Top 10 Playful Abyssinian Cat Facts

These long and lean animals are considered to be some of the most beautiful cats in the world.

In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of interesting Abyssinian cat facts!

1. They were named for the country they originated from

Abyssinian cats, also known as simply “Abys,” are a breed of domesticated cat which were named after Abyssinia. This is the alternative name of the Ethiopian Empire, a monarchy between 1270 and 1974 which covered areas of modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea.

It’s believed that this region in the East of Africa is where this wonderful cat originated from so they where named as such.

Abyssinian cat Ethiopia
The cat presumably originates in Ethiopia / Pixabay

2. Abys were probably popular pets in Ancient Egypt

We all know that the Ancient Egyptians mummified their Pharaohs and their families. They didn’t stick to solely mummifying people, though, because mummified animals have been found as well.

One of these ancient mummy’s was a cat with a striking resemblance to the Abyssinian cat, which makes us believe that these cats or one of their closest relatives were around over 4,000 years ago.

This also means that these playful cats were considered to be popular pets back then as well. After all, there was a reason why they were mummified, which is to keep the Pharaoh company in the afterlife.

Abyssinian cat origin
The amazing looking cat / Pixabay

3. They were introduced in Great Britain because of war

In 1868, several British missionaries and 2 government officials were being held in Abyssinia. This resulted in the “British Expedition to Abyssinia,” which was pretty much a rescue mission with armed forces.

The British were successful and not only managed to bring back all the hostages, but also the most popular pet in the Ethiopian Empire. This is how Abyssinian cats were introduced to Great Britain as they were brought to the country after this conflict by British soldiers in the 19th century.

The first Abys to arrive in the United States did so in the early 20th century, but it take until the 1930s before they reached some form of popularity.

zula first abyssinian cat
Zula the “first Abyssinian” / Wiki Commons

4. Abys are easily recognized because of their distinctive coat

These cats are short-haired cats that are easily recognized because of their “ticked” tabby coat. This is also referred to as the “agouti effect,” which means that each individual hair displays two or more different colors.

Their coat is extremely dense and pleasantly silky to touch as well.

detail of ticked abyssinan cat coat
Detail of ticked coat / Martin Bahmann /

5. Their coat has a standard color but variations are possible

The standard color of this cat breed is aan overall deep reddish-brown base in combination with black ticking. This color combination has a couple of different names around the world:

  • United Kingdom: Usual.
  • Australia: Tawny.
  • The United States and elsewhere: Ruddy.

There’s one pretty common variation of the standard color combination which is a slightly lighter copper-colored base with a brown chocolate color ticking. Other color variations, which are achieved through cross-breeding, include red, warm beige, and fawn or “creamy peach.”

One of the most remarkable Abyssinian cat facts is that kittens are born with a dark coat which gradually becomes lighter as they mature.

Abyssinian cat facts

6. These are very intelligent cats

Abys are some of the smartest animals on the planet. They are extremely intelligent and they don’t mind showing this off by learning new tricks.

This also means that they can easily mimic the behavior of their owners, something that can result in them opening cabinet doors with their paws or turning light switches on and off.

Two abyssinian cats
Two intelligent cats / Pixabay

7. Abys need a lot of activity because of their playful nature

Apart from being intelligent, these animals are also very curious. As a result of this character trait, you definitely need to keep breakable items out of their reach because they will attempt to play with them.

One of the most fascinating Abyssinian cat facts is that they are easily bored. Their playful nature doesn’t allow them to lie around all day as many other cat breeds. If they can’t release their energy, they can even become depressed.

Abyssinian cat playful
A playful cat / Pixabay

8. They earned a particular nickname that describes their behavior

We don’t have to look hard to find a reason why these cats have possibly been popular pets for thousands of years. It’s because they are a great company to be around!

One of the nicknames they have earned perfectly describes this as they are sometimes referred to as the “Clowns of the Cat Kingdom!

They are also known to be very affectionate to their owners and follow them around wherever they go. This character trait has been described as “having a dog-like attachment to the owners.” And yes, these cats are even perfectly fine with a friendly dog in the house as well!

They also have a nickname which refers to their remarkably slender and seemingly long built which is the “Runway models of the feline world.”

Abyssinian cat and kitten
Cat with kitten / Pixabay

9. This cat breed has one relative that has long hair

Even though the cat is now referred to as the country they presumably originated from, a scientific study concerning the genetic evaluation of cat breeds has revealed that they have a low level of genetic diversity.

What’s more interesting is that genetic markers of both Asian and European cat breeds were found, meaning that their true origin lies in both Europe and Asia.

One of their closest relatives is the “Somali Cat,” which has a similar genetic make-up but is essentially a long-haired cat. The crossbreeding between Abyssinians and Siamese has created a breed referred to as “Ocicats.”

Somali Cat
Somali Cat / FinnFrode /

10. Abys are among the most popular cats in the world

One of the most amazing Abyssinian cat facts is that these are some of the most popular cat breeds in the world. Their playful nature, intelligence, and loyal attitude towards their owners and other humans have definitely contributed to this.

That’s why Abys are now considered to be within the top 5 most popular cat breeds in the world, and who can deny that these are some of the most amazing pets imaginable, right?

Interesting abyssinian cat facts
These cats are amazing pets / Pixabay