Posted: 17 Sep 2011 05:06 PM PDT
Are you a cat person? If so, there are several breeds to choose from that may fit your lifestyle and temperament. One such breed is the Abyssinian cat.
The name sounds exotic and this cat is. The modern Abyssinian domesticated cat is believed to have hailed from Egypt, where the cat is revered in ancient statuary and hieroglyphics. A cat named Zula was taken back to England by a British soldier who bred it with an English tabby cat.
Modern "Abbys" as they are called, have sleek ticked coats of a tawny color with tabby cat markings. Their color can also range between ruddy, red and blue. They have large pointed ears and large almond eyes of green or gold.
Cats always seem to look at you like they are hiding something, but this cat is an open book. They are warm and friendly to their owners and others in the family. They are social cats that love companionship and play time with the family. Lack of affection can lead to depression.
They are active. Abyssinian cats love to explore and play. Instead of the lap, they are most usually seen riding on their master's shoulders, which may be a throwback from their royal days in Egypt. They do get along with other cats or animals in the house.
The coat of this cat is short and close fitting. This is conducive to very little shedding and not many hairballs. A light brushing when they need it is ideal. An occasional bath is okay too. But, like most other cats, the majority of the grooming is done by them. Like other cats, keep claws trimmed, for their protection and yours.
Cats are also prone to stress in their lives and can be affected by stress in the home. They can develop psychogenic alopecia (hair loss due to stress) from excessive grooming. Be sure, however, that the hair loss is not due to a parasite, worm or bacteria they have picked up.
Other tips: Routine dental care is also recommended because they are prone to gingivitis. Some are prone to a congenital form of retinal atrophy.
For cats, usually they are doing the training. With Abyssinians, they may teach their owners how to play fetch with them. As a kitten, prevent nipping, biting and scratching by using a spray water bottle. It seems cruel, but a spray to the nose (avoid the eyes) when biting occurs will discourage the behavior. This includes scratching on the furniture as well.
Abyssinian cats are great for those who don't want a lot of pet hair but want a pet that won't mind being a constant companion. Whether in an apartment or a single family home, this cat will fit in nicely.
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