The Abyssian Cat

the-abyssinian cat

PEDIGREE CATS OF THE WORLD (A to Z) – THE ABYSSINIAN

HISTORY
This breed got its name from its origins of Ethiopia which was formerly known as Abyssinia.
These cats are thought to be the oldest breed of cats known. It isn’t known when they first appeared but may be a direct descendant of the sacred cats pictured in ancient Egyptian paintings and sculptures.

It is said that Captain Barrett Leonard returned from the Abyssinian wars with possibly two cats, one being called Zula which may have started the breed as it is today, but there is no confirmed record.

In 1871, the breed obtained a prize at the first official cat show held at Crystal Palace.

APPEARANCE
Abys are slender and muscular cats. They have quite short, dense fur which is characterised by distinct ticking which means each individual hair has bands of alternating dark and light colouring. It feels soft to the touch and has a lustrous sheen.

The coat is always ticked, making it look like a small wild cat. The original colour is called Usual (rich golden-orange with black ticking), The other five main colours are Chocolate, Sorrel (copper ticked with chocolate), Fawn (light beige with dark beige ticking), Blue and Lilac. Blue Abys are a bluish-grey with a creamy stomach and slate blue ticking. Fawn is the least common colour. New colours are being introduced. The Abyssinian has large ears which are quite far apart and their green, amber or hazel eyes are almond shaped.

CHARACTERISTICS
Abyssinians are very playful and inquisitive. They are athletic and very good hunters whilst having the reputation of being clowns.

HEALTH
They are prone to tooth decay and gingivitis so regular professional tooth cleaning is a good idea to minimise problems.

The Abyssinian is a bright cat which is often said to have a very sweet temperament and intelligent nature. The breed resembles the cats which can be seen in murals of ancient Egypt. Some believe that it is the Abyssinian which was worshipped by the Pharoahs. They give the impression of standing on tiptoe and seem to be more inclined to use their paws like a human would use their hands. Abyssinians have the “look” of a Lynx, enhanced in part by their regal appearance and feral qualities.

Although not generally a lap cat, they make a wonderful companion and will want to be wherever you are especially when you are preparing food. They are very loyal and once you have acquired an Aby as a companion, you will never be able to complain that no one understands you. Abys are very good at training people to do just what they want them to do. They are extremely intelligent, beautiful, graceful, muscular, inquisitive and always willing to help out with whatever chore you may be trying to accomplish. Abyssinians are often thought of as cats that like to be in high places, such as the top of a refrigerator or a bookshelf. Abys are not known for being particularly loud cats and can communicate their feelings and desires in many ways. It is often said that Abys have a great love of water. They seem to enjoy playing with a dripping tap, as well as drinking from them. Normally Abys are very protective of each other and seldom quarrel so having two would be fun.

copyright: Janice Ascott

A to Z of Cats-Russian Blue

 

The Russian Blue breed are a sweet tempered, elegant cat. They are intelligent and suitable for most cat lovers, being very sociable animals. There are quite a few breeders in the UK, so finding a kitten should be fairly easy. Expect to pay around £400 to £500.

A new kitten might be a little timid when first introduced to you and your home. It’s best to provide food and water, plus a litter tray of course and eventually they will seek you out for a cuddle and affection. They do become very attached to their owners. They normally get on well with other cats and dogs. Breeders say it’s rare for them to scratch or bite.

As the name suggests, Russian Blues have beautiful silvery-blue fur which is velvety and easy to groom. It’s short, thick but fine with a dense undercoat. An occasional brush with a soft brush would be a good idea. They have vivid almond-shaped green eyes. The wedge-shaped head is topped with large, pointed ears. The body is long and graceful with long legs, a long, tapering tail. They have small oval paws. Their lifespan is about 15 years, although it wouldn’t be unusual to reach the late teens. They are not prone to illness and don’t have many health issues. They can appear to be staring into space or like they had one vodka too many.

It is thought that the Russian Blue was first shipped to the UK back in 1860 by British sailors returning from the Russian port of Archangel, so they were known as Archangel cats. The cats boarded the ships with the sailors and went all over Europe.

Russian Blacks and Russian Whites have been cropping up in litters for years and were first officially bred in the UK in the early 1960s. The GCCF has given preliminary recognition to these cats, which are identical, except for their colour, to Russian Blues.

HAVE SOME FUN WITH YOUR KITTEN/CAT!

 

It can be hard in these busy times, to find a few minutes to relax, but playing with your kitten or cat will benefit both of you.  Here are a few ideas to give your cat some entertainment.
Cats are very playful anyway and will often initiate a “chase me” game when you are sitting down in the evening feeling totally relaxed and planning to go to bed.  This can be when a cat will decide to run round in circles and if you chase her, they will hide behind the cupboards or curtains, or into the wardrobe if the door is ajar.  It’s an invitation to play “hide and seek”.
tigi-and-pet-rat
Cats don’t normally fetch objects like dogs do.  However, some will return light things thrown for them.  We used to have a kitten Dusty who loved to play a game on Sunday mornings when we’d have a lie in with coffee and pro-biotic drink in bed.  As soon as she heard the rustle of the silver lid coming off the drink, she’d leap on the bed full of excitement.  We would throw it on the tiled floor and she’d leap at it, skidding all over the place, then put it in her mouth and return it to us for a repeat performance.  For safety’s sake it might be better to use a larger ball of tin foil, rolled up tight so she cannot swallow it.
Some will play with fake mice, especially furry ones on a string.  It’s her chance to pretend she is a ferocious hunter, stalking prey.
Toys need not be expensive.  A ball of wool or a piece of string (it is best to keep an eye on the cat, so she cannot strangle herself), or ping pong balls can keep her amused.  An old sock filled with catnip and tied at the end.  They also like to play hide and seek in a large, strong cardboard box.  Put in some newspapers as they love to screw them up and hear the sound of the paper.  Cut some holes in the sides, so she can peek out.
If you can afford one, there are many scratch tree posts with one or more houses on top to hide in.

A FEW CAT FACTS

Throughout history the domestic feline has been protected, valued and cherished.  The ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat and most subsequent civilizations have held cats in high esteem.  The cat has managed to remain virtually unchanged in size and shape.  They tolerate a relationship with people and love the comforts of a good home, but barely concealed underneath its domestic appearance the cat of today still has all the hunting skills of its forebears.  If given the opportunity, even the most spoilt cats will react to the thrill of the chase.

Janice and Millie, Burmese kitten

Having a cat in the home is both therapeutic and rewarding.  They are easy to look after, are peaceful company and no other pet is as fastidious in its habits.  All cats are beautiful, but the individual tastes of cat-lovers are catered for in the wide range of breeds and colours available.  The cat is equally loving and ferocious, able to live happily with humans or survive as a feral.  Small in stature, the cat has always relied on its skill and speed to escape from predators and to hunt its own prey.

A female is capable of rearing two or three litters every year providing she is well fed.  They have highly developed maternal feelings and are reluctant to leave their litter, staying permanently on guard of her kittens.  As the kittens develop, the mother teaches them to wash themselves, to play and eat.  Young kittens start to develop predatory behaviour from about six weeks of age.  They will crouch in ambush, pouncing on each other.  Cats prefer to hunt alone.  They have excellent vision even at dusk and dawn and with their acute hearing, they are able to ascertain the location of their prey.  They attack with a strong leap, grasping the victim with extended paws before biting the prey.  However, a well fed cat will want to play with the prey for a while before a kill is made, having enjoyed the stalking and hunting.  Even the most domesticated cats will hunt if given the opportunity.  Indoor cats can satisfy their hunting skills by playing with catnip-filled mice. The cat is an excellent jumper and is usually able to clear four times its own height from a crouching position.  Climbing upwards is easy for the cat as the hindquarters propel the cat upwards, whilst using the unsheathed claws to grip.  Descending is a more difficult move as the weaker forelimbs have to take the strain.

Upon waking a cat generally stretches, yawns and is then ready for action.  It may well start self-grooming with its tongue and paws.  Mother cats spend long periods washing their kittens, creating a bond between them.  Sick cats may not be able to wash themselves and this function should be carried out for them as they are naturally clean and fastidious.  If they have been washed and gently groomed it may help the cat to recover.

CHOOSING CAT NAMES

It can be fun choosing a name for your new pet.  A lot of people base the name on the appearance such as Smokey, Misty, Blacky, Snowy, Tabby, Ginger etc.

Human names are popular such as Lucy, Fred, Pedro, Dolly, Fanny, Maisie and Chantelle.

Food and drink suggest names like Pepsi, Kahlua, Cookie, Peanut, Sushi, Coffee, Toffee and countless others.

For a posh looking cat there is Princess, King, Czar, Sheikh.

Religious names are Soloman, Sampson, Delilah, Sheba, Buddah, Zen and so-on.

There is plenty of choice in the world of music, Jazz, Opus, Beethoven, Trumpet, Cymbal, Madonna, Jagger, Jacko.

Models spring to mind for delicate princess type cats.   Ellie, Naomi, Kate, Jerry, etc.

If you become the proud owners of two animals, choosing a name can be even more fun.  What about Adam and Eve if they always like to stay together?  Sometimes it is best to wait a few days to see how their personality develops before settling on names.  Alpha and Beta could refer to the first two from a litter.  A pair who keep an exceptionally clean litter tray could be called Spic and Span!  Or what about Yin and Yang for a passive female and active male?  Brahms and List perhaps for a tipsy pair.?

The most popular names are Tigger, Sooty, Felix, Charlie, Fluffy and Lucky (most cats are lucky to get away with some of their antics, so it is an appropriate name.)

Persian cats could take an Iranian name like Atoosa, the name of an Iranian Princess or Bousseh meaning kiss.  Likewise two Siamese cats could be named Si and Am like in the film “The Lady and The Tramp”.

NAMES TO SUIT YOUR CAT

Janice and Millie, Burmese kitten 

Are you looking for that perfect name to go with your cat’s personality or physical characteristic?  For example, if your cat is funny and amusing you might consider names like “Joker”, “Doodles”, “Noodles”, “Squirt” or “Pickles”.

Fluffy cats could be called “Fluffy”, “Furby”, “Fuzz” or “Fuzzy-wuzzy”.

Black and white cats:  what about “Domino” or “Boots”?  Black cats:  “Midnight”, White cats:  “Bianco”, “Blanco”, “Chalk”, Aspirin, “Cotton” (as in cotton wool) or “Coconut”.

Clever cats can be called “Aristotle”, “Py” (short for Pythagoras), “Newton, “Einstein”, “Socrates” or “Winston”.  Incidentally, Winston Churchill was a cat lover and had several.  Apparently, he was particularly fond of ginger cats.  A ginger cat with white chest and paws was an 88th birthday present for Churchill in November 1962, and was promptly named Jock, after the private secretary Sir John Colville, known as Jock, who gave it to him. This cat was such a favourite that he is even seen sitting on Churchill’s knee in his grandson Winston’s wedding photographs.   Jock was only two when Churchill died in 1965, but lived on until 1974 at Chartwell and is now buried in the pet cemetery there.  In compliance with Churchill’s wishes, the National Trust – which inherited Chartwell on his death – has since acquired ginger cats called Jocks II and III.

Have you found a stray, or perhaps rescued a kitten?   Many strays are named after the street or town where they were found.  Another common way is to choose the day of the week when you found the cat.  Other suggestions for stray cats are “Abby” (as in abandoned), “Alley” (found in an alley), “Bones” (found as skin and bones), “Chance” (you took a chance with him), “Hope” (given a second chance) or “Velcro” (he found you and stuck with you).

Travelling cats:  What about  “KATmandu”, “Katar” (as in Qatar) or “Paris”.  Speaking of Paris, some French names are: “Houppette” (powder puff), “Bijou” (jewel, trinket), “Douceur” (gentle one), or “Mou” (softy).

Posh cats: “Aristocat”, “Princess”, “Champagne”, “Posh Choo” (Jimmy Choo) and “Diamond” spring to mind.

Feng Shui names: “Crystal”, “Tai and Chi“ (for 2 cats), “Bamboo” (as in wind chimes) or “Harmony”.  “Hibiki” is Japanese for “Harmony.”

Chocolate shouldn’t be fed to cats, but there is no harm in naming them: “Buttons”, “Flake”, “Fudge”, “Truffle”, “Kit Kat”, Cocoa”, “Bean”, “Mars”, “Bounty” or “Choccie”.

Playful cats: “Speedo”, “Zippy”, “Zoom”, “Chaos”, “Frantic”, “Hypurr”, “Rascal” and “Mischief”.

MORE CAT NAMES
It can be fun choosing a name for your new pet.  A lot of people base the name on the appearance such as Smokey, Misty, Blacky, Snowy, Tabby, Ginger etc.

Human names are popular such as Lucy, Fred, Pedro, Dolly, Fanny, Maisie and Chantelle.

Food and drink suggest names like Pepsi, Kahlua, Cookie, Peanut, Sushi, Coffee, Toffee and countless others.
For a posh looking cat there is Princess, King, Czar, Sheikh.

Religious names are Soloman, Sampson, Delilah, Sheba, Buddah, Zen and so-on.

There is plenty of choice in the world of music, Jazz, Opus, Beethoven, Trumpet, Cymbal, Madonna, Jagger, Jacko.

Models spring to mind for delicate princess type cats.   Ellie, Naomi, Kate, Jerry, etc.

If you become the proud owners of two animals, choosing a name can be even more fun.  What about Adam and Eve if they always like to stay together.  Sometimes it is best to wait a few days to see how their personality develops before settling on names.  Alpha and Beta could refer to the first two from a litter.  A pair who keep an exceptionally clean litter tray could be called Spic and Span!  Or what about Yin and Yang for a passive female and active male?  Brahms and List perhaps for a tipsy, energetic, slightly crazy  pair.?
The most popular names are Tigger, Sooty, Felix, Charlie, Fluffy and Lucky (most cats are lucky to get away with some of their antics, so it is an appropriate name.)

Persian cats could take an Iranian name like Atoosa, the name of an Iranian Princess or Bousseh meaning kiss.  Likewise two Siamese cats could be named Si and Am like in the film “The Lady and The Tramp”.