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Abyssinian close up with whiskers.


Abyssinians definitely put the "a" in active. These are go, go, go cats fueled by curiosity.

Catster HQ  |  Jan 1st 1970

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 9 – 16 pounds
  • Height:

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.


  • 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

Ideal Human Companion

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

What They Are Like to Live With

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.

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.