expectancy. Somalis live for around 9 to 13 years, while Abyssinians can live up to 15 years.

Somali cats, however, are believed to be a type of Abyssinian cat breed. This is because of the similarities in appearance, body shape, and strength. Both of these breeds are active and require to be loved by their families.

Abyssinian Cat vs. Siamese

Siamese and Abyssinians are two different breeds. Although they are a little similar in appearance, they have many different characteristics.

Siamese originated in Thailand, while Abyssinians have their roots in Ethiopia. The Siamese usually come in two distinct variations such as traditional and modern. Moreover, Siamese have point shading of color on their body coat while Abyssinians come in solid colors with ticked patterns.

Unlike Siamese, Abyssinian cats have other names as well, including “Aby” and “Bunny Cat.” Moreover, Siamese tend to live around seven years more than Abyssinians.

Both Abyssinians and Siamese are active, healthy, and devoted breeds. However, Siamese usually gets depressed when they are left alone by their owner while Abyssinian cats get bored and then naughty when left alone.

Both of the cat breeds are prone to several health conditions and require good care from their owners.

Getting an Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinian cats can be good pets and are able to make the environment of your house cheerful. Their playful nature will entertain you and will make you love them even more.

One thing that is not very commonly known by people is that the Abyssinian cats can be great emotional support animals as well. People who suffer from different mental health conditions rely emotionally on animals for their love and affection.

Abyssinian cats are intelligent and devoted which makes them good companions. If you are looking to get it as an emotional support cat, you will need an ESA letter from a mental health expert. This prescription or letter will allow you and your animal to enjoy several rights given by the state.

You can find an Abyssinian cat in rescue and adoption centers, or you can contact a reputable breeder to help you get a healthy Aby for yourself. The cost of an Abyssinian kitten lies between $1200 to $2200.

If you are purchasing an Abyssinian cat from a breeder, it is important to conduct deep research. A responsible breeder will make sure that the cat meets all the breed standards and is healthy.

Abyssinian cats are an amazing breed that is full of energy and is great around children. Abyssinians love attention and care from their owners. So if you are planning to get this cat, keep in mind that you will have to make time for it to keep them entertained and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Abyssinian cats rare?

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Abyssinian cats were initially rare during the pre and a little duration of post World War II era. Now, this cat falls under the category of the 5 most popular cat breeds. Abyssinian cats are commonly known and loved for their appearance and temperament.


How do you tell if your cat is an Abyssinian?

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Abyssinian cats are a very distinctive breed. You will know if your cat is an Abyssinian if they have a short fine coat with a ticked pattern, slander body, pointed long ears, and almond-shaped eyes.


How high can Abyssinian cats jump?

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Abyssinians are a very cheerful and playful cat breed that can jump as high as 6 feet. These intelligent cats love to run, climb, and explore things. Abyssinians are also known as ‘Aby-Graby’ as they take what strikes its interest.

Is an Abyssinian hypoallergenic?

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Abyssinian cats can be considered hypoallergenic. However, if you are careful, even these cats can be difficult for you to keep. For a person that is prone to allergies, keeping the environment and its pet clean is essential. Ensure your cat’s health and grooming to prevent triggering your allergies.

Does Abyssinian cat shed?

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Abyssinian cats shed but not as much as their other long-haired companions. For this cat breed, the shedding is seasonal that can also be prevented if proper bathing and grooming is done. Due to its short fur, it is easier for you to take care of your pet’s grooming requirements.

Do Abyssinian cats go along with other cats?

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Like other pets, if you introduce your Abyssinian cat to other animals from an early age, they will go along. These cats are commonly known to go along with animals such as dogs, cats, and some birds.

Can Abyssinian cats go outside?

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Due to their active, Independent, and playful nature, Abyssinian cats love to exercise and play games outdoors. They will spend their time investigating every corner and will make most of their time when left outside.

Harper Jefcoat


Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and expert author at the RealESALetter.com. With a deep-seated passion for animals, Harper brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to his writings. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he aims to help pet owners understand and care for their furry friends better.

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