Bhutanese Abyssinian Cat

As far as I am concerned, this is a Bhutanese Abyssinian cat. What I mean is that she is a naturally occurring, random bred, community cat that has a very close resemblance to the well-known Abyssinian cat, which is a purebred, pedigree cat.

Bhutan Abyssinian Cat. Photo by Rudolph Furtado. She is pregnant. I saturated the colours a bit to bring them out.

I don’t know whether this has any significance in any way whatsoever but when I saw this photograph by Rudolph Furtado (who lives in Mumbai, India and who likes to travel a lot and write about it), it struck me that there is a close resemblance to this random bred, community cat and the purebred equivalent.

Here is a photo of a purebred Abyssinian cat. The tabby banding on the legs has been bred out.

Purebred Abyssinian Cat

I’m sure there are similar ticked tabby cats everywhere in the world but I have not seen one on my travels on the Internet which caught my eye like this one in her resemblance to the Abyssinian cat.

This is Rudolph’s comment:

Spotted this pregnant tabby inside the “Paro Dzong” in Bhutan. A cute and friendly stray that must have been looked after by the Buddhist monks residing inside the Dzong. The film “Little Buddha” was filmed in this Dzong.

Here is the location:

This picture shows the likeness between the wild cat species called the jungle cat and the Abyssinian:


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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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  • I once came upon 2 semi feral cats, who were about 6 months old. One looked Abyssinian and the other was Himalayan mix, siblings who'd been left behind a store, when the rest of the litter had been taken to shelter. They had evaded capture. I started feeding them, and after a few weeks, they came out for the sound of my car. Eventually took treats from my hand. I was able to enlist the help of Forgotten Felines, and the director took one home, and found a home for the other one. They were gorgeous cats, and had become tame, rather than evolve into full ferals. Happy ending for all.

  • I always wanted to go to Bhutan but back in 1995 it was nearly impossible to go there because you needed a special permit. I looked into it and stopped as it became too prohibitive.

    This cat really looks impressive doesn’t it. Very wild looking.

    • Looks like an original wild-looking Abyssinian cat to me. All the stray, community cats in that part of the world look more wild and more natural. This is probably because they live in the community, outside and are semi-wild. It does seem to affect the facial expression and demeanour.

  • Michael, here is another photo of the same cat.She was a excellent model, totally tame and not afraid. Definitely a pet of the monks or people employed in the Monastery.

    • Thank you Rudolph. She is an interesting cat and I am pleased that you photographed her on your travels.

  • A very interesting-looking cat. One that would make any owner very proud. I am not sure the parallel to the pure-bred Abyssinian is valid because the Abby has a very complex history and mixed ancestry like most cat fancy breeds. I wonder what Lisa Young would think about it being an ardent fan of Asiatic cats.

    • Thanks Harvey. This cat just looked interesting to me. It makes me think that the West just refined a cat like this. The history of the Abyssinian is not clear. Perhaps, initially, it was just a case of refining an imported cat. Then things became more complicated but not necessarily better. I doubt that but...who knows.

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