Categories: Abyssinian Cat

Are Abyssinian cats rare, aggressive, vocal or cuddly?

Abyssinian. Photo copyright Helmi Flick.

On my reckoning, based on research carried out years ago but completed carefully, the Abyssinian cat is not a rare cat breed. In fact it is one of the more common breeds. I have a full page on the rarity or otherwise of all the cat breeds. Neither is the Abyssinian aggressive. I will refer to a couple of reference books for information about the personality of the Abyssinian. Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat (photographer:Tetsu Yamazaki) describes the Abyssinian in glowing terms:

The Abyssinian will, without hesitation, let you know when it wants your attention. It almost radiates its pleasure with its soothing purrs and gentle signs of affection. A loving and loyal companion….

You get the point loud and clear. Dr Morris in his book Cat World paints a slightly different picture. He uses the following words to describe the character: intelligent, affectionate, gentle, graceful, energetic, companionable, friendly, fearless, active and playful. He also refers to criticisms by “a critic” but we don’t know who they are. This mysterious person said that this cat breed can be difficult to handle, undisciplined, shy and cautious. I’d ignore these remarks as they can’t be accurate as a description for the entire breed. Perhaps he/she assessed one cat.

An eminent cat show judge described the Abyssinian as “The quiet unassuming Abyssinian combines all the good points and none of the failings of his more widely advertised relations”. I’ll assume that the relations are all the other cat breeds. The point is made again. This is a great cat breed in terms of personality. In a popularity poll I ran for many years this cat breed came fourth out of around 70 breeds. That’s excellent evidence of a great personality and appearance.

With respect to being vocal Dr Morris writes that they are quiet but Stephens writes that they like to talk with people in a “euphonic tone”. It is almost certain that the Abby is neither overly vocal nor too quiet but takes a nice middle road on vocalising.

What about being cuddly? All domestic cats are cuddly. Come on! Questions relating to aggression, cuddliness and vocalness are also linked to the quality of the breeding and all purebreds are bred by hobby breeders. A good breeder will ensure that her cats are highly suited as cat companions to people and these three aspects of character will be answered no, yes, yes respectively. Breeders don’t create cats which are inherently aggressive. If they did they’d be out of business in no time. “Cuddly” incorporates whether they are lap cats or not. This quality is really one which is dependent on an individual cat’s character. Some will be and some might be less keen to be lap cats. But they’ll be friendly nonetheless. Normally all well socialised domestic cats, pedigree, purebred or not, like to spend time in contact with their human companion.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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