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Affectionate and athletic, Abyssinian cats, Felis catus, are medium-sized lithe felines with a distinctive ‘ticked’ look caused by a spectrum of colors on their fur. The Aby, as the cat is nicknamed, is highly intelligent and sociable – Abyssinians can definitely go for walks on a leash.
See the fact file below for more information on the Abyssinian Cat or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Abyssinian Cat worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HISTORY AND ETYMOLOGY
- The historical origin of the Abyssinian still remains a mystery since there were few or no documents recorded.
- Thought to be one of the oldest cat breeds, Abyssinians have a great resemblance with the paintings and sculptures of ancient Egyptian cats. Some believed that the idea of the breed being a direct descendant of the sacred cats of ancient Egypt is only a romantic tale.
- Its name is derived not from Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia), was thought to be the place of origin of these cats, but because the early “Abyssinians” competitively displayed in shows were imported from that country.
- In 1868, Lord Robert Napier, a British Indian Army officer, first brought an Abyssinian cat to England. It is believed that Zula, the soldier’s cat, is the founder of the Abyssinian breed; however, there is no record yet linking Zula to the Abyssinian breed lines.
- The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) mentions that genetic studies have concluded that these cats may have come from the Indian Ocean coasts and some parts of Southeast Asia.
- The January 27, 1872 issue of Harper’s Weekly first mentions an Abyssinian, where it won the 3rd prize in the December 1871 Crystal Palace show. The description reads, “Zula, the property of Mrs. Captain Barrett-Lennard. This cat was brought from Abyssinia at the conclusion of the war…”
- Sedgemere Bottle and Sedgemere Peaty, was the first pair of Abyssinians to be registered in 1896. The stud book of the National Cat Club reveals that Sam Woodiwiss listed these two cats.
- Aluminum II, born on September 2, 1907, and Salt were the Abyssinian cats of Miss J.R. Cathcart, the first to be first imported to the United States.
- A decline of the breeds’ popularity was evident from 1920 until 1934. Miss Mary Hantzmon of Washington, D.C. obtained a ruddy female Abyssinian named Ena. In 1927, she imported a male Aby from England named Ras Seyoum.
- Ras Seyoum was considered to be the most attractive Abyssinian to date for his handsome looks and very well ticked reddish brown coat.
- In 1929, the first Abyssinian Club was established in Great Britain, in order to advocate pure breeding of the Abyssinian.
- Abyssinians are lithe cats distinguished for their ticked, richly-colored, short, fine tabby coats, with no markings on their legs, tail, and neck.
- Each of their fur is ticked with almost six bands of color – dark at the tip, lighter at the roots, and vice versa.
- The ideal Abyssinian has a vibrant color on its underside and on the inside of its legs.
- The CFA only recognizes four color coats of the Abyssinian: ruddy, blue, fawn, and red. Other colors include sorrel, tortoiseshell, cream, chocolate, and lilac.
- Abyssinian kittens originally have dark coats that lighten as they age.
- They are slender, fine-boned, medium-sized felines with well-developed muscles, typically weighing between six and ten pounds and usually between eight to ten inches long.
- Abyssinians have triangular heads with gold, green, hazel, or copper almond-shaped eyes, and large pointed ears. Their nose and chin are vertically aligned when viewed in profile. They have slender legs, small and oval paws, and long, broad tails.
- Abyssinians are active and extroverted; they are not really considered as lap cats. Owners should expect them to be very busy exploring, jumping, and climbing. They get depressed if they just stay in one place all day, doing nothing and receiving no attention.
- Aside from its nickname Aby, they are also called “Clown of the Cat Kingdom” because of their playful personality.
- They are extremely intelligent and inquisitive, described as “good problem solvers with an insatiable curiosity”.
- They are affectionate and people-oriented. They love to interact with their surroundings, especially with other cats. Males are easier-going than females. They make wonderful companions, especially to children.
- Abyssinians are well-suited to staying indoors and they make ideal house cats. They get along well with dogs; they have many dog-like characteristics, such as enjoying social interaction, learning tricks easily, and performing playful antics.
- Just like any cat, Abyssinians enjoy great heights, such as tall scratching posts or outdoor tree trunks. Because they love the great outdoors, they appreciate bird watching as well.
HEALTH AND CARE
- They are prone to pyruvate kidney deficiency, a hereditary condition where cats have intermittent anemia. This disease can affect cats as early as six months.
- The breed can also suffer from gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, and blindness caused by genetically acquired retinal degeneration brought about by gene mutations.
- Since they can acquire dental problems, owners should brush their teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and schedule regular veterinary cleanings.
- Abyssinians are low-maintenance cats – they don’t need much regular care. A bath when they start to shed is enough. Their nails should also be trimmed every week or two.
- It is recommended to feed Abyssinians with fresh meat, either raw or cooked lightly, and canned food without grains, but with vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin A and taurine.
Abyssinian Cat Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Abyssinian Cat across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Abyssinian Cat worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Abyssinian cats, Felis catus, which are medium-sized lithe felines with a distinctive ‘ticked’ look caused by a spectrum of colors on their fur. The Aby, as the cat is nicknamed, is highly intelligent and sociable – Abyssinians can definitely go for walks on a leash.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Abyssinian Facts
- Introducing Aby
- Aby Anatomy
- Aby Facts
- Kitty Milestones
- Colors of Aby
- Spot Aby
- Hotspots Illnesses
- Short-haired Felines
- Handle With Care
- Cat Mask
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Link will appear as Abyssinian Cat Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 26, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.