Abyssinian Cat: Cat Breed Profile

Posted in: Cat Breeds - Last Updated: February 2, 2022 - Author: Laraib Shah
Posted in Cat Breeds 
Last Updated: June 21, 2021  
Author:  Laraib Shah

The Abyssinian cat breed is one of the most suitable breeds as a domestic pet. This might be a biased opinion since my little boy is an Abyssinian, but I can assure that this cat breed is highly suitable for life inside the home.

The Abyssinian cat is a domestic short-haired breed with a tabby coat. This cat breed is found to be one of the oldest types of cats domesticated in history. And this is the reason that the Abyssinian cat breed is known to be one of the most popular cat breeds across the world.

Brief History of Abyssinian Cat Breed

The Abyssinian cat is known to be bred in Great Britain. It is also known that back in the nineteenth century British soldiers that were deployed to North Africa returned to Britain with Abyssinian kittens. These cats were then bred in Great Britain.

Due to their African history, we can certainly believe in the fact that this breed is named after Abyssinia (former name of Ethiopia), where this breed is believed to have originated. This might be the reason behind the specific characteristics of this cat which includes the hyperactive traits while being a domestic cat at the same time.

Abyssinian Cat Breed Overview

The Abyssinian is a medium-sized cat that is slender and fine-boned. Its head is slightly wedge-shaped, while the nose and chin form a straight vertical line from the profile. 

They have alert and large pointed ears, while the eye color is gold, hazel, copper, or green depending on the color of the coat. This is a highly graceful cat with long legs and small oval paws.

  • Weight: 8-12 lb. (4-5 kgs)
  • Length: 12.0” to 16.0” (30-41 cm)
  • Coat: short-haired
  • Coat color: Usually these are found in Ruddy color. Abyssinian is also found in fawn blue or sorrel.
  • Eye color: varies between gold, hazel, copper, or green depending on the color of the coat.
  • Life expectancy: 15 years.

Abyssinian Cat Breed Personality

Due to a great history behind Abyssinian’s domestication, this cat breed is known for being quiet, curious, and intelligent. Abyssinian cats enjoy spending time with their human families and tend to become attached to their family easily.

Due to their playful nature, these cats enjoy bigger spaces where they can spend their time in different activities. Due to their wild background (from Africa), they love climbing trees but these cats are not reckless at all!

Abyssinian Characteristics & Attitudes

  • Friendliness: High
  • Affection level: High
  • Child friendly: High
  • Pet friendly: High
  • Playfulness: High
  • Energy level: High
  • Exercise requirements: High
  • Intelligence: High
  • Tendency to vocalize: Low
  • Shedding: Medium

Abyssinian Cat Breed Care

The Abyssinian cat is known as a low maintenance cat. Despite the high energy levels, these cats don’t require extra pampering and can adjust to the home environment easily. 

Due to their short coat, you don’t need to groom the cat now and then. Combing their coats once a week is more than enough for the removal of dander and debris.

Oral health is very important for any animal on this planet. Therefore, you must develop a regular oral health routine. Ideally, you must brush your Abyssinian’s teeth every day. But if you don’t have much time, then you must at least brush your little buddy’s teeth once a week.  Just to dive further into this topic, here is our full guide on common cat dental problems.

Abyssinian Cat Breed Care

As they have pointy ears, you must make sure that their ears are cleaned every week to get rid of any dirt or debris. Their ears can be easily cleaned with a soft cotton cloth. You must avoid cotton swabs at all costs, as these can damage the inner ear of your cat.

You must spend some time of your day with your Abyssinian cat as they are extremely active and playful. Moreover, you must stock up your house with some interactive toys for your little buddy. Abyssinians love climbing, so you should have trees or some elevated areas for them to climb. There are a few great ideas listed here in our popular best cat trees article! 

A routine checkup with a good vet is a must for every animal!

Abyssinian Cat Health Issues

Abyssinian cats are generally considered healthy cats due to their high energy levels. But you must be aware of the conditions that are common in this breed.

  • Patellar Luxation: Patellar luxation is kneecap dislocation. Due to the playfulness of these cats, they are highly exposed to such an issue. This can be easily cured by surgery.
  • Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease is an oral infection that infects the tissues that hold the teeth in place. As mentioned before, oral health is very important and is very useful to prevent this disease.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This is an eye disease that in some cases can lead to complete blindness.

Regular hygiene routines can prevent these health issues, but if you find anything unusual about your cat, then you must rush to a good veterinarian.

Recommended Diets

The diet of your cat can vary depending upon its age, sex, and activity levels. You can feed your Abyssinian cat a decent wet or dry cat food or you can prepare your little buddy’s food at home by yourself. However, you will need to consult the veterinarian to know the exact food requirement of your Abyssinian buddy.

Abyssinian Cat Pros & Cons



  • Highly friendly towards kids.
  • Highly friendly towards other animals.
  • Playful nature.
  • Very low maintenance.
  • Beautiful features with pointed long ears.
  • Do not shed much.
  • Easily adjusts to the environment of your home.
  • Intelligent and entertaining.


  • Not an ideal cat for busy families due to its high energy levels.
  • Usually prefers a companion cat.
  • Due to their playful nature, they can break things at your home quite often.

Some Helpful and Interesting  Facts

Every Abyssinian cat has unique traits. What remains the same is the high energy levels of this cat breed. Here are some quick facts about Abyssinians cats:

  • The Abyssinian cat breed is known to be the energizer bunny because of its nature. The curious nature of this cat breed makes it more interested in climbing, jumping, and exploring new things.
  • They have a cougar type appearance due to their ticked coat. Once a week brushing makes it easier for you to keep your cat healthy.
  • The Abyssinians are known to have appeared in early cat shows. Abyssinian won third prize in the Crystal Palace show held in December 1871 as documented on January 27, 1872 issue of Harper’s Weekly.
  • These cats are incredibly loyal and friendly. So, if you are planning to get an Abyssinian then your little fur buddy will love you like your child.
  • These cats may live for up to 15 years or even more.
  • You can train your Abyssinian easily with the help of a clicker and some treats. You can walk your Abyssinian cat with a leash.
  • Abyssinians may try to impress you with their acrobatic skills. This is the reason that they are known as the jokesters of the animal kingdom.

Final Thoughts on Abyssinian Cats

For me, nothing can make me give up on my Abyssinian cat. Although sometimes it can be a little hectic to play with my little buddy after a long day, the love that I receive from my cat is more than enough for me to get energized again.

If you are planning to adopt your own Abyssinian then you must know that an Abyssinian will make your life more interesting and fun in no time!

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About the author

Laraib Shah is a freelance writer and a proud cat mom who shares her home with an exceptionally perfect cat named Simba. As an experienced cat mom, she is the trusted authority on cat care and cat breeds for the team. Apart from cats, Laraib loves cooking, travelling plus cookies, ice cream, and coffee!