Abyssinians are one of the oldest cats’ breeds. By the end of 19th century they were known in Great Britain where the breed was being improved aiming features such as disposition and breeding standards. To achieve these goals, the cats from Africa were used in breeding. Among others, oriental cats were introduced and matched to shape and uniform the Abyssinians’ slender figure. This is how a cat of an extraordinary look, elegant build and with unique coat emerged.
Although Abyssinians were used to create and establish many new breeds, the Aby breed itself became recognizable and acknowledged worldwide after WWII. While Europe was busy with the bloodiest war of the 20th century, Americans managed to improve the breed significantly. Thanks to numerous awards and huge success at the shows, Abys were reintroduced to Europe.

Character features

Abyssinian cats reveal primeval cats’ disposition and nature. They are amazingly keen hunters and often turn out to be quite stubborn. However, once you gain their trust and affection, your relation changes to eternal love and friendship.

They like the company of other cats – on account of their strong will, they often lead the group of cats but are not aggressive in any ways. Usually they do not get into fights and rarely react with anger or annoyance to other cats’ taunts. They do not let themselves to be provoked and prefer to get to know other cats with no aggression.

In spite of being extremely curious and being able to look into every nook and cranny, Abys rarely cause any damage. They are agile, nimble and subtle – this enables them to weave obstacles and all the knick-knacks in their way. They are so slight, so petite and so light that they do not scratch furniture with their claws while jumping on it.

Abyssinian cats are high-jumping creatures. They are curious, inquisitive, intelligent and sensitive. Abys incessantly look for human’s attention, following their owners everywhere. They try to accompany their humans in every single chore – no matter if you’re about to make your bed, wash the dishes, do the laundry – the Abyssinian will definitely assist you in every activity.

These cats absolutely love hunting and chasing insects, running after their toys, climbing the cat trees – probably, the first one to get exhausted by the playtime will be… the owner and not the cat.

The unique sound that Abyssinians make is more like chirping than meowing. They will pay for your love and care with their calming purring, intense caresses, rubbing and their constant presence by your side.

Colours of Abyssinians

A characteristic feature of the breed is the agouti gene which is the cause of unique hair ticking. Each hair has a light base with three or four bands of additional colour growing darker towards the tip. The effect is known as Abyssinian ticking which causes Abys’ coat a little similar to hare’s fur.
We can distinguish four coat colours:

  • ruddy
  • sorrel
  • blue
  • fawn


An Abyssinian resembles a miniature cougar. It is a middle-sized, muscular, graceful, elegant cat. It weights 2,5 – 4kg on average and its main distinctive feature is a slender figure. A soft, stealthy gait of an Abyssinian depicts a vigilant, wild cat trying not to bolt its prey away.

The head is moderately wedge shaped, with a slight break at the muzzle, wide between the relatively large pointed ears. The eyes are almond shaped, quite big with black outlines accentuating the eyes’ colour: gold, green or hazel.

The coat of an Abyssinian is delicate, short, with a small amount of close-lying undercoat – this is why Abys do not shed their hair as much as other breeds do. Brushing once per week or two is sufficient to keep the coat in its best shape.