THE ABYSSINIAN CAT

Abyssinian cats get their name from the term Abyssinia which was a former name for Ethiopia. A breed with fine bone and elaborate pose Abyssinian cats never fail to impress us. They have a tabby yet multi-colored coat that gives them an intricate look and elegant appearance.

Brief History

There are many stories that surround the Abyssinian cat’s origins however many cat fanciers believe that this breed’s first ancestors were from parts of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean coast. Traders within these regions were accredited for the cat’s migration into other continental parts such as Arabia and Africa. Some breeds said to be in the Abyss genetic background are Russian Blues, Burnese and Siamese. During the 19th century the breed became famous in Great Britain with belief that British soldiers deployed in various parts of Africa and Asia brought it back home by the end of their expeditions.

Physical Features

The Abyssinian is quite slender but with fine bone and an average body size. They have almond shaped eyes that glare with expression while their ears are large and tend to be pointed with alertness. A kitten Abyssinian is born with a dark coat that lightens with age and as they proceed into adulthood their coats become soft, silky to the touch and ideally fine but close lying and dense.

Average Height:

8-10 inches

Average Weight:

8-12 pounds

Life Expectancy:

9-15 years

Temperament

Abyssinians are generally friendly in nature showing affection for kids and other pets. They are also playful, dislike being lonely or in boring environments and can make good therapy pets thanks to this appeal. As for the family an Abyssinian’s affection is averagely placed meaning that they neither love nor hate to belong to a particular grouping. Everything they do is done willingly and with enthusiasm making them one cat breed that knows how to live every second of their life to the fullest. Any activity, be it play, climbing, jumping or running is done with energy and passion.

Abyssinian cat

Special Needs

They are not the lazing around type of cats, and with a high level of intelligence they can act according to your mood. If it’s time for play, you’ll definitely have a playmate. If you want to easily get along with your Abyssinian it’s a good idea to ensure that the type of relationship that exists between you is complementary rather than opposing.

Possible Health Concerns

Just like all other pedigreed and mixed-breed cats, Abyssinians are vulnerable to certain diseases that may be hereditary or those caused through certain mutation flaws. The most fatal genetic condition is Pyruvate kinase deficiency. Pyruvate Kinase is an enzyme present in all red blood cell bearing animals. This enzyme is necessary for energy metabolism within the red blood cells. The Pyruvate Kinase deficiency is caused by a recessive gene and it is a known hereditary condition in various cat breeds. This deficiency may show in kittens as young as 6 months or even older cats of 12 years and more. Breeders are advised to have their stock screened for this condition since has no known treatment. Other diseases and health conditions are: Hyperesthesia syndrome, Patellar luxation, Progressive retinal atrophy and Renal amyloidosis.

Exercise

Exercise to the Abyssinian should be equal to play. Keep in mind that they are very energetic and enthusiastic cats who’d rather be involved in a fun muscle exciting activity rather than a boring one that inspires little or no muscle movement. The country side or a yard with plenty of trees for them to climb is essential. Regular climbing keeps their joints active and to get down, they’d rather jump as heights do not scare them.

Grooming

Abyssinians have a short coat that doesn’t shed a lot. This coat is easy to maintain and weekly grooming should be enough to remove any dead hairs and keep it shiny and healthy. Trim the nails every fortnight and brush the teeth regularly to prevent it from contracting periodontal disease.

These cats make excellent pets as they are very independent and well-mannered thus needing less supervisory attention from their owners.

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