Hi, my name’s Irena and I live on the beautiful island of Crete in Greece with my crazy, but lovable dog, Sherlock, and three cats, Hammie, Dimitris, and Ebony.
Today I’m going to tell you more about Abyssinian cats and the colors they come in. They are pretty amazing cats so read on.
What are Abyssinian Cats?
Abyssinian cats have short hair and a ‘ticked’ appearance which is what makes them stand out.
Each one of their hairs is banded with different colors which give you a tabby effect. They are medium-sized cats weighing between 6 and 10 pounds
Abyssinian cats originated in Abyssinia, which is now Ethiopia, and they were named after their country. Mummified remains of these cats were found in the tombs of Pharaohs in Egypt as well.
These cats arrived in the UK in the 19th century. They were brought over as kittens by soldiers who were fighting in Abyssinia and became very popular pets.
Abyssinian cats are elegant and slender and are medium-sized. They have wedge-shaped heads, large pointed ears which have tufts at the end of them, and long legs.
An Abyssinian cat has almond-shaped eyes which can be a variety of colors: copper, hazel, green, or gold depending on the color of their fur.
They have great personalities which in a lot of ways mimics that of dogs. Abyssinians are more dedicated to their owners than most cats and will even follow their people wherever they go.
They love to play, are intelligent, and curious. They enjoy climbing so if you have a garden with trees it will be ideal for them.
If you want to keep your Abyssinians as indoor cats perhaps you can build them an outside compound with high places for them to climb up.
I am all for indoor cats as if they go outside, they can be run over or catch diseases. Also, pedigree cats are at risk of being stolen.
If you can’t do this or live in an apartment, it’s a good idea to get some tall cat trees. More often than not, you’ll find these cats perched on the top surveying the world around them.
Sometimes it seems as if these cats never sleep. One minute they can be looking out of the window at the birds and the next sitting on top of the fridge supervising you while you make dinner.
They also love toys and puzzle toys will challenge their minds. Abyssinians like to be doing things and being the center of attention.
They do best with a companion, especially another Abyssinian so that they can play together.
Alone, your cat might dismantle things looking for something to do. If you have to work long hours these might not be the cats for you.
Abyssinians are a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. They will play fetch just like a dog, will learn tricks, and will revel in the attention of polite children.
They are smart so will avoid toddlers, but they will love school-age children who match their energy levels.
They’re not scared of anything, not even dogs and they will happily make friends with dogs if they don’t trouble them.
Abyssinians are generally healthy cats, but there are a few illnesses that they are prone to developing.
The first is pyruvate kinase deficiency. This causes anemia and before you purchase your Abyssinian kitten, check that they have been tested for it.
Abyssinians can also get progressive renal atrophy which will eventually cause blindness.
Cats are carnivores and will become ill if they are deprived of meat. If you’re a vegan, don’t put your Abyssinians on a vegan diet as it’s not healthy for them.
Buy them high-quality cat food, not a cheap supermarket brand which could have empty fillers like wheat, corn, and soy.
Also, make sure that you buy them the appropriate food for their age. Growing kittens need different nutrients and more calories than a grown or senior cat does.
It’s not difficult to find cat food specially designed for seniors or kittens.
Abyssinians have fine, dense, and close-lying fur. Because they are short-haired, it is easy to care for their coats.
You don’t really need to brush them, but they will probably enjoy it if you do as they like human interaction.
To make their fur shine, rub a damp chamois leather over their fur. They will gleam in the sunlight.
It is a good idea to bathe them when they are shedding, but that’s probably easier said than done with cats. It does, however, remove extra hair in the tub rather than on your furniture.
Abyssinian Cat Colors
When Abyssinians are kittens, they have dark coats that become lighter over time and turns into whichever color group they belong to.
It takes a few months for their fur to lighten. You will be able to tell from their parents which color you will be getting.
The ‘ticked’ effect of the coat is what places these cats apart from other cats. It’s not something you see in other breeds.
In fact, they are similar to hares who also have this feature. In cats, it is a variant of the tabby breed. Each hair is light at the base and then gradually gets darker towards the tip.
The paw pads, back of the hind legs, and the ridge of the spine and tail are darker than the rest of their bodies which are uniform in color.
You won’t get patches of other colors on pedigree Abyssinians. In addition, too much gray in the base color will probably exclude them from shows as it is a fault.
However, they can have a little white on their chins as well as the M shaped marking on their foreheads which is also common with tabbies.
They have dark lines that extend from the eyes and the brow. The eyes stand out because they have fine dark lines circled by light-colored areas matching the ticking color.
Cat associations appreciate it if they have cheekbone and whisker pad shadings.
7 Abyssinian Cat Colors
The Cat Fanciers Association, the world’s largest organization for pedigree cats will accept only 4 Abyssinian cat colors: Ruddy, Blue, Fawn, and Sorrel.
There are, however, 3 other colors, Silver, Chocolate, and Lilac.
The UK’s Cat Association and the TICA (The International Cat Association) recognize the Chocolate shades and the Silver Abyssinians.
This color is known as Usual in the UK, but Ruddy elsewhere. It is the original color of Abyssinians and these cats have a reddish-brown base with black ticking.
Some people think that they look a bit like a cougar. Their noses are red, and they have black or brown paw pads.
The inside of the legs and the underbelly are a warm reddish color. The feet and the back of their hind legs are black and there is black between the toes.
The base of their coats is much lighter than the tips of their fur which are a dark blackish color.
This is the second most popular color of Abyssinians to be found. They are a warm beige color ticked with different shades of slate blue.
They have a warm look about them which wants you to cuddle them. Their noses are a dark rose and their paw pads, mauve, with a slate blue color between the toes.
Even though this is one of the recognized colors of Abyssinians, they are quite rare, and you will have to search the internet if you want one.
They make use of different shades of fawn in various shades. The base of the coat is a cocoa brown color and it is ticked by lighter bands of fawn or rose-beige.
The back stripe and the tail are dark cream. The leather round their noses and their paws are pinkish or dark cream shade.
There is a deep pink color between their toes which extends slightly up the backs of the paws. They give the appearance of having an antique rose coloration.
The last of the fully recognized Abyssinian cats are Sorrels. They lack the black color of the Ruddy as the gene that causes this color is recessive.
Their coats are copper-colored, apricot, or yellowish-brown, and they are ticked with chocolate brown as are the inside of their legs and the underbelly.
Their pads are pink and there is a chocolate color between the toes and their noses are pink.
Unique Abyssinian Cat Colors
Now we come to the unique colors which are recognized as pedigrees only by certain associations.
Still, this doesn’t make them less of an Abyssinian and their colors are so interesting that they are definitely worth looking at.
Silver is one of the oldest Abyssinian colors that there is, and they are beautiful cats.
The coat is a color of white silver to gray and it is ticked with black, blue, cinnamon, or dark cream. Their noses are a light red color as are the paws.
This color, however, is difficult to perfect as the cats often have tan patches over their bodies, taking away the ticked effect.
The Silver color is also found in other shades which are extremely attractive.
There is the Blue Silver which has a white-gray base with a blue-gray color at the tips of the hair bands. This gives the cats a bluish-gray appearance.
Their noses are brick red and are outlined with a bluish-gray color.
Another color is the Fawn Silver. These cats have a silver-gray base with a beige color at the tips of their hairs. This creates a fawn-gray shade to the coat. Their noses are brick red outlined with deep pink.
The Black Silver has black ticking and this color is also at the tip of their tails and soles of their feet. Their noses are brick red and are outlined by black.
The final silver color is the Sorrel Silver which has reddish-brown ticking. This color is also at the tips of their tails and the soles of their feet.
Their noses are brick red and are outlined by brown. All the Silver cats are beautiful in appearance and I personally think that they should be recognized by all cat associations.
The chocolate color gene came from a cross between an Abyssinian and a chocolate-pointed Siamese back in the 1970s.
The base color of these Abyssinians is a rich apricot, and they are ticked with a dark chocolate brown.
Their paws are also a chocolate color and the noses are pink. They have the appearance of copper-colored cats with a brownish tint.
This is a very unusual color and is not recognized by many cat associations. They are a pastel version of the chocolate Abyssinian.
The base of their coats is pinkish cream in color while the ticking is dove-gray with hints of pink. The paws and the nose are a mauve-pink color.
Final Thoughts: Abyssinian Cat Colors
Abyssinians are lovely cats. They are smart, curious, playful, and make great family pets. In a lot of ways, they resemble dogs in their devotion to their family.
They also love to climb so if you have indoor Abyssinians make sure that you have ceiling-high cat trees.
They are not at all like the perceived image of the aloof cat who expects you to be their slave.
Abyssinians also have a unique appearance with a slender body and ears which look a little too big for them.
They come in a wide range of colors so you will be spoilt for choice. Officially they come in just 4 colors, Ruddy, Blue, Fawn, and Sorrel.
But there are others which are recognized by other cat associations, Silver, Chocolate, and Lilac, and these are also attractive. Whichever you choose you will be guaranteed a friend for life.