Abyssinian Kitten: What to Know Before Adoption

Also known as a miniature cougar, the intelligent Abyssinian cat is a unique breed for more reasons than just their ferocious appearance. The Abyssinian cat price is a steep one if you choose to go through a breeder. However, the joys that an Abyssinian kitten will bring into your life, as well as your family’s life, are priceless. 

Abyssinian Background

The Abyssinian cat gets its name from the country that the breed is native to - Abyssinia. This is the former name of the country that is now known as Ethiopia. Some other breeds that are thought to be a part of the Abyssinian lineage include the Burmese and Siamese cats. You can see similarities in their facial features as well as in their personality traits. 

1935 was the year that these lovable cats were first bred in the United States. It also happens that they were the first cat breed to be bred here in the United States. Sadly, the Abyssinian breed was nearly wiped out during the two world wars, and again just after when a wave of feline leukemia plagued the cat populations of both the United States as well as in Great Britain. Although, the viral plague had the greatest impact on the Abyssinian population of Great Britain. In the 1960’s more Abyssinians were brought back over to Britain to begin to regrow their population.

Abyssinian Cat Colors

The Abyssinian cat surprisingly is found in a wide variety of different fur colors. One of the more common fur colors that the Abyssinian cat is seen with is the “Ruddy” fur coat. This color is described to closely resemble the color of a wild rabbit’s fur coat. The Ruddy fur color is likely due to a natural survival adaptation these cats had for means of camouflage before they were domesticated. 

All color variations all have a sort of black “ticking” effect to their fur coat, which is what contributes to their camouflage look. There are also color variations of Abyssinian Tabby cats who have the distinct “M” shaped marking on their forehead, signifying tabby status. The Blue shade of Abyssinian is the second most common fur color of this breed. The Blues have a greyish to bluish hue to them while also featuring the dark tick markings. 

Fawn is another common Abyssinian fur color. This Abyssinian has a fur coat that is made up of a variety of light fawn shades. The color combination that makes up the fawn Abyssinian is often described as an “Antique rose color”. 

Personality Quirks

The Abyssinian’s personality is a lot of what makes them such a popular breed of cat to adopt and have as an addition to the family. As kittens, they are especially curious and adventurous. They are incredibly intelligent, even from a young age. You will notice that they love to play with more complex puzzle toys for cats. Abyssinian kittens also love to people-watch, which they will continue to do even as they grow older. 

Abyssinian kittens are also very trainable.

They love playing games that take a lot of thought. Such as puzzle and tech toys that take some smart thinking in order to have it release a treat. Abyssinian kittens can also be trained to run through agility courses with a clicker, or even trained to walk on a leash. 

They also love to watch birds and other wild critters outdoors. It's a good idea to set your Abyssinian kitten up with a spot by a window, maybe with a chair or cat tree, where they can watch outdoors. Set up a bird feeder outside that same window, and they will have hours of entertainment right there. 

Health and Care Taking

Abyssinian are generally healthy overall; however, some do develop a hereditary disease called pyruvate kinase deficiency. Pyruvate is a necessary enzyme needed for red blood cell metabolism. When they are lacking this essential enzyme the Abyssinian often deals with intermittent anemia.

This condition can be found in Abyssinians as young as six months old, so if you are planning to adopt an Abyssinian kitten, this is something that’s important for you to be aware of. 

Signs and symptoms of PK- deficiency include lethargy, jaundice, and a distended abdomen. Keep a close eye on your Abyssinian kitten for these symptoms if you’ve adopted them from a shelter rather than a breeder. Adopting from a breeder will give you the insight you need on their lineage, as breeders are required to have this sort of information about their cat’s health. 

Not all Abyssinians will develop this condition, and those who do may not express any of the above listed clinical signs and symptoms. This is why it’s important that you have your Abyssinian kitten tested as soon as possible and make sure that they get all necessary cat vaccines, as this deficiency is detectable with a specialized test. That way you can be prepared to care for your kitten, should some PK signs pop up as they are growing up. The Abyssinian cat price is already a hefty one, ranging anywhere from $500-$1,200. It's best that you know what other findings you may need to have set aside for their care before committing to adopting one. 

Conclusion

Be prepared to have your hands full with an overly intelligent cat when adopting an Abyssinian kitten. They need constant stimulation and lots of human interaction. Because of these cats are smart and highly cognitive, they are known to become bored very easily, which can lead them to get into some mischief. 

Otherwise, Abyssinian kittens make a great addition to any family. They love people and interacting with them, including young children. With how trainable they are, you can be sure that you and your family will have fun playing with your Abyssinian kitten, and maybe even taking them on walks. 

Are Abyssinian cats hypoallergenic?

No breed of cat is truly allergen-free. However, cat lovers who typically suffer from allergies related to cat dander or fur do tend to have a better time around this adorable breed, due to their minimal shedding.

Are Abyssinian cats good pets?

The Abyssinian makes an excellent pet, especially for families. This breed of cat is naturally curious and always ready to play. When they're not off exploring the world around them they prefer to be snuggled up with their human, just spending time together.

How much does an Abyssinian cat cost?

On average, you can adopt an Abyssinian cat for somewhere in the price range of $75-$150. However, that price will jump up significantly if you choose to go through an Abyssinian breeder. Where you will find adoption fees as high as $500-$1,200.

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Written by Leo Roux

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