Breed Spotlight: Abyssinian | PetFirst
Breed Spotlight: Abyssinian
Breed Spotlights

Breed Spotlight: Abyssinian

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
2 years ago

At first glance, an Abyssinian may appear to be your average cat. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the ticked coat pattern that sets this breed apart.

Founded from a cat named Zulu that came from Abyssinia, this breed has faced extinction in Europe twice. Only its popularity in North America allowed the breed to survive. 

Now the Abyssinian is one of the most popular breeds of cat in the United States. However, before you bring one of these beautiful animals into your home, be sure you know what to expect.

Abyssinian Physical Traits 

These physical traits will help you identify an Abyssinian compared to other breeds of cats:

  • Ticked coat pattern which comes in red, blue, fawn, and cinnamon 
  • Short, silky fur 
  • Large pointed ears 
  • Medium-sized cat ranging from 8 to 12 pounds 

Having a ticked coat means each individual hair is striped with various colors. Many people compare this to the coat of a wild rabbit. 

Some Abyssinians are called the “silver” version of each of the listed colors. These include bands of white within the other colors which give them the appearance of being touched with a tint of silver. 

Personality Traits of the Abyssinian 

Since you’ll be interacting with your cat as much as you’ll be admiring their beauty, it’s essential to know what their personalities are like before bringing one into your home.

Let’s take a glance at just three of the most well-known traits of this breed:


If you don’t take the time to train your Abyssinian, there’s a good chance he will train you!

This breed is great if you love teaching your pet tricks because of how much they enjoy learning new things. You’ll also want to provide plenty of entertainment for them to keep them out of trouble. 


For people that love the low-maintenance aspect of cats but want the outgoing personality of a dog, you can find that in the Abyssinian. Although they can certainly amuse themselves, they also love playing with their humans. 

Abyssinians also aren’t too afraid of strangers and love greeting their owners at the door. This can make them great for families with children and other pets. 


This breed is one that is always on the move. They spend many hours a day playing and exploring their surroundings. Abyssinians particularly love climbing so it’s recommended to have at least one tall cat tree and other things they can use to reach great heights. 

You may find teaching your cat to walk on a leash is a great way to get in some exercise and satisfy his curiosity.

Health Concerns of the Abyssinian 

While Abyssinians are known for reaching 15 years of age and beyond, there are some things you need to keep an eye out for.

These two inherited diseases can show up in Abyssinians: 

  • Amyloidosis 
  • Progressive retinal atrophy 

Amyloidosis is a condition which causes chronic kidney failure and usually shows up between 1 and 5 years of age.

Progressive retinal atrophy is an eye disease that usually appears around 2 years of age and leads to blindness in one or both eyes.

Getting cat insurance is one way you can ensure your Abyssinian lives out a full and healthy life. When your cat is covered, if he gets sick or is in an accident, these expenses can be covered so you can get him the care he needs without financial stress.

Is an Abyssinian Right for You? 

If you love spending time with an energetic cat who’s eager-to-please, the Abyssinian could be right for you. While they have quiet voices, they’re also not afraid to use them if they need your attention or are ready to play. 

Because of how social this breed is, you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time with them. And, their intelligence and energy levels demand they’re given plenty of toys and places to explore. If you can’t meet these needs, you won’t enjoy having an Abyssinian. 

Want More Breed Spotlights? 

Now that you know the most important information regarding Abyssinians, you should know if you’re ready to bring one into your home or not. If you are, start looking for a responsible breeder or check local shelters and rescue groups to adopt one. 

If you’re not sure this breed is right for you, keep reading through our cat breed spotlights. Check out the American Shorthair, a friendly breed who isn’t quite as social or energetic as the Abyssinian who could be just right for your family. 

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

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