The Abyssinian cat, character, curiosities and care

Also known as ‘abys’, this little cougar is all energy and joy. More could be said that it is a dog because of its overwhelming need for company. His athletic demeanor is no coincidence, so you should provide him with accessories to exercise.

The Abyssinian cat is another of the oldest and most popular breeds that exist . It is presumed that already in Ancient Egypt they walked through the temples, revered for being considered children of the gods.

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Characteristics of the Abyssinian cat

If something characterizes this breed of cat is its slim, agile and strong appearance, as well as the stripes in darker tones around the spine and lighter under the neck, on the belly and on the lower part of the legs.

  • Origin Ethiopia (Africa)
  • Medium size
  • Weight from 3 to 6kg males and 3 to 5kg females
  • Short, soft, dense and fine hair. Ruddy (black or brown stripes on a warm peach background), sorrel (chocolate stripes on a peach background), silver (silver background), blue (bluish gray stripes on a beige background), fawn (pinkish gray stripes on a beige background) and cinnamon ( cinnamon background)
  • Cuneiform or triangular head with slightly domed forehead
  • Wide-based ears, rounded ends and positioned forward
  • Large, almond-shaped eyes in shades of green, gold, copper (copper) or hazle (hazelnut)
  • Long bushy tail
  • Estimated longevity of 9 to 13 years
  • Difficulty taking care of it low


It could well be said that the Abyssinian cat is the very picture of joy. Always curious and attentive to what is happening around him, he is very intelligent and demands constant attention from his favorite family member.

Some point out that he suffers from “Peter Pan syndrome”, because despite growing up he continues to behave like a small child. Jealous of children, he needs to be pampered and does not do well to compete for the attention of his favorite.

Always willing to play and to be brushed or caressed , he prefers the company of adults. He is very intelligent, so it will not cost you too much to teach him, always through positive reinforcement, where he can play or perform his needs.

As a good indoor cat, it is very scary with strangers and the outside of its home.

Care for the Abyssinian cat

Given his athletic build, you should ensure daily physical activity through cat trees. In this way, he can climb and jump at will, unleashing his overflowing energy.

You should brush it, with a short bristle brush so as not to damage its skin, once a week. Thus, you will favor the removal of dead hair and if you accompany the brushing with a moistened chamois, in addition to enchanting the experience, you will contribute to the potential of the shine of their hair.

Your teeth, ears, eyes and nails also demand your care in order to a convenient sanitation. To do this, prioritize dry food over patés , use specific products and get him a scraper so he can sharpen his nails naturally.

  • How to file or cut a cat’s claws .

Although it is not always imperative, based on your daily energy wear you can opt for vitamin and mineral supplements. If you have doubts, you can conveniently get advice by visiting your veterinarian.

Abyssinian cat health

This breed is prone to renal amyloidosis, or what is the same, chronic kidney failure, retinal atrophy (a type of recurrent inherited blindness in dogs), patella luxation, umbilical hernia and gingivitis.

As long as you give him a nutritious diet, a lot of love and the daily exercise that his health requires, he will be in the best hands.

History of the breed and fun facts

The presumption that Abyssinian cats originate from Ancient Egypt is widespread. Not surprisingly, its physiognomy closely resembles that of the red cat, so popular in Egyptian art and which lent its face and body to the goddess Bast.

The discovery in 1890 of more than 200,000 mummies of cats with features comparable to the Abyssinian cat, as well as the images of the frescoes and sculptures from Middle and Lower Egypt are reminiscent of this revered breed.

However, its genesis seems to be located in Abyssinia , modern Ethiopia, after the military expedition to this country led by Lord Robert Napier in 1860. The specimen that he took to Great Britain was baptized with the name of Zulu, reaching popularity in his 1868 exhibit.

Its ticking pattern (dotted) emulated the camouflage coat of the rabbit, so it was crossed in Great Britain with mongrel cats of similar fur. In fact, the European line comes from the crossing of red specimens with other silver tabby.

The first written document alluding to this breed dates from 1874 . Specifically, the novel ‘Cats, their points’ by Gordon Staples tells the story of Zulu that belonged to Captain Barret-Lenrad’s wife and that shares little with today’s Abyssinian.

In fact, the modern Abyssinian, as we know it today, comes from breeding in the United States of quality specimens imported from the United Kingdom. The breed was officially recognized in 1882 in Great Britain and in 1986 in the USA.

There is another theory that points to the British bunny as the ancestor of the Abyssinian, this being a breed of native cats of the British kingdom.

Be that as it may, the history of the Abyssinian cat stands out for having overcome difficulties on several occasions, first after the 2 World Wars and later, after feline leukemia that forced the importation of specimens to continue their breeding in the United Kingdom.

As a curiosity, its similarity not only with the Egyptian reddish cat, but also with the felis lybica or African wild cat, which could be its predecessor , deserves your attention .

His vital and loving temperament will win you over. In addition, it hardly meows, preferring to communicate with a soft purr. Do you know that he shares his taste for water with the Maine Coon ? An incredible breed, don’t you think?


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