- Hailed as one of the oldest known cat breeds, dating back to ancient Egypt 4,000 years ago.
- Mummified cats in Egyptian tombs discovered by modern archeologists bear similar looks to today’s Abyssinian.
- In 1868, after Great Britain defeated Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) in the Abyssinian War, a British soldier returned home with a kitten named Zula who is regarded as the grand dame of all modern Abyssinians.
- The first Abys to reach North America arrived in the early 1900s, but did not begin to become popular until the 1930s.
- Today, the Aby ranks among the top five most popular breeds as recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association.
Abyssinian Behavior Concerns
- Athletic and attention-seeking, the Abyssinian loves to master tricks for people.
- Studies the actions of people and learns.
- Fast and agile, capable of soaring 6 feet in the air.
- Enjoys perching on shoulders as well as tall shelves and other high places.
- Game for playtime, preferring being active over roosting in a lap.
- Highly curious, the Aby can use its paws to open cabinet doors and turn on light switches.
- Loyal and affectionate, but demanding.
- Easily bored. Needs interaction and home-alone toys.
- Requires you to keep breakables out of paw’s reach.
- Needs suitable exercise outlets like floor-to-ceiling scratching posts and wand toys to stalk.
- Welcome the company of friendly dogs.
- Great student for clicker training.
Look of Abyssinians
- Body is long, lean and muscular on fine-boned, long legs.
- Wedge-shaped head, expressive almond-shaped eyes and oversized pointed ears and tabby “M” on the forehead.
- Coat sports a ticked or agouti pattern highlighted by alternating bands of color on the hair shafts that give off a translucent quality.
Grooming Abyssinian Cats
- Shorthaired coat is thick and dense.
- Top four coat colors are ruddy, red, blue and fawn.
- Requires once-a-week brushing.
Suggested Nutritional Needs for Abyssinian
- Usually can be “free fed” cause they are so active and burn off excess calories.
- Rarely have a tendency to become overweight.
- Serve high-protein diet that contains fatty acids to keep coat shiny and healthy.
Fun Facts of Abyssinians
- Nicknamed the “Runway models of the feline world.”
- Also called the “Clown of the Cat Kingdom.”
- A pair of Abys named Amber and Rumpler shared the role of Jake, the stranded alien cat in The Cat From Outer Space, the 1978 Disney movie. Actor Ronnie Schell did the voice of Jake.
>>> SEE ALSO: Know Your Pet