Thought to originate from Ethiopia or Egypt, the Abyssinian cat is one of the most popular shorthaired cat breeds in the United States. With a distinctive coat, it is hard to mistake the Abyssinian for any other breeds.
With pointed and somewhat large ears, the cat has a wedge-shaped head with almond-shaped eyes that can range in color from copper, hazel, gold or green. The Abyssinian cat has small paws, but slender and long legs that make it well suited for leaping. With a fine bone structure, the coat is dense and soft to touch and can range in color from red to what is known as ruddy and blue fawn. Something that sets them apart from other breeds is that each hair on their coat has one base color and then contains at least three other dark-colored bands; starting at the root with the lighter colors, the darker color ends at the tip of the hair. This distinctive feature is known as ticking and is unique to only three breeds of cats.
Abyssinian cats are incredibly intelligent and are outgoing, active, playful cats who also tend to have a strong stubborn streak. They can be very affectionate with their owners but they tend to dislike being held and kept in one place for too long. Because of their high-energy levels, Abyssinian cats require a lot of affection and interaction with their people, and with another cat, in order to keep them from getting depressed and lonely.
Curious, fun-loving explorers, Abyssinians are not overly talkative cats, but they will purr very readily when content with their home and their surroundings.