Cat Lovers guide to the Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinian cat, care, behavior, and characteristics

Abyssinians are among the most popular cat breeds due to their elegance, agile and strong body, and slender legs.

These cats are described as small lions or cougars, but it is not surprising due to their fur that reminds of various wild felines.

His appearance and personality have made him gain a lot of fame and followers, besides the coexistence with this cat is simple, and is very easy to take care of, so here we tell you all about the Abyssinian cat.


Origin of the Abyssinian cat

The resemblance with cats of African descent, but also with the Egyptians, has raised controversy about their place of origin.

But although its origin is not clear, they are considered one of the oldest cat breeds. They are believed to originate from Ethiopia (formerly called Abyssinia).

This is due to their resemblance to ancient paintings and sculptures, which would prove that they descend from the line revered by the Egyptian pharaohs.

In addition, they still retain the sylvan appearance of Felis lybica, the African wildcat, which was the ancestor of the domestic cat.

But recent genetic studies suggest that the ancestors of these cats lived on the coast of the Indian Ocean and in parts of Southeast Asia. They have also been attributed to African origins due to their very recognizable and unusual coat, called "Ticked Tabby".

However, according to records the name of this breed comes from being the first "Abyssinian cat" at an exhibition in England in 1868. Where they became famous and were reported to have been exported from the country of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia).

That cat, called Zulu, was the basis of the beautiful breed known today as Abyssinian.

This breed was very popular so it was crossed with red cats and silver tabby specimens. Thanks to a selection program, the European line of Abyssinians was obtained.

Several top quality Abyssinians from Great Britain were imported to North America in the 1930s. In Great Britain, this breed was recognized in 1882 while in the United States it was recognized in 1986.


Physical characteristics of the Abyssinian cat

Size: males have a height between 20 and 26 cm and females between 20 and 21 cm.

Weight: males weigh between 3 to 6kg while females weigh 3 to 5kg.

Eyes: are large and almond-shaped, amber, green, or light brown in color with a characteristic dark outline.

Coat: they have a marbled coat, fine and soft due to the scarcity of undercoat, and comes in different colors some of them are.

Reddish brown, darker brown or black, cinnamon, yellowish brown, blue, giving a tone of various intensities in shades of blue and gray or grayish blue, pinkish beige with a light brown like cocoa.

At birth, they have a darker coat, and once they grow each strand is lighter at the base and gradually becomes darker.

Life expectancy: 15 years.

The Abyssinian is a medium-sized cat with a long agile and strong body, slender legs, with a very long neck, carried with grace.

His head is rounded cuneiform with a slight indentation on his triangular head, his nose is medium, his ears are large and wide at the base and his chin is firm and rounded.


The character of the Abyssinian cat

Their behavior tends to be different from most cats because they are extremely affectionate.

They are an independent breed, but very sociable, they love to be the center of attention and interact with people and are very attached to their owners and they can also get along very well with other animals.

However, they prefer to be the only cat in the family to the point that they can become depressed if left alone.

They are also extroverted, it is normal to find them jumping, climbing, and exploring constantly, as they are very curious and active cats, so don't be surprised to see them climbing the highest shelves and balancing on your shoulder.

They will also need education and socialization for a proper coexistence with thir environment, such as using their litter box, scratching posts, toys, etc.


Abyssinian cat care

Although they have a unique and elegant appearance, they are easy to care for and their coat does not require any extra special attention.

  • His coat is easy to take care of; you only need to brush him once a week to keep him looking great.
  • It is necessary to trim his nails periodically, as he is a great climber and if his nails are not properly cared for he can hurt himself.
  • They will love to have a scratching post or any furniture that allows them to climb to heights.
  • Like many cats, he does not need a bath, but if you get him used to it when he is small, you can bathe him once a month or only when necessary.
  • Check his ears regularly as they usually accumulate dust and dirt.
  • Clean his eyes regularly with a cotton swab soaked in chamomile or warm water.



Like all cats, being a carnivore, the Abyssinian cat needs a diet with animal protein, therefore meat such as chicken, rabbit, heart, liver but also raw fish.

You can also create an alternating diet, alternating homemade meals with wet and dry food, as a way to make their diet more variable and appetizing, full of different flavors and textures.

The important thing is that the packaged food is always of excellent quality.

Keep in mind that the Abyssinian cat is a very voracious and greedy eater that could eat incessantly if it had its food available all the time.

For this reason it is necessary to control its feeding, not to fill its dish too much and to distribute its food between two or three portions a day.


The health of the Abyssinian cat

They are quite healthy cats and as mentioned before they are very long-lived, however, they are prone to health problems such as pyruvate kinase, an inherited disease occasionally diagnosed in Abyssinian and Somal cats, is an autosomal recessive hemolytic disorder.

Also, progressive retinal atrophy, which causes progressive blindness, hip dysplasia, when the kneecap is dislocated or displaced from its normal position, and problems with tooth decay and gingivitis, which can be prevented with good oral hygiene regularly.


The Abyssinian cat is not only characterized by its unique coat and wild feline appearance, but also by its great playful, active, curious, playful, and joking personality.

Having this cat at home will be a unique experience, however before having an Abyssinian at home make sure you can give him all the attention he likes so much.