Abyssinian Cats: The Elegant and Muscular Aby

Abyssinian cats are regal animals and sometimes pampered pets.

They have maintained that distinction throughout the ages, as the Abyssinian breed is one of the oldest on record.

For those unfamiliar with this animal think of the cats you see in ancient Egyptian paintings.

They are sleek and elegant. They are easily recognized due to their large ears, almond eyes and the manner in which they arch their neck.

Examples of the Abyssinian could be found in England as early as 1871, although at that time they were considered a very rare variety.

They made their way to North America, with the assistance of their owners, during the early 1900's.

Abyssinian Personality

Abyssinians are very intelligent cats, they have been described as very people-oriented felines.

They are an active breed known to be both devoted and loving. Not lap cats, an Aby (as Abyssinians are fondly known) will be inclined to be always 'on the go' and bursting with energy.

Abyssinian Cat
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This lust for life does not prevent Abyssinians from being affectionate however, and they are known for their loyalty.

The Abyssinian breed is of even temperament and gets along well with other family pets. They tend to be playful when young, just as all kittens are. As they mature, they become a bit more reserved.

Abyssinians love high places, they will seek out high perches, such as shelves and the tops of doorways, from which to look down upon their human companions.

Abyssinians are strong, muscular medium size cats. Typically, they are slender. Their legs are long and their paws oval in shape. These particular characteristics sometimes make it look as though they are standing on their tiptoes.

Their almond shaped eyes can be amber, green or hazel. The head of the Aby is wedge shaped with large triangular ears that seem to be always listening.

The Coat Colors of Abyssinian Cats

Abyssinian named Chloe. Photo: K. Kendall

Abyssinians are a colorful bunch. Their short close lying coats (very easy grooming) are distinctly ticked resulting in four to six color bands. The Aby is free of markings on the legs, neck and tail but the facial markings are very distinct.

There are four Abyssinian cat coat colors that are widely accepted by the owners and breeders of show quality cats. These colors are ruddy, red, blue and fawn.

Ruddy Abyssinians (Usual) oftentimes remind us of a mountain lion. This burnt sienna-like color is the oldest and still most popular shade of the breed. It is very common to see dark brown or even black 'ticking' throughout their under-coat.

Abyssinian named Leo. Photo: Alex Brown
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Red Abyssinians are a warmer red color, their fur is 'ticked' in chocolate browns, their noses and paw pads are pink in color. (These cats are also referred to as Sorrel Abyssinians.)

Blue Abyssinians are warm beige in color with an under-coat that is 'ticked' in shades of slate blue and/or gray.

These colors are more striking than that of the red or fawn variety.

Blue's are quickly gaining popularity in Abyssinian circles.

Fawn Abyssinians have a subtler look about them. They proudly wear a rose-beige coat, ticked in shades of light cocoa.

More rare in color are the chocolate and the lilac Abyssinians. Purple kitty, anyone? (Actually the lilac Abyssinian is a dilute of the chocolate-colored cat and not purple, as we know it.)

The Silver Abyssinian is officially recognized in Great Britain and Europe but not in the United States.

Abyssinian cats are wonderful companions. Once you choose to take one in, your life is guaranteed never to be the same again. 

Pixie Bob Cats - Bred to Resemble Bobcats.
The ability to take things in their stride and tolerate a lot of activity makes Pixie Bob cats suited for families with children. They usually get along well with other household pets too.

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