The Abyssinian cat is believed to be one of the oldest domestic cat breeds in the world, as the first domestication of the Abyssinian cat occurred in the times of ancient Egypt.
Abyssinian cats are believed to have been bought and sold on the banks of the River Nile by merchants, where African wild cats (the ancestors of all domestic cats) lived in their native habitats. Abyssinian cats are more easily identified by their “marked” coat which gives their coat a mottled appearance.
Abyssinian Physical Characteristics
The Abyssinian cat has a wilder appearance than many domestic cat breeds in modern times. The Abyssinian cat has large ears (meaning it has fantastic hearing) atop its broad head, and the Abyssinian’s large almond-shaped eyes remain characteristic of this breed today.
The Abyssinian cat is a medium-sized cat with a long, muscular but slender body and a relatively short tail. Although today the Abyssinian can be found in a variety of different colors, from blue to lilac to red, the dense, silky coat of the Abyssinian was originally silver or fawn in color.
The Abyssinian cat is known to be extremely intelligent and playful and is believed to be one of the most active breeds of domestic cats, as it seems nearly impossible for the Abyssinian to sit still. Abyssinian cats are known to be extremely loyal and obedient felines, making them easy to train.
The Abyssinian cat is as wild in temperament as it is in appearance and loves to be very alert and active, which also tends to make these cats good hunters by nature.
Today, it is believed that most of today’s domestic cat species are descended from or are close descendants of the Abyssinian cats that were brought to England from North Africa in the 19th century. It is believed that the Abyssinian cat was one of the first wild cat species to have been domesticated by humans and is, therefore, one of the first wild animals to be treated as a pet.
The Abyssinian is now one of the most popular domestic cat breeds in the United States and was thought to have been first exhibited at the Crystal Palace in 1871 and the first official list of Abyssinian cat breeds was in 1882.
Abyssinian Interesting Facts
In ancient Egypt, the Abyssinian cat was seen as a sign of the gods of Ancient Egypt and therefore was thought to be a sacred animal with the legend that considered the Abyssinian the “son of the gods” and, therefore, was worshiped on Le Banks of the Nile.
This meant that the Egyptian people believed that Abyssinian cats were extremely special animals and therefore took great care of their cats, and Abyssinian cats are often depicted as sacred beings in ancient Egyptian art and legend.