is one of the oldest cat breeds, although its ancestral origins
have not been firmly established.
states that they came from Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia)
as its name would suggest. However, there are no traces of
this agouti cat presently found in those lands. One beautiful
legend says that Abys were descended from the revered cats
of ancient Egypt. (Most Abyssinians themselves ascribe to
It is said
that the Pharoh Ramsès asked for a tribe of cats from
the king of Abyssinia and he brought them back with him to
banks of the Nile. In fact, there is presently a cat with
a coat similar to the Abyssinian’s in Africa called Felis
chaus (cat of the marshes). However, Felis chaus looks more
like a lynx than it does a domestic cat.
think that the Abyssinian has Asian origins since cats with
the distinctive Abyssinian ticked fur exist in India and Asia.
Origins of the Abyssinian Breed
of Abyssinian cats began in Great Britian. The first cat exhibited
under the name of “Abyssinian” was shown in London’s first
major cat show in 1871.
- In 1882
the silver coat was admitted.
- In 1889
the first standard was established by Harrisson Weir (an animal
painter and judge). At that time only the the ruddy (or usual)
colour was mentioned.
- In 1910
the breed started to develop in the United States, where the
Cat Fancier’s Association acknowledged it in 1917.
- In 1927
the first Abyssinian cats arrived in France.