Abyssinian Cat

The Abyssinian (Pronunciation: /æbəˈsɪniən/) is a breed of domesticated cat with a distinctive ticked coat. There are many stories about its origins, often revolving around Egypt, but the actual origins are uncertain. The Abyssinian has become one of the most popular breeds of shorthair cat in the USA.
The name 'Abyssinian' refers to Ethiopia, but most of the stories about the origins of Abyssinians refer to Egypt. Genetic research suggests the breed originated near the coast of the Indian Ocean, where colonists may have purchased animals from wild animal traders. The breed was developed in the United Kingdom.
The breed is sometimes believed to have originated from one Egyptian female kitten named Zula, who was taken from a port in Alexandria by a British soldier and brought to England. This theory is not established because there is no solid link between Zula and the cat first listed as an Abyssinian in 1882.
Many sources repeat the story that the Abyssinian breed is a few thousand years old and comes from Ancient Egypt, as the cats resemble those in ancient paintings. There are also stories that wild 'Abyssinians' live in parts of North Africa today.
Physical characteristics

The Abyssinian's body is of medium length, lithe, and with well-developed muscles. The legs are slender in proportion to the body, with a fine bone structure. The paws are small and oval. The Abyssinian has a fairly long tail, broad at the base and tapering to a point.
The head is broad and moderately wedge-shaped, with almond-shaped eyes that range from gold, green, hazel or copper. The nose and chin usually form a straight vertical line when viewed in profile. The Abyssinian's alert, relatively large ears are broad and cupped at the base, and moderately pointed at the tips, where tufts of hair are commonly seen. Large ear tufts are viewed as a must for show breeds. An M-shaped marking is sometimes found in the fur on the forehead. The "M" shaped marking, also referred to "frown lines", appear above an Abyssinian's eyes. They have markings, most often referred to as "mascara lines", appearing from the corners of their eyes.


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