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Portraits of Popular Breeds at Home and Abroad: Abyssinian cat

author Lucy Byrne | Interesting information

The Abyssinian probably lived at the courts of Pharaohs in the ancient Egypt. You can see it on various pictures from that period and also the similarity of this breed with the statues and found mummified cats is obvious. Even though there are no conclusive proofs of their kinship.

However, we do know for sure that an ancestor of the Abyssinian cat was brought to the Great Britain in 1868 by a field marshal from Ethiopia, called Abyssinia then. This cat was called Zula and it was probably the mother of all Abyssinians. However, she didn’t look very similar to the current Abyssinians except for their typical hair colour. It was recognized quite soon in Britain, in 1882.

The following events including both world wars and the epidemics of cat leukaemia took care of the vast reduction of the members of this breed and it almost became extinct. The situation started to change only in the 1960s when the Abyssinians started becoming popular and nowadays, it is one of the most well-known and popular short-haired breeds of cats.

As I have already mentioned, the Abyssinians have a strong personality, therefore, they are not suitable for everyone. They are very smart, extrovert and stubborn cats. Even though they are still elegant and mostly quiet, they can clearly tell a human what they want. They are incredibly curious and restless explorers. They will carefully perform an inspection of anything, starting from a shopping bag to a visitor. And they don’t like to take risks.

To be happy, they need a lot of contact with their family and to be its rightful member which is not missed out from any situation. So if you spend most of the day outside the house and the cat would be home alone, it would suffer. They get on very well with other cats and they can also be great companions of dogs.

And if you don’t know how what an Abyssinian cat looks like, it has a muscular and flexible body of a slightly oriental type. In general, it looks light and elegant. Its fur is thick, soft and silky. Its original colour is wild, the so-called “ruddy”. Other colours also occurred over some time but always with some kind of ticking. It means that there are two or three stripes with darker colour on each individual hair. You can see the same colouring in wild rabbits as well.

The interesting fact is that kittens are always born with dark fur which gets lighter as they grow older. It can happen that a long-haired kitten is in a litter – it is a Somali cat. Because it can have a gene of long hair.

Do you have an Abyssinian at home? I like the ruddy colour most, it makes them look interesting and wild.