Abyssinian | Cat Breed Guide

Abyssinian | Cat Breed Guide

by Scritch

The Abyssinian is curious, intelligent, and a great pet for families with children and/or other pets. The breed is known for suffering from pyruvate kinase deficiency.

Weight: 9-16 pounds 

Life Expectancy: 14-17 years

Temperament: social, playful, adventurous

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

Abyssinians may look like they can trace their roots back to ancient Egypt, but their true origin is shrouded in mystery.

The earliest known mention of this breed comes from a book published in 1874. Written by Gordon Stables, his work discusses an Abyssinian (Aby) named Zulu, owned by a woman named Mrs. Barrett-Lennard.

Those seeking sweet, quiet lap cats will not find them in Abyssinians. Rather than spend all day sleeping or resting under a sunny window, these animals love to play and explore. Filled with energy and always up for something new, the Abyssinian craves mental stimulation. It is important to give them something to focus on. Some owners create puzzles for them to solve, while others train their pets to perform impressive tricks. There is never a dull moment when an Abyssinian is around.

Abyssinians do not mind being the only cat in the house. In fact, they prefer it. They want to be the center of attention. So long as someone is home to interact with them, they are happy.

The Aby fares better with older children but can live with younger children who treat him with respect. Cat-friendly dogs are also fine.


Because these cats have a short coat, grooming is only necessary once or twice a week. Nails should be trimmed every 10 days. Abyssinians come in a variety of colors, including ruddy, blue, cream, and red.

Health Concerns

  • Periodontal disease
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency

Abyssinians are susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease, a common problem that can lead to plaque buildup, inflammation, tooth loss, and severe pain. Regular teeth cleaning is important and should not be neglected. Owners must monitor the situation and contact a vet immediately should something worsen.

Pyruvate kinase deficiency makes it difficult for the body to keep red blood cells. When an Abyssinian has this condition, they can develop jaundice, weight loss, lethargy, and a variety of other symptoms. PK deficiency can harm cats of either gender. As it is inherited, it cannot be prevented.

Pet insurance can assist with treatment costs and provide peace of mind.