The Abyssinian is a visually stunning, loyal family addition with its slim athletic appearance and unique ticking coat. The Aby, as he's known, is a one-of-a-kind cat. He's a smart, funny, and incredibly athletic cat, always leaping, climbing, and exploring. To put it another way, this isn't a lap cat.
He also has a distinctive spotted coat that gives him a wildcat look. One of the oldest cat breeds, the Abyssinian is a bold and observant cat. Despite his resemblance to a tiny African wildcat, he is a domestic feline.
- Male: 8-12 lbs
- Female: 8-12 lbs
- Male: 8-10 inches
- Female: 8-10 inches
- 9-13 years
An adult Aby weighs between 8 and 12 pounds, and the typical lifespan of an Aby is between 9 and 13 years. The Abyssinian has smooth planes on his head and is modest in appearance. Her triangular head has a slight dip in it. His big ears are tipped forward on her head, giving him an alert, attentive appearance. He is always paying attention to what is going on around him. His attentiveness and intellect are reflected in his big eyes, which appear enormous on his face.
The Abyssinian has a short coat with tufts of hair in his ears. The Abyssinian has a distinctive coloration. Color bands run across the bulk of the fur, with the coat seeming darker along the spine line. The hue on his body softens and lightens around his neck, bottom, and insides of his legs. The Aby's fur also has a distinctive pattern known as "ticking," each hair is ringed with various hues of red-tan to blue-gray. This ticking, which is also seen in wild rabbits in the area, formerly helped the Aby blend with its desert habitat, allowing it to obtain prey and evade predators. The Aby has big eyes that range from green to gold in color and long, pointed ears that give it an inquisitive appearance.
The Abyssinian cat appreciates human companionship and gets loyal to its family. The Aby also bonds readily with family members, usually picking one as a favorite.
It is calm, clever, and curious. It likes room and action, is a strong climber, and will thrive in a garden with plenty of trees and high spots. Abyssinian cats are lively yet sensible, so they aren't too destructive!
Abyssinians love to play and be stimulated, so they'll turn to you for amusement if you don't have any other pets. Abyssinians are extremely clever and may be trained to do tricks. Provide your Aby with puzzle toys that take extra mental work to release goodies, teach him tricks with a clicker, and train him to run an agility course to keep him engaged and out of trouble. Abyssinians enjoy bird watching, so try putting a feeder near a window for him to enjoy. These friendly and adaptable creatures have even been trained to walk with their owners on a leash. The Aby is a natural jumper who will frequently seek out a high vantage point to observe its surroundings. Other pets and children get along well with Abyssinians, although some prefer to be the only pet in the house.
Abys are versatile cats throughout their lives and will thrive in any environment loved and cared for. This cat thrives in the company of an older child who can train and play with him. When humans are at work or school throughout the day, the Aby needs a companion, ideally another Aby, who can equal his activity level. If left to his own devices, the Aby could dismantle the house in quest of something to do.
This cat enjoys moving about and exploring, and it will undoubtedly attempt to climb up onto high shelves and view spots. As a result, multi-level cat apartments or scratching posts are highly recommended, as they will allow your Abyssinian to go as high as his mood allows. He'll also love observing the neighboring birds or traffic if you have a wide window and an accessible perch for him to sit on during the day.
Generally speaking, the Aby isn't a breed that needs a lot of toys or distractions. Although, after they stop moving, your Aby is likely to ignore them until you wind them up again, wind-up toys are likely to become minor annoyances for you. Keeping a few simple toys around the house should be enough to provide him with some variation.
The Abyssinian's short, delicate coat requires weekly brushing to eliminate dead hair and disperse skin oils. When the cat is shedding, a wash will aid in the removal of extra hair more rapidly.
Periodontal disease may be avoided by brushing their teeth. Daily oral hygiene is ideal but brushing once a week is preferable to nothing. Every couple of weeks, trim their nails. To eliminate any discharge, use a soft, wet cloth to wipe the corners of their eyes. To avoid the danger of transmitting infection, use a different portion of the towel for each eye. Check the ears at least once a week.
It's best to maintain an Abyssinian as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases carried by other cats,dog or coyote attacks, and other risks that cats face when they go outside, such as getting hit by a car. Outdoor Abyssinians are also at risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a lovely cat without paying for it.
The greater healthiness of the Abyssinian breed is one of the reasons for its popularity. The breed has had some issues with blindness caused by hereditary retinal degeneration caused by mutations in the rdAc gene. Still, these concerns have been significantly decreased with the introduction of widely available rdAc testing.
Patellar luxation appears to be more prevalent in Abyssinian cats than in other breeds, and this breed may be prone to hip dysplasia.
Gingivitis is common in abys, which can progress to periodontal disease and tooth loss if left untreated. You can start cleaning your cat's teeth yourself, but the effects may be inconsistent, and it may not be feasible at all.
Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a genetic disease that affects Abyssinians. Pyruvate kinase is a critical enzyme regulating energy metabolism in red blood cells. Intermittent anemia is seen in cats with PK deficiency. The deficit can affect kittens as young as six months old and 12-year-old Abyssinians.
Even though the Abyssinian cat is said to have originated in the Nile Valley, she was created in the United Kingdom. Following a military trip to Abyssinia in the 1860s, Lord Robert Napier brought a cat to Britain. This cat was named Zulu, and she was the forerunner of the Abyssinian breed that we know today. The Abyssinian's coat has a distinctive ticking pattern that reminded people of the camouflage pattern on the coat of a wild rabbit. This trait was so appealing that Zulu was crossed with unrelated cats with a similar coat pattern, and the Abyssinian breed was born.
The breed grew in popularity, and Abyssinian cats were soon being bred all across Europe and in the United States and Canada. Because the breed was nearly wiped out in Europe during the two world wars, its popularity proved to be its saving grace. The breed was kept alive through the introduction of new Abyssinians. When the feline leukemia virus nearly wiped off the breed in Britain in the late 1960s, additional Abyssinians were imported to help rebuild the breed. Cross-breeding with local cats once they were settled in the United Kingdom finally gave rise to the Abyssinian cat we know and love today.
The Aby may be the ideal pet for you if you search for a smart, agile cat that bonds well with people. The Aby will be your constant friend, affectionate and clever, and always eager for some playing while you're around.