Abyssinian Cat Breed


Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability 100% 100%
  • Intelligence 100% 100%
  • Hair Shedding 50% 50%
  • Affectionate 80% 80%
  • Ease of Grooming 20% 20%
  • Child Friendly 80% 80%
  • Playful Energy 100% 100%
  • Pet Friendly 90% 90%
  • Stranger Friendly 100% 100%

Table of Contents

The Absynnian cat breed is one of the smartest breeds of cats in the world and one of the top five most popular cat breeds in the United States.

Intelligent and somewhat vocal, this cat is highly active and very athletic.

This cat will try to get as high as possible, and will diligently supervise whatever you are doing.
This cat does require a lot of attention, so is best for a family who spends a lot of time at home. They have a very loving nature, and often show their affection for their owners by head butting.

Also, due to this cat’s high intelligence, it can be taught to go for walks on a leash.



The Abyssinian cat breed is a very beautiful cat that is steeped in mystery. The origins of the Absynnian cat are uncertain. However, the first domestication of these cats took place in ancient Egypt. The Absynnian is one of the oldest breeds of cats, and are direct descendants of sacred cats who were worshipped as physical manifestations of gods in palaces and temples of ancient Egypt.

Modern day Absynnian cats look very similar to the cats depicted in the sculptures, murals and paints of ancient Egypt.

These cats are once believed to have originated from ancient Absynnia, which is now known as Ethiopia. However, recent genetic evidence now points to South East Asia as the origins of this amazing cat. Modern Absynnian cats retain their jungle look from the ancient African wildcat ancestor of all domestic cats.
There are stories of a British soldier stationed in North Africa returning home with an Absynnian kittens.

This cat named Zula was thought to have been the first British Absynnian cat. However, since there is no written evidence to link Zula to the modern breed of Absynnian cats, it is more probable that the original lines died out, and the cat recreated by British breeders.

This popular cat made its way to the United States in 1935 and has become one of the top five pedigreed cats.



The Absynnian is a medium sized cat with a moderately wedge shaped head. The almond shaped eyes, the slightly pointed ears are in proportion to its head striking a fine balance. The result is a very striking, and beautiful cat.

Their distinctive gorgeous coat is one of several characteristics that emphasize the wild look of the Absynnian cat breed. They look like a small mountain lion or cougar with almond eyes, a dramatic and expressive face, with a spectacular coat that shimmers whether the cat is still or in motion.

This cat is what is called a tabby ticked cat meaning that the cat has a lighter color on the hair that is closer to the body, and with different hair coloring as the hair moves further from the body. This color pattern is similar to that of wild cats such as cougars.

Their medium length hair is very soft and silky. Abyssinian cats come in four stunning shaded: red, faun, blue, and the most popular color ruddy. Paring their coat color with their beautiful yellow or green eyes, and you get a very striking looking cat.

The Abyssinian’s large and expressive almond-shaped eyes come in either a brilliant gold, or green. Also, their large and wideset pointed ears give them an alert demeanor, and complete their wild look.


The Abyssinian cat breed personality can be summed up on one word: energetic. These highly intelligent cats have a very high level of curiosity. If there is a way to open a door, or a closed drawer, they will figure out how to open it.

If you are thinking of getting one of these cats, you need to understand their particular needs and temperament. Their high energy levels can be unsettling for some people.

The only time you will see a stationary Abyssinian is when they are eating or sleeping. Otherwise, they are constantly on the move and looking to have some fun and cause a bit of trouble. When something does catch their attention, they become fixated on this.

However, they can be fickle with their attention drifting to something else. When they want your attention, you will have no doubt about what they want. They are highly persistent and will keep pestering you until they have your attention. If you are looking for a lap cat, then the Abyssinian is not for you. They are always on the move.

These cats defy gravity, and love to get to high places. The higher the spot is, the more it will intrigue the Abyssinian to reach it. They are graceful enough to avoid knocking things over while walking on the top of bookcases, or on top of a kitchen cupboard. However, when the mood strikes they may decide to knock something over to see how far it falls.

Abyssinian cats make wonderful companions, but do not do that well by themselves. Their high level of curiosity and need to play is best balanced by having a playmate in the house.



Abyssinian cats are pedigreed animals, so they are prone to having specific health problems. The most dominant health issue is pyruvate kinase deficiency which means they are lacking a specific enzyme that is needed for energy metabolism in red blood cells. Cats who have the pyruvate kinase deficiency are prone to being anemic. Genetic testing is available to determine if a cat has this problem.

Some Abyssinian cats are also prone to gingivitis, a gum diseases brought on by poor dental care and infections. Bad breath is an indicator of this problem. Early treatment can prevent more serious periodontal disease.

An Abyssinian who is excessively grooming themselves, or acting frantically whey they are touched or petted could be suffering from hyperesthesia syndrome. If can affect cats of all ages, but more commonly occurs in adult cats. The exact cause of this issue is unknown.

Grooming and Care

The Abyssinian cat has very short hair which makes their coats easy to maintain, and minimizes shedding. Groom the Abyssinian weekly with a stainless steel comb to remove dead hair, keeping the coat shiny. The nails should be trimmed every two weeks with a proper cat nail clipper.

As mentioned in the health section, Abyssinians can develop periodontal disease, so brushing their teeth weekly with a proper toothpaste is highly recommended. Also, as always, regular veterinary checkups are needed.

The Abyssinian cat breed enjoys playing and exercising. For outdoor play, an enclosed escape proof garden is perfect. This is an active, and energetic cat that thrives on interactive play, such as fetch. They are even capable of learning tricks, and teaching you a few also.

They need a variety of toys and a cat tree when inside so that they do not turn their high energy into destructive behavior.

Abyssinian Cat Breed Summary

The Abyssinian cat breed is a very people loving cat, with a very high energy level. They require a lot of mental stimulation to keep them entertained, with plenty of space to run and play. They are loving and affectionate, but they don’t particularly like to be held.

This cat will play fetch, and learns tricks easily. They are very loyal cats, who want to know everything that you are doing.



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