Colorful Abyssinian cats have a distinctly ticked coat that is silky and soft. Their medium-length coat can be ruddy, blue, red and fawn colored. The Abyssinian cat is long and lithe, but also strong and muscular. They are medium in size, regal in appearance, and have green or gold eyes.
Abyssinians are loyal, very intelligent, and love to be around people. They are eager to play and very curious in all surroundings. It is also said that these cats are very good at "training" their owners!
Abyssinian Cat History
Although the Abyssinian is one of the oldest known cat breeds, there continues to be speculation and controversy concerning its history. In appearance, Abyssinian cats resemble the sculptures and paintings of ancient Egyptian cats that portray an elegant feline with almond shaped eyes, a muscular body, a beautiful arched neck, and large ears. Abyssinians today still retain the jungle look of felis lybica, the African wildcat ancestor of all domestic cats.
The Source of the Abyssinian Name
The source of the breed's name can be traced back to the time when the first "Abyssinians" exhibited in shows in England were reported to have been imported from that Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia). Recent studies by geneticists show that the most convincing origin of the Abyssinian breed is the coast of the Indian Ocean and parts of Southeast Asia. Although the Abyssinian as a breed was refined in England, its introduction to that country and others may have been the result of colonists and merchants stopping in Calcutta, the major port for the Indian Ocean.
In the early 1900s, the first Abyssinians to be imported to North America arrived from England, but it was not until the late 1930s that several top quality Abyssinians were exported from Britain to form the foundation of today's American breeding programs.