5 Ways to Identify an Abyssinian Cat and Kitten

The Egypt-originated cat breed, Abyssinian cat, has some distinct features. But in order to spot those unique features, you must know about them first.

We’re here to tell you all about those features.

So, how can you identify an Abyssinian cat? Abyssinian cats have smooth silky fur, pointed ears, and no stripes on their body. Their playful inquisitive nature can also hint towards the right direction while a proper heritage record of this cat would certainly identify its breed. 

Want to find out the details about these methods of identification for Abyssinian cats?

Keep reading.

1. Appearance

The first method to identify an Abyssinian cat is by observing its appearance. In the appearance of this cat, you can observe it’s body type, it’s coat, and it’s unique facial features.

Let’s start with the body type.

Body Type

Abyssinian cats can be characterized by their longer legs in proportion to their body size.

Their body can be recognized by its lean, slender, and muscular look.

Adult Abyssinian cats grow to become medium-sized cats, which also makes them easy to identify. Their tails are relatively longer than other breeds.


Male Abyssinian cats can weigh about 8-10 pounds while females weigh about 7-8 pounds.

Abyssinian cats also have a unique shape of feet. Their paws are small and oval-shaped, which makes them quite a defining feature for this breed.


Abyssinian cats can be easily recognized by their coat. These cats are short-haired with smooth fur on their body. If you notice in detail, you will find a ticking pattern on their silky coat.

This makes it easy to identify an Abyssinian cat by their coat. So, for the coat, the following points can be used as key-identifications:

  • Short hair smooth fur
  • Ticking pattern

Coat Color

Due to its evolution over a period of centuries, there are different colors in coats of Abyssinian cats, so you can’t use a single color to define this breed.

Abyssinian cats can be found in shades of red, blue, fawn or even cinnamon. However, one defining feature is that their coat color lightens as the cat grows from a kitten to an adult.

Stripes on the head

If you notice stripes on the body of the cat, it’s a sign that it’s not an Abyssinian cat. Abyssinian cats do not have any stripes on their body. However, you might find 3-4 bands of color stripes near the head of the cat. These stripes grow lighter as the cat grows up into an adult.

Pointed Ears

If you notice the face of an Abyssinian cat, the most distinct feature would be their long pointed pair of ears. These large triangular ears make it possible to identify this breed from a fair distance. Their ears are arched and always standing straight.


Abyssinian cats also have attractive colorful eyes that are hard to miss. Their eyes can be hazel, green or golden colored. This, combined with the unique diamond shape of their eyes, makes it terrifically easy to spot an Abyssinian cat.

2. Personality

Attractive physical features aren’t the only reasons for such a huge fan-base of this breed.

Abyssinian cats also have some unique personality traits that make them adorable and loving.


If there’s a single quality that can sum up the personality of Abys, it’s the unfulfilling curiosity of this cat.

This means that when you plan to get this cat, you must know you can’t leave it alone in the house. Abyssinian cats have a really curious nature and they’ll turn your home upside down if you give them a chance.

Smart and Careful

An amazing quality of Abyssinian cats is that while they search every corner of the house, you usually won’t find any broken vase or cutlery. These cats are very smart and careful when it comes to knocking over objects.


Why do Abyssinian cats click so instantly with kids?

That is because these cats are incredibly playful and fun-loving. These cats are very interactive and love to even converse with their human partners. They are ever ready to play and this is how these cats can be identified by their playful nature.


Their inquisitive and playful nature makes it obvious that these cats are not ‘lap-cats’.

A pure Abyssinian cat can be easily recognized by this quality. You will not find this cat lying around on the sofa or simply being lazy.

Instead, you’ll always find them either playing or inspecting some item in your home.


Cats are known for avoiding human interaction and even presence.

That is not the case with Abyssinian cats and this is what makes this breed so special and different. Unlike most other breeds, Abyssinian cats love the company of humans.

They are very affectionate and love playing with their human owners.

Abyssinian cats can also be recognized by their constant need for attention.


Another great distinct quality of Abyssinian cats is that they are super comfortable around humans.

They do not need days to get used to a new family or even a guest in the house.

Abyssinian cats are very good at making friends, so the next time you visit a friend and their cat seems to instantly bond with you, there are good chances that it is an Abyssinian cat.


The love for heights is common in Abyssinian cats. That’s another sign to look out for while finding pure-bred Abyssinian cats.

They love getting on top of shelves, stands, and curtains. This not only satisfies their love for heights, but also gives them a view from the top of the room which they love. So, if your Abyssinian cat seems to be missing from the room, you’ll most likely find it atop:

  • Shelves
  • Curtains
  • Book shelves
  • High windows

3. The Documentation

The most reliable means of identifying a pure breed is through its official documentation.

Fortunately, Abyssinian cats have been bred in the US and UK since the 19th century and this means, this isn’t a recently discovered breed.

So, if you’re looking for a pure-bred Abyssinian cat, it shouldn’t be hard to find one with a detailed documented breeding history from a revered breeder.

Here is what you need to look for in the official documentation of an Abyssinian cat:

4. DNA testing

What if you already own the cat and you need to check whether it’s a pure-bred Abyssinian cat or not?

There’s a sure way and it’s called DNA testing!

Thanks to the advancement in medical science, a simple 5-minute DNA test can give you credible results of the breed of your cat. All it requires is:

  • You take the cat to the DNA testing laboratory
  • Cat’s saliva is taken for testing
  • You get the results about the purity of the breed

5. Identification via health risks

Different breeds of cats are prone to different diseases.

While there are certain health risks that are common in almost all cats, there are certain diseases that are likely to occur in the case of Abyssinian cats only.

Although not as reliable as the documentation or physical characteristics, these diseases can be recognized as an identification of an Abyssinian cat.

The diseases include:

  • Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKD)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Retinal Atrophy
  • Kidney Failure

Related Questions

How friendly are Abyssinian cats? Abyssinian cats are very friendly. They bond easily with new people and they are always craving for human attention. Abyssinian cats click instantly with new people, especially kids.

Are Abyssinian cats high-maintenance? Abyssinian cats are characterized by their thin fur of coat on their body. This smooth coat does not require much maintenance.

Occasional brushing of the coat makes the cat look clean and tidy. One does need to pay special attention to the health-risks of Abyssinian cats.

Their teeth and ears should be regularly cleaned to avoid any disease. Other than that, Abyssinian cats are susceptible to some other diseases as well so they can’t be categorized under low maintenance cat breeds, when it comes to health maintenance costs.

Are Abyssinian vocal? Abyssinian cats are known to be interactive cats. They love being around their human owners and they are also very responsive.

However, Abyssinian cats do not cry or yell unnecessarily. This means that you won’t be getting a headache from the meowing of your cat if you’re choosing an Abyssinian.

How long can Abyssinian cats live? The life expectancy of this cat depends greatly on its health status. This is because this cat is prone to some serious diseases.

Nevertheless, if good care is taken and regular medical checkups are arranged, Abyssinian cats can live up to 15 years.

What are the defining personality traits of Abyssinian Cats? Abyssinian cats are different from other breeds. These cats are extremely playful and energetic. At the same time, they are very intelligent so they do not cause much damage to the house. They are also quite the opposite of a lap-cat since they’re always full of energy.

How much do Abyssinian cats cost? Due to the supreme and desirable qualities of Abyssinian cats, they are a bit heavy on the pocket. An Abyssinian kitten costs around 1000$. The high health costs of Abyssinian cats also makes this breed a bit difficult to afford.


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