Abyssinian - Breed Information and Photos

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Breed Description: The Abyssinian is one of the oldest know breeds of cat. In appearance, this breed has a slightly wedged head, beautifully arched neck, large ears and large, almond-shaped eyes. Its medium length body is strong and muscular, yet lithe and elegant. It has a fairly long tail and almost disproportionately slender legs ending at tiny oval paws. The long-haired version of this cat is the Somali.

History & Origin: The exact origin of the Abyssinian remains controversial, but many sources trace the breed back to the late 1800s and a cat name 'Zulu'. It was though that the cat may have been brought back from Abyssinia by some British soldiers who were deployed there during the Abyssinian War.


Character & Temperament: This breed has been described as willful, intelligent and extroverted. Although not particularly vocal, these cats are extremely affectionate and love participating in family activities. Abyssinians are fast, fearless, and they worship the sun. They are also gentle, playful, and inquisitive and they prefer a considerable amount of room.

Colors(s): Abyssinians come in several recognized colors developed from their original "ruddy" or "usual" coat color including ruddy, sorrel, blue, fawn, silver, tortoiseshell, red, and cream.

Coat Type: Shorthaired cat; the Abyssinian's coat is dense and very soft and silky to the touch.

Grooming: They generally need very little grooming, but benefit from a daily comb. When they are shedding, massaging them with a rubber mitt will help remove loose, dead hair. Claws should be trimmed and ears cleaned only when necessary.


Health Considerations: Some Abyssinians are vulnerable to anesthetics, teeth problems and progressive renal atrophy.

Trivia: Some speculate that due to Abyssinia's proximity to Egypt, Abyssinian cats might be directly descended from the sacred cats of the ancient Egyptians. The cats do bear a striking resemblance to some of the mummified remains and hieroglyphics found in ancient Egyptian tombs.

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December 3, 2009

Ziggy is a 15 and a half years old Abyssinian! I got Ziggy in 1994. He's been a close friend and special cat in my life ever since. He loves to sit beside me when I practice the piano! I'm a piano teacher, and Ziggy also likes to sit beside some of the students when they play. He's now very old but he is still all love!


By Emily from Mission, KS

Ziggy (Abyssinian)

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December 1, 2010

Penny is almost a 9 year old Abyssinian. I found her at a breeders. I could tell she had been neglected because she wasn't "show quality." I had to have her. She's had a ton of vet bills since but has been totally worth it. The most loving creature ever. She loves to walk all over me.

By m

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Nala is my 5 year old Abby/Tabby (Abyssinian/Tabby mix). I adopted her from the animal shelter at almost 1 year, she was exactly as I was looking for. A female tabby, a little older than a kitten. She was declawed, I wouldn't pick that for any of my animals, but was perfect for a 2 year old to learn how to pet a kitten without getting hurt!


She loves her Crazy Stupid grass (catnip), thrown on the floor on vacuuming day, she rolls forever! She loves to sleep on my hip in bed. She loves her treat scoop of wetfood each morning and meows at my daughter while she takes a shower each night. She likes to sleep in the bathtub when it's hot!

She is so special! She picked me! As I walked by her cage she put out her paw and touched me and meowed, how much more perfect is that?

By Michawn from Morgan Hill, CA

Nala (Abyssinian Tabby mix)

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This is Ivan. He is 3 now, but this is a picture of him as a 5 month old. Ivan is an Abyssinian (red). My sister breeds Abyssinian cats and gave him to me as a gift.

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