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11th September 2018


The distinctive ticked coat of the Abyssinian comes in a number of colours. The coat is short and easy to care for.

Health and welfare issues

Abyssinian cats can suffer from an inherited disease called pyruvate kinase deficiency that can cause anaemia. A reliable test is available for this and prospective owners should ask breeders if their cats have been tested and are clear of the problem.

An eye problem called progressive retinal atrophy, which causes progressive blindness has been identified in many countries so it is worth asking the breeder about this as well.

Patellar luxation appears to be seen more commonly in Abyssinian than in other breeds, and this breed may also be predisposed to hip dysplasia.

Amyloidosis used to be present in the breed but selective breeding has made it much less prevalent.


We have limited the information about inherited disorders to those conditions that are known and proven to exist within a breed. For many breeders and many conditions, insufficient information may be available at this time to know whether any particular breed is necessarily free of any particular condition.

In general, pedigree breeds use a much smaller gene pool for breeding than domestic cats and therefore have a higher risk of developing inherited disorders. In addition, a number of ‘newer’ pedigree breeds are derived from matings between one or more ‘older’ breeds, and in these situations, perpetuation of inherited problems that were seen in older breeds is likely within the newer breeds.

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