Abyssinian Cat Breed Characteristic, Temperament and Pictures

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The Abyssinians are one of the oldest known breeds of cats and have a great resemblance to Egyptian cats portrayed in ancient drawings and sculptures with beautifully arched necks, almond-shaped eyes and an elegant feline muscular body. These cats enjoy living life to the fullest and love to climb, jump and play. Almost nothing escapes the notice of these highly intelligent and inquisitive cats who love to investigate everything in their surroundings.

Abyssinian At a Glance


Small to medium, weighing 6 to 10 pounds


Short, Medium


Ruddy, red, blue, fawn, cinnamon

Life Span:

The average life expectancy is 12 to 16 years

Breed Profile

Activity Level
Affection Level
General Health
Grooming Needs
Kid Friendly
Pet Friendly
Shedding Level
Social Needs

Did You Know?

Genetic evidence claims these cats came from the Indian Ocean coastal regions and that British soldiers may have bought these cats from ports in India.

Physical Characteristics

The Aby is a fine-boned, exquisitely elegant, slender, medium-sized cat. Abyssinians are not for pet owners who want decorative cats to match their rust-colored carpets. These cats are fun loving, adventurous and immediately stand apart from other cat breeds. Their thick coats have alternating light and dark bands which run down each hair shaft. These bands give Abys a warm, glowing appearance. These cats have large pointy ears and curious almond shaped eyes of with gold, copper, hazel, or green, depending on the coat color.

The Abyssinian kittens are born with dark brown fur that tends to lighten as they mature, usually during a period of several months. The coat comes in four main colors: deep reddish brown with black markings, blue on a warm beige base, cinnamon red on a light coppery base, and fawn on a softer cream base.

Abyssinian Pictures

Personality and Temperament

These cats are furballs of energy and cannot get enough of playtime. Sometimes, it may seem as if this breed never sleeps as they are always in motion, constantly jumping around to catch a glimpse of the outside world through windows or leaping on top of counters and refrigerators just to supervise their meal preparation. Abys are curious and inquisitive cats, and they like to stay ahead of every situation.

These cats are intelligent and can learn tricks quite quickly. Since the Aby loves to play, stock up on a variety of toys to keep them entertained and occupied. They enjoy playing with Ping-Pong balls, puzzle toys, and bottle caps. Abys love their family members and fit well into any home where they are showered with plenty of attention. These cats seek companionship and are better off with another Aby, who can match their activity level since they are said to feel depressed without constant activity and attention from their owners.

Like other cat breeds, some Abyssinians can be shy and timid in front of strangers. Expose your pet to the outside world from a young age, so they become better accustomed to their surroundings.

Health and Care

Fortunately, the Aby has short, fine hair which can be cared for easily. A bath when the cat is shedding will help discard excess hair more quickly. To prevent periodontal disease, brush their teeth daily and trim their nails as required.

Cats are particular about bathroom hygiene hence change the litter box and keep it spotlessly clean to prevent your furry friend from opting for other places in the house instead.

Abyssinians are prone to the following diseases and disorders:

  • Periodontal Disease: Regular brushing can eliminate this disease.
  • Patellar Luxation: This is a hereditary bone disease common in most felines, causing dislocation of the knee, ranging from mild or severe. Pet owners are advised to opt for surgery in severe cases.
  • Hyperesthesia: This is a neurological disorder that causes cats to excessively groom themselves, leading to hair loss.

History and Background

Unfortunately, they are no records to state where Abyssinians originated from. However, the best myths claim these cats are the descendants of ancient cats worshiped in temples and palaces in ancient Egypt over 4,000 years ago. Genetic evidence claims these cats came from the Indian Ocean coastal regions and that British soldiers may have bought these cats from ports in India.

The active and incredibly friendly Abyssinian is the perfect choice for families. The smart breeds are great with kids and will be an excellent addition to your family.

5 Resources for Abyssinian Owners (or soon to be owners):

  1. Abyssinian Cat Information and Personality Traits – https://www.hillspet.com
  2.  Abyssinian Cat Breed Information – https://vcahospitals.com/
  3. Abyssinian: Cat Breed Profile – https://www.thesprucepets.com/
  4. Abyssinian Coat Colors – http://aksumabyssinians.com/
  5. Abyssinian Health Issues and Temperament – https://www.petplan.co.uk

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