Abyssinian Cat
Facts and Breed Profile

The Abyssinian cat is described as a medium sized, slender, long-limbed, fine-boned cat with a muscular, athletic body and long tail.

The Abyssinian is a 'handsome' cat that has the grace and elegance of a Panther. It is a regal-looking cat.

ruddy Abyssinian cat

 Ruddy Abyssinian, owner | breeder June Paul Ras-Mani | photo © Theresa Fouche

The Abyssinian has well muscled, long, slim and athletic legs. In the standing position it looks as though its standing on tip toe.

The Aby, as it is fondly called, has a triangular shaped head and a distinguishing feature is the  'M' fur marking on its forehead.

Its ears are large, alert and arched slightly forward as though they are listening to every word.

This gorgeous cat has large, almond-shaped eyes and the eye color can be green, hazel or copper.

abyssinian coat colors

The cat has a short, shiny and lustrous coat.

The fur is described as ticked which implies that the hair shaft has alternating dark and light stripes or bands.

The Abyssinian cat breed coat resembles that of the original African Wild cats.

Abyssinian cats are not born with ticking, ticking usually appears once the  kitten is around 6 weeks old.

We will cover all the recognized colors accepted worldwide, but generally speaking there are 4 main colors:

1. ruddy abyssinian

Ruddy is also called 'Usual' or 'Tawny' and refers to a golden brown (ruddy brown; burnt sienna) ground color and ticked with black or dark brown. Some people call it the red Abyssinian

Sherada Angelicat | ruddy Abyssinian kitten | Owner Heila Brophy  | Breeder Gill Burman

2. sorrel abyssinian

This color is also referred to as a rich red (cinnamon or red copper) ground color with chocolate-brown ticking.

sorrel Abyssinian Cat

3. blue abyssinian

The ground color is a warm beige color, ticked with shades of a deeper blue-gray (slate-blue).

Chenzira Kissa |blue Abyssinian kitten |Owner Chantelle Heydenrych

4. fawn abyssinian

A rose-beige (light brown) ground color, ticked with a deeper fawn-color (i.e. light brown; cocoa brown)

Fawn Abyssinian Cat

other recognized colors






Copper-Brown ground color; ticked Dark Chocolate

Dove-Gray ground color; ticked Deeper Gray

Apricot-Orange colored ground color; ticked Red

Cream ground color; ticked Deeper Cream

Silvery ground color, ticked Sorrel, Blue or Fawn

info for potential abyssinian owners

ideal home | ideal family

Abyssinians would not do well in an apartment where they are confined.

They need an enclosed garden and space to exercise, hunt and explore. Give them the space they desire.

As they are escape artists, you need to ensure that your garden is escape proof. It is preferable to have an enclosure (or cat run) that is covered on all 4 sides, including the roof.

If your cat has direct access from your home to a large enclosure of this type it would be possible to allow access to the 'outdoors'

They are child friendly, but they would probably prefer being in a household of adults and older children.

Whilst they do get along with other pets, the athletic Abyssinian would probably prefer the company of dogs.

abyssinian personality and temperament

Abyssinian kitties are active, curious, strongly independent, extrovert, friendly and confident.

They are always busy and on the move. Abys enjoy playing with their cat toys and keep themselves amused for hours.

Despite their liveliness, Abyssinians can be loving, gentle and affectionate cats. They are very sociable and dislike being left alone. They are devoted to their owners even to the point of being possessive.

They are natural athletes, or should I say gymnasts and enjoy climbing their cat trees and of course every cupboard and shelf - very little is out of their reach!

Abys are one of a few cats that love to participate in family activities and love the game of fetch - even if it means that you're doing the fetching. They train their owners very well!!

This breed can be lead trained, which allows you to exercise your active friend as they dislike being confined.  

The Abyssinian - a mixture of wild beauty, intelligence, playfulness and loyalty - what more could you want!

ruddy Abyssinian cat

Ruddy Abyssinian | © Theresa Fouche

cat care

The good news is that Abyssinians are low maintenance cat breeds as they have a short coat and minimal undercoat.

Whilst your Aby will do its own grooming, a weekly brush or comb will help to maintain a healthy coat.

A rub with a chamois leather cloth or a silk scarf will give their ticked coat a beautiful shine.

health concerns

The Abyssinian cat is a robust, healthy breed.

Some cats may have hereditary health issues that could include:

  • Renal amyloidosis (which is a deposit of fibrils in the kidneys)
  • Retinal atrophy (which causes impaired vision)
  • Hypothyroidism, (under secretion of the thyroid hormone)
  • Gingivitis (gum disease)
  • Patellar luxation (a condition where the knee caps slip)
  • Lysosomal accumulation neuropathy (neurological disease)
  • Pyruvate kinase (which results in anemia)

Please ensure that you purchase your cat from a reputable breeder. A good diet, annual check-up and vaccinations will keep kitty in good health.

diet | average weight of the abyssinian

The Aby does not require a special diet, but always buy the best cat food you can afford.

For in depth information on cat food visit our cat nutrition pages.

You do need to provide your kitty with fresh water daily - not milk, milk should be given as an occasional treat only - many cats are lactose intolerant!

Obviously weights differ between male and female cats - males are heavier than the females. A healthy weight for these cats is between 4 - 7.5 kg (8.8 - 16.5 lbs)

life expectancy of the abyssinian cat

Once again this is difficult to determine as there are so many factors that can determine a cat's life span.

On average a healthy Abyssinian cat will live to between 9 -15 + years

ruddy Abyssinian cat

Sp Pr Sherada Picatso | bred by G Burman of Sherada Cattery | Owner H Brophy | Abyssinian picture © Theresa Fouche

Related Pages:

Abyssinian Kittens for Sale

Abyssinian Pictures

Top of Abyssinian Cat Page

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