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Does the Abyssinian dates back to the Blue Nile, being a descendent of the sacred cat of Ancient Egypt? It does indeed resemble the cats depicted in Egyptian art.

Did it come back to England with soldiers at the end of the Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) War? The British soldiers did bring back a cat named Zula at the end of that war in 1868. But are today’s Abyssinian s a descendent from Zula? There’s no documentation to prove this.

Or does the Abyssinian date back to India, and come from the cats around the coastal area of the Bay of Bengal? According to the Cat Fancier Association’s (CFA)website, recent genetic studies to find these cats could be the origin of the Abyssinian breed.

The Abyssinian is one of the oldest breeds of domesticated cats, but its real ancestry is shrouded in mystery. Today’s these cats prove to be popular with cat fanciers and ordinary Joe’s and Jane’s, known for their expressive eyes, unique coat pattern and personality.

History is not shrouded once the Abyssinian arrived in England. They were developed and showcased. In the early 1900’s, they arrived in the United States, and were first exhibited in 1909.

In the 1930s, an effort to develop the Abyssinian in the United States took hold, and it became one of America’s favorite breeds. Abyssinian is a short-haired cat whose coat has an iridescent warmth of color produced by ticking.

The Abyssinian comes in a number of colors including:

  • Ruddy
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Blue
  • Lilac
  • Fawn
  • And Silver

The Cat Fancier Association describes the cat as having an icy white coloration closest to the skin, followed by ticking up the hair shaft.

Paws asks, “What’s ticking?” CFA defines Agouti ticking as, “where each shaft of hair has four to six bands of alternating rich color similar to that of a bunny coat. The coat is resilient and when rubbed against the lay of the coat it snaps back into place.

Similarly colored, the Somali, believed to be the longer-haired version of the Abyssinian, has a very soft and finely textured coast.

The softness of the coat varies on the color, because pigment particles have different shapes and distribution within the hair shaft causing the texture to vary.

Have you ever owned an Abyssinian? What are their temperaments like? How would you describe them? Would you recommend them to singles, people with families, or older folks? Please share your stories.

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About the Author

BJ Bangs is an established journalist, photographer, and an aspiring author. She loves everything about cats, including writing about them.

One Response to Wordless Wednesday: Abyssinian’s ancestry clouded

  1. CatLadyDaily says:

    Clouded history or not – beautiful creatures! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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Catpersonable BJ Bangs



At Paws for Reflection, we're serious about cats, writing about cat health, cat rescue and cat news. We delve into why cats are the absolute best soul mates. We spring in a little humor with lots of travel tips, photos and a few feline tales, making Paws for Reflection a must stop for cat information on the cat crazed Internet. BJ is an award-winning blogger/journalist, communications professional and photographer.

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