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Abyssinian ‘The Aby’

The Abyssinian Cat

The Aby has been described as looking as if it has walked straight out of the wild. Its toned body is graceful, slight and athletic. Large almond shaped green or gold eyes, dark lines extending from eyes and broad ears. Because it has a ticked coat which has light and dark bands of colour, which resembles a cougar. The body is supported by slim, fine-boned legs atop small, oval, compact paws. Abys are often said to look as if they are walking on tip-toe. Swishing behind them is a long, tapering tail. Its bands of color give the Aby’s coat a warm, glowing appearance. To the touch, the medium-length hair is soft and silky with a fine texture.

The coat comes in four main colors: ruddy brown, more artistically described as burnt sienna and ticked with darker brown or black, with tile-red nose leather and black or brown paw pads; red (sometimes called sorrel), a cinnamon shade ticked with chocolate-brown, with pink nose leather and paw pads; blue, a warm beige ticked with various shades of slate blue, with nose leather described as old rose and paw pads as mauve; and fawn, a warm rose-beige ticked with light cocoa-brown, with salmon-colored nose leather and pink paw pads. Some associations permit additional colors, including chocolate, lilac, and various silver tones.


You’ll need a lot of energy to keep up with this one! The Aby, as it is affectionately known will play harder, climb higher and jump farther and keep you wondering what adventure they will seek out next. This playful cat loves being the center of attention so definitely needs a lot of companionship and does not like to be left alone for too long.

Aby LOVES to be high up as possible and will appreciate having lots of high spaces to survey from. As well as climbing, Aby loves to play and learns fast. So, plan on making or purchasing a variety of toys to keep things interesting. Ping pong balls, bottle tops, crumpled up chocolate wrappers (the inner silver noisy bit), feathers and teasers will get Aby’s attention. Actually, if you’re creative, this breed would definitely appreciate a feline agility course.

A love of heights is a signal trait of the Abyssinian. He likes to be as high up as possible and will appreciate having one or more ceiling-height cat trees known for affectionate and very playful. Would suit a household with children who can treat this graceful beauty politely and respectfully.

This cat will play fetch as well as any pouch. Abys have also been known to get along with large parrots, ferrets and other animals. Always introduce any pets, even other cats, slowly and in a controlled setting.


Please consult your veterinarian about the health and how to best care for your cat. Below are some health conditions that may affect the Abyssinian, they include the following:

  • Early-onset periodontal disease

  • Hyperesthesia syndrome, a neurological problem that can cause cats to excessively groom themselves, leading to hair loss, and to act frantically, especially when they are touched or petted

  • Patellar luxation, a hereditary dislocation of the kneecap that can range from mild to severe. Severe cases can be alleviated with surgery.

  • Progressive retinal atrophy, a degenerative eye disease.

  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD), for which a genetic test is available to identify carriers.

  • Renal amyloidosis, a heritable disease that occurs when a type of protein called amyloid is deposited in body organs, primarily the kidneys in Abyssinians. It eventually leads to kidney failure.


Hair - The Abyssinian has short, fine hair which allows for easy care. Shedding is low and combing or brushing can be done maybe twice a week.

Teeth – The use of small finger toothbrushes can help keep your cat’s teeth and gums healthy. An annual check at the vets will also pick up on anything that might need professional attention.

Nails – Now, be careful with this one. Cat’s nails are live so there is the potential to cause pain especially if the nail is dark and you cannot see clearly to differentiate live areas from ‘safe’ areas to clip. Probably best to schedule a visit to your vets or local shelter where there will be someone trained to carry out this procedure. I clipped my cats nail tips while she sat in the sink about once a fortnight. She would only allow me to clip her front ones and would happily bite her back paw nails at her leisure.

Clean – You can use a soft cloth and wipe the eye area. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so that you don’t spread any infection. Gently wipe out ears, warm water is fine. Never poke or use cotton buds (Q-tips) inside the ears.

Litter Box – Keep the trays meticulously clean and have more than one (if possible). Remember to keep trays away from food areas.

Roam or not to roam – It’s a good idea to keep Aby inside, apart from attacks from other cats or dogs or traffic dangers, such a beauty might be stolen. If you’re going to allow roaming, remember to microchip and use a collar with an ID

Beware! The Aby is very addictive. Once you have had one, you may find you need more!

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