Is this Abyssinian the cat of your choice?

Is this Abyssinian the cat of your choice?

Orange Abyssinian with golden eyes on a white background

Of all cat breeds, the Abyssinian is perhaps the most energetic cat. That is why it is sometimes compared to a mini Puma. It is known for its speed and its predatory nature. In general they are friendly, elegant and full of energy. The cat has a wild brown colour with both light and dark shades. The Abyssinian is a cat that needs a lot of attention. Are you someone who can give that attention and likes to see his cat play and hunt? Then read on about this beautiful breed.


The name of the breed does not refer to Abyssinia, the country of origin (the old name for what is now Ethiopia during the imperial period), but to a cat that was brought from Abyssinia around 1868 with a single tabby pattern. It was called Zura and was brought by a British army captain, but was not the ancestor of the Abyssinian. About 30 years later, Abyssinian cats were a hybrid of similar felines of unknown origin. Some were British and some were brought from different parts of the East in the late 1800s.

Fun fact, the first Abyssinian was shown in a cat show in 1871, making the Abyssinian one of the oldest bred cat breeds in existence. The tick tabby pattern originated in the East and appeared in areas inhabited by British settlers, administrators and traders, such as India and elsewhere in the Far East. In 1900 the first Abyssinians arrived in America and are still widely bred today.

abyssinian in box


The image you get of an Abyssinian is a colourful, short-haired cat with a clear and distinctive pattern of tabby tabbies. They are medium-sized, graceful but muscular and shows an active and alert appearance. Their head is moderately slightly rounded wedge-shaped and rounded in outline. The nose line is slanted and there is a lot of space between its ears. The short-haired cat has pointed, large and broad ears. They can grow up to 4 to 5 kilos, so in general it is not a heavy cat.

Their eyes are almond-shaped, large, bright and expressive. They can change from gold to green. There is a thin black line around the eyes, surrounded by light-coloured areas. Abyssinians are somewhere between the extremes of firmness and great grace. The whole body should have a harmonious balance.

Character of Aby

The Abyssinian has the nickname Aby. They are one of the smartest cat breeds and are therefore very interested in their owners. Aby’s are curious: they will be there for you and keep an eye on everything. They are also very affectionate and need a lot of attention because they want to be best friends with their cat owner. Wherever you go in the house, Aby will follow you, basically as your shadow. Are you often away from home all day? Then another cat might be the answer – but the close bond they form with their owner needs to remain strong.

Although Abyssinians love attention, it is important to note that Abyssinians are not equally happy with multiple cats. They don’t feel very comfortable in a big group of cats, but they certainly don’t like to be alone. In comparison with a British Shorthair for example, the Abyssinian is very present.

tough-looking abyssinian in the dark


The Abyssinian is pretty easy to take care of. A weekly brush is no problem for this family cat. Check immediately on the vermin that might be there. It is important that they get used to human contact at an early age, this is essential for any cat breed. What is also important is that you pay attention to the teeth – the Abyssinian have a predisposition to tartar formation and gum problems. Visit the vet once a year to avoid surprises for your sweet pet. Furthermore, you make sure, of course, as with any other cat, good food, clean litter boxes with good cat litter, and fresh water. It is also important to pamper your cat well and to buy a cat tree where he can relax after all that hunting and playing.

Diseases and disorders

Despite good care, hereditary diseases can be transmitted. Inflammations of the bladder, kidney or diarrhoea are regular occurrences in cats. In this case, you go immediately to the vet. Here are some examples of diseases and disorders.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) for example. This is a condition that can lead to blindness.

Patella Luxation (PL) – a condition of one of the kneecaps of the hind legs that, if left untreated, can cause the cat to become lame.

Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD). This is a hereditary disease that occurs in the Abyssinian. It is characterised by anaemia, which causes an accelerated breakdown of red blood cells.

Abyssinian behind a lampshade in the dark

Buying an Aby

In general, the Abyssinian is a healthy cat breed, but make sure you get your Abyssinian from a reputable breeder. Also be careful if the breeder offers a kitten as an Abyssinian. A cat breed must have an official pedigree. The Abyssinian is a cat breed that is not cheap and therefore the costs can run up between €750 and €1000. If you like Abyssinian cats but you prefer them in a different variety, namely the same cat with a half-long or long fur, go for the Somali cat! Make sure you are well informed when you get a new housemate. Keep in mind that the animal needs enough attention and care.


Petrebels is not a vet or a behaviourist: all content, information and tips on this blog are meant to inspire you and are of an informative nature. Does your cat have complaints or problems? Or do you have doubts about your cat’s health? Always go to the vet or a behaviourist.

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Katten slapen gemiddeld 16 uur per dag en doen dat vol overgave: er wordt gerekt, gestrekt en schaamteloos gegaapt. Heerlijk. De Luie Rebel is er wel héél goed in. Die laat rennen en spelen liever aan een ander over en ploft met gemak overal neer voor een overheerlijk dutje. Maar het liefst ligt deze Rebel in een lekker zacht mandje of hangmatje.

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Katten hebben van nature de behoefte om hun nagels te scherpen. Ze markeren daarmee hun territorium en worden er ontspannen en blij van. De Krabbel Rebel weet van geen ophouden als het om krabbelen gaat. Maak van je huis daarom een feestje voor deze Rebel en zet één (of meer) goede krabpalen neer.

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Buitenkatten houden van hun vrijheid en van avontuur. Ze verstoppen zich vaak in struiken en houden de hele buurt in de gaten. Ze kunnen zich uren vermaken met rondvliegende insecten en nemen – als het even meezit – een echte muis voor je mee naar huis. De Outdoor Rebel komt thuis om gezellig met de baasjes te kroelen en rustig te eten. En stelt het op prijs als er een fijn plekje is om uit te rusten voor het volgende avontuur.

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Sommige katten blijven liever binnen. Of het baasje wil dit graag. Indoor Rebels vinden het heerlijk om naar buiten te kijken – naar al het spannends wat zich daar afspeelt. Je maakt deze katten blij door het binnen net zo spannend te maken als buiten. Prikkel hun instincten met speeltjes en krabmeubels waar ze lekker in kunnen klimmen, want dan blijven ze gelukkig en gezond.

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Cats sleep up to 16 hours a day with full commitment: lots of stretching and shameless yawning… Mhmm, delicious. The lazy Rebel masters this trait like no other and prefers to leave the running and playing to someone else. This lazy napper is able to lie down anywhere to take a well-deserved rest, but they prefer a nice and soft hammock or basket.

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Cats naturally have the need to sharpen their nails. This way they mark their territory. It also makes them relaxed and happy. The scratching Rebel will never stop when it comes to this. Transform your house into a “scratching paradise” for this Rebel and supply it with one or several good cat trees.

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Outdoor cats love adventure and freedom. They often hide in bushes to keep an eye on their surroundings. They can entertain themselves for hours with bugs flying around and they might even take home a real mouse for you! The outdoor Rebel will come home to cuddle with its owner and to eat peacefully. This adventurer would appreciate it if there is a nice spot in your house to rest before the next adventure.

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Some cats prefer to stay inside, this can also be a decision made by the owner. Indoor Rebels enjoy watching the outside world – and everything exciting that happens there. You can make these cats happy by making the indoor world just as exciting as the outdoor world. Stimulate their senses with toys and cat furniture in which they can climb. This way they remain healthy and happy.

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Katzen schlafen durchschnittlich 16 Stunden pro Tag und tun dies voller Hingabe. Sie strecken sich, dehnen sich und gähnen unverhohlen. Herrlich! Der faule Rebell ist sehr gut darin. Er überlässt das Toben und Spielen am liebsten jemand anderem und macht stattdessen lieber ein kleines Nickerchen. Am liebsten bevorzugt dieser Schläfer ein weiches Sofa oder ein gepolsterte Liegefläche.

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Katzen haben von Natur aus das Bedürfnis, ihre Nägel zu schärfen. Damit markieren sie zum einen ihr Territorium und verhindern zum anderen, dass die Nägel zu lang werden und einwachsen. Kratzen, wetzen und schärfen macht sie entspannt und glücklich. Der Kratz-Rebell kennt dann auch kein Halten mehr, wenn es ums Wetzen und Kratzen geht. Mach dein Zuhause also zu einer Partyzone für diesen Rebellen und stelle einen (oder mehrere) gute Kratzbäume mit viel Wetzmöglichkeiten auf.

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Freigängerkatzen lieben die Freiheit und das Abenteuer. Oft verstecken sie sich im Gebüsch und behalten die ganze Nachbarschaft im Auge. Sie können sich stundenlang mit fliegenden Insekten vergnügen, streunen herum und bringen im schlimmsten Fall eine Maus als Geschenk mit nach Hause. Der Outdoor-Rebell kommt nur nach Hause, um mit den Besitzern eventuell zu kuscheln und sich sein Fressen servieren zu lassen. Und er schätzt es über alle Maßen, wenn er einen schönen, gemütlichen Platz am liebsten auf einem Kratzbaum zum Ausruhen für das nächste Abenteuer angeboten bekommt.

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Einige Katzen sind reine Indoor-Rebellen. Entweder, weil sie es vorziehen in einem warmen und gefahrlosen Zuhause zu leben oder weil der Besitzer dies so möchte. Indoor-Rebellen lieben es nach draußen zu schauen – und das aufregende Leben draußen aus sicherer Entfernung zu beobachten. Diese Katzen sind glücklich, wenn man drinnen die gleichen Abenteuer simuliert, die sie draußen beobachten können. Stimuliere deren Instinkte mit Spielzeug und Kratzmöbeln, in denen sie herumklettern und toben können, damit sie gesund, agil und glücklich bleiben.

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