ONCE YOU'VE BEEN OWNED BY AN ABYSSINIAN CAT, YOU WILL NEVER LOOK AT THE WORLD THE SAME WAY!
The origin of the Abyssinian cat:
The Abyssinian cat is one of the oldest known breeds, but it's true history has been surrounded by much speculation. The Abyssinian appears to resemble the paintings and sculptures of the ancient Egyptian cat, however there is no proof of this. Some believe the Abyssinian cat was brought from Ethiopia, formerly Abyssinia, back to Great Britain in the 1860's. Others feel the origin of the Abyssinian breed to be at the coast of the Indian Ocean and parts of Southeast Asia. We do know the first Abyssinian cat imported to Scandinavia in the1930's. The Abyssinian cat of today look a bit different then the first Abyssinian that came to England. The cats are smaller then their English relatives, may be because one imported Abyssinian cats from USA, where the ideal- Abyssinian cat are considerable smaller then our cats. Breeding, often selective, can have an influence on how a breed will turn out to look, both to the good or the bad.
Description of the Abyssinian cat:
The Abyssinian is a colourful cat with a distinctly ticked coat, medium in size and regal in appearance. It is important that the Abyssinian is balanced in proportion.
The head is a modified, slightly rounded wedge without flat planes and should flow into the arched neck without a break. The ears are alert, large and moderately pointed; broad and cupped at the base and set as though listening. The eyes are almond shaped, large and expressive, being neither round nor oriental. A fine dark line, encircled by a light coloured area should accentuate the eyes. The colour of the eyes can be either gold or green.
The body is medium long, lithe, graceful with well developed musculature that is not coarse. It is medium in conformation and should not be either cubby or to svelte. Most importantly, an Abyssinian is a balanced cat. The Abyssinian is fine boned and stands well off the ground giving the appearance of being on tip toe. The tail is fairly long, thick at the base, and tapering. The coat is soft, silky, fine in texture, but dense and resilient to the touch. It is medium in length but must be long enough to accommodate two or three dark bands of ticking.
Colour on an Abyssinian is important and must be warm and glowing. The ticking, distinct and even, shows dark coloured bands contrasting with lighter coloured bands on the hair shafts. Undercoat colour is clear to the skin. Preference is given in the show hall to cats that are free of tabby markings on the chest and legs. The tabby markings should only appear on the face and tail. The facial markings should be dark and distinct.
Characteristics and Temperament:
The Abyssinian is an active, intelligent cat that loves people. Although they are quite beautiful, they are not content to lie around and just be admired. Abyssinians are not always thought of as lap cats, but love to be where you are. They interact with their owners and often enjoy the company of another cat.
Abyssinians are often thought of as cats that like to be in high places, such as the top of a refrigerator, a bookshelf or a tree (if they are allowed to go free out doors). They seem to be more inclined to use their paws like a human would use their hands. Abyssinians are not known for being particularly loud cats and can communicate their feelings and desires in many ways.
It is often said that Abyssinians have a great love of water. They seem to enjoy playing in a dripping faucet, as well as drinking from them. Loyal is often used to describe the Abyssinian and they make wonderful companions.
And Abyssinian, or two, can add such joy to your life. Abyssinians are most suitable for someone looking for an active and loving cat. They will continue to entertain with their antics for years. Abyssinians seem to live harmoniously with children and other pets. Abyssinians are not well suited to someone who is looking for a pet with a low activity level. You will never be lonely with one in your home!
The following are the colour descriptions for the Abyssinian standard:
RUDDY: coat ruddy brown (burnt-sienna), ticked with various shades of darker brown or black; the extreme outer tip to be the darkest, with orange-brown undercoat. Tail tipped with black. The underside and inside of legs to be a tint to harmonize with the main colour. Nose leather: tile red. Paw pads: black or brown, with black between the toes, extending slightly beyond the paws.
RED: coat rich, warm glowing red, ticked with chocolate-brown, the extreme outer tip to be darkest, with red undercoat. Tail tipped with chocolate-brown. The underside and inside of legs to be a tint to harmonize with the main colour. Nose leather: rosy pink. Paw pads: pink, with chocolate-brown between the toes, extending slightly beyond the paws.
BLUE: coat warm beige, ticked with various shades of slate blue, the extreme outer tip to be the darkest, with blush beige undercoat. Tail tipped with slate blue. The underside and inside of legs to be a tint to harmonize with the main colour. Nose leather: old rose. Paw pads: mauve, with slate blue between the toes, extending slightly beyond paws.
FAWN: coat warm rose-beige, ticked with light cocoa brown, the extreme outer tip to the darkest, with blush beige undercoat. Tail tipped with light cocoa-brown. The underside and inside of legs to be a tint to harmonize with the main colour. Nose leather: salmon. Paw pads: pink with light cocoa-brown between the toes, extending slightly beyond the paws.
Silver: the same ticking as the above mentioned base-colours and with silver undercoat.