Abyssinian Cat: Cat Breed Characteristics

There are several versions of the origin of the Abyssinian breed. The name of the breed comes from the African country of Abyssinia, now Ethiopia. According to one of the versions, the progenitor of the Abyssinian cats was taken from Abyssinia to England by Captain Barrett-Lenard in 1868. The modern breed originated in England, wherein 1896 Abyssinian cats were first registered in the breeding system of the national cat club.


The Abyssinian cat has a medium body length with strong muscular limbs. The head is rounded; in adult well-fed animals, even cheeks are possible. The eyes are regular almond-shaped, surrounded by light hair, but with dark lines along the outline.

The wool of the Abyssinians is very soft to the touch, tight to the body. The color is very specific – each hair has at least 4 dark zones. Short hairs have at least 2-3 different ticking stripes – alternating areas of the background, but when evenly distributed throughout the body, it does not form any pattern. The spine line, the soles of the hind legs, and the tip of the tail are more intensely colored.


Abyssinians are incredibly curious. They have to look, taste, and smell everything. The owner should be prepared for the fact that this cat will always be suddenly nearby. But the role of an outside observer is not interesting to her. She will actively participate in everything, poke her paws and nose, pushing away the owner himself. Sometimes such excessive activity can be annoying but re-educate an Abyssinian.

This is perhaps the most energetic cat breed to use. They are on the move all the time – either play, or “lead” the owner, or inspect their territory. They easily find something to do, instantly, like children, switching from one to another.

Abyssinians are very independent. They will never allow themselves to be taken in their arms or put on their knees if they themselves do not want to. But if they wanted affection, then they will show all their perseverance to attract the attention of the owner. Given that these cats are incredibly talkative, you should be prepared for the most active demands.


Abyssinian cats do not need special care. They have a soft, pleasant to the touch coat that does not even need to be combed out regularly. These cats are a godsend for those who cannot afford to care for an animal for a long time.

Conditions of detention

These cats have a high level of intelligence. They understand very well when and how to behave with family members. They work well with other animals and even with dogs while trying to take a dominant position.

An important point: if the Abyssinian decided that he does not like the new companion, he will make every effort to survive the unwanted one. Moreover, the cat will act on the sly, deliberately adjusting the situations in which the second animal will look guilty to the owner.

Abyssinian cats are incredibly patient. They are usually not recommended to have in families with small children, although they get along well with them, play with pleasure, and heroically endure everything that can come to a child’s head. True, there is a limit to everything, and, being very tired, the cat will try to go higher in order to rest.

Abyssinians are very active. They need a lot of space to climb. Moreover, they love to watch everything from above and will look for higher places in the house. It is better for the owner to purposefully organize them for the cat. Otherwise, she will explore the cabinets and upper shelves, along the way, collide with vases and other objects that will interfere with her.

These cats love to walk. Moreover, they feel calm even without a leash if the territory is fenced. They love to climb trees, so walking on a leash can cause objective difficulties for the owners.

Life span

Every caring owner is interested in how long Abyssinian cats live. The average life expectancy of the Abyssinian cat breed is 12-15 years. But with proper care and excellent nutrition throughout the life of a pet, this period can increase to 20 years.


The food of the Abyssinian cat should be balanced and enriched with vitamins and minerals. The best solution will be ready-made professional premium and super-premium food.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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