Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinian cats are precocious and can become pregnant as early as 6 months, but they are usually mated at 12 months at the earliest, as the so-called ticking does not mature until later. In this type of coat, each individual hair has several bands. The problem is also that the small litter size makes it difficult to get an Abyssinian cat. Usually, only two kittens are born.

Origin and Breed History

Where did the Abyssinian cat originally come from?

Abyssinians are active beauties. They resemble the wild cat “Puma”. The Abyssinians are one of the oldest cat breeds and they come from Southeast Asia, not Ethiopia. This could be found out with the help of modern genetics, as a mutation of the tabby gene was found. This occurs mainly in cats that live on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Abyssinian cat was imported to Europe, where she
was first bred in England. It was there that it received its current breed name and was also referred to as the “Asian cat”.

Temperament Traits and Characteristics

What makes an Abyssinian cat tick?

Abyssinians are very adaptable and can adapt well to new surroundings. No matter whether other cats or even dogs already live there. This is probably due to their friendly, but also intelligent and playful nature. They are sporty cats who like to climb, but they are very temperamental. Abyssinians are reluctant to be locked up; if they are kept in their homes, they not only need a lot of variety and large scratching posts, but they also don’t like being alone. But only when they go outside enables the Abyssinians to pursue their greatest hobbies: climbing and playing. As a housemate, she is demanding and likes to be the boss. She always wants enough attention and is also very curious, which is why she is so enthusiastic about new and unusual toys. So it is important: variety! Abyssinians enjoy the presence of people and do not want to be alone, but they are not classic cuddly cats. The Abyssinian cat is more suitable for people who are already experienced with cats than for beginners.

Nursing, Health, and Diseases

Are there diseases that are typical of the breed in Abyssinian cats?

Abyssinians are very robust and muscular cats, which also tend not to be overweight because they are very active. However, due to the early days, a problem has just arisen: inbreeding. But other typical hereditary diseases can also occur in this breed: progressive retinal atrophy, i.e. retinal tissue loss, as well as the so-called pyruvate kinase deficiency, anemia with life-threatening attacks, as well as renate amyloidosis, the earlier death from renal insufficiency. In cats, kidney problems can be prevented by eating the right meat-rich diet. In addition, Abyssinians are known to develop patellar luxation. This is a deformation of the knee joints that is more familiar to dogs. However, it is very important that not every Abyssinian cat has to suffer from these diseases. One cannot generally say that a race always has these diseases.

How do I care for an Abyssinian cat?

Abyssinians are active beauties who hardly need intensive body care. It is sufficient to brush them here and there – perhaps a little more than usual when the coat changes. The almond-shaped eyes can also only have three approved colors: hazelnut brown, green, or amber. The ticking, which was already mentioned above in the upper part of the article, is also special.

Upbringing and Attitude

What should you watch out for when keeping an Abyssinian cat?

The lively character of the Abyssinians is already evident as a kitten: no bookshelf, cupboard or person is too tall for them. These cats want to run, play, and jump. That’s why these cats don’t want to be locked up. They can prove their courage in the open air and they won’t get bored. They climb around on fences, trees, and a lot more. For Abyssinians: the main thing is to aim high! If you keep an Abyssinian cat in there, you should provide plenty of climbing opportunities and be prepared that you will find them everywhere: also in the kitchen and Co. The following applies: Be careful with the (hot) stove! The cats also love to play with fellow cats or even dogs. Because they are so active, they should find a place in a household where someone is almost always there to keep the cat busy. So this breed is not particularly suitable for full-time workers. Due to their curiosity and joy in jumping (and jumping power), clicker training, trick training, and agility are also suitable for these cats.

How do I raise an Abyssinian?

Abyssinians like to take on the boss role – also towards their people. This makes them difficult to educate, but you can teach them some great things with the use of a clicker.

Life Expectancy

How old do Abyssinian cats get?

They have a relatively high life expectancy: if they are healthy, the beauties will be 12-15 years old.

Considerations Before You Buy


Where can I buy an Abyssinian cat?

You are most likely to find Abyssinian cats with a reputable breed. Due to the small litter size of usually only two kittens, you should be prepared for the fact that you will have to wait a while if there is a lot of interest. The best thing to do is to look for a breeder in your area. It is important that the parents and kittens grow up in a family environment and that the parents test negative for possible diseases. Please also pay attention to the topic of inbreeding. Make sure to also take a look at the family tree. Abyssinian cats from a reputable breed can cost around € 800 – these are of course already vaccinated and dewormed.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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