Abyssinians, or Abys, enjoy people’s company and are very loyal. The regal-looking Aby has a very distinct appearance that is both elegant and wild looking.
At A Glance:
- Medium-sized, strong and muscular.
- Coat is a warm tone, color varies.
- The coat is very distinctly and evenly ticked. The dark colored bands (at the tip of the hair) contrast sharply with the light band below.
- Eyes are encircled by a light color, and dark lines extend outward. It is preferable that the cheekbones and whisker pads are shaded.
- Almond-shaped, gold or green eyes.
- Very large ears.
- Very curious and eager to participate. This cat will demand your attention . . . be prepared!
- Physically active. Likes to be in high places.
- Loves to play games and interact with its owner, or perhaps even another cat. Many enjoy a good game of ‘fetch.’
- Likes people, likes to be where you are, is loyal and well-mannered. Many enjoy their owner’s lap or shoulder . . . until something more interesting comes along.
- Intellegent cats, Abys are notorious for doing everything on their own terms.
- Soft meow, but may communicate in other ways.
- Some Abyssinians like water.
The Abyssinian is one of the oldest known breeds, but its origin is unknown. Because it resembles cats found in ancient Egyptian artwork, some Aby enthusiasts have suggested a link between the two felines. However, although there is a resemblance, no evidence of a link exists.
Many claim the Abyssinian was brought to England from Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia) by British troops, but others believe the Aby is from Southeast Asia. It wasn’t until the early 1900s, however, that the first Abyssinians were brought to North America from England. Later, some higher quality Abys were imported for breeding.
Today the Abyssinian is the most popular short hair breed.
Common Health Problems:
Gingivitis – Abyssinians, as with many other cats, can develop gingivitis, and yearly dental checks by a veterinarian are a good idea. Fortunately, gingivitis can be avoided if owners are aware of the potential problem. Symptoms include red irritation along the gum line and bad breath. A healthy diet is important in avoiding and treating gingivitis, and getting your cat into a weekly routine of tooth brushing at an early age will help.
Feline Amyloidosis – This is a disorder that inflicts purebred cats, as well as randomly bred cats. It generally affects the kidneys although amyloids have been discovered elsewhere as well. Some believe the disorder is genetic and hereditary, so you should discuss the problem with the breeder if adopting a kitten.
Abyssinians are very active cats and usually remain active throughout their life. When well cared for, Abys can live into their twenties.