Abyssinian: Introduction to Cat Breeds
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Unfortunately, it is unclear when, how or why the Abyssinian breed developed. However, Lore says the Abys were once owned by the pharaohs, while another says they were bred in England by breeding silver and brown tabby cats with cats with patterned coats.
Since its mysterious debut at the Crystal Palace cat show in 1871, genetic testing has determined that Abyssinians may have developed somewhere along the coast of the Indian Ocean and parts of Southeast Asia. A taxidermy cat on display at the Leiden Zoological Museum in the Netherlands with the same ruddy coloration and tick marks as the Abyssinian supports this theory: taxidermy is believed to have originated in India.
Many believe the Abyssinian got its name because Zula, the cat shown at the Crystal Palace cat show in 1871, was allegedly imported from Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia). . Changes in coat color and markings can be attributed to Abyss’s breeding with other domestic cats.
American cat lovers began introducing Abyssinians in 1900, but breeding programs didn’t begin until the 1930s. Fortunately, many cats were exported from the UK to the US during this period – the breed was nearly extinct in Europe during World War II. Since then, the Abyssinian population has grown rapidly to become one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.
Despite their high exercise needs and energy levels, Abyssinians are relatively low maintenance. Because Abys has shorter, more refined coats, you don’t have to comb them every day. In fact, you can expect weekly grooming to get rid of dander and debris. It’s not required, but bathing your Aby during her shedding season can help reduce loose hair and dandruff.
Like all cats, it is important to have a regular oral health routine with your Abyssinian. Daily brushing is ideal, but even weekly brushing can help protect your cat from periodontal disease.
Abyssinians have pointed ears, so be sure to check your ears weekly for dirt and debris, or signs of infection. You can use a soft cotton cloth to clean dirt or wax buildup. Avoid using cotton swabs as they can damage the delicate inner ear structure. Contact your veterinarian if your cat’s ears (or ears) are red, inflamed, or smell strange. These can be signs of an ear infection.
As mentioned earlier, Abyssinians are very active, playful cats. Stock your house with cat toys and expect to spend a few minutes each day playing interactive games or activities with your cat. It’s also a good idea to invest in cat trees or wall-mounted shelves so your cat has a high place to perch.
common health problems
The Abyssinian is a generally healthy cat, but it is important to understand the conditions that are more common in the breed. Knowing the signs and symptoms of certain health conditions can allow you to give your cat the care it needs right away.
There is no guarantee that your Aby will or will not develop certain health problems, but be aware of the following symptoms:
- periodontal disease, infection of the tissue that holds the tooth in place. Regular oral hygiene can help prevent the development of periodontal disease.
- patellar dislocation, kneecap dislocation. This is a genetic disorder that can be treated with surgery.
- progressive retinal atrophy, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness.
If you are concerned about your cat’s health, talk to your veterinarian about steps you can take to ensure she lives a long, happy, healthy life.
Diet and Nutrition
A cat’s dietary needs are largely determined by its age, sex, and activity level. Refer to your favorite cat food brand’s feeding guide, or discuss with your veterinarian how much to feed your Abyssinian cat. Remember: Overfeeding can lead to dangerous health conditions, such as obesity.
where to adopt an abyssinian
Thoroughbred Abyssinians may be difficult to find at your local shelter, so try to find rescue groups in your area. Pet search sites, like Petfinder.com, also make it easy to search for pets in your area and filter by breed.
If you choose to buy an Abyssinian from a breeder, do your research to make sure they are ethical and responsible. An ethical breeder will work hard to maintain breed standards and produce healthy cats. Watch for red flags, such as multiple cats or unhealthy cats on site. Never let a breeder ship a cat to your home or charge you online.
More cat breeds and further research
The Abyssinian is an energetic, active cat that gets along well with children and other pets. If you are very busy and often away from home, you may want to consider giving your Aby a companion cat, or consider a different breed.
Other cat breeds that are similar to Abyssinians include: