Abyssinian cat breeds resembles the famous sculptures and paintings of ancient Egyptian cats that had elegant beautiful, muscular body with an arched neck, beautifully shaped eyes that look very much like an almond and large sized ears. The Abyssinian cat have retained some of the features and characteristics of the African wild cat believed to be the ancestor of all the domestic cats.
The name for this cat breed is not derived from Ethiopia formerly called as Abyssinia, which most people think is the origin of this cat breed. This cat breed was named Abyssinian because the first cats of this breed that participated in the shows in England came from Ethiopia.
In the December 1871, Crystal Palace show these cat breeds, which were captured in the later part of the Abyssinian war secured the third place. The Abyssinians as a breed got noticed in England and many other countries due to the colonists and spice merchants sailing and stopping in Calcutta, which was a major port in the Indian subcontinent in those times. According to the Abyssinian breeders international this breed of cats are one of the most intelligent animals ever created. This breed has the distinction of being the most loyal cat.
Abyssinian Cat History
Nobody is sure about the origins of this cat breed, when and where the first Abyssinians appeared. The only known evidence of the history of these cats is found in ancient Egyptian paintings and sculptures where they were worshiped. These paintings and murals were almost 4000 years old and the cats on these murals had resemblance to the latest Abyssinians.
Genetic research conducted has revealed that the present Abyssinians must have originated from a breed that was found in the South East Asian countries along the coast of Indian Ocean. Some even believe that the original Abyssinians have been lost and the credit must go to the British breeders for recreating this particular breed.
The first Abyssinian that was documented is the Zula; the physical characteristics of Zula were described in detail by a Scottish born doctor, Dr. William G Stables in his book. As the Abyssinian war led by the British folded, Zula joined the British from Abyssinia to England.
The first few Abyssinians were wiped out during the World War ll and, then they had to breed these cats all over again. The characteristics have changed over time, but the consideration to the breed is the same as it had in the ancient Egypt. Only after the 20th century the Abyssinians were recognized in the United States.
They were first shown in Boston in the year 1909, but the breed gained significance only after 1930s. In the year 1938, an Abyssinian was imported to America from Britain and slowly the cat gained popularity and attained success. After that a large number of this cat breeds, were imported into America from Britain due to their increased popularity.
Abyssinian Cat Traits
The Abyssinian is generally a short haired cat breed and belongs to the Agouti or ticked breed, a type of fur. One of the most distinctive features of their coat is that, it is silky and multicolored. Each layer of hair shaft is a mix of several hair colors. Every hair strand has a dark colored band, which contrasts with the lighter colored bands with a darker tip. This ticking appearance gives this cat an attractive look. These cats are medium sized and have good well toned muscles that complements their graceful walk.
This intelligent cat breeds have nice prominent green or golden almond shaped eyes. The eyes are surrounded by a dark line as if they have been highlighted by eyeliner. The head has round contours with a modified wedge. The ears of this cat are large and arched forward as if they are always alert. The muzzle is round without being pointy.
These medium sized male cats weigh about 8 to 10 pounds and females weigh 6-7 pounds. They have a body that is medium, graceful and muscular giving an athletic look. These breeds have long and slim legs with oval shaped feet that give them an appearance as if they are standing on their toes. Abyssinians come in a variety of colors like chocolate, lilac, fawn, blue, cinnamon and ruddy. The kittens of these cats are born with dark coat, which tends to get lighter as they grow older and take a few months to establish their final coat.
Abyssinian Cat Personality
Abyssinians are full of energy and enjoy playing. These cats love company of humans and like bonding with them especially when grooming and cuddling. They are loyal, affectionate, and intelligent. These cats like to interact with their owners. They love exploring new areas, but will not knockoff anything from the shelves. These curious cats will show interest in anything that goes around them. Abyssinian cats are good hunters.
Abyssinian Cat Health
Abyssinians are generally healthy cats, but can suffer from gingivitis and tooth decay. For their well-being it is essential to take good care of their dental hygiene. They may suffer from amyloidosis, which is a renal disease a hereditary factor found in these cats.
Abyssinian Cat Behavior
These cat breeds are not ideal lap cats. They will entertain themselves without complaining, but will enjoy getting involved in all the activities. These cats are not moody, but are high-spirited. They are especially involved at dinnertime and they will remind you of this by attaching themselves with your legs. They will constantly perform various antics and this behavior of theirs will remind you of clowns.
They will regularly climb on your shoulders, move slowly under the covers, and run around the house as if they are chasing insects or birds. You will surely enjoy these antics of these cats, which comes naturally for these athletic animals. Some cats will play fetch. They enjoy toys and will play with them for hours. Since these cats are sensible they do not take unnecessary risks. Without any daily activity and play these cats can easily get depressed.
Abyssinians Cat Interaction with Pets and Children
The Abyssinians cat breeds are active, playful and not good lap cats. They are easily adjustable with humans, but since some cats of these breed are shy towards strangers they are usually timid in public. They love interaction with family and friends and usually get along well with other cats in the house.