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Abyssinian Cat – Cat Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: medium sized
Coat Type: ticked or also called agouti coat
Body Type: slim and ideally semi foreign
Grooming Requirement: easy to groom
Vocal Tendency: Abyssinian Cats are very quiet and rarely vocalize compared with other breeds.
Energy Level: high spirited
Time Alone: The Abyssinian cat requires having 4 to 8 hours of personal time every day.
Care: easy to moderate


The Abyssinian cat is a short-haired domesticated cat breed that has a very cloudy history. The cat breed’s history is based on theories and legends. This particular cat breed is famous for its distinctive ticked coat and has been among the most popular cat breeds in The United States and Europe.

Official Name

Abyssinian Cat


The precise country of origin is unclear but the modern Abyssinian cat breed has been bred out of England. There are several theories about the breed’s original place of birth, with some saying it is from Ethiopia and others saying it originates from the coastal regions of Egypt. All theories have no substantial proof or verified historical accounts.

Quick FAQs

Size: Medium-sized

Coat Type: Ticked or also called agouti coat

Body Type: Slim and ideally semi foreign

Grooming Requirement: Easy to groom

Vocal Tendency: Abyssinian Cats are very quiet and rarely vocalize compared with other breeds.

Energy Level: high spirited

Time Alone: The Abyssinian cat requires having 4 to 8 hours of personal time every day.

Care: Easy to moderate

Recognized By

Cat Fanciers’ Association
The International Cat Association
American Association of Cat Enthusiast
American Cat Fanciers Association
Cat Fanciers Federation
Fédération Internationale Féline
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy
World Cat Federation
Livre Officiel des Origines Félines
Cat Federation of Southern Africa
Australia Cat Fancy
Canadian Cat Association
Clube Português de Felinicultura
Asociación Felina Española
Traditional Cat Association, Inc.


The Abyssinian Cat is a purebred that has a history clouded in theories and legends. Among the popular theories about this cat breed’s origin is that they are the direct descendants of the sacred cats of the ancient Egyptians. The reason may be the similarity of the modern Abyssinian Cats with the god-like felines that have been depicted in ancient Egyptian arts. Another widely accepted historical account of the Abyssinian cat’s origin links it to Ethiopia. It is said that during 1868, the year that saw the end of the Abyssinian War, a cat of this type was brought to England.
That two theories do not agree on the results of the genetic research made with the Abyssinian cat’s DNA. The results suggest that this particular cat breed can trace its roots to a cat breed that has existed across the coastal regions of Southeast Asia and other parts of the Indian Ocean. A remarkable resemblance of the Abyssinian cat with the African Wildcat, the famous progenitors of all the modern domestic cats, substantiates the results of this breed’s DNA research.

Breeders from the United Kingdom commonly believe that the original Abyssinian breed has been extinct centuries ago and today’s breed is just a re-creation. This is somewhat factual as British cat fanciers initiated two separate revivals of this particular cat breed. The years before World War II and after the war, which forced British breeders to start the breeding program anew as all the specimen were destroyed. Today, most of the short-haired Abyssinian cats can trace their roots to the cats bred in England and the United States after the Second World War The breed reached the United States during the early years of the 1900s. Serious breeding development by US fanciers started during the 1930s and since then, their numbers just exploded. It ranked as one of the most popular short haired car breeds in America, second only to the Siamese cat.


The Abyssinian cats are not for the casual cat lover. These cats are not luxury pets that can be treated as an accessory to complement a home’s interior design and also not for those owners who enjoy cuddling their pets.

The Abyssinian cat is a breed that will display a high spirited disposition, often curious and always courageous. These are cats not for cuddling, but they aren’t aloof and not at all standoffish in nature. They will be involved in their owner’s lives, especially during supper time. They are also known for being the comics or clowns of the feline world as this short-haired cat is famous for performing amusing antics especially in front of their owners. This cat breed is naturally athletic and capable of leaping very high.


The Abyssinian cat is famous for its ticked or also called agouti coat. It is a very distinctive physical trait, showcasing a combination of colors on each of the cat’s hair shafts. Every hair shaft has bands that are darkly colored, with lighter colors on the end that is close to the cat’s skin. At the end of each hair, shaft is a dark-colored tip.

Every cat registry that recognizes this purebred has its own general standard of this breed. But generally, the Abyssinian Cat is considered to be a colorful breed and distinctly famous for its ticked coat.

The Abyssinian Cat is a very well balanced cat. Both this breed’s temperament and physical attributes are the models of stability. In modern cat shows, the trend for this particular breed aims towards a tapered and elegant muzzle with a body that is slim and ideally semi foreign. This medium-sized short-haired cat is light and should be graceful in its movements but also displaying their very developed muscular physique.

Head, Ears and Eyes
The head of the Abyssinian cat is modified. It has large ears that always appear alert and pointed moderately. The large eyes are almond-shaped, expressive but not Oriental like and not round. Common eye colors are gold or green and accentuated by fine dark lines cover its eyelids.

Coat and Tail
Abyssinian cats have dense medium-length coats that have two or three dark-colored bands of ticking. This cat’s coat is fine, silky and very soft in texture. The breed’s tail is thick at the base that should be moderately long and tapering.

All the North American cat registries recognize the Abyssinian cat that has coat colors of Ruddy, Blue, Fawn and Sorrel. In the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, all four colors are accepted with an added fifth coat color that is silver.


Abyssinians are cats known to be prone to various dental problems that include tooth decay and gingivitis. It is advisable to train these cats to submit to regular dental grooming, from brushing their teeth to applying fluoride cream. This short-haired cat breed is also known to be prone to a genetic renal disease called amyloidosis.



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