History of Pets – The Abyssinian Cat


Abyssinian cats are fearless! Especially when it comes to heights. This breed loves climbing and are not afraid of taking on heights that would leave us humans feeling a little bit dizzy. Their active nature keeps them sleek and slim, and they are happiest with some friends around, be it dogs, other cats or their human family.

But, where did they come from?

Here’s something you might not have known: Ethiopia used to be called Abyssinia! This is exactly where these cats originated from, but not necessarily what they are named after.

In the 19th century, British soldiers were deployed to North Africa, where they found this beautiful cat breed. They purchased kittens from local traders, and made their way back to Britain, where cat shows were all the rage. The first mention of an Abyssinian at a cat show, was is in the Harper’s Weekly (January 27, 1872 issue) where the 3rd prize in the December 1871 Crystal Palace show was taken by the Abyssinian Cat “captured in the late Abyssinian War.”

The Abyssinian cat was refined in England. Its introduction to Britain may have been the result of merchants and colonists that traveled to and through the major port of the Indian Ocean, Calcutta.

They look a little bit Egyptian, don’t you think?

Well yes, they do resemble the painting and sculptures made by the ancient Egyptians. These paintings show the beautiful similarities like their arched neck, large ears and eyes, shaped like almonds, and a beautifully muscular body. But more closely, they retain the looks of the African wildcat – the ancestor of all domestic cats.



Generally, these cats weigh between 3,6kg and 5,5kg, and can get up to 13 years old. Their eyes range between green and gold in colour, but their short and medium length fur can range from red, blue, fawn and even cinnamon.

Should you get an Abyssinian Cat

The Abyssinian is a no-nonsense cat that requires little grooming, although showing some extra attention whilst grooming them with a cloth will be rewarded with soft purrs, and who wouldn’t like that?


It has a loving and affectionate nature, and loves spending time with its family, often speaking back in a soft, quiet tone.

About the Author: Matt Cooper

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