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The Adorable Abyssinian Cat
CatsBreeds

The Adorable Abyssinian Cat

Rachel, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Oct 22, 2020

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The Abyssinian cat, also known as Aby by cat aficionados, is a medium-sized breed with a short to medium coat, an active personality, and a great affection for humans. Abyssinians got their name during an 1871 exhibition in London, where they were first presented as a breed that had been supposedly discovered in Abyssinia, which is now Ethiopia. The real origin of the breed is unknown, with some experts saying that it's actually from India and East Asia, while others like to believe these were the cats of the Pharaohs.

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1

Abyssinians are a lot of fun

Abyssinian under blanket Pliekhova / Getty Images

Abyssinians are rightly called the clowns of the cat world. There's no doubt that if you adopt an Aby they will bring a lot of entertainment into your home. They are very playful and enjoy their cat toys a lot, and are always up to something fun. Stalking prey, exploring around, and trying to get you to spend quality time with them are common behaviors in these very energetic cats.

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2

They need a lot of attention

Abyssinian cat on the shoulders of an old man nickpo / Getty Images

Because of their energetic temperament, Abyssinians can't stand boredom. They are always in search of some company, so make sure you have plenty of time in your daily schedule for them. Loneliness is also not something they especially like, so it's better not to leave them alone for too long. Luckily, they are very loving animals that get along with anyone, including other pets. A very active home with a dog or other cats is ideal, or you can always adopt them in pairs.

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3

They look sleek and powerful

Abyssinian cat hunting from bed Oks88 / Getty Images

One of the main characteristics of this breed is its appearance. Abyssinians have long slender bodies and are fine-boned. They are very muscular and can sometimes resemble a small puma. Their pointed ears are triangular and can look larger than those of other cats, and their almond-shaped eyes can be of many colors, including gold, green, hazel, or copper.

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4

They love high places

Abyssinian jumping Seregraff / Getty Images

Abyssinians are avid climbers. They can get anywhere, and you will always be surprised at how inventive they can be in terms of finding high cool spots where to chill. If you want to make your Abyssinian truly happy, get them one or two very tall cat trees or high perches.

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5

They are curious and adaptable

Abyssinian cat staring Mariana Mikhailova / Getty Images

Whatever activity you might be engaged with, you can bet your Abyssinian will quickly come and check out the action. These intelligent cats are very curious and like to discover new smells and spots. They will talk in a very gentle voice to ask you to be involved in whatever you are doing, or just to get your attention. They are also very adaptable cats that don't particularly mind changes in their environment.

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6

They have a silky coat

Abyssinian kitten John Eder / Getty Images

The Aby's coat is medium in length and silky smooth to the touch. It's characterized by an agouti effect, meaning that every hair has more than one color pigmentation. This is a genetic variant of the tabby, and it gives the Abyssinian coat a glowing look. Kittens are born a darker color that lightens with the passing of time. Coats can be reddish and brown, also known as ruddy. However, other official colors are recognized, like silver, blue, fawn, and a light shade of copper.

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7

What to feed them

Abyssinian hissing Vyacheslav Dumchev / Getty Images

A cat's diet changes with age, size, and activity levels, so it's better to consult your veterinarian and to follow her advice closely. Luckily, Abyssinians tend to not put on too much weight, given their body shape and how active they are. Don't forget to always keep a water bowl next to the food, or even better a little cat fountain.

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8

Grooming of the Abyssinian cat

Abyssinian cat on chair SIBAS_minich / Getty Images

The medium-length coat of the Abyssinian needs little grooming. Combing it once a week is enough to clean it from dust and to distribute natural oils to the skin. Bathing is not required, but you can do it once every shedding season to help remove dead hair and prevent the creation of fur balls in your furry friend's stomach.

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9

Health concerns

Abyssinian on a bed Mariana Mikhailova / Getty Images

The Abyssinian is a generally healthy cat, but you should always be on the lookout for possible signs of disease. Peridontal disease, patellar luxation, and progressive retinal atrophy, an illness that can cause blindness, are among the issue that Abyssians can develop. The last one, which has a genetic component, is being reduced in the breed by responsible breeders.

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10

Where to get one

Abyssinian with claws out anobis / Getty Images

Rescue Abyssinians are not an easy find, but you can try associations like the National Abyssinian Rescue, Purebred Cat Breed Rescue, or Rescue Me. Otherwise, if you'd rather purchase an Abyssinian kitten, make sure you research the breeder you are buying from and that they are ethical and treat their animals in a fair manner.

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