Body Size - Medium
Coat Length - Short
Life Span - 12 years
Abyssinians are known as uniquely colourful and are recognized for their distinctive coat. The colour comes from the unique hairs of their coat that feature three different colour bands in addition to the base colour. This is what gives Abyssinian cats their jungle look that a lot of people are quite fond of. They are regal, lithe and particularly beautiful among other medium sized breeds.
Many people find that they are near the perfect mix of loving and independent that most cats fall to one side of. They are very affectionate but don’t want to be lap cats. They are very comfortable with people but still don’t require their constant attention. Chances are good that you have had a cat that was only one or the other. An Abyssinian cat wants to be a family member, wants to help around the house and will probably be in the middle of you trying to do your daily chores, even if they don’t seem to be seeking attention. A certain level of activity is expected with an Aby and if you don’t feel up to dealing with them being in the middle of everything than you might need to look at other breeds.
There are a lot of people that believe Abyssinian cats to be the direct descendants of the very same cats that they Egyptians worshiped and held so dear. In truth, however, they have an obscure origin that isn’t entirely understood. One look at the cats Egyptians painted on the walls of pyramids will tell you why people would think these are the same cats. The resemblance is uncanny between modern Aby cats and the lithe, long body, large eared cats that filled the ancient burial chambers. On the other hand, they also resemble North American cats such as the wild Caracal.
The modern Abyssinian breed first appeared in 1896 in English studbooks. However, the earliest known Abyssinian was from Holland and can be found in the Leiden Museum. In the museum the cat is labeled as “domestica India,” which further complicates the origin. India seems to be the true origin since studies have found the Indian Ocean, between Ceylon and Singapore specifically, is the birthplace of the breed’s distinctive coat. The best that can be figured out is that this makes this breed the closest that we have to a natural, purebred cat.
One of the most common traits of Abyssinian cats is that they can often resemble dogs more than cats. They can play fetch, love water and do a lot of things that cats simply aren’t known for.
Abyssinian Good Aspects
Abyssinian cats can seem very cautious and uncertain but this is simply because they are one of the most intelligent cats known to man. You will also be hard pressed to find a cat that is more loyal and loving either. They will wait for you to come home and be a lifelong companion to one member of the family, much to the chagrin of the rest of the family. In true dog behaviour they will sense when you have had a bad day and offer support and sympathy the way that no other cat will. This is a truly unique breed! You will even find that your friends that don’t care for cats love your new Abyssinian!
Abyssinian Bad Aspects
If you are looking for a cat that can be both indoor and outdoor, you might have to look elsewhere. Abyssinian cats are not very good hunters and they will have to remain indoors in order for them to be safe. Once they get outside once they will continue to demand that you open the door for them. For that reason you should get two of them to keep each other company, otherwise they will long for company that could be found outdoors, where they might not be safe.
You will also find that there are health problems associated with Abyssinian cats more than other breeds. A kidney disorder known as Renal Amyloidosis is most commonly attributed to this breed and is thought to come from a genetic predisposition. In most cases this results in kidney failure, without a good chance of recovery.
The disorder is found in a variety of breeds, but many veterinarians refer to it as a purely Abyssinian problem. Fortunately, there are only a few breeding lines that have the gene that causes it. Don’t let that deter you if you have been looking at an Abyssinian. Quality breeders will avoid passing on this gene so make sure that you purchase it from a qualified person and not from a pet store or dishonest breeder. The benefit of that is that they can also let you know the parent’s health condition and any other health problems that you might run into.
Overall, Abyssinian cats are great for cat lovers and dog lovers alike. If you have ever wanted a dog but not wanted to deal with the smell and cleaning than this can help you out! These friendly cats will make as great of a companion as a dog would, but with less upkeep.
Edited by Darren Robinson
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