Abyssinian Cat

Compare Breed
Playful, willful, active, intelligent
Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
Other Names
Abys, Bunny cat
8-12 pounds
Life Expectancy
9-13 years
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
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Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
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? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
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? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
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? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
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? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
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? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
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? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
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Abyssinian Personality and Temperament

With its lean, elegant profile, the Abyssinian cat bears a close resemblance to ancient Egyptian cat statues. Rich, coats in exotic shades of gold and cinnamon combine with large, expressive eyes, lending a sense of mystery to the breed's appearance.

Normally outgoing and active, with a fondness for being the center of attention, the Abyssinian cat develops a close bond with its family. Even so, this breed has a shy side to its personality. Abyssinian cats are often quick to disappear when strangers arrive!

About the Abyssinian Cat


Abyssinian Cat Care









The Abyssinian cat requires a high-moisture diet. While all cats benefit from diets with a high moisture content, Abyssinian cats need more water than average, particularly when their families choose to feed them dry food.

Feeding a high-quality food is essential, as this ancient breed requires ample protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Since the Abyssinian cat has extremely short hair, you won't have to spend a lot of time grooming your pet. Use a fine brush or comb just once or twice per week to remove loose hair and keep your Aby looking and feeling their best.

As Abyssinian cats are not fond of being held or restrained in any way, you might have a fight on your hands when it comes time to trim this breed's nails, unless you’ve taught them to have their paws handled from an early age.

Abyssinian cats are highly active by nature and luckily, they’re not prone to obesity. Give them a big cat tower to climb – preferably one that goes all the way to the ceiling – and keep the interactive cat toys coming. An Aby cat will always keep you entertained while keeping themselves fit.

Abyssinian cats tend to enjoy good physical health, but they are prone to stress and anxiety, particularly in unfamiliar situations. In addition, Abyssinian cats have a tendency to suffer from a few known health issues including gingivitis, patellar luxation, hereditary retinal disease, familial renal amyloidosis, and urinary tract disease.

Unfortunately, many Abyssinians have shorter lifespans than the average cat, with a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years.


There's a very good reason why Abyssinian cats have such a close resemblance to images and statuary found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Genetic testing shows that Abyssinian cats are in fact descended from ancient Egyptian cats.

As one of the oldest cat breeds in existence, Abyssinians are believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, somewhere on the coast of the Indian Ocean. This breed retains many hallmarks of the appearance of felis lybica, a wildcat that contributed its DNA to all domestic cats in existence today.

The modern Abyssinian cat is somewhat different than the original Abyssinian cat, which resembled its wild ancestors. Many of today's Abyssinian lines were created with Russian blue, Burmese, and Siamese cats as foundation stock.

Abyssinian cats were first recognized by England's GCCF in 1929. America's first Abyssinian cat litter was born in 1935.

Abyssinian Cat History

Did You Know?

Abyssinian cats for first introduced to Europe by way of Ethiopia. Ethiopia was historically known as Abyssinia, and this contributed to the breed's name.

Abyssinians display more curiosity than the average cat. While most cat breeds are very curious during their kittenhood and formative years, Abys retain that sense of curiosity throughout their entire lives. If you share your life with an Abyssinian cat, you'll need to keep your pet entertained – otherwise, they may form destructive habits.

All cats are intelligent, but Abyssinian cats are off the charts! These cats are highly trainable, eager to please, and athletic – they love to learn tricks, particularly when yummy rewards are offered. If you've always wanted to play fetch with a cat, it's likely that an Aby will help fulfill that desire.

The Breed Standard

About the Abyssinian Cat


Abyssinian cats can have gold or green eyes, with dark lines that extend from the eyes and eyebrows. The eyes are large, expressive, and almond-shaped, contributing to this breed's exotic appearance. Outside the eyes, a fine, dark line should surround a finer light colored area.

Legs & Paws

The Abyssinian cat's legs and paws are slender and fine boned. The paws should have an oval shape, and should be relatively small, almost giving the impression that the cat is standing on its tiptoes.


Abyssinian cats have long, slightly curved tails that are thickest at the base, and that taper to a point at the end.


Abyssinian cats have long, lean bodies with heavy musculature. The overall impression is one of athleticism and balance. The average male Abyssinian weighs in at 7 to 10 pounds, while the average female is far smaller at 6 to 8 pounds.


The Abyssinian cat's head has a distinctive wedge shape, with slight rounding throughout the brow, cheek, and profile. Cheekbone shading is common, along with shadowing and dots on the whisker pads. The muzzle should be balanced; neither square nor pointed. Intact adult males may display jowls.


An Abyssinian cat's ears are far larger than average, probably due to the breed's desert heritage. The rounded, cup-shaped ears should be wide-set with distinctive points at the tips.


The Abyssinian cat is a shorthair breed that showcases a distinctive tabby ticked coat with a fine, silky texture. Each hair is lighter in color where it is closest to the cat's body, and can display up to four bands of ticking. In all Abyssinian cat colors, the tips of the hairs are darkest, and can often display subtle patterning.


There are four accepted Abyssinian cat coat colors: red, blue, fawn, and ruddy or cinnamon. All four colors may display very small amounts of white contrast at the chin, upper throat and nostril area. Distinct nose leather and paw pad colors correspond with each coat color.

Breed Colors & Markings


Description Standard Registration Code


How much does a Abyssinian cat cost?

Abyssinian cats cost between $200-$1000.

How big do Abyssinian cats get?

Abyssinian cats tend to be medium in size. A fully grown Abyssinian cat might weigh between 8-12 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 8''-10'' inches tall.

How long do Abyssinian cats live?

The Average lifespan for Abyssinian is 9-13 years.

Do Abyssinian cats shed?

Abyssinian are short-haired cats. Therefore, they do not shed as much as long-haired cat breeds.

6 thoughts on “Abyssinian

    1. Dr Cannie Stark

      Absolutely THE best breed. Incredibly INTIELLIGENT, wonderfully LOVING! SILKY hair, very ATHLETIC. DEVOTED and LOYAL companions. Make sure that you have enough time in your day to devote ALL OF YOUR ATTENTION to them and they will THRIVE. SENSITIVE and AWARE of your moods, health, and needs. My two brothers have had different lifespans: Cinnamon died ataround 9 years of age, but Curry is now 18, almost 19 and he still thinks that he is a KITTEN!

  1. Sally

    We’ve had Abyssinians for years – both pure and half breed. Delightful personality, beautiful and a joy for the whole family. OUR latest, I saw now eight months old and my only problem is that we are unable to let her run free outside. We will need to build her a good sized outside Catio. She’s such a bright, inquisitive little personality.

  2. Jill E Ledet

    I have an abyssinian grey tabby. I’m sure she’s not a purebred, but you never know. I adopted her from the pound. The first thing that caught my attention was her eyes and her light peach color on her underside and legs. This cat is very human oriented, she’s long, on the lean side, and developed unusual pin striping on her back as she got older. Her coat is silky and has that whitish under her chin and up by her nose. She really is a beautiful cat. She was extremely athletic in her younger years, and she waits for me on the corner of my yard like a watch dog for me to come home in the summer. She loves to burrow in the blankets in the afternoon. She doesn’t shed much,, and since I got her, she now has two other cat buddies. She hangs and follows me all the time. I would say this is a great cat for 1 person as a companion if you just want one.


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