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Abyssinian Cat Breed - Personality, Size & Characteristics

Abyssinian Cat Breed - Personality, Size & Characteristics

The Egyptian Mau is probably one of the oldest breeds of cats in the world, and Abyssinian cats are not far behind! The Abyssinian furballs are known for being extremely loving and affectionate.

Key Pointers:

  • Weight -

    Abyssinian cats often have a slender, muscular build, and as an adult cat, can weigh from 8 to 12 lbs. The weight of Abyssinian cats can also vary based on their general health, activity and lifestyle, and diet. Abyssinian cats ideally should maintain weight under 12lbs, as obesity can be detrimental to their health.

  • Height -

    Abyssinian cats usually have an average to a greater height. Though they are quite small as kittens, Abyssinian cats can grow from 8 to 10 inches in length.

  • Lifespan -

    Though Abyssinian cats are one of the breeds of cats that have high resistance against most feline diseases, they have a shorter lifespan than some cats. Abyssinian cats enjoy a lifespan that ranges between 9 to 13 years. However, with a healthy diet and proper exercise, Abyssinian can live longer than most.

  • Coat -

    Abyssinian cat breeds have a comparatively shorter coat than Siamese or Balinese cats. Their nuanced, complex ticking coat pattern is unique in its appearance, and is a genetic variant of the tabby pattern. The dense coat of Abyssinian cats is usually close lying, which prevents excessive matting, and considerably reduces shedding.


  • Friendliness -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ability to adapt -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Behaviour towards other pets -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Playfulness -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Tendency to obesity –⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Overall health -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Life expectancy –⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Easy to train -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Advisable for first-time owners –⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

One star = Low/Bad

Five stars = High/Good

Physical Appearance

The Abyssinian cat has one of the most beautiful, and unique appearances among all cat breeds. The coat of the Abyssinian cat is known for its distinct tabby pattern, with nuanced, complex ticking. Abyssinian cats have a shorter coat that lies close to its skin, with lighter shades across its body which gets darker around the tip of the tail.

Other than its unique colouration, Abyssinian cats have characteristic long ears, and a wedge-shaped face and almond eyes. Their long, slender body gives them a sleek and graceful appearance.


Abyssinian cats are usually known as one of the healthiest breeds of cats due to their invulnerability to common diseases. However, in spite of their robust nature and resistance to common feline diseases, Abyssinian cats often face health risks particular to their breed. Abyssinian cats are quite susceptible to conditions like Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency, which often require immediate medical attention. However, getting your adorable little Abyssinian from breeders who are conscious of such conditions can be instrumental in avoiding such conditions. In addition, you can also have your Abyssinian actively tested to get an early diagnosis and ensure your Abyssinian munchkin gets the medical care it deserves as soon as possible.

However, irrespective of your cat’s breed, there are some steps that must be taken into account before adopting an Abyssinian cat. Since health is one of the primary reasons behind adopting a cat, you must be aware of the following conditions the Abyssinian cats are generally susceptible to. If you are adopting an Abyssinian cat anytime soon, you must be aware of the following conditions, and get your Abyssinian cat tested for these conditions:

  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Amyloidosis
  • Nose polyps
  • Psychogenic alopecia
  • Heart diseases
  • Hyperesthesia syndrome
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Congenital hypothyroidism

Also, to ensure your little Abyssinian furball does not have any life-threatening issues, it is vital to plan an appointment with your veterinarian at least twice a year. During this period, the veterinarian would be able to check your Abyssinian cat for any underlying health conditions, and address them wherever necessary. Your Abyssinian cat's vaccinations should also be updated during this period. Though the vaccination for cats varies depending on the breed and community, almost all cats are vaccinated for rabies and distemper. If your Abyssinian cat prefers visiting the outdoors, it must also be vaccinated for feline leukemia. Once your Abyssinian cat has turned 5 months, you can also plan to get your pet neutered or spayed to avoid reproductive tract infections and heat activities.


As a breed of cat that enjoys going on outdoor adventures, the Abyssinian cat usually picks up dust and dirt along its adventures, which gets accumulated in its coat. So, brushing your Abyssinian cat's coat twice a week is not just beneficial for keeping their coats healthy, but also for spending some quality time to bond with your furball. Abyssinian cats have short-haired coats, so Abyssinian are less likely to shed or develop matting, but brushing their coats thoroughly can help get rid of loose hairs.

The Abyssinian cat breed is known for having an oily skin which accumulates dirt, and if left unchecked, can lead to bacterial build-up. So, it is important to give your Abyssinian cat a bath every alternate week. This helps in getting rid of the general dirt and grime from their body, and gets your little munchkin acquainted with water. However, while giving your little munchkin a bath, make sure to use soaps and shampoo designed particularly for cats, as shampoos and soaps meant for humans can cause skin irritation. Remember to trim your Abyssinian cat's nails periodically, as it prevents bacterial growth, and is helpful for avoiding accidental scratches.

You can also groom your Abyssinian cat by cleaning out their ears occasionally to prevent wax build-ups. Furthermore, Abyssinian cats are likely to drip from their eyes, which needs to be cleaned regularly. You can also brush your Abyssinian cat's teeth to ensure good dental health.


As a playful breed of cat, Abyssinian cats enjoy designated playtimes, as it fosters their hunting and tracking instincts, and helps grow a meaningful bond with their parents. You can stimulate your Abyssinian cat with feather teasers and toys with catnip.

Abyssinian Cat FAQs:

Do Abyssinian cats get along with other pets?

Abyssinian cats are known for being accommodating, playful and social. So, your Abyssinian cat is likely to get along fine with other pets. The Abyssinian cat personality is extremely loving and they are quite friendly to other pets. They are social and can get along with other pets easily.

Are Abyssinian cats friendly?

Abyssinian cats are extremely friendly and social in nature. They are playful, and can develop deep bonds with their favourite humans through play sessions. As a loving and affectionate breed of cat, Abyssinian cats also respond well to gestures like brushing and feeding. Other than playtimes, they also enjoy snuggling with their parents and spending time together.

How long do Abyssinian cats live?

An average Abyssinian cat can live for 9 to 13 years, without facing any significant health concerns. As long as they are not diagnosed with any major health risks, they can live longer with proper diet, exercise, and care.

Are Abyssinian cats easy to groom?

Abyssinian cats have a shorter coat and are less likely to shed or develop mattings. So, grooming them to keep their fur healthy is considerably easier. Brushing their fur twice weekly is sufficient for keeping their coat free from dirt and loose hair. Furthermore, as an affectionate, loving cat breed, Abyssinian cats enjoy getting brushed, and spend quality time with their parents.

Do Abyssinian cats like to bath?

Abyssinian cats do not always show the best relationship with water. However, because of the oily skin particular to the Abyssinian breed, Abyssinian furry babies need to be bathed almost every alternate week to get rid of excess oil accumulation and grime. Giving your Abyssinian cat baths as a kitten helps them to get acquainted with water at an early age.

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