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Are Abyssinian Cats Aggressive?

The temperament of a cat is important especially if you’ve had a bad experience in the past or you have a young family and you don’t want to risk them getting hurt. It’s a good idea to establish as much as you can about the temperament of any cat before you commit to owning it.

All too often people buy cats without performing any research, only to discover that their lifestyle isn’t compatible with owning a cat. Unfortunately, this often leads to the cat being returned, discarded or sent to a rescue home. If you’re thinking of getting an Abyssinian, find out what they are really like to own.

Are Abyssinian cat’s aggressive? The Abyssinian cat is not particularly aggressive but it can be territorial and prefer one person above others. Most people say they are a gentle breed, however, there are always exceptions. Here we explain how to deal with aggressive behavior in Abyssinians.

Is the Abyssinian an aggressive cat?

What Causes a Cat to be Aggressive?

Although some breeds are without a doubt more feisty than others, there are things that certainly contribute to aggression within a cat. The first few weeks of a cat’s life can shape their personality. Things that occur to it during this time can have a lasting impact so it’s important that things are done in the right way.

This starts with its mother and no cat should be removed from its mother until at least 12 weeks. Many are still weened earlier than this but I would suggest this is too early. However, I’m certainly not an expert in this area so professional advice should be sought, just my opinion!

Another factor is babies and children who haven’t learned (or been told) how to act around animals. They can be very heavy-handed which can make the cat think it is in danger and may then potentially lash out.

No one should expect children to just know how to behave around animals – they have to be shown what the right way is. They need to be told the cat is not a toy for them to play with and that they can be easily scared.

Sometimes playtime can be mistaken for aggression. If you put your fingers under a blanket and wiggle them around – then all bets are off! Your cat is going to think it’s something that it can legally ‘get’ – and it will, with no holds barred. If possible, try not to pretend your hand and fingers are little cheeky mice trying to get away from it!

An Abyssinian cat showing its tongue

Is there anything I can do about it?

Yes, if your Abyssinian cat is acting aggressively there are things you can do to help. The best thing is primarily just to be gentle, with no sudden movements, no sudden shouting. Basically, everything children are not! Next, you might want to have a go at a trick I’ve developed over many many years of spending time with cats. See the one thing all owners must do to bond with their cat – I guarantee it will make a difference!

There are other ways you can make a cat feel at ease. For instance, have you noticed how cats may roll onto their backs when they see you? This isn’t an invitation for you to tickle them but a display of affection and it is them showing you that they feel comfortable in your presence.

So, return the favor! You’re going to feel (and look) pretty stupid but go into the same room as your cat and lie on your back with your arms and legs in the air! Your cat will study you intensely (as will your partner) and it should make them feel that you are accepting them, so they, in turn, feel more relaxed. Honestly, I know it sounds stupid but please give it a go!

The Abyssinian Cat’s Personality

The Abyssinian has long been compared to a dog. Not because of its physical attributes but because of its personality. You see, this is no ordinary cat. The Abyssinian is just…different.

There are many, many articles out there that talk about how intelligent the Abyssinian cat appears to be. If you think about it logically though, why should it be any more intelligent than any other breed of cat? Their brain size is the same after all. However, there’s no denying that this special breed does appear to at least act like it is more intelligent. It just seems to know what’s going on around it more than other breeds.

Are Abyssinian Cat's Aggressive?
You won’t see an Abyssinian lying down often!

The Abyssinian cat loves people. Yes, we can say that about a number of breeds but this thing really does love us. They will take any opportunity they can to be part of our lives and will want to spend as much time as they can around us.

An Abyssinian loves to play with people. Because of this playful nature, occasionally its claws will accidentally draw blood from our hands but it certainly isn’t deliberate. Please don’t consider declawing a cat. It’s quite frankly barbaric and if you’d like to learn why, can you declaw a cat explains why with the help of a clear diagram (opens in a new window).

Inside or Out?

Due to the amount of energy this cat has it will want to (and need to) run around a lot. Now, unless you have a substantial amount of space inside your home, it won’t be enough.

This is a cat that should be let outside if possible so they can run around freely and burn some of that excess energy off before they come back in and jump back onto your lap! Remember, the more energy they burn up outside, the less chance they’ll get up to mischief inside – probably.

Is it possible to keep an Abyssinian inside? Yes, it is and I know that some people don’t have a choice due to lots of reasons. Just bear in mind that you’re going to have to go that extra mile to keep it happy.

It’s part of the package I’m afraid and one of the pre-requisites of buying this cat is that you need to have enough time to be able to satisfy their needs, which actually brings me nicely onto the next section…

Can I leave the Abyssinian Home Alone?

The Abyssinian is not a cat that likes to spend time by itself. It wants to spend its time with you and if you’re in a position where you know you’re going to be away for most of the day then you should perhaps consider another breed.

There are so many other breeds that are better at dealing with time by themselves than this. Actually, the Abyssinian probably deals with you being away worse than any other breed.

Is the Abyssinian cat aggressive?
Are two better than one?

You could consider having another cat to keep each other company and this certainly helps – particularly if you buy them both at the same time, when young. However, even with two – leaving these cats home alone isn’t a good idea and I would recommend against it.

The History of the Abyssinian Cat

Very briefly including this in here as many ask about it. The truth is, no-one really knows where they originated from. Some people say that it must be related to Ethiopia as Abyssinia is another name for the old Ethiopian empire. Also, look at it – it just looks like it should be from that region with its large ears and eyes.

The first recorded mention of these cats appears to be from a journal in England during the latter part of the 19th Century. However, these cats were imported from Abyssinia around this time. Where they came from before this though – no-one really knows and well, it doesn’t really matter now, does it?

Are Abyssinian cats aggressive? – Conclusion

The Abyssinian cat is not naturally aggressive. It doesn’t have a vicious bone in its body and is a stunning breed to own which will give anyone years of pleasure.

They are incredibly sociable, intelligent and loving. Yes, of course, there can always be exceptions and if the cat has been abused in the past then it will naturally be wary and defensive at times. This behavior can be managed though and patience is the key.

The Abyssinian is a beautiful, gentle breed of cat.

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