The Abyssinian is described in some cat registries as a medium-sized cat, while others describe it as a medium to large one. The body type also is classed as medium, medium long or rather long, again depending on which cat registry standards you are referring to. An Abyssinian should have a rounded rib cage – not flat sided, a very slightly arched up back, and a quite straight flank that is not tucked upwards. The Abyssinian is a sporty, muscular and very majestic cat in its general appearance, and it proportions have a graceful look.
The Abyssinian should appear to stand tall upon its legs almost as if on tiptoes, and arches it’s back up when it stands alert. This stunning cat almost seems as if it has only just strolled out of the forest, with a look reminiscent of its wild origins of so many years ago.
The best known feature of the Abyssinian cat breed is its ticked and richly colored coat, which is devoid of markings on its neck, tail and legs, but has lovely tabby markings that are restricted only to its face. The coat is resilient, dense and silky and has a lustrous sheen to it. The Abyssinian should have a medium length of coat, which will have four or six alternating bands of light and darker color right along the length of its hair. This banding is called the “ticking” and is what gives the striking translucent effect to the Abyssinian coat. Preferably, the color at the root of each hair is quite bright, and it will match up with the under-color on the cat’s belly and also on the insides of the legs. Because of their gorgeous ticked coat, the Abyssinian cat has been called a ‘hare cat’ and a ‘bunny cat’ as their coat appears very similar to the fur of a rabbit. It is only once the Abyssinian is around one and a half years old, that the stunning ticked coat shows up in its full glory.
The Abyssinian cat’s head should be a modified, slightly rounded wedge shape with no flat planes. Their large, almond shaped eyes can be hazel, gold, green or copper colored. It has large ears as well, and they are wide at their base, cupped shaped and with moderate points on their tips. The ears should be placed so as to give the cat an alert and listening appearance. The Abyssinian’s eyes, ears and head, must compliment each other in a non-extreme fashion, and should be in balance with the rest of the cat.
The complete, overall look of the Abyssinian is strikingly like that of the Lynx; it has quite the wild-cat appearance.
The Abyssinian comes in colors of ruddy, red (also called sorrel), fawn and blue, lilac and cream, silver and chocolate silver, blue silver and fawn silver.
As the Abyssinian matures, it becomes a more magnificent sight. Once they are fully mature, their coat, coat color and muscle tone are fully developed and they really are a regal looking cat.
For a cat fanciers seeking the look of the wild outdoors coupled with an active, independent, yet very loving pet, then this rather ancient breed – The Abyssinian cat – could be exactly what they are looking for. These wonderfully cheeky and lively cats with their gorgeous, sparkling coat are destined give years of fun, enjoyment and much love to any family. It is very easy to see why this breed shares a high spot among the top most popular breeds with pet owners across the globe.
There is also a semi-long-haired Abyssinian type, which is known as the Somali Cat.