Abyssinian Cats

Abyssinians definitely put the "a" in active. These are go, go, go cats fueled by curiosity and motivated by studying and mimicking the actions of their favorite people. For these reasons, it is vital to install childproof latches on cabinets and other areas you don’t want your snoop-minded Abyssinian to seek out.


Abyssinian Pictures

  • Abyssinian cat named Kitty
  • Abyssinian cat named Micah
  • Abyssinian cat named Pixel
  • Abyssinian cat named Butter
  • Abyssinian cat named Tigerrr
  • Abyssinian cat named O'Reilly
see Abyssinian pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 9 - 16 pounds

Ideal Human Companions

    • Families with children
    • Singles with other pets
    • Experienced cat owners

Abyssinians on Catster

1,028 cats | see profile pages


Trademark Traits

    • Ticked coat that gives off a translucent quality
    • Well-muscled, athletic body
    • Active and attention-seeking
    • Prefers perching on shoulders to sitting on laps
    • Talkative

What They Are Like to Live With

This breed also puts the "a" in athletic and is capable of soaring up to 6 feet in the air and moving like an Olympic sprinter. Your shoulder is often a preferred place for perching for Abys, when they are not attempting to garner your attention to show off with some feline tricks.

This is an affectionate, loyal but demanding breed who needs to keep busy to avoid becoming bored and destructive. Abys also make you a tidy housekeeper because they like to climb, so keep breakables safely out of paw’s reach.

Things You Should Know

The Abyssinian still sports the jungle look of felis lybica, the African wildcat ancestor of all domestic cats, but thrives on interacting in an active household.

Their thick, dense shorthaired coats require very little brushing and they rarely need baths.

Abyssinians are ideal breeds to learn basic obedience and master tricks using clicker training.

Abyssinian History

The Abyssinian revels as one of the original cat breeds with evidence of its existence dating back 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. The first Aby, a kitten named Zula, was introduced to Europe in 1868 by a British soldier after Great Britain defeated Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) in the Abyssinian War.

The Aby arrived in the United States in the early 1900s, but did not begin to enjoy American popularity until the 1930s. Today, the Abyssinian is recognized by all major cat breed registries, led by the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association. It ranks among the top five most popular cat breeds.

The Look of a Abyssinian

Nicknamed the “Runway models of the feline world, the Abyssinian is blessed with a long, lean, muscular body on long, lean legs. The Aby wows admirers with its large, expressive almond-shaped eyes, oversized pointed ears, and its eye-catching coat. The coat contains a ticked or agouti pattern enhanced by alternating bands of color on the hair shafts that project a translucent quality.

The coat comes in a variety of colors, including ruddy, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon and fawn.

Female Abys weigh around 8 pounds and males weigh around 10 pounds.

Talk About Abyssinians 

Absolutely gorgeous!

My Abyssinian is absolutely gorgeous! She is low maintenance and walks with me like a dog - my cat is right there, 5 to 20 feet behind me at all times! She sleeps on my bed and wakes me with purrs and soft nips at my hand.

This breed is smart, fast and adventurous. Mine is fixed but retains her natural claws. What a great cat! A true ruler and always in control. Mine loves to chase ping pong balls throughout the house, and is constantly instigating play. I love her so much!

~Jeffrey D., owner of an Abyssinian

Super-active, adventurous cat

I recommended this cat for owners who can stand keeping their cat outdoors for play and free roaming, and to be let in and out at will.

My part-Abyssinian cat, Dobby, is a very muscular, very adventurous, and very active cat. He is so active, if we did not let him out to play, hunt, and adventure, he'd tear the house down. So, I recommend you let your Abyssinian kitty go outdoors, because of them being so active.

~Aaron H., owner of an Abyssinian