Abyssinians are known to be affectionate cats that are easy to care for, but perhaps they are best known for their beautiful, uniquely “ticked” coats. Their coat is short and thick with a distinctive ticked patterning, where each individual hair is banded with different colors. They do not reach their full, final coloring until around 18 months old, so their coloring as a kitten could change by the time that they reach adulthood.
Standard Abyssinian Colors
Abyssinians come in four main colors and they are the only four recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association.
Those four colors are:
1. Ruddy Abyssinian
Also often referred to as “Tawny” or “Usual” coloring, Ruddy is one of the most commonly found colorations among Abyssinians. Each hair is ticked with varying shades of brown and black, with a brown/orange shading closest to the base. The belly and insides of the legs should be unmarked and consist of this orange coloring only, with no markings, stripes, or white marks anywhere on the coat.
Abyssinians with this coat will typically have golden eyes, with hazel and green also being fairly common. They will typically have blacked-tipped ears with black paw pads and red noses.
2. Sorrel Abyssinian
Another fairly commonly found coloring among Abyssinians is Red or Sorrel. It is often described as a watered-down or diluted variation of the Ruddy coloring and is typically a copper-red base shading with red/brown ticking. The stomach and inside of the legs are predominantly the copper-red shading, with no patterns or stripes. These cats typically have pink paw pads and noses and amber, green, or yellow eyes.
3. Blue Abyssinian
A cat having a Blue coat is somewhat of a misnomer, and their coat is usually a deep, steel-grey that appears blue overall. Abyssinians with Blue coats have a dark, soft blue/grey coat ticked with a deeper blue. The base hair, the belly, and insides of the legs are typically a pale cream color. They also often have a dark blue stripe that runs down their spine through to their tails, which is usually tipped in a deep blue coloration. They have blue/grey paw pads and noses with amber, green, or yellow eyes.
4. Fawn Abyssinian
Fawn is one of the rarest colorations found among Abyssinians and is characterized by a pale brown base hair coloration that extends throughout the belly and inside of the legs. This is ticked with bands of deep pink and light brown, giving an overall rose-colored appearance. The paw pads and nose are typically pink, and they usually have amber, green, or yellow eyes.
Unique and Uncommon Colorations
The above four colorations are the most commonly found among Abyssinians, and the only four recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association. However, there are a few other less common colors that are just as beautiful and definitely worth a mention. Some other Associations recognize these colors in their registries, notably in the United Kingdom, where they are far more accepting of the following unique colorations.
5. Chocolate Abyssinian
Chocolate Abyssinians are usually described as an intermediate between Ruddy and Sorrel, but they are uniquely beautiful all on their own. They typically have a rich copper-brown base that extends all around the belly and the inside of the legs and is ticked with dark chocolate and brown bands. The paw pads and nose are also a dark chocolate color.
Silver Abyssinians are often recognized as a separate group that includes Usual Silver, Fawn Silver, Blue Silver, and Sorrel Silver. Many breeders claim that these silver variations were some of the first and thus the oldest colorations in Abyssinians, although this is mostly conjecture and almost impossible to prove. The four main variations of Silver Abyssinians are:
The name Lilac is somewhat of a misnomer with this coloration, as the ticking is a light grey rather than lilac. However, the base color of pink/cream with the bands of grey creates an overall lilac effect. The paw pads and nose have a mauve/pink coloration, and the Lilac Abyssinian is one of the rarest and most difficult to find variations.
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