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Cat Breeds: The Abyssinian

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Graceful, charming, and intelligent, the Abyssinian cat has gained wide popularity with cat lovers across the world. Two Abyssinians even became movie stars in 1978 when they acted in The Cat from Outer Space

Here are 5 fun facts you should know about Abyssinian cats.

1) They're not originally from Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

Although British breeders first imported Abyssinian cats from modern-day Ethiopia, this breed actually traces its roots to the Bay of Bengal. According to the Cat Fanciers' Association, "Recent studies by geneticists show that the most convincing origin of the Abyssinian breed is the coast of the Indian Ocean and parts of Southeast Asia."

2) They love to chatter!

Abys have a gentle, soothing voice, and they are constantly chattering away to their owners. Because they like a lot of attention, they meow if you're not paying enough attention. Or they might just be saying, "That pork roast certainly smells tasty!"

3) They have ticked coats (and no, not that kind of tick).

The luxuriant, thick coats of Abyssinian kitties are made up of multicoloured hairs. Each hair has several bands of colour, including ruddy, blue, cinnamon, and fawn. This color pattern is called "ticked tabby," and it is caused by the Agouti gene. Because all Abyssinians are classified as tabbies, they have a white chin and an "M" pattern on their foreheads. 

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4) They are playful and energetic.

If you're looking for a window-dressing cat, the Abyssinian is not the right choice for you. Abys love to jump, climb, and leap off furniture. They can leap as high as six feet into the air. These kitties love to play with children, adults, and anyone who will join in the fun. They will even play fetch like dogs!

5) They are notoriously curious.

If you have an Aby, you no longer have any secrets! Abyssinian cats have been known to open cupboards, climb furniture, and even outsmart childproof locks! For your kitty's safety, keep breakables out of sight and toxic substances under (adult-proof) lock and key. Because Abyssinians are highly intelligent, they need both mental and physical exercise to stay happy. Providing puzzle feeders and mental games is a great way to satisfy your kitty's curiosity!


Do you own an Abyssinian? What tips do you have for new Abyssinian owners? 

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