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Abyssinian

Abyssinian

A Graceful Cat

Athletic, Energetic, Loyal

Abyssinians are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Abyssinians, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Abyssinian and some can be quite irritating! Understanding her unique needs will help you keep her healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where she came, which health conditions are a risk to her and how to keep her feeling her best.

Breed Details

Body:Medium long, muscular Coat:Medium-length, soft, silky, dense

Length of fur
3

1 = short - 5 = long

Grooming requirements
2

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
5

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
4

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
5

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Abyssinians need daily play sessions that stimulate their natural desire to hunt and explore. Keep their minds and bodies active or they may develop behavior issues. Cats are meticulously clean and demand a clean litter box. Be sure to provide at least one box for each cat and scoop waste daily. It is important that your cat drinks adequate amounts of water. If she won't drink water from her bowl try adding ice cubes or a flowing fountain.

Grooming: Abyssinians have a low maintenance short coat. Brush as needed, at least weekly for a healthy shine.

Dental: Abyssinians often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week!

Ear Care: Check her ears weekly for wax, debris, or signs of infection and clean when necessary. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

She is affectionate, gentle, and adaptable; a unique companion for the entire family.

Positive Traits:

  • Alert, curious, and busy

  • Has a quiet or soft voice

  • Loves jumping and being in high places

  • Entertaining, likes to "perform" for her owners

  • Graceful, quick, and agile

  • Highly interactive and playful with owners

Negative Traits: 

  • May want to constantly be involved in your activities

  • People oriented and should not be left alone for long periods of time

  • Fearless and can get into trouble if not properly supervised

  • Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

  • May not do well in small confined spaces like apartments; lots of room too roam is ideal

  • Can have an unstable temperament if not bred properly, including nervousness, shyness or fearfulness

Whether you are considering adding a new Abyssinian to your family or you already have one as a companion, it's important to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Abyssinian will have these problems, but research shows that your pal is more at risk than other breeds to develop certain conditions. Explore the health concerns specific to the Abyssinian and become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important concerns to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

Some health issues an Abyssinian could encounter:

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Arterial thromboembolism

FIP susceptibility

Cryptococcosis

Neonatal isoerythrolysis (NI)/hemolytic icterus

Increased osmotic fragility of erythrocytes

Pyruvate kinase deficiency

FLUTD

Amyloidosis

Renal failure

Patellar luxation

Hip dysplasia

Gingivitis

Resorptive oral lesions

Psychogenic alopecia

Shaft disorder of Abyssinian cats

The Abyssinian is thought to have originated in Southeast Asia and the Indian Coast. They are said to be one of the oldest cat breeds, resembling cats depicted in Egyptian tombs. Abyssinians have a distinctive wildcat look with their ticked coat and large erect ears. They are a highly social breed and can be demanding of attention. They do well in multi-cat households due to their social nature. Not a snuggly lap cat, Abyssinians are in constant motion, either exploring or playing. They are fond of water and are even known to play fetch. The Abyssinian is people-oriented and can be demanding of your attention.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Abyssinian shows signs of the following:

  • Weakness or exercise intolerance; rapid, labored, or open-mouth breathing; sudden-onset of weakness

  • Increased thirst and urination, poor appetite, weight loss

  • Sudden hind leg weakness or paralysis, labored breathing, collapse, weakness on one side of the body Lethargy, pale gums

  • Bunny hopping, reluctance to jump when playing

  •  Lameness, abnormal hind gait

  • Areas of shortened hair or baldness; licking when stressed, anxious, or bored Broken whiskers or bald spots

  • Episodes of agitation with rippling skin, crying, chewing at the skin

  • Care

    Routine Care: Abyssinians need daily play sessions that stimulate their natural desire to hunt and explore. Keep their minds and bodies active or they may develop behavior issues. Cats are meticulously clean and demand a clean litter box. Be sure to provide at least one box for each cat and scoop waste daily. It is important that your cat drinks adequate amounts of water. If she won't drink water from her bowl try adding ice cubes or a flowing fountain.

    Grooming: Abyssinians have a low maintenance short coat. Brush as needed, at least weekly for a healthy shine.

    Dental: Abyssinians often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week!

    Ear Care: Check her ears weekly for wax, debris, or signs of infection and clean when necessary. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    She is affectionate, gentle, and adaptable; a unique companion for the entire family.

    Positive Traits:

    • Alert, curious, and busy

    • Has a quiet or soft voice

    • Loves jumping and being in high places

    • Entertaining, likes to "perform" for her owners

    • Graceful, quick, and agile

    • Highly interactive and playful with owners

    Negative Traits: 

    • May want to constantly be involved in your activities

    • People oriented and should not be left alone for long periods of time

    • Fearless and can get into trouble if not properly supervised

    • Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

    • May not do well in small confined spaces like apartments; lots of room too roam is ideal

    • Can have an unstable temperament if not bred properly, including nervousness, shyness or fearfulness

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Abyssinian to your family or you already have one as a companion, it's important to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Abyssinian will have these problems, but research shows that your pal is more at risk than other breeds to develop certain conditions. Explore the health concerns specific to the Abyssinian and become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important concerns to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

    Some health issues an Abyssinian could encounter:

    Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

    Arterial thromboembolism

    FIP susceptibility

    Cryptococcosis

    Neonatal isoerythrolysis (NI)/hemolytic icterus

    Increased osmotic fragility of erythrocytes

    Pyruvate kinase deficiency

    FLUTD

    Amyloidosis

    Renal failure

    Patellar luxation

    Hip dysplasia

    Gingivitis

    Resorptive oral lesions

    Psychogenic alopecia

    Shaft disorder of Abyssinian cats

  • History

    The Abyssinian is thought to have originated in Southeast Asia and the Indian Coast. They are said to be one of the oldest cat breeds, resembling cats depicted in Egyptian tombs. Abyssinians have a distinctive wildcat look with their ticked coat and large erect ears. They are a highly social breed and can be demanding of attention. They do well in multi-cat households due to their social nature. Not a snuggly lap cat, Abyssinians are in constant motion, either exploring or playing. They are fond of water and are even known to play fetch. The Abyssinian is people-oriented and can be demanding of your attention.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Abyssinian shows signs of the following:

    • Weakness or exercise intolerance; rapid, labored, or open-mouth breathing; sudden-onset of weakness

    • Increased thirst and urination, poor appetite, weight loss

    • Sudden hind leg weakness or paralysis, labored breathing, collapse, weakness on one side of the body Lethargy, pale gums

    • Bunny hopping, reluctance to jump when playing

    •  Lameness, abnormal hind gait

    • Areas of shortened hair or baldness; licking when stressed, anxious, or bored Broken whiskers or bald spots

    • Episodes of agitation with rippling skin, crying, chewing at the skin

Abyssinian Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Abyssinian breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Cat Breed Guide References here.

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