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origin, size, health, breeding and behavior

Discover all the information you need to know about the Abyssinian, a breed of very playful cats: origin, size, health, behavior.

Adopting or buying a kitten is not a trivial act. Indeed, if cats require less attention and maintenance than dogs (which must be taken out several times a day), cats nevertheless need caresses, games, affection (which they give in return, of course). Before adopting a kitten or an adult cat, the future master must therefore be sure of his decision and of his involvement in the education and love of the cat.

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Purebred cats or common cats?

Not all cats have the same needs. The master who is about to take in one or more kittens must know whether he wants to adopt a common cat (commonly called an alley cat) or buy a purebred cat from a breeder. There are many feline breeds, and not all purebred cats have the same characteristics. Before adopting a purebred cat, it is therefore necessary to know all the information on the character, behavior and health of cats of the feline breed.

The favorite cat breeds of the French

In 2021, a ranking of the favorite cat breeds of the French was produced by the Official Book of Feline Origins (LOOF). And it is the Maine Moon that tops the charts. In the top 10, there are breeds of cats with atypical physique, far from the classic common cat.

1- Maine Coon

2- Sacred of Burma

3- Bengal


5- British Shorthair

6- Persian

7- Siberian

8- Chartreux

9- Norwegian

10 – Sphynx

We do not find the Abyssinian in the ranking of the favorite cat breeds of the French. However, with its red or sorrel coat, large ears and muscular body, the Abyssinian cat is a very elegant animal. And he knows how to be appreciated by his masters with his very playful but also very affectionate character.

Feline breed: the maine coon is the favorite cat breed of the French / Credit: Unsplash

If you want to adopt or buy an Abyssinian cat from a breeding farm, here is all the information you need to know about this feline breed: from the physical characteristics of Abyssinian cats to their character and behavior, including the diseases to which Abyssinians can be prone and the food it requires.

Abyssinian breed cat: hair, colors, size

The Abyssinian is a breed of cats with short and smooth hair (which he has the advantage of not losing). Here are all his physical characteristics, his hair, his weight, his height, his particular features like the bands that cover his coat.

  • Physical characteristics :

Hair type: short, smooth in warm colors

Coat : the coat of the Abyssinian, often rufous or sorrel, has alternating bands of light and dark colors (called ticking)

Head : triangular, short nose

Eyes : large, almond-shaped, ranging in color from yellow to hazelnut or, more rarely, green in color

Ears : large, pointed

Paws : long

Tail : long, thick at the base

Weight : from 4 to 6 kilos for an adult male or female

Cut : about 30 cm for an adult male or female

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Abyssinian breed cat: origin

The origin of the Abyssinian is uncertain, but one thing is certain: it is one of the oldest cat breeds. According to a first hypothesis, the Abyssinian would be native to Asia – Thailand more precisely -, while no Abyssinian-looking cat can be observed in this region. Another, more credible hypothesis is that the Abyssinian is one of the descendants of the sacred cat of ancient Egypt at the time of the pharaohs. One can observe drawings of cats resembling the Abyssinians in Egyptian tombs. Pharaoh Ramses II, known as “the Great”, is said to have even been the master of an Abyssinian.

The first Abyssinian cat was brought back to London by a Field Marshal (Sir Robert Napier) in 1868. It was crossed with other breeds, including the British Shorthair, before being recognized as a breed in England in 1886. It was then exported to the United States. It appeared in France in 1926.

Cat race: Egypt or Thailand? The origin of the Abyssinian is uncertain / Photo credit: Unsplash

Abyssinian breed cat : temper

The Abyssinian is an affectionate and extremely playful cat. He is full of energy, dynamic, agile, almost turbulent without being a knockout. This muscular and graceful cat needs almost constant attention from its master, whether it is caresses or games. The Abyssinian does not like loneliness. A dog can be a good playmate for an Abyssinian, however, other pets (rodents such as rabbits, hares, hamsters or birds) do not mix well with the Abyssinian. A family with children will be ideal for a cat of this breed, indeed, the Abyssinian cat loves the company of children. The Abyssinian does not meow excessively.

Being a player, the Abyssinian needs space. If he can live in an apartment large enough to meet his needs, he will be more fulfilled in a house with a garden where the Abyssinian cat can play and spend his energy.

Feline race: The Abyssinian is a particularly playful cat / Photo credit: Unsplash

Abyssinian breed cat : education

The education of the Abyssinian cat goes through play. The master can use the playful nature of the cat to educate it. If the Abyssinian cat must be in contact with other animals or with children, it is preferable to accustom it from an early age, as soon as it is a kitten.

Abyssinian breed cat : health

As with other cat breeds, the abyssinian must be vaccinated when it is adopted or purchased from a breeder (vaccines against rabies, typhus, leucosis and coryza). Like many purebred cats, the Abyssinian is prone to several diseases: cat amyloid (genetic disease which leads to irreversible kidney failure), progressive retinal atrophy (disease which makes the animal blind), deficiency in pyruvate kinase (rare genetic disease). The Abyssinian can also be prone to periodontal diseases such as gingivitis. The life expectancy of an Abyssinian cat is between 10 and 15 years for a male or a female.

Feline breed: the life expectancy of an Abyssinian cat, male or female, is between 10 and 15 years / Photo credit: Unsplash

Abyssinian breed cat : maintenance

With his short, smooth hair that he sheds little, the abyssinian is an easy-care cat. It is simply necessary to brush it regularly – once a week, for example. Note that, despite its short hair, it is not a breed of hypoallergenic cats. And, if you want to be sure that your cat is well and does not miss anything, discover here the signs which prove that your cat is happy.

Abyssinian breed cat : feed

The Abyssinian requires a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to respond to its energy intake as a playful cat. Higher energy intake than other cat breeds. Be careful, however, not to give too much kibble to the Abyssinian, which could gain weight. Water must be constantly available, clean and changed regularly.

Abyssinian breed cat : breeding

Since the Abyssinian is a purebred cat, its price from a breeder can be very high. It is necessary to count between 600 and 1600 euros for an Abyssinian kitten, male or female, in a breeding. The price varies according to the pedigree of the parents, the standards of the breed. Before buying a cat in breeding, always find out about the seriousness of the breeder and the conditions of animal breeding. You can also report inappropriate behavior if you witness it to animal protection associations.

Feline breed: from a breeder, an Abyssinian kitten, male or female, costs between 600 and 1600 euros / Photo credit: Unsplash

The Abyssinian, an elegant cat with an exceptional coat
The Abyssinian, an affectionate cat in need of space
abyssinian cat

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