Abyssinian Cat

Quiomme’s Gustav (Abessinierkater chocolate)
(from Wikipedia)

The History

The Abyssinian is one of the oldest known breeds, and there is continuing speculation and controversy concerning its history. In appearance, Abyssinians resemble the paintings and sculptures of ancient Egyptian cats which portray an elegant feline with a muscular body, beautiful arched neck, large ears and almond shaped eyes. All Abys retain the jungle look of felis lybica, the African wildcat ancestor of all domestic cats.

The Abyssinian cat is said to have been brought to England by Captain Barrett Leonard when he returned from service in the Abyssinian wars in the 1860s, and were certainly exhibited at Crystal Palace in 1871, thus leading to the claim of being one of the original pedigree cats. Unfortunately, there are no written records tracing the early Abyssinians to those imported cats, and many British breeders are of the opinion that the breed was actually created through the crossing of the various existing silver and brown tabbies with native British “Bunny” ticked cats.

The Personality

The Aby is a hugely loyal yet independent cat and has been described in the Abyssinian Breeders International “Kitten Buyer’s Guide” by Carolyn Osier, as “One of the most intelligent animals ever created. …a very people-oriented cat. Not a lap cat… but a cat that likes to be with people, a cat that wants to know what you are doing – that wants to help. There is probably no breed anywhere more loyal than the Aby. Once you have acquired an Aby as a companion, you will never be able to complain that no one understands you. Abys are very good at training people to do just what they want them to do.” Once you own an Aby you will soon learn that they are not merely a cat but a totally original and complex personality and a large part of your family.

More Information

Wikipedia’s entry about Abyssinians

About Abyssinians on Catster

About Abyssinians on catsinfo.com