The breed got its name in honor of Abyssinia, which was once the name of modern Ethiopia. But the first representatives appeared, most likely, in Egypt. Images of these animals can be found on the tombs of the pharaohs. There is also a mention of Abyssinian cats in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. There, these graceful pets are referred to as “sun cats” or “lapis lazuli cats of the horizon”, which quite accurately describes the exterior of the breed. And the ancient Egyptians attributed the character of the Abyssinian cats to their goddess of fun, Bastet.
The first representatives of the breed came to Europe in the 19th century. Modern Abyssinian cats were formed, one might say, already on the territory of the continent, namely in England. The breed was officially recognized in 1882, but for the first time they appeared at the exhibition 11 years earlier in 1871. Then the distinctive feature of these animals were tassels on the ears, which further enhanced their exoticism. And stripes on the paws. But over time, breeders completely got rid of both the similarity with the lynx and the tabby color.
The Abyssinian cat has a medium length body with strong muscular limbs. The head is rounded; in adult well-fed animals, cheeks can even be distinguished. Eyes of the correct almond shape, surrounded by light hair, but with dark lines along the contour.
The coat of the Abyssinian is very soft to the touch, close to the body. The color is very specific each hair has at least 4 dark zones. Short hairs have at least 2-3 different ticking stripes alternating sections of the background, but when evenly distributed throughout the body, it does not form any pattern. At the same time, the line of the spine, the soles of the hind legs and the tip of the tail are colored more intensely.
Abyssinians are incredibly curious. They all need to see, taste and smell. The owner should be prepared for the fact that this cat will always be suddenly nearby. But she is not interested in the role of an outside observer. She will actively participate in everything, stick her paws and nose, pushing the owner himself. Sometimes such excessive activity can be annoying, but it is impossible to re-educate an Abyssinian.
This is perhaps the most energetic cat breed in existence. They are always on the move they either play, or “help” the owner, or inspect their territory. They easily find something to do, instantly, like children, switching from one to another.
Abyssinians are very independent. They will never allow themselves to be picked up or put on their knees if they themselves do not want to. But if they want affection, then they will show all their perseverance in order to attract the attention of the owner. Given that these cats are incredibly talkative, you should be prepared for the most active demands.
Abyssinian cats do not need special care. They have a soft, pleasant to the touch coat that does not even need to be brushed regularly. These cats are a godsend for those who cannot afford to spend a lot of time caring for animals.
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These cats have a high level of intelligence. They understand very well when and how to behave with different family members. They get along well with other animals and even with dogs, while trying to take a dominant position.
An important point: if the Abyssinian decided that he did not like the new companion, he would make every effort to survive the objectionable. Moreover, the cat will act stealthily, deliberately adjusting situations in which the second animal will look guilty in front of the owner.
Abyssinian cats are incredibly patient. They are usually not recommended to start in families with small children, although they get along well with them, play with pleasure and heroically endure everything that can come into a child’s head. True, there is a limit to everything, and, being very tired, the cat will try to go higher to rest.
Abyssinians are very active. They need a large space for them to climb. Moreover, they love to watch everything from above and will look for higher places in the house. It is better for the owner to purposefully organize them for the cat. Otherwise, she will begin to explore cabinets and upper shelves, simultaneously pushing vases and other objects that will interfere with her.
These cats love to walk. Moreover, they feel calm even without a leash, if the territory is fenced. They love to climb trees, so walking on a leash can cause objective difficulties for the owners.