- Place of Origin:
- A natural breed
- Breed type:
- Short-haired cat
- Body type:
- Muscular, powerful
- 4 - 7.5 kg
History: It is believed that the Abyssinian cat lived by the court of Egyptian pharaohs and it is therefore one of the oldest shorthaired breeds. This is also supposed to be the form of mummified cats found during excavations in Egypt with today's Abyssinian cats. Numerous images and statuettes were found similar in features of this breed. We have no real clues of its existence.
In the UK, the first Abyssinian cat was imported in 1868 by Field Marshal Sir Robert Napier from Ethiopia (Abyssinia). The cat was named Zula. Its coat featured was typical ticking, otherwise it did not remind of today's Abyssinian cats.
Since 1882 Abyssinian cats have been recognized as breeds in Great Britain. Their popularity began to rise until the end of the 1960s and now it belongs to one of the most popular shorthaired breeds of cats.
Nature: It is an extrovert, intelligent, curious, playful and stubborn cat. Instead of being intrusive, they choose a special, elegant way to achieve what they want. But they do not use much of their soft voice. To content they need a lot of contact with family members and they want to be involved in everyday life. They suffer from being lonely or due small space. With other cats they get well, and very strong friendships they are able to tie up with a dog. Good-tempered are males.
Body: The medium length Abyssinian cat is muscular, massive and flexible, moderate oriental. They should not be too large, rough or subsoil. Relatively slender legs have a soft skeleton and charming small, oval paws. A fairly long tail is wide at the base and converges to the tip. The wide, rounded wedge head has a very strong chin and a nose profile with a slight bend. Almond eyes with a lively expression are placed diagonally on the head. Ears are relatively large, deployed low. At the base they are wide and run to the tip. Although the ears on the inside are bald, the brushes on their peaks it is an advantage.
Coat: The Abyssinian cat's short coat is soft, silky and closely stick to the body. Coarse, too long or protruding hair it is a mistake.
Care: The Abyssinian cat's furs are just occasional combing with a brush from the bristles and subsequent combing with a rag. If you polish cat´s coat with a wet cloth, you can attract its shine. During moulting period, dead and loose hair should be removed. That's why a rubber massage glove it is good for you. The sharp ends of the claws should be cut regularly and the ears should be cleaned if necessary.
Colour variants: The original colour of the Abyssinian cat is a wild colour, it is -called "ruddy". During times, other coats of hair were originated, but the pattern remained the same. The back of the hind legs and foot pads are always darker than the rest of the coat. Abyssinian cats are also marked by noticeable ticking - on each hair the basic colour of the coat alternates with two or three darker pigmented strips (as in a wild rabbit). The tip of the hair must always be darker and ticking must be as clean as possible, with strips or spots in the hair undesirable. The colour of the eyes is irrespective of the colour of the coat amber, green or yellow.
The most common colours are:
- Wild Colour (Ruddy): The most well-known and most common colour. The base is warm, red-brown, ticking black. The pads of the paws and the back of the hind legs are always black.
- Red-brown: The basic colour of the coat is also reddish brown, but ticking on the coat, the pads of the paws and the back of the hind legs is cinnamon-coloured.
- Beige (fawn): This colour variety is relatively small. The basic colour of the coat is light cream and ticking has a dark creamy colour. "Boots" and paw pads are coloured in warm dark cream. This is a dilution of the sorrel colour.
- Blue: Light beige is the primary colour of the coat. Ticking, paw pads and "boots" are steel-blue. This is a diluted version of ruddy.
- Silver: The Abyssinian cats are a special group. Not recognized by the American CFA organization. The basic colour of the coat is always silver-white. But ticking may have multiple colours. Among other things, it can be black, blue, warm dark cream or cinnamon.
- Tortoise, chocolate, lilac, red and cream: These are rare colours, small scale grown in the Netherlands and the UK.
Kittens are born with dark hair that is slowly becoming light during adolescence. The final colour of the coat and ticking will not stabilize until several months of age.