Image credit: Cosmos59

Abyssinian - Breed Profile:

Origin: Egypt
Colors: Ruddy, cinnamon, red, blue and fawn
Size: Small to medium
Coat Type(s): Shorthair
Grooming: Little
Talkativeness: Quiet
Activity Level: Very high
Attention Requirement: High
Overall: Can be a handful

Breed video: Abyssinian - active cat for active family!

Physical characteristics

The Abyssinian's body is slender, of medium length with well-developed muscles. The legs are slim and in proportion to the body, and the paws are small and oval. The Abyssinian has a fairly long tail, broad at the base and decreases to a point.
The head is slightly round, broad and wedge-shaped, with large, almond-shaped eyes that can be gold, green, hazel or copper. The nose and chin usually form a straight vertical line when viewed in profile. Their relatively large ears are broad and cupped at the base, and moderately pointed at the tips, where tuffs of hair commonly seen. Large ear tuffs are viewed as a must for show breeds. An M-shaped marking is sometimes found in the fur on the forehead.
They can live up to 20 years.


Abyssinians are friendly, affectionate, intelligent (even capeable of learning a few tricks) and quite lively. Though they are not your typical lap cat, they can become your loyal friends forever who enjoy participating in your activities and are keen explorers of their surroundings. They are a breed that even enjoy the water.
They get on well with other cats, though another cat should only be considered if there is enough space. It's possible that the female cats can be less tolerant to other cats.
These cats are not as vocal as other breeds but will still communicate their desires and feelings very well.

Coat and grooming

The coat is a ticked, richly colored tabby coat without markings on legs, tail and neck, but with dramatic facial markings. Though the back of the hind legs and the bottom of the paws are always darker than the rest. It's medium-length coat is dense and silky to the touch.
Bowie, the winner of our Abyssinian contest
The most common colour is called Ruddy (or Cinnamon), which is a reddish-brown base with black ticking. Red, sorrel (burnt orange), blue (soft blue and apricot), and fawn (pinkish beige and oatmeal) are common colours too.
The resilient coat makes grooming easy. An occasional bath and brushing should be absolutely fine.


Generally a healthy breed, Abyssinians are prone to gingivitis. Brushing their teeth and a healthy diet can help prevent this.
A kidney disorder called Renal Amyloidosis, which occurs because of the presence in the genome of a gene that leads to the development of the illness, has been seen in Abyssinians. Unfortunately, it has been labeled by some veterinarians as an Aby disease and is known to primarily affect renal function. Since it is not exclusive to just Abyssinians, this sort of labeling does a disservice to the breed and hinders the funding for research on the disease.
Abyssinian kittens by izafree

Other interesting facts

It is believed that Abyssinian cats originated in Egypt but this still unclear to this date. It is said they are one of the oldest cat breeds in the world and were at one point brought to the United Kingdom to be bred. Today, it is one of the most popular short hair breeds in the USA.

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