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The Curious Nature Of Abyssinian Cats – Interesting Facts!

The Curious Nature Of Abyssinian Cats – Interesting Facts!

Regal and strong, Abyssinian cats are curious, sensible and loyal – and are much-loved feline companions! They are known for being one of the oldest domestic breeds, with lots of stories from Ethiopia (previously known as Abyssinia) to South East Asia.

Let’s dive into some interesting facts about this beautiful breed!



Abyssinian cat lies on the window, sun shining on him.

Fascinating History

Abyssinian cats are thought to be one of the oldest domestic breeds in the world! Some say they originated from Abyssinia, where others suggest they came from a line of cats from Egypt. This is because the breed resembles the cats in paintings and sculptures in the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs. However, recent genetic studies have revealed that they originated from the coast of the Indian ocean and parts of South East Asia.

The first ever documented Abyssinian kitten was a cat named Zula, who was written about in Dr William Sables book about many cat breeds in 1876. After the Abyssinian war of 1868, Zula was rehomed with a British Soldier and taken to England where they remained for the rest of their life.

Fur And Maintenance

Abyssinian kittens are born with darker fur, which lightens as they grow older. This change can take up to 2 years before their coat is fully developed! The breed also has a variety of coat colours – ruddy red / warm brown, blue, cinnamon and fawn. They also have a short, fine haired coat which is very easy to maintain and ideal for first-time cat parents.

Abyssinian cats have slender, long bodies with large ears – making them look much like cheetahs from the wild, without the spots! Their long, slender tail gives them a regal appearance that many find beautiful.


Kitten Abyssinian cat breed, in a cosy living room on a pillow.

Abyssinian Cat Personality Traits

The Abyssinian breed is always on the move. Their curiosity and athleticism mean they are frequent climbers, loving to jump around and explore their surroundings. For any readers considering adopting this breed, be prepared for them to get to unexpected places! You may think your large bookcase is tall enough… not with these playful cats.

Due to their personality, this cat requires plenty of mental stimulation. They are an intelligent breed, so they really do blossom during training. Some have even recorded Abyssinians doing brilliantly in agility courses. Due to their high activity levels, they would suit a family that is often at home, and preferably with older children. This way, the children are of an age to understand and respect the cat’s need for space and playful temperament.

The Abyssinian breed is known for being loving. They adore interacting with people and often have an attachment to their family, in the same way that dogs do! In some cases, they may also have a ‘preferred’ person, much like some dogs too. Because of this, they expect that same love back and will often be persistent in attempting to get that attention from you until it is received.

A wonderful factor of Abyssinian cats is that they are able to live happily amongst another cat or even a dog! They make the perfect family cat.


Abyssinian cat lying on a grey sofa

Quirks And Individual Traits

This breed can often be found in a high spot in a room, usually to watch all that is happening below them. These cats have inquisitive personalities and will find a way to nosy in on everything around them. Some people have even reported their Abyssinian cats birdwatching from outside windows!

This stunning breed has a ticked coat, which means that there are bands of colour on each hair. Specifically alternating between light and dark colours, with the tip of the hair having the darkest colour. Some argue these ‘agouti’ markings make them resemble the look of wild rabbits or even exotic cats from the jungle, such as Pumas!

Abyssinian’s have a wonderfully unique way of showing their parents just how much they adore them. Their loveable personality combined with their regal looks is what makes them a very popular breed amongst cat lovers all over the world!

Health And What To Watch Out For

As a breed, they are healthy overall.  However, there are some potential health issues to keep in mind when considering adopting this cat breed.

  • Abyssinians can develop anaemia due to an enzyme deficiency (Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency)
  • They can be prone to patellar luxation (knee dislocation)
  • The Abyssinian cat breed can suffer from progressive retinal atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects the retina of the eye, which can lead to blindness over time
  • They may also be prone to gingivitis, so it is worth starting brushing the teeth of your Abyssinian kitten early on and creating a regular routine for their dental care.

If you suspect your kitty may be unwell, please seek professional advice from a trusted Vet. 

Bonus Facts

To round off, we’d love to give you some extra bonus facts about the fascinating Abyssinian cat breed.

  • In the 1871 Crystal Palace Show, an Abyssinian cat took 3rd spot!
  • In the Walt Disney film, The Cat from Outer Space, an Abyssinian whose spaceship crash lands on Earth was the main feature.
  • Long-haired Abyssinians are a different variation of the breed, and they are known as the ‘Somali’ breed!

Are you interested in learning more about the Abyssinian cat breed? We love hearing from you so please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can also stay informed with our latest information on our new appeasing product FELIWAY Happy Snack, as well as further tips, by signing up to our newsletter.

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