The Abyssinian is an intelligent, lively cat with an elegant oriental appearance and a striking flecked coat. While its exact history isn’t clear, many believe the Abyssinian to descend from the sacred cat of Egypt. Today’s Abyssinian was developed in Britain from cats brought back from Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Southeast Asia and India in the late 19th century.
Abyssinians are medium-sized cats with a regal appearance and strong, muscular bodies. Their appearance can be described as a cross between a Siamese and a Burmese. They have a beautiful short, close-lying coat with very distinct and colourful agouti ticking (flecking), giving Abyssinians their “wild cat” look.
The most common coat colour in Abyssinians is ruddy. Other colours include sorrel, blue and fawn. A separate group of Silver Abyssinians also exists.
The graceful Abyssinian is a very active cat that shows a great interest in its surroundings and doesn’t just love to, but needs to play and interact with people. This is not a lazy lap cat, but a feline that will follow you around trying to see and help with whatever you are doing. It wants to be included in all activities. The Abyssinian tends to bond better with adults than with young children, but gets on very well with dogs.
This is a very loyal cat that thrives on human companionship and gets lonely on its own, so not the best breed if you’re out a lot. It also loves to run around, play, climb and hide, which makes this cat unsuitable for a life confined to a small apartment.
The Abyssinian is generally a healthy breed, with only a few hereditary diseases to watch out for when young, and a life expectancy of about 12-14 years.