Learn more about the Abyssinian
Abyssinian Breed Standard
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GENERAL: the overall impression of the ideal Abyssinian would be a colorful cat with a distinctly ticked coat, medium in size and regal in appearance. The Abyssinian is lithe, hard and muscular, showing eager activity and a lively interest in all surroundings. Well balanced temperamentally and physically with all elements of the cat in proportion.
HEAD: a modified, slightly rounded wedge without flat planes; the brow, cheek, and profile lines all showing a gentle contour. A slight rise from the bridge of the nose to the forehead, which should be of good size, with width between the ears and flowing into the arched neck without a break.
MUZZLE: not sharply pointed or square. The chin should be neither receding nor protruding. Allowance should be made for jowls in adult males.
EARS: alert, large, and moderately pointed; broad, and cupped at base and set as though listening. Hair on ears very short and close lying, preferably tipped with black on a ruddy Abyssinian, chocolate brown on a red Abyssinian, slate blue on the blue Abyssinian, or light cocoa brown on a fawn Abyssinian.
EYES: almond shaped, large, brilliant, and expressive. Neither round nor oriental. Eyes accentuated by fine dark line, encircled by light colored area.
BODY: medium long, lithe and graceful, but showing well developed muscular strength without coarseness. Abyssinian conformation strikes a medium between the extremes of the cobby and the svelte lengthy type. Proportion and general balance more to be desired than mere size.
LEGS and FEET: proportionately slim, fine boned. The Abyssinian stands well off the ground giving the impression of being on tip toe. Paws small, oval, and compact. Toes: five in front and four behind.
TAIL: thick at base, fairly long and tapering.
COAT: soft, silky, fine in texture, but dense and resilient to the touch with a lustrous sheen. Medium in length but long enough to accommodate two or three dark bands of ticking.
PENALIZE: off-color pads. Long narrow head, short round head. Barring on legs, dark broken necklace markings, rings on tail. Coldness or grey tones in the coat. White undercoat on blue or fawn Abyssinians.
DISQUALIFY: white locket, or white anywhere other than nostril, chin, and upper throat area. Kinked or abnormal tail. Dark unbroken necklace. Grey undercoat close to the skin extending throughout a major portion of the body. Any black hair on red Abyssinian. Incorrect number of toes. Any color other than the four accepted colors.
Coat color: warm and glowing. Ticking: distinct and even, with dark (tail tip color) colored bands contrasting with undercoat colored bands on the hair shafts. Undercoat color clear and bright to the skin. Deeper color shades desired, however intensity of ticking not to be sacrificed for depth of color. Darker shading along spine allowed if fully ticked. Preference given to cats UNMARKED on the undersides, chest, and legs; tail without rings. Facial Markings: dark lines extending from eyes and brows, cheekbone shading, dots and shading on whisker pads are all desirable enhancements. Eyes accentuated by fine dark line, encircled by light colored area. Eye color: gold or green, the more richness and depth of color the better.
RUDDY: coat ruddy brown (burnt-sienna), ticked with black; the extreme outer tip to be the darkest, with orange-brown undercoat. Tail tipped with black. The underside and inside of legs to be a tint to harmonize with the main color. Nose leather: tile red. Paw pads: black or brown, with black between toes, extending slightly beyond the paws.
RED (cinnamon gene): coat rich, warm glowing red, ticked with chocolate-brown, the extreme outer tip to be darkest, with red – orange undercoat. Tail tipped with chocolate-brown. The underside and inside of legs to be a tint to harmonize with the main color. Nose leather: rosy pink. Paw pads: pink, with chocolate-brown between toes, extending slightly beyond the paws.
BLUE: coat warm beige, ticked with slate blue, the extreme outer tip to be the darkest, with blush beige undercoat. Tail tipped with slate blue. The underside and inside of legs to be a tint to harmonize with the main color. Nose leather: old rose. Paw pads: mauve, with slate blue between toes, extending slightly beyond the paws.
FAWN: coat warm rose-beige, ticked with light cocoa brown, the extreme outer tip to be the darkest, with blush beige undercoat. Tail tipped with light cocoa brown. The underside and inside of legs to be a tint to harmonize with the main color. Nose leather: salmon. Paw pads: pink with light cocoa brown between the toes, extending slightly beyond the paws.
The following information is for reference purposes only and not an official part of the CFA Show Standard.
Abyssinian Color Class Numbers
Abyssinian allowable outcross breeds: none.