Learn All About Abyssinian

The Abyssinian is a domesticated, medium-sized cat.

It features a long body and well-developed muscles. This cat breed is active and quite playful; don’t expect it to sit in your lap.

What You Should Know

The Abyssinian cat features smooth planes on the head. There’s a gentle dip on the head combined with larger ears. The eyes tend to look large in the cat’s face, but also show how alert this species is. What’s most unique about the Abyssinian appearance is the color. Most of the bands of each hair feature a darker color on its spine line. Then, the color softens on the underside of the cat, the inside of the legs and under the neck.

While the Abyssinian is now domesticated in America, it came from Great Britain back in the 1860s. The first known cat of this species was owned by Lord Robert Napier who found it during an expedition to Abyssinia. The first big struggle this breed faced was during the two World Wars; it was almost wiped out completely. Then, again during the 1960s, feline leukemia killed many of the cats in Britain. Abyssinians brought more to Britain after that in hopes of re-establishing the breed.

What Sound Do They Make?

The Abyssinian makes typical cat sounds. You will hear it purr, chirp and meow like all of the other species. Here is one example of the various, sweet sounds made by the Abyssinian.

Group Characteristics

Like most cats, this species remains pregnant for about 58 to 67 days. The Abyssinian typically has about six kittens per litter. On average, this cat will live for about 15 years. The Abyssinian does well with other cats, but especially enjoys the company of humans. It isn’t a lap cat but will follow the owner around and is exceptionally playful.

How Many are There?

There aren’t many projections about the population of this specific species. We do know that of all cat species, the estimates say there might be 200 million to over 600 million worldwide. There’s no threat to the domesticated Abyssinian because it lives in households.

Watch a Video

Check out this informative documentary on the Abyssinian cats.

If you want to see some adorable pets from this breed, this video of 10 funny cats should do the trick.

Pop Culture

You won’t find the Abyssinian cat in many movies and cartoons, but one of its most notable appearances occurred in The Cat From Outer Space (1978) from Walt Disney. Reports suggest that Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7 (aka Jake) was played by two Abyssinian cats, one male and a female.

Interesting Facts

This breed often suffers from gingivitis and also serious periodontitis. Abyssinians also tend to have familial renal amyloidosis, which is a kidney disorder. They also suffer from blindness due to a mutation in the rdAc gene. Since detection services and tests are now performed, the instances of this mutation are much lower.

The Abyssinian cat species tend to reach about two feet long when fully mature. It will also weigh anywhere from six to ten pounds.

The ancient Egyptians thought that these cats held a relation to Gods. That’s why they spent time worshipping the Abyssinian. They also used them regularly for their hunting skills and to get rid of any pests in the field.

The Abyssinian cat is available in six colors. You will find cinnamon, ruddy, blue, chocolate, lilac and fawn as recognized colors but only five of them are allowed for competitions. Sometimes people think they have a silver color, but that’s just the skin showing through the fur.