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16 Unusual Abyssinian Cat Facts You’ll Be Surprised To Learn

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on May 23, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Abyssinian young cat sitting at tower

16 Unusual Abyssinian Cat Facts You’ll Be Surprised To Learn

So, an Abyssinian has caught your eye. We can’t blame you! These gorgeous felines are rare and lovely sights to behold. While they remain one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States, they’re still relatively uncommon as far as purebred cats go.

If you are curious about the breed itself and want to know more, we have 16 facts for you. Who knows? You might learn something new today.

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The 16 Abyssinian Cat Facts

1. Abyssinian Cats Have Unknown Origins

What you might not know about the beautiful Abyssinian is that they are one of the oldest cat breeds. The roots of the Abyssinian can be traced back several thousand years. However, their true origins are entirely unknown.

Some speculate that they could’ve come from the Indian Ocean coast. Others believe that the Abyssinian cat originated in Abyssinia, which is present-day Ethiopia. Even though a proper birthplace cannot be agreed upon, we do know that the breed is extremely old!

2. Abyssinians Are Actually Tabby Cats

What’s that you say? Abyssinians are tabby cats? That is correct. Well, it might not look like it. At first glance, the Abyssinian actually has a tabby coat. But where are the stripes, spots, or swirls?

The Abyssinian coat is ticked. That means that the entire coat gives the illusion that it is a solid color, but you can’t hide the classic M shape on the forehead.

Fawn abyssinian cat
Image Credit: EvgenS, Shutterstock

3. Abyssinians Have Very Large Ears

Abyssinians are known for their large ears and narrow heads. It gives them a very wild appearance. These oversized ears are often seen in certain wildcats as well, such as the African Wildcat.

4. Abyssinians Are Known as Clowns of the Cat World

The Abyssinian has a very playful, silly personality. This behavior often then gets them the reputation of being the clowns of the cat world. These purring, playful critters will keep you company and certainly bring a lot of laughs into the home.

abyssinian cat jumping and playing around
Image Credit: Anastasija Kru, Shutterstock

5. Abyssinians Should Not Be Alone

If you’re the kind of person who works all day and has a lot of commitments that keep you out of the home, the Abyssinian is likely not ever the right feline choice for your lifestyle. These cats very much enjoy the company of their owners and will not be happy if they are left alone for long periods of time.

Your Abyssinian will likely become very bored and might even start being destructive as a consequence. Even though the Abyssinian can do fine with other pets, this does not replace the companionship they need from you.

6. Abyssinians Can Easily Be the Only Cat

Most felines should have another creature of the same species living in the home. It is essential to provide companionship for these types of animals as most of them require it. However, that’s not the case with the Abyssinian!

So, if you’re looking for a one-cat household, the Abyssinian is a sensational choice. They can get on just fine by themselves, and they might even be picky about other cats they meet. If you have existing cats, an Abyssinian kitten might acclimate very well into a new home, but they might have trouble adjusting if they’ve never been around other cats before as adults.

Abyssinian cat on kitchen
Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock

7. Abyssinians Tend to Get Along Very Well with Dogs

Even though an Abyssinian can usually care less if another cat companion is around, they tend to get along very well with dogs. Because an Abyssinian shares a lot of the same behavioral traits as a dog, it’s no wonder that they can find a friend in a canine.

8. Abyssinians Are Very Healthy Cats

Abyssinians usually have very few health issues. This breed was built to be sturdy and strong against illness and injury.

However, there are certain illnesses that come up in the breed.

Some of them include:
  • Luxating patella
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency
  • Kidney disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease
abyssinian cat reating outdoor
Image Credit: Kyselova Inna, Shutterstock

9. Abyssinians Are Sometimes Called “Aby-Grabbys”

Abyssinians didn’t get this name from nowhere! They are possibly the ones that started all of these stereotypes about cats knocking stuff off counters! These cats will spill just about anything you leave hanging around, so remember to put away anything that could harm them if you won’t be directly supervising.

10. Walt Disney Made a Film About Abyssinians

The Abyssinian starred in Walt Disney’s “ The Cat from Outer Space.” It was filmed about an Abysinnian space cat that crashed on Earth for a new adventure. The film debuted in 1978.

Abyssinian Blue Cat sitting on the arm of a sofa
Image Credit: Foonia, Shutterstock

11. Abyssinians Are Very Active

You need to make sure you’re keeping enough activities around the house to entertain your Abyssinian if you choose to get one. These cats are incredibly inquisitive and action-oriented, needing constant stimulation from new and exciting activities.

If you have seen any of those cool cat exercise wheels, this type of cat is a very good candidate for such an activity.

12. Abyssinians Tend to Be Velcro Cats…

Your Abyssinian will be the nosy neighbor, following your every move and wondering what you’re up to. You won’t be able to go to the bathroom alone or any other room in the house without being followed.

Abyssinian cat on a man's shoulder
Image Credit: Nataliabiruk, Shutterstock

13. …But They Are Also Very Independent!

Even though these cats might want to know what you’re up to, they also need their space! These cats tend to be very independent and certainly don’t meet the criteria for a lap cat.

They would much prefer being on the move, seeing what’s going on from room to room. Basically, the Abyssinian only needs for you to make sure their few basic needs are met and they are happy campers.

14. Abyssinians Are Structurally Sound

If you look at an Abyssinian, they have substantial muscle tone. This aids them in being spry, athletic, and agile.

abyssinian cat lying on bed
Image Credit: Alla Lla, Shutterstock

15. Abyssinians Are Expensive!

Not only are Abyssinians rare to find, but they’re expensive as well! If you stumble across a breeder, you can expect to spend a pretty penny and even be put on a waiting list for available kittens.

If you really want an Abyssinian, but there are no breeders in your area, you might even have to travel. Keep in mind that some rescues have Abyssinians and other purebred cats. You can always check with local facilities to see availability if you want to adopt an adult.

16. Abyssinians Are Small, Agile, and Lightweight

If you’ve only ever seen pictures of an Abyssinian, you might think that they’re much larger than they actually are. These cats have long, slender physiques that can give a false appearance. These cats are quite small, and most adults do not weigh more than 6 to 8 pounds.

Abyssinian cat close-up on hammock in the house
Image Credit: Natalia Tretiakova, Shutterstock

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Name Suggestions for Abyssinians

If you are going to get an Abyssinian and want a name to match their traits, we thought up a few great names to consider.

  • Dahy—Agile, swift
  • Achira—Very swift
  • Apple—Swift
  • Boaz—Swift
  • Jig—Quick
  • Kansan—Swift
  • Lautaro—Swift hawk
  • Orvadasp—Swift horses
  • Raghu—Swift
  • Sherwin—Swift runner
  • Skeeter—Fast, rapid
  • Vela—Swift
  • Aeola –Changeable, nimble
  • Alphonso—Quickness, nobility
  • Arva—Fastest
  • Busby—Quick movement
  • Dash—Quickness
  • Deanna—Swift and beautiful
  • Ettore—Quickness
  • Fleda—Fast-moving
  • Gatty—Quickness
  • Metro—Quick
  • Lassiter—Quick-witted

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So, now you’ve gotten to know the Abyssinian breed a little better. These athletic felines are quite the curious, clownish cats, making them amazing companions. There are many things about these kitties that make them unique.

Did you find anything out about the Abysinnian that fascinated you?

Featured Image Credit: Darya Lavinskaya, Shutterstock

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