What Does an Abyssinian Cat Eat? The Definitive Care Guide

Introduction

Abyssinians are one of the most domesticated pets, and they have a characteristic look like that of a small mountain lion. They are a very friendly animal, sociable and fun to live with.

They have a warm ticked coat which gives a luminous look when in motion and when not. The cats are highly alert, agile and active.

They are not usually kept as a lap cat because they fidget a lot and are very energetic. The Abyssinian cat is so playful and loves to be in the company of people. However, they are a kind of jealous animal because they crave for attention so they won’t be so comfortable having another cat around them.

The Abyssinian cat comes in different beautiful colours you can choose from such as Chocolate, Silver, Cinnamon, Ruddy, Blue, and Lilac. 

All you would need to know about an Abyssinian cat would be discussed in further details in this article. This information will help you to take good care of your Abyssinian cat.

What are Abyssinian Cats?

The Abyssinian cat looks like jungle cats which are known as the ancestor of domestic cats of today. The cat has their first origin in Ethiopia.

Hence the name Abyssinian comes from the name Ethiopia was originally known as “Abyssinian.” There is another school of thought that Abyssinian cat came about by the cross breed of silver and brown tabbies with ticked cats of British origin.

In the early 1900's, these cats were imported into North America, and that led to their domestication.

Abyssinian cats are one of the most intelligent animals ever domesticated. They are very pleasant and love to live with people. The cats are very loyal, and they easily understand their trainer. 

They are also very active, and they like to play a lot so you should buy them a lot of toys.

There are several distinguishing features of Abyssinian cat such as markings and bloodline.

You need to take note of this while purchasing your cat. Most of these cats are adopted at around twelve weeks of age after they must have received their basic immunisations.

What Does an Abyssinian Cat Eat?

Feeding your Abyssinian cat with the right diet is a perfect way to keep them healthy and free of some common health issues associated with the cat. 

The right diet combination will help reduce the risk of your cat having urinary tract issues as they get older. The cat is related to the wild animal family of lions, cheetahs, and tigers so they share the similar feeding pattern.

It is quite selective in its choice of diet and it can go on a hunger strike if not fed the right diet. Abyssinian cat prefers to eat foods rich in protein and fat, unlike humans who also feed on fruits and vegetables.

Do not feed your cat with carbohydrate foods as they can’t process them correctly. Obesity issues and diabetes will set in when fed with carbohydrate-rich diet.

The right food for your Abyssinian cat should comprise of predominantly protein in wet and dry form. Meat is a very rich protein source which supplies energy and helps to build muscles and provides energy for other body functions. Other protein sources include chicken and turkey.

What is the Best Portion Size?

There are some factors you should consider when deciding on the portion size to feed your Abyssinian cat. You need to find out if your cat has done a sterilisation surgery before.

Another thing to consider is if you would love to keep it in the house, yard or both. Your answers will help to determine the diet requirement and the portion size to feed your cat.

The next step is to consult with a veterinary doctor to help you identify the ideal weight and dietary requirement of your Abyssinian cat.

The key to determining the right portion size for your Abyssinian cat is to know the food quantity it needs and stick to it. Within a short time, your cat will get used to it and maintain a healthy weight.

One reason why you need to get the ideal portion size is to prevent your cat from getting obese. Abyssinian cats love to eat all through the day, so you need to prepare to make your cat food available at all time. 

You can also give your cat treats but ensure you don’t overfeed them with treats as it would reduce their real, nutritious food intake.

What is the Best Feeding Time?

There is no constant or general feeding time for your cat; it mostly depends on when your cat feels hungry and your daily schedule. There are some facts to know before deciding on the best feeding time for your Abyssinian cat. 

Your cat’s digestive system is quite short and food passes through it fast. Within 12-24 hours the food in the cat’s digestive system gets digested.

This is why you need to ensure that you feed your cat intermittently. Abyssinian cats love to be fed promptly but there are times you may not be available to feed your cat at the scheduled time.

To forestall such from affecting your beloved pet, you could employ the use of automated feeders. The automated feeders work with time and you could pour your cat feed into it and set the time for it.

The automated feeders could feed several times in a day. Alternatively, you can schedule your cats feeding pattern to fit into your work schedule so your cat would get used to it.

Where Do Abyssinian Cats Come From?

The Abyssinian cat breed is one of the widely owned cat breeds in the world. Though it is one of the oldest domesticated breeds of the cat, their history is unknown to many.

Ancient tales suggest that these cats are descendants of sacred cat of Egypt because they bear a resemblance to the cats as portrayed on the ancient artifacts.

Another recent history of this breed dates back to 1882 when a pretty cat named Zula was brought to the United Kingdom from Abyssinia. The cat was brought to the UK by a captain of the British army who was conducting operations. 

But there has been no documentation about the linkage of Zula with today’s Abyssinian cat breed.

Thus, it was held that Abyssinian cats were developed in Britain. It is often said that they were officially brought to the UK in 1900 and later on, they were displayed in 1909.

Gradually, the charm of this breed started spreading extensively. By 1930s this breed was introduced in the United States and was accepted to be one of the most loved cat breeds because of their big bright eyes as well as unique coat pattern and charismatic personality.

They are also known as Somali which are the descendants of Abyssinian, and they have been named after Somalia, which borders Ethiopia which was previously known as Abyssinia to develop a connection with the each other.

What is the Cat's Ideal Weight

Adult Abyssinian cats reach their full adulthood weight by the first year. Their weight is entirely dependent on the genetics and food intake. 

When gender is taken into consideration, male Abyssinian cats weigh more than the females. But the difference of the weights between them is not that high.

The weight is the Abyssinian cats range from 8-12 pounds. They grow at a subtle rate. Both males and females grow slowly reaching a proper height and weight by the time they are one year old.

As these cats are quite active, they do not gain a lot of weight which is why their weight remains consistent for at least 12 years.

If you want to help your Abyssinian cat to retain a lean and thin body that they are usually known for then, you can purchase the excellent cat furniture that they can continuously use for climbing, and they can repeat the same activity repeatedly to attain a slim body.

You can help them lose their weight by making them adhere to the diet which would help them lose weight in less time. Here, you can provide them with high-quality protein and low fat to maintain their weight within healthy parameters.

These days, cat companies have acknowledged the issue and included some essential ingredients in cat food that would keep them healthy and not let them gain weight.

It is also said that Genetics plays a crucial role in determining their weight. An Abyssinian cat coming from parents with average height and weight tends to follow the same suit.

How Long Do They Typically Live?

These cats reach full maturity by the time they are a year old. They are considered to be healthy and can be expected to live more than 15 years.

They can suffer from potential health problems like Patellar Luxation as well as severe gingivitis, a sort of gum disease and it is also known as “Aby Mouth.”

Thus, strict dental care is imperative for them. An Abyssinian cat has a capability of living till 25 years if they are kept healthily and cleanly.

But sometimes they fall prey to genetic diseases like erythrocyte pyruvate-kinase deficiency, which is a red blood cell disease and tend to affect their health and shorten their living years.

There’s another sort of kidney disease amyloidosis which can reduce the number of years they can survive. A disease by the name of progressive retinal atrophy can cause them blindness, thus also shortening their living years.

Therefore, it is advisable to all the cat owners to conduct a proper check- up for them and ensure that they do not suffer from any of the above- mentioned fatal diseases.

These beautiful cats should be taken maximum care of as a slight ignorance would harm their health to fatal

What are their Personalities Like?

Abyssinian cats are one of the most popular breeds in the world. The reason behind why they are adored so much is not just confined to their striking appearance but also their unique and fantastic personality. 

Abyssinian cats are one of the most intelligent cat breeds, and thus, they are known for their brilliant acumen and subtlety. They have a fantastic skill of applying their intelligence to their playful nature thus, being a bright playmate to their owners.

They are one of the most playful breeds and are known for their spirited attitude. They are always ready to play games with their owners and this makes them one of the fun-loving cats.

One of the most significant traits is that they are quite talkative. You will never find them quiet. They wander around meowing and cooing, coming up with every possible way for generating communication with their owners.

They are quite sociable and have a sweet voice which would not keep you away from these amazing creatures. They are a bundle of joy that lighten up your mood with their presence.

Perhaps, one of the most appealing traits of Abyssinian cats is how loving and charming they are. They are incredibly loyal and devoted to their owners. Therefore, they make an excellent companion for an active family, especially little kids.

What are the Typical Colors of Abyssinian Cats?

They are generally recognized as the oldest breed. They can sometimes be confused with tabbies but can be distinguished well by their ticked coats, which is quite smooth and silky to touch.

The most common colours of Abyssinian cats are red, cream, ruddy, and blue. Ruddy brown and chocolate brown are one of the common variants. The colour of the Abyssinian cats’ changes with growing age. The longer it takes, the better colour they would come up with.

Warm brown Abyssinian cats with black ticked patterns consist of deep orange colour on the interior sides of their limbs and stomach.

Ruddy Abyssinian cats will have red, cinnamon, or sorrel coat. Abyssinians were also known for their dark patterns and quite rich coats.

Blotched, spotted and mackerel variants are almost non- existent these days. Correlating with the colours, Abyssinian cats can have green, hazel or rich golden eyes.

You might also come across the silver varieties about this breed.

Are High Protein Diets Recommended?

Abyssinian cats have diets similar to that of other cat breeds. The digestive system of the Abyssinian cat like any other cat is shorter as compared to that of the dogs as such food goes through their digestive system faster.

Cats generally are carnivores and thus require foods similar to what they will come by in the wild. This implies that foods that are high in protein and a slight balance of carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins are required.Too much carbohydrate foods can result in obesity which can further lead to diabetes.

Research has proven that adult acts need a minimum of 26% protein in their diet. A high protein diet with reduced fat help produce muscle tissue over fat It is important that pet owners take the diet of their cats very seriously and not lazy around with it.

Without meat, there certain challenges the cat may encounter. They include protein deficiency and imbalance of amino acids. Poor maintenance of healthy diets can result in kidney problems, urinary tract infections and other health relates issues.

Are Abyssinian Cats Intelligent?

The intelligence of any cat is not a measure of how swift they are in reading books but rather how well they are with regards to training, their interaction with other animals as well as how fast they can acclimatize to new environments.

Abyssinian cats, also nicknamed Aby, are intelligent as well as very inquisitive, confident and nimble and carry and heir of superiority –these traits will qualify for any man’s dream woman.

It loves to climb up as high as you can imagine exploring and discovering new places with a detective eye observing whatever is going on.

The cat is good at learning tricks and sometimes trains people to do what it wants. Due to its curious ability, it can easily be taught to go for walks on a strap or leash.

They also love to interact with their owners and communicate a sense of happiness whenever they are being stimulated psychologically.

The cats have their concept of object permanence fully developed thus their sensorimotor intelligence is fully developed.

One major trait with respect to their intelligence is their excellent memories. This ability makes them adapt to new environments because they can adapt their memories of past environments their entire lifetime.

Like any other cat, the Abyssinian cat has binocular vision which gives the ability to depth perception; that is the ability to perceive their environment in three dimension.

Are They Good In a Family Environment?

Abyssinian cats are generally outgoing, hyperactive and very wilful. They love to play around a lot and they are people oriented. Generally, they have high levels of adaptability and affection. 

Their love for attention is amazing and they are willing to go all lengths to get such attention from its owners. They can do well with anybody regardless of age, all they need is someone who can train and play with them.

They have no problem living in an animal house all alone so far as they continue to remain the center of attraction. They will seek out their human for a few moments of quiet cuddle time.

The cats draw their source of happiness from interaction with the family. They are easy going when it comes to their interaction with other cats. There are some instances where the females get a bit moody around other cats, and this is typical of most females including humans.

To keep them entertained for a long period of time, all they need is toys especially puzzle toys that need additional brain power release and games that also train them to run an agility course.

Due to their curiosity and intelligence, they are excited to be entertained by activities taking place in their environment.

This makes them excellent candidates for an active family, especially when it comes to children. There’s something special about them, once you are owned by one, you always have to have an Abyssinian in your home.

Are They Expensive to Maintain?

Abyssinian cats are very low maintain cats requiring only occasional maintenance. Providing a conducive environment for the cats ensures a healthy living which will save the owner so much.

Providing proper diet, regular brushing of teeth, exercise, and coat as well adhering to schedule of examinations and vaccinations are ways of ensuing the animal stays healthy at all times.

By building its routine care, it is assured of long life and healthy living thus saving cost.

Other basic needs such as providing clean litter boxes at all times, high quality feline-diet appropriate for their age, providing enough drinking water, and exercising cat regularly by engaging them with high- activity toys are ways of keeping the cat healthy.

Maintenance will only become expensive to the owners if all these measures are not properly put in place. Any abnormal sign should be treated urgently as it could be just a minor issue but may aggravate to a serious illness if taken lightly.

Does the Abyssinian Cat Need Regular Grooming?

Abyssinian cats have smooth hair so grooming and cat maintenance is not much of a headache as they are good at keeping themselves neat at all times. 

Nonetheless, there’s a need for regular checks such as occasional brushing their teeth with vet-approved pet toothpaste, trimming of nails and regular veterinary cleanings will help to ensure cats stay healthy.

When the cat grooms itself by licking their fur, they may ingest some of the hair. Occasional swallowing of hair has minimal effects as they pass through the digestive system without any complications.

But residual hairs which stay in the system for long may cause hairballs. These hairballs can result in loss of appetite, constipation, lethargy, and diarrhea.

One way of avoiding such complications is grooming the cat frequently and ensuring healthy diets i.e. providing feeds which help prevent the developing hairballs.

One other reason why occasional grooming may be of importance is because even the very clean cats can pick up fleas during summer.

Picking up fleas comes along with many complications such as tapeworm infestation, anemia (the fleas suck a lot of blood when they settle on the cats), and allergy dermatitis among others.

These present mostly as consistent scratching. Running fine metal combs through the cat’s coat and using spray solution are ways of detecting and preventing fleas.

Are Abyssinian Cats Likely Collect Hairballs?

All cats are well known for their cleanliness. They spend more than 50% of the time in self-grooming. When they groom themselves:

  • They lick their fur.
  • Take their paw over their fur.
  • Clean their paws and toes by licking them.
  • They sharpen their nail.

The Abyssinian cat is no different from its counterparts. It also spends a considerable amount of time in grooming itself. During their grooming session, they may end up collecting hairballs.

Hairballs are the loosened hair that goes into the cat’s mouth during the grooming session. This is a very common element in a cat’s day to day life.

Mostly, the collected hair will pass through their digestive tract and will be ejected as a cat waste.

However, in some cases, these hairballs will not get digested and your cat may find it uneasy and cough it up. This leads to an additional work to its owners.

How can we avoid this situation?

  • Groom your cats: Regular grooming session done by the owners can reduce the collection of hair in your cat’s belly. An added advantage is this grooming session can be utilized as your bonding time.

  • Consult a Veterinarian: If your cat is regularly coughing up hairballs, it is definitely not a routine habit. Especially if you notice food content along with the coughed up hairball. These are signs that your cat is chronically ill and needs medical attention.
    https://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/pet-articles/pet-health/Cats-and-Hairballs.aspx

Do Abyssinian Cats Shed a Lot? 

Shedding is a very natural process in all living beings. Abyssinian cats are no different. Their shedding level is very low on normal days since they have very short fur. 

A weekly grooming session will be good enough to get all their loosened hair to fall off and they will be good until their next weekly grooming schedule.

Although, their shedding is on the peak during spring and autumn where they lose all the dead fur, there is nothing to worry about your cat’s health during these 2 seasons since all Abyssinian cats shed during this time. 

Ensure to have extra grooming sessions during this particular time. Increase the number to twice or thrice a week from your normal once a week schedule.

Do keep in check for abnormal shedding at all other times since it may be symptoms of allergies or infections. Get your cat for an immediate check-up to your veterinarian when your cat suffers from excessive shedding.

Symptoms to look for during excessive shedding to confirm it is not natural are:

  • When your cat excessively starts scratching itself.
  • You may find bald spots where the fur started falling out.
  • Your cat might obsessively start scratching at one particular part.

Can Abyssinian Cats Be Left Alone?

Unlike most cat breeds, these cats are known to be loyal and very affectionate. They are a fun-loving bunch and can definitely be on the list of top fun-loving pets you can own.

However, one of the notable cons of Abyssinian cats are the consequences of leaving it alone. You can leave him/her alone for few short hours.

However, if you are leaving them alone and uncared for longer hours be prepared to be ignored. Abyssinian cats love being the center of attraction and they always crave for the limelight.

When they are left alone they get easily bored. And when you get back you will be ignored as if the cat forgot your entire existence and like you were away for ages and not just a few hours.

If you are taking longer trips for more than a day, it is better not to leave your cat alone. There are various problems like food, water, potty issues , grooming session, and above all boredom and loneliness.

There are chances of them being injured or sick and will be uncared if they are alone. So in case of unavoidable long trips ensure to make the necessary arrangements for your pet before leaving.

Is the Abyssinian Cat Hypoallergenic?

No cat is hypoallergenic. It is a common notion that cats with less or no fur are hypoallergenic since allergies are caused by their fur. But this is not true at all.

Allergies are caused by a glycoprotein called "Fel d 1" which is secreted by the sebaceous glands. This substance is nowhere related to a cat’s fur. This substance is present in all cat’s saliva, mucous glands, sweat glands etc. Since the cat is always grooming itself the saliva gets secreted on its fur and gets dried and turns into dandruff like substance.

It travels around the air. Thus petting or being close to a cat causes allergies to people who are allergy prone to these furry friends and come to a conclusion that fur is the reason for allergies. Even if you get a furless cat your chances of allergies are the same since they also groom themselves and secrete Fel d 1.

The Abyssinian cat is not different from its other feline mates. Siberian cats and even Bengals cats are few of the cat breeds that produce very less Fel d1. Hence are few of the breeds that cause very less or no allergies.

Do They Get Along OK With Dogs?

Abyssinian Cats will definitely top the list of cats that socialize well and get along with both the family and the pets. 

They are fun-loving cats who love to play tricks and be the center of attraction. If you own a dog and an Abyssinian cat, then you can for sure see them trotting along and having fun like they were best buds for ages.

However, you need to give it time to adjust if it is new to your place. You need to introduce each member of your family to it slowly especially if there are children at home. Keep your dog’s introduction for the last.

They can easily get frightened in a new environment. You need to take real slow steps. They are an intelligent and friendly breed, so they will catch upon with you pretty soon. Once all the introductions are complete and they get comfortable around you, the children and the dogs you will start seeing their fun sides. Then they will be inseparable from kids and dogs.

Lindsey Browlingdon
 

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