Active Cats with Active Personalities
Abys, as they are lovingly called, are the fourth most popular cat breed according to statistics from the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats. Elegant and regal-looking, Abyssinians are easy to care for and make ideal pets for cat lovers.
According to the CFA, the first Abyssinians to exhibit in England cat shows got their names from Ethiopia, formerly Abyssinia, the country which they are reported to have been imported.
The first mention of Abyssinians dates back to 1872; the cat wasn’t imported to North America until the early 1900s. However, top quality Abyssinians forming the foundation of the current American breeding programs didn’t arrive from England until the 1930s.
Abyssinians are not lap cats, but are affectionate, loyal and normally mix well with children and other pets. Known for their curiosity, playfulness and need to explore their surroundings, Abyssinians are people-oriented cats who like to participate in the activities taking place around them.
Abyssinians are lively and expressive, with slightly wedge-shaped heads, half-cupped ears, medium length bodies and well-developed muscles. Their legs are long and slender, and their coats are short and close-lying to their bodies. Their overall appearance bears a resemblance to ancient Egyptian cats.
Abyssinians come in four colors: ruddy (burnt sienna), red, blue or fawn (warm rose beige). Abyssinian fur is lighter at the roots and darker, or “ticking” at the tips, with gradual bands of color in between.
Abyssinians are generally healthy cats, although some hereditary diseases have been detected in the breed. One such disease is progressive retinal atrophy, an inherited eye disease that causes blindness. Renal amyloidosis, a form of kidney disease, has also been reported.
It is always recommended that you take your cat to your veterinarian for regular visits. Routine care can help identify illnesses during the early stages and increase the probability of a successful treatment.