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Home > Cats > 10 Fascinating Facts About Abyssinian Cats You Never Knew

10 Fascinating Facts About Abyssinian Cats You Never Knew

Abyssinian cat in the kitchen

The Abyssinian cat is one of the oldest and most interesting cat breeds in the world, and it’s why we took the time to highlight 10 of the most interesting facts about the breed for you.

From their energy levels to their physical characteristics, there’s something to pique anyone’s interest here. So, keep reading and you’ll learn a few more fascinating facts about the Abyssinian cat along the way.


10 Fascinating Facts About Abyssinian Cats

1. Abyssinian Cats Have Tons of Energy

Abyssinian cat on sofa
Image By: New Africa, Shutterstock

If you want a low-energy cat that spends its days lying around the furniture, the Abyssinian cat isn’t for you. These cats have tons of energy and love climbing, exploring, and finding other unique ways to burn that energy.

They’ll run around your house and play with toys. In short, nothing is boring about owning an Abyssinian cat. Just ensure you have a way for them to expend some energy. Otherwise, they’re going to get creative on how they get moving.

2. They Have “Ticked” Coats

A “ticked” coat is a coat with alternating light and dark shades. They typically start out lighter at the base and get darker at the tips of the fur. This ticked color pattern provides a unique pattern that breaks up an otherwise single-color coat.

These ticked coats can come in cinnamon, blue, fawn, or more, with ruddy brown as the most common color for an Abyssinian cat.

3. Some People Call Them “Aby-Grabbys”

Abyssinian cat hisses
Image By: Slava Dumchev, Shutterstock

It’s a catchy name, and anytime there’s a catchy name that matches the personality of something it tends to catch on. That’s the case with “aby-grabby.”

Abyssinian cats more than earn this nickname with their tendency to reach out with their paws and grab anything that interests them. Between their curious nature and high energy, there’s no shortage of things that interest them either!

4. They Were in an 1871 Cat Show

If you’re looking for one of the first officially recognized cats, the Abyssinian fits the bill. While the Abyssinian cat didn’t make the first cat show at London’s Crystal Palace in 1870, they made it to the second show just a year later.

Not only did the Abyssinian show up for the second cat show, but they did well, earning third place overall.

5. They Have Four Different Coat Patterns

Abyssinian cat sitting on grass
Image By: Dmitry Tsapenko, Pixabay

While there’s some confusion about just how many color patterns the Abyssinian cat has, according to the Cat Fanciers Association1, the Abyssinian cat has four officially recognized color options. Those color options are ruddy, cinnamon, blue, and fawn.

6. An Abyssinian Cat Starred in a 1978 Movie

The Disney production The Cat From Outer Space might not be the company’s biggest hit, but in 1978 the company released the movie, nonetheless. It features an extraterrestrial Abyssinian cat named Jake whose spaceship crash-lands on Earth.

It’s a bit of a stretch for sure, but not only does an Abyssinian cat make the big screen, it’s the star actor in the movie!

7. Somalis Are Very Similar to the Abyssinian Cat

The Somali is the closest relative to the Abyssinian cat out there. They’re almost identical genetically, but Somali cats feature a recessive gene that gives them long hair. Abyssinian cats have short hair, and this is pretty much the only difference between the two breeds.

blue Somali cat
Image By: Nataliya Kuznetsova, Shutterstock

8. They Are Loyal Cats

When people think about loyal pets, dogs often come to mind, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dog that’s more loyal to their owners than an Abyssinian cat. They have a strong independent streak, but don’t let that fool you.

They love interacting with people, and the bond they form with their person lasts throughout their entire life. They’ll demand attention from you, and they don’t like sharing it with other cats or animals in the house.

9. Abyssinian Cats Live a Long Time

Abyssinian cat
Image By: Osetrik, Shutterstock

If you’re getting an Abyssinian cat, you’re making a commitment for the long haul. These cats routinely live 15 years, and it’s not unheard of for them to live even longer than that. It’s a commitment for sure, so don’t get an Abyssinian cat thinking it’s only for a few years.

10. They’re Very Smart

All cats are pretty smart, but Abyssinian cats are smart even compared to other cats. They’re also highly trainable. You can train an Abyssinian cat with a clicker to complete a wide range of tricks, you can walk them on a leash, and with a bit of persistence, they can even complete an agility course.

You’ll need to take the time to train them, but with an Abyssinian, it’s certainly possible.



Now that you know a little more about the Abyssinian cat, the next time you see one you can appreciate what they have to offer just a bit more. They have a rich history, charming personalities, and tons of fascinating physical characteristics.

There’s a reason they’ve been popular for so long, and now that you know a few of their more interesting facts, we’re sure you understand why.

Featured Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock

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