abyss4Abyssinian Breeders and other related Links

    Written by Marie Wickman


    Lord Robert Napier led a military expedition that returned from Abyssinian ( Etiopia ) to The United Kingdom in 1868. On board the ship was Mrs Barret-Lennard (the Captains wife) bringing her own war trophy back  home, a cat. A habor in Abyssinian called Zula , become the cats name. Mrs Barret-Lennard succeeded to tame this extremely shy and wild cat, with a lot of patience and love. It is not known  if she ever had any kittens and the only evidence of Zula's existence is a lithography from 1877. The lithography has not much similarity with the Abyssinians of today. It is said that British sailors  at that time brought a lot of cats from Abyssinia to England. It is believed that these cats were mated to the native domestic cat and the result become ticked cats in England.

    Historical Abyssinians

    1833/1834 Abyssinian Exhibit at Leiden Natuur Historisch Museum

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    Historical Photos

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    Herkunft, Geschichte, Abstammung, Dichtung und Wahrheit

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    In 1896 the first Abyssinians were registered, Sedgemere Bottle (born 1892) and Sedgemere Peaty (born 1894). None of theire parents were known. At Westminster  Show in 1909, Fancy Free a Abyssinian female become Champion. She was born in 1903 and was an extremely fine model for the Abyssinians to follow. A male named  Aluminium born in 1905 was mated to Fancy Free and these two cats, are one of the common ground for all the Abyssinians that exists today. The first cats to be exported  outside UK, was a son after Fancy Free & Aluminium named Aluminium II, who went to United States together with a female named Salt. Name as Aluminium, Quicksilver,  Silver Memelik indicates that the early Abyssinians bore silver, but the breeders preferred the warm ticked color and stopped to breed cats with silver.

    In 1977 Kristina Narfstroe m discovered PRA (progressive retinal atrofi) in one Abyssinian. The disease, causes an atrophy of the cat’s retina and will make the cat totally blind in a  couple of years. To examine if a cat is affected, the the breeder should turn to a veterinary that is specially trained in the cat’s eye diseases. Affected cats manage to cope well during the progress of PRA. From seeing to totally blindness, the cat develops other senses like hearing and feeling. In 1980 up to 45 % of the breed in  Sweden had PRA. Several other countries were affected beside Sweden.

    To deal with the problems against the disease breeders excluded all cats from breeding  that were, blind or not themselves had PRA but had off springs that had had kittens affected by PRA. Today the breed is totally recovered and breeders still check the cats  eyes before breeding on them. One reason that so many cats in Sweden were affected was, a small genetic base and much in/line-breeding.

    PRA is a recessive genetic disease and to obtain the symptoms the cat must inherit one defected gene from each parent. A cat with only one defect gene can never have PRA.

    Type and characteristics

    Body, legs and feet

    The body should be medium long, muscular, firm and gracefull.


    The head should be wedge formed of medium size and broad top. Gentle contours in  profile without stop or plane pose and a firm cheek.


    To be set broad apart, sparkling almond shaped with dark contoures. Gold or green eye-color with pure intensive brightness.


    Large, alert, cupped at base and set broad. A slightly rounded tip with thumb marks on the back of the ears.


    The tail should be quite long and broad at base.


    The coat should be fine and short and very close-lying silky-like in texture. On each hair there should be two or three dark bands of ticking with the darkest color on the tip.  Recognized colors: Ruddy, Red, Blue and Fawn, all accepted with silver.


    This is a lively, intelligent and curious cat. It loves attention and always sees to that it  gets it. The Abyssinian cat shows it's affection towards people usually by body contact like a hug instead of "speach". Some of them love a bath and not at least food.

    Genetic Concerns -

    The Abyssinian An Historical Review - This page is dedicated to the Abyssinian cat and those breeders who have worked so diligently to make the breed what it is today - one of the most popular breeds in the world. Their dedication to the details of pedigrees, and the nuances of color, ticking and type, have helped develop a breed that is totally awesome to behold

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    Abyssinian Breeders and other related Links

    More Breed Descriptions on the Net

    CFA Breed Profile: Abyssinian

    CFA Breed Standards


    ACF Breed Standard -  (The Australian Cat Federation)

    ACFA Breed Standard - The American Cat Fancier Association

    CCAFC Breed Standards - Canadian Cat Association Feline Registry

    FIFe Breed Standards - Federation Internationale Feline

    GCCFBreed Standards -  Governing Council Cat Fancy

    LOOF Breed Standards- Livre Officiel des Origines Felines

    WCF Breed Standards - World Cat Federation

    Send us your URL, so we can add you to the list

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