Abyssinian Cat Facts: Origins, Colors, Price, Health Issues, Nutrition

When it comes to Abyssinians, it’s a widely known fact that these slender creatures, with their unique almond-shaped eyes, resemble the elegance of the cat statues found in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Abyssinian cats are elegant, majestic, and fun to be around. These felines are intelligent, amiable, and affectionate with their owners.

However, when faced with new surroundings and unfamiliar strangers, Abyssinians can get confused, shy, and even jealous around their pet parents.

On the other hand, they do love being the center of attention, but only in their own comfort zones, among people they know.

Regardless of the Abyssinian cat’s gender or age, it will demand constant attention and a close bond with its owner. If you’re looking for a calm, quiet, and independent feline pet, this is definitely not the breed for you.

Fun and Interesting Facts And Information About Abyssinian Cats

Here are some interesting facts about the Abyssinian breed’s temper, physical appearance, and overall health.

They Aren’t Actually Abyssinian

Wait, Abyssinian cats aren’t Abyssinian?

That is correct.

This breed got its name from the fact that it was imported into Europe from Ethiopia, and one of the historical names for Ethiopia is Abyssinia. However, as it turns out, that’s not this breed’s true origin.

Recent genetic tests and studies show that the breed is descended from ancient Egyptian cats. So, yes, you can honestly claim that your own Abyssinian furball is from the same breed as your favorite pharaoh’s cat. How cool is that? (Wait, everyone has a favorite pharaoh, right??)

They Have An Insatiable Curiousity

Young kittens of all breeds and ages are extremely curious by default. However, the Abyssinian preserves this trait throughout its entire life. This breed is notoriously curious. It must be kept well-entertained at all times. Otherwise it might start acting destructive.

Clawing the couch isn’t outside of these cats’ nature, and they’ll stop at nothing when it comes to discovering new sights, smells, and corners of your home.

Due to their energetic nature, Abyssinians will never get bored of finding their own entertainment. Sadly, the cat’s idea of entertainment doesn’t always mean that it will be careful with your personal belongings. Every corner in your house or apartment will become this breed’s playground.

Stocking up on cat toys is extremely important for any Abyssinian owner, even more so than with other breeds. You won’t have to worry about obesity with these cats as they constantly keep themselves well-exercised. This fact alone is one of the many awesome reasons for getting an Abyssinian cat.

They’re Constantly Jumping And Climbing

Placing breakable objects on display is a bad idea if you’re thinking about welcoming an Abyssinian kitty into your home. The hyperactive nature of these cats, and their need to check out any high surfaces, will lead to a mess. Similar to the famous Siamese, the Abyssinian kitty is an excellent jumper. These cats can leap up to six feet in the air!

As you might already be suspecting, climbing is also a frequent trick in their active daily routine. Abyssinian cats love exploring the height of your curtains, the view from window perches, and the corners of your highest counter tops. Purchasing a cat tree with lots of interactive options is a great way to satisfy some of your Abyssian’s needs for entertainment.

Playing fetch with the kitty and using cat wands are also ideal ways to fulfill your Abyssian’s needs.

abyssinian cat

They Are Extremely Intelligent

Here’s yet another awesome Abyssinian fact – this breed is extremely intelligent. While its hyperactivity and playfulness might not be to every cat owner’s liking, its intelligence is! You can train these majestic furballs to do tons of tricks.

Nothing is impossible for an Abyssinian cat when it comes to training. Potty-training, jumping through hoops, or even walking on a leash? Yes, the Abyssinian can be taught how to do all of these and many other tricks! If you happen to have children, they’ll love teaching their cat commands. But don’t be fooled! Their noteworthy brains don’t mean that they’ll easily grasp what the dos and don’ts are when it comes to maintaining house order.

Demanding, Yet Affectionate Breed

The Abyssinian is a demanding breed. And by demanding we don’t mean that it requires constant grooming. On the contrary! These furry pals have an extremely low tendency to shed and mat. They aren’t less allergenic than other cat breeds, but they are quite low maintenance. Of course, regular bathing and brushing are inevitable, but you won’t be buried in cat hair with this breed.

However, they are demanding in terms of attention. The Abyssinian is among the most affectionate breeds out there. As such, it will never say no to spending quality bonding time with its pet parent. Sometimes, this behavior can come across as needy and clingy. They can’t be left home alone over longer periods of time as they constantly want to be around their family.

Due to the fact that these kitties want constant attention from their owners, they feel the need to please their pet parents. Combined with their intelligence, this makes Abyssinians the perfect feline pets for families with active kids.

The Abyssinian loves being the center of attention and will never get enough of being treated as the most precious thing in your home. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it will remain welcoming to just anybody. It might get territorial and jealous for your attention in the presence of other pets. It also won’t tolerate you reading, working, or watching TV if it thinks playtime is more important.

They Don’t Adapt Well To The Unknown

As amazing as Abyssinians are, unfortunately, they don’t adapt well to change. Moving with your cat can be a pain in your neck if said cat is Abyssinian. In the comfort of your own home, these furballs will explore everything in sight, but the same can’t be said about a truly unfamiliar setting.

Abyssinian cats may need relaxants and even sedatives when traveling. Their hyperactive nature and their shyness towards new things can cause them excessive stress. However, once the kitty feels confident enough about its surroundings, it will get back to its original playful ways.

They Have A Fairly Short Life Span

Sadly, they don’t have a very long life expectancy. In fact, you can expect that, on average, the Abyssinian’s lifespan will be about 9 to 12 years.

How much do Abyssinian cats and kittens cost? Price analysis and buying guide.

Intelligent, majestic and ancient, Abyssinians don’t come cheap. You shouldn’t be surprised that Abyssinian cats and kittens cost a small fortune, especially if they’re with a pedigree.

Reputable breeders will ask for a couple thousand. Of course, that doesn’t mean all Abyssinian cats are so expensive. In fact, you can find some mixed kittens for around $600-$700. Keep in mind the following facts when you’re doing a price analysis while shopping for an Abyssinian kitty:

  • Pure-bred kittens can cost from $700 up to more than $2k.
  • These cats cost approximately the same in Europe and the US.
  • Mixed Abyssinian kittens are often sold for $600 and even less. If an ad is offering a “pure” Abyssinian kitten for such an affordable price, the feline definitely isn’t pure.
  • Older cats of this breed cost significantly less than kittens. Abyssinians have a notably short lifespan. Thus, and as their age progresses, their price tag goes down.

These lovely furballs demand attention and special care. They can’t be left home alone over long periods of time and they don’t do well with unfamiliar surroundings. As such, you should consider more than just the price tag prior to purchasing a kitty.

Buying guide tip for Abyssinian lovers – look for offers in your local area. Unlike some other breeds, pure Abyssinian kittens don’t have significant differences in their price in different parts of the world.

Health Problems And Nutrition (They Need Lots Of Water)

Abyssinians are affectionate, loyal, playful and curious. They are not only an elegant sight to see, but they also make great companions.

Unfortunately, the Abyssinian is not among the healthiest of feline breeds out there. Gingivitis, familial renal amyloidosis, hereditary retinal degeneration, urinary tract problems, and so forth are the most common health-related issues affecting the Abyssinian cat.

Due to their hyperactivity and moderately unstable health, they have special nutritional needs. Some Abyssinians may require additional supplements to their regular cat food diet.

The breed requires special diets consisting mainly of high quality dry cat food. As such, it needs a lot of fresh water on a daily basis in order to avoid dehydration and other related health issues.

A well-balanced diet and proper nutrition are essential for Abyssinian cats of all ages. Proteins and vitamins are vital for these kitties in order to keep them healthy and thriving.

Abyssinians are notoriously playful, amiable, and intelligent. Thus, regardless of their health problems, they are quite popular among feline pet parents. If you wish to make the most out of your time with your Abyssinian kitty, make its health your priority. Focus on crucial nutrition, spend as much time with your furball as it needs, and don’t ever miss a scheduled appointment with your vet.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!