In the Abyssinian alphabet, A is for lively, M is for mischievous and S is for tremendous good. The agile and athletic cats are recognized for his or her love of heights, energetic nature and unquenchable curiosity.

“Abys are very energetic, and that takes some people by surprise,” says Linda Kay Hardie, who has lived with 19 Abys over 30-plus years. “I have one Aby I got from a breeder after she got him back from the woman who had taken him. She wasn’t prepared for the energy level.”

Related: Meet Racy Mooner, an Elegant and Athletic Abyssinian Cat

With a ticked coat, massive ears, wedge-shaped head and lithe however muscular physique, the Aby resembles his far distant ancestor, the African wildcat (Felis lybica). Affectionate, enjoyable loving and sociable, Abys can do properly in lots of several types of properties with several types of individuals — with some caveats. Their fast actions and tendency to wend between legs could make them a hazard round individuals who aren’t regular on their ft, together with seniors and toddlers. And they wish to have firm. If you’re not round in the course of the day, an Aby will recognize the corporate of one other cat or a pleasant canine.

“A good home is one with lots of love and attention to share with their Aby … and a love for a very athletic, high-jumping, counter-sitting, food-stealing, thrill-seeking, mischief-making, zany, lovable cat,” says Aby professional Jean Papo of Abytopia Abyssinians in Oregon.

Abyssinian cats are very trainable and will get pleasure from strolling on a leash. Photography ©1lermannika l Thinkstock.

Living with an Abyssinian Cat

  • The Aby doesn’t have a fame as a lap cat, however many homeowners say their cats are exceptions — a minimum of for transient intervals.
  • Abys are extremely trainable and amenable to strolling on leash. Expect them to set the tempo.
  • The shorthaired Abyssinian is a simple keeper, requiring solely weekly brushing to maintain his modern coat in prime situation. He sheds, however not closely.
  • This entertaining cat isn’t shy about sharing his foolish facet, resulting in the widespread nickname “Aby-silly-an.” Aby proprietor Scott Peterson says, “They’re like clowns in a European circus. They’re funny, but there’s a dignity to everything they do that you can’t miss.”

History of the Abyssinian

  • A cat named Zula, introduced again from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) in 1868, was the primary cat known as an Abyssinian.
  • Thanks to the science of DNA, we all know that the ancestors of Abys doubtless originated alongside the coast of the Indian Ocean and in Southeast Asia.
  • British breeders developed the Abyssinian we all know and love as we speak. The cats didn’t cross the pond to America till the early twentieth century. An Aby was first exhibited within the U.S. in Boston in 1909.
  • Abyssinians are the ninth hottest breed registered by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.

Abyssinian close up with whiskers. An Aby can reside as much as 12 to fifteen years — or extra. Photography by Casey Elise Photography.

What it’s best to know in regards to the Abyssinian

  1. The Aby is a medium-size cat weighing 6 to 12 kilos. Abys usually attain full bodily maturity by the point they’re a yr outdated.
  2. An Aby’s delicate, silky coat has a nice texture and is described as “ticked” or “agouti”: contrasting light- and dark-colored bands on every hair shaft. The ticked coat is brought on by the tabby gene, and a few Abys have the well-known tabby M-shaped marking on their brow.
  3. Abys are available in 4 colours: ruddy, pink (also called sorrel), blue and fawn. Some registries additionally acknowledge the colour silver. Their inexperienced or gold eyes, with darkish rims, provide a putting distinction.
  4. The Abyssinian is usually wholesome and may reside to 12 to fifteen years or extra. Potential well being issues embody patellar luxation and extreme gingivitis (gum illness), generally known as “Aby mouth.” Stringent dental care is a should for this breed.
  5. Marybeth Rymer, D.V.M., who has had Abys for 25 years, says genetic ailments that may have an effect on their high quality of life and shorten their years are a pink blood cell illness known as erythrocyte pyruvate kinase deficiency; a kidney illness known as amyloidosis; and progressive retinal atrophy, which might trigger blindness. “I advise potential owners to ask breeders if their cats are tested for these diseases and if they are aware of amyloidosis in their lines,” she says.

Fun Facts About the Abyssinian

  1. Abys are clever and artful.
  2. If you don’t desire a cat in your counters or inside your cupboards, this isn’t the cat for you.
  3. They’ve even been recognized to defeat childproof locks, Hardie says.
  4. Two Abyssinians starred as Jake, the feline protagonist of the 1978 movie The Cat From Outer Space.
  5. The first cat to have her genome sequenced was an Aby named Cinnamon.

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