The Abyssinian has developed into a very popular breed for US shorthair cats, as a domestic shorthair with a very unique tabby coat, individual hairs have multi-colors.  Often called the “Border Collies of the cat world,” Abyssinians are busy, busy, busy.  Among the most active of all cat breeds, they are extremely athletic and mischievous and would rather race around the house than sit on your lap.  They are very loving and require a lot of attention, even if it’s strictly on their own terms.

The Abyssinian name references Ethiopia since it has been reported that many British soldiers returned from North Africa in the nineteenth century with the breed.  Other research shows the Abyssinian originated in Egypt or closer to the Indian Ocean, but most breeders will accredit the modern breed to one female kitten named Zula, who was taken from Alexandria by a British soldier and brought to England in 1868.

The Abyssinian is a slim, mid-sized feline with long legs that are proportionate to the body, making the cat very graceful, the tail is also long and accommodating to the slim body.  The large ears and unique eyes, which are gold, green, hazel or copper dictated by the coat color, fit ideally on the wedge shaped head.  The muzzle, nose and chin form a straight vertical line when viewed in profile.

The Abyssinian kittens are born with dark coats, the coat will slowly lighten as they age and become fine, dense and silky to the touch at adulthood.  The ticked effect, that is the trademark of the breed, will be consistent over the body even though the spine, tail, hind legs and the paw pads will always be darker than the coat.  Each individual hair has a light base with bands of color that grow darker at the tip to create the “Ticked” appearance.


Chris Colas
704-664-MEOW 6369
The Hotel 4 Cats.com