Cat breeds: Abyssinian

Cat breeds: Abyssinian

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FIFe classification and history

Dorigo country: Ethiopia - Great Britain.

LAbissino is one of the oldest cat breeds. Lorigine is controversial: apparently it is very similar to the cats depicted in the drawings and statues dating back to ancient Egypt. On the other hand, it must also be said that all the cats depicted have a slender constitution, typical of the oriental breeds, with an elongated muzzle and almond-shaped eyes that could have been the ancestors of the Siamese and of the Egyptian cat that in the meantime has become extinct.
The name Abyssinian does not depend so much on the fact that Abyssinia is the place of origin of this cat, as on the fact that the first specimen exhibited at a feline exhibition in Europe (England) was registered as a cat imported from that country (today Ethiopia). Recent genetic studies have shown that the most probable origin of this cat are the coasts of the Indian Ocean and some areas of Southeast Asia. The breed was however selected in England starting from a subject imported from Abyssinia in 1868 or, as many English breeders claim, by crossing various silver and brown-tabby cats with cats that had indigenous ticking. LAbissino was officially recognized in Great Britain in 1882. Very common in the United States, where it is among the most common short-haired breeds, while in Italy it is still quite rare.
Italian Club of Abyssinian and Somali Cats

General aspect

The Abyssinians are medium-bodied, short-haired cats, with an elegant bearing and a marked individuality. The coat has an intense color and ticking is clearly visible (each individual hair has a basic color, interrupted by two or three bands of darker pigment and always ends with a dark tip). At birth they have a dark coat that lightens with age. Since the Abyssinians are carriers of the gene responsible for the long hair, it is always possible that in a litter there are some semi-long haired kittens (Somali). It can even reach 18-20 years of age.

Abyssinian cat (photo


The Abyssinians are active and lively cats, with a marked curiosity for everything around them; intelligent, strong-willed, they have a well balanced character. They need a lot of attention and companionship and express their disappointment if neglected or left alone too long. They usually live well with other cats or dogs, especially males. Needing a space of their own, they don't like groups that are too numerous. Dynamic and curious, he loves playing even as an adult and after sterilization; they need, if possible, an open space to move and climb. It is particularly suitable for families with children, with whom it willingly shares the game. If it is sterilized, the morphology does not change particularly, just as the character does not change, which remains curious and playful.


Short hair does not require special care: brushing with a short rubber tooth brush once a week is enough. Instead of the brush you can use a chamois cloth or dampened hands, to slide in the direction of the hair. The ears must be cleaned only if necessary with a specific product. The nails can be blunted with special scissors.

Abyssinian cat (photo

Variety of color

In addition to the original one (Usual or Ruddy), similar to the fur of wild rabbits, other colors have also been selected (Sorrel, Blue, Fawn, Tortie, Red, Cream, Silver, the latter not recognized by the CFA, the largest feline association in the United States ). The Usual or Ruddy coat is reddish brown with dark tips. In cats of this variety the legs and the back of the hind limbs are always black. As already mentioned, the hair is characterized by the so-called ticking effect. The Sorrel variety is also widespread: like Usual, it has a warm reddish brown coat but the tip of the hair is cinnamon rather than black. The leg pads and the back of the hind limbs are also cinnamon colored. The eyes can be amber, green or yellow.


Category: Short Hair.
Build: medium, muscular and slender; males up to 4.7 kg, females up to 3.7 kg; elegant appearance.
Head: broad and moderately elongated; the nose forms a slight curve with the forehead, the chin is pronounced; in profile, it has a slight stop (curl, like an S).
Eyes: almond-shaped, bright.
Ears: relatively large and wide at the base, distant and devoid of hair inside; the best specimens have a tuft of hair at the top.
Limbs: slender compared to the body and with a light bone structure; oval and minute paws.
Tail: rather long, wide at the base and pointed.
Hair: short and thick hair, adherent to the body and of elastic consistency.
Faults: rough coat, too long or bristling; too big and stocky; presence of extensive whitish areas on the body.

Abyssinian and Somali
Maria Grazia Bregani - Castel Negrino Publishing Group - June 2008

The Abyssinian, of ancient origins, is an affectionate cat of great charm and particular beauty. Very lively, as an almost unstoppable puppy, very attentive to everything that happens around him, a great lover of the game even as an adult, to the inexhaustible curiosity that distinguishes him adds an intelligence ...
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Video: Meet Lucky - my new Abyssinian kitten (August 2022).