Abyssinian cats are one of the oldest cat breeds, thought to date back to ancient Egypt. The Abyssinian is a very playful and unusually affectionate cat that actively seeks human company. It has short hair that requires little grooming. Since the 1960s, other similar breeds have become officially recognized, including the longer-haired type, the Somali cat. The Sorrel Somali refers to a popular coloured breed.
All these breeds are very attractive, smaller yet well-proportioned and generally well-behaved cats as pets, especially if they are not kept indoors all the time, as they love to explore their surroundings, are highly active and enjoy climbing.
Three aspects are worth noting about the natures of these cats:
- They tend not to be overly fond of other cats so are best kept in pairs, possibly threes at the most. The Abyssinian in particular often gets on well with dogs in its household.
- They need stimulation to help exercise their naturally high level of curiosity. Hence toys are useful, especially for the Somali, though the toys need not be anything special; some could be as simple as a cardboard box or a paper bag.
- They often only behave badly if left alone, so should at the very least have some form of suitable companion if their owner can not avoid leaving them for any length of time.
As a result of their natural characteristic traits, these cats are actually amongst the most trainable and will benefit from any encouragement to learn simple tricks such as fetching objects and toys. They are very affectionate, especially in comparison to other cats. Given their high activity level and playful nature, they are among the most enjoyable pet cats.