The Abyssinian - ‘Clown of the Cat Kingdom‘
It is not exactly known when or where the Abyssinian first appeared, however many sources repeat the story that the breed is a few thousand years old and comes from ancient Egypt - Abyssinians do look remarkably like the cats depicted in Egyptian murals and sculptures.
The Abyssinian is referred to as a ticked or agouti breed. The distinctive coat appearance comes from the combination of colours of each hair shaft. The lighter or' ground' colour lies closest to the skin and each hair shaft has dark-coloured bands that are contrasted with lighter-coloured bands. The hair shaft ends with a dark tip. There is a variation of colours but the back of the hind legs and the pads of the paws are always darker than the rest. Kittens are born with dark coats that gradually lighten as they mature. These cats have strong, lithe bodies with long legs which make them natural athletes.
This breed of cat is a favourite of many because they are full of personality and are striking in their appearance. The "Aby", as they are affectionately referred to by their fans, is extroverted, extremely active, playful, wilful and intelligent. They love to ‘clown' around and enjoy perching on shoulders and bookcases. They adore toys and can play for hours with a favourite - some will even play fetch.
They are not usually lap cats, and when restrained, tend to become struggling bundles of fur with more than the usual amount of elbows!
They will cheerfully entertain themselves exploring and playing but they are most happy when involved with every aspect of your life. It has been suggested that they can get depressed without daily activity and attention.
Abyssinians have few genetic defects but they are prone to gingivitis and tooth decay. This can be minimised however with the use of dental products and annual checks at the vet.