Although the name of "Abyssinian cat" refers to Ethiopia, most of the data points to their origins as being Egyptian. The breed was developed in Great Britain. Kittens are born with dark coats that gradually lighten as they mature. There is often an m-shaped marking in the fur on the forehead which can vary in colors.
The most common coloration is a warm reddish-brown base with black ticking and the feet and backs of the hind legs being black. It is a kind of cinnamon hue. Blue Abyssininans have become popular in recent times and they have a light beige base with blue ticking and the darker feet and backs of the their hind legs.
The Abyssinian cat is unlike the more mellow cat breeds. They have a lot of energy, can be mischievous, and often demand plenty of attention from their owners. Abyssinians are active, curious people-cats. They are also very loving, yet tend to be dominant over other animals in the household. The Abyssinian is a distinctively marked, busy, agenda-driven cat that will entertain you by the hour. It is inquisitive, affectionate and will enjoy just about any game. The first pairs of cats said to be of Abyssinian origin were brought to England in the 1800's.
The regal Abyssinian is medium in size with a lithe, graceful body and firm muscular development. Reflecting a warm abundance of color, the coat pattern is called agouti and is caused by the ticked tabby gene. Each hair is banded with darker to lighter colors, which gives a colorful opalescent quality re-mindful of many feral cats. The coat is silky to the touch , yet resilient and long enough to accommodate all the bands of color.
The head is a modified wedge without any flat planes. Facial features include almond-shaped eyes, a gently tapering muzzle, and vestigial tabby markings that give the Abyssinian it's alert, mischievous expression. The ears are large and alert, cupped well at the base and tilting forward. The Abyssinian stands high on its tiptoes and is animated and energized. In North America, Abyssinians are currently available in colors of ruddy (orange-brown), red (sorrel or cinnamon), blue and fawn.
These cats are quick and industrious, and often able to dodge pursuit. If you are looking for a lap cat, consider another of the cat breeds...but if you are an active person this cat might be right for you.