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The Abyssinian is a medium sized breed, with an elegant and regal appearance, resembling the paintings of Ancient Egypt cats, lithe and muscular, very active and smart. The colourful short-haired coat shows the typical distinct and even ticked pattern, clear of tabby markings.


The Abyssinian is one of the oldest known breeds: a cat named Zula, imported from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and hence exhibited as an “Abyssinian”, won the 3rd prize at the Crystal Palace Show in 1871. The breed was recognized in 1881. Despite the name, more recent studies suggest that the breed more likely originated in southeast Asia and Indian Ocean coasts. Nevertheless, the Abyssinian as it is nowadays, was first refined and developed in the UK and then in the US as from 1890. The Abyssinian was amongst the breeds recognised at the foundation of FIFe (1949).


Medium in size, elegant and regal thanks to its arched neck, long legs and tail, the Abyssinian is a well-balanced cat, muscular and lithe, with a warm and glowing, distinctly ticked shorthaired coat. Its broad and set aside ears and large almond eyes, give the Abyssinian cat its typical alert look, though all lines are soft and graceful.


Abyssinians are highly active and playful cats with a kitten-like energy throughout their lives. Known for their intelligence, they enjoy engaging in interactive games and mental challenges. Curious by nature, Abyssinians love exploring their surroundings and may investigate new things. Very social cats, they form strong bonds with their human companions and may follow them around, wanting to help. Adaptable and generally good with other pets, though strongly people-oriented, Abyssinians also have an independent streak and appreciate some alone time. Natural climbers, they enjoy exploring high places: providing vertical spaces or cat trees can satisfy their desire to explore heights. Regular playtime, mental stimulation, attention and cuddles (when asked for) contribute to their overall well-being.

Breed Standard
Last modification of the Standard: 2016