The Abyssinian Cat Colors Featured Image

7 Abyssinian Cat Colors: From Common to Rare

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Unveiling the Mystique of Abyssinian Cat Colors

Abyssinian cats, affectionately known as ‘Abys,’ dazzle with coats that seem painted by an artist, changing hues from kittenhood to adulthood. This enchantment stems from a complex genetic interplay, including genes like DKK4, which influence overall color patterns.

The hallmark of Abyssinians is their “ticked” coats, where each hair features multiple color bands. This distinct pattern is the result of over 85 years of selective breeding, focusing on enhancing this trait while reducing others like mackerel and blotched patterns.

As these cats mature, their initially pale coats deepen and enrich, typically settling into their final vibrant colors around 18 months, captivating owners with the dramatic transformation.

The Vibrant Palette of Abyssinian Cats

Though we’ll parade seven spectacular hues, not all are spotlighted in the championship show rings. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) officially recognizes only four fabulous shades—ruddy and red, with the trendy blue stepping onto the scene in 1984, and the demure fawn in 1989.

No doubt, the other colors we’ll explore are equally stunning, though they haven’t yet graced the CFA’s official palette.

Visual Showing all the different Abyssinian Cat Colors

1. Ruddy: The Classic Abyssinian Coat

abyssinian cat with Ruddy coat Image

Ruddy, also known as ‘tawny,’ is the classic color of the Abyssinian cat. This color features a striking mix of brown and black ticking on each hair, creating a dynamic, shimmering effect as the cat moves. The underbelly and legs are a vibrant, unmarked orange, providing a bold contrast.

Notably, a black line often runs down the center of the back to the tail, which is long and tapers to a tip. The Abyssinian’s large ears are tipped in black, enhancing their alert expression. Eyes are typically golden, though hazel or green is also common, paired with a tile red nose and dark paw pads.

2. Red or Cinnamon: Fiery and Fascinating

abyssinian cat with red coat image

Often referred to as Sorrel, this variation is a softer, more diluted version of the classic Ruddy. The Sorrel Abyssinian showcases a captivating copper-red base, delicately ticked with shades of red and brown, creating an overall effect that radiates warmth from within.

This warm glow is consistent across their sleek coat, especially noticeable on the stomach and inner legs, which are free of any markings or patterns. This seamless and sleek appearance is complemented by pink paw pads and noses, adding a gentle contrast to their fiery coat. The eyes of a Sorrel Abyssinian sparkle in shades of amber, green, or yellow, enhancing their expressive and vivid appearance.

3. Blue: A Cool Contradiction

Abyssinian cat with blue coat Image

Despite its name, the Blue Abyssinian isn’t actually blue. This variant’s coat is a deep, steel-grey, artfully ticked with darker shades to give an overall blue appearance. This effect is enhanced by the base hair, belly, and insides of the legs, which are a soft, pale cream color, adding a subtle contrast to the darker ticking.

A striking feature of the Blue Abyssinian is the dark blue stripe that runs down their spine, extending to the tail, which is tipped with the same deep blue, adding a touch of elegance and mystery. Their paws and noses mirror the greyish blue of their coat, while their eyes—ranging from amber to green or yellow—provide a vibrant splash of color against their cooler tones.

Exploring Rare Abyssinian Cat Colors

4. Fawn: Subtly Elegant

Abyssinian cat with Ruddy coat Image

The Fawn Abyssinian showcases a pale cream base coat with a soft blue-grey ticking that gives it a mystical aura. This coloration is not only lighter than the Blue variant but also features a subtle stripe running down the spine to the tail, tipped with muted blue-grey, enhancing its delicate appearance.

Their paw pads and noses are shaded in tones that complement the softness of their coat, and their eyes, which may be amber, green, or yellow, add a vibrant contrast to the serene color palette. Recognized but rare, the Fawn Abyssinian is highly sought after and often comes at a premium, making it a coveted choice for those desiring a distinctive and elegant feline companion.

5. Chocolate: Deep and Decadent

Abyssinian cat with chocolate coat Image

The Chocolate Abyssinian sits between the robust Ruddy and fiery Sorrel in color intensity, featuring a rich copper-brown base. This base extends across the belly and inside of the legs, luxuriously ticked with dark chocolate and brown bands. The deep, cohesive colors of their coat are matched by dark chocolate-colored paw pads and noses, creating a visually sumptuous effect.

Despite its decadent appearance, it’s important to note that this color is not recognized by the CFA, adding an exclusive allure to this already captivating variant.

6. Silver Variations: The Shimmering Specters

Abyssinian cat with Silver coat Image

Like the Chocolate variant, Silver Abyssinians are not recognized by the CFA, yet they carry an undeniable mystique. Their coats gleam with a metallic sheen that makes them stand out strikingly.

The four main variations—Usual Silver, Fawn Silver, Blue Silver, and Sorrel Silver—each showcase a mesmerizing mix of their base colors with a silver overlay. Believed by some breeders to be among the original colors of the Abyssinian lineage, these variants add a layer of historical intrigue to their captivating appearance.

7. Lilac: Rarely Seen, Unforgettable

Abyssinian cat with lilac coat Image

The Lilac Abyssinian, while rare, doesn’t actually display a true lilac color. Its coat features soft grey ticking over a pinkish cream base, giving an impression more of subtle hues than of vivid lilac. This understated blend of grey and pink creates a unique and appealing effect that distinguishes it from other variants.

Their paw pads and noses carry a gentle mauve tint, enhancing the overall theme but not quite reaching a lilac tone. Encountering a Lilac Abyssinian offers a distinctive experience, marked by its rarity and the subtle elegance of its coloration.

Conclusion: A Spectrum of Splendor

The Abyssinian cat, with its array of captivating colors, is a testament to the fascinating interplay of genetics and beauty. From the warm earth tones of the Ruddy to the ethereal shades of the Lilac, each color tells a story of selective breeding and nature’s whimsy. Whether you’re an enthusiast, a breeder, or simply someone who appreciates the finer details in life, the Abyssinian offers a palette to satisfy every artistic and emotional craving.

Photo Sean C. Founder of Sweet Purrfections

Meet Sean, a fintech whiz with a penchant for pet purrs and blockchain buzz. After a decade of fintech feats, Sean's tech talents leaped from ledger lines to litter lines, driven by a passion for pets and a vision for a more connected pet care community. With three critter companions as co-pilots, Sean launched this blog to share a treasury of pet-friendly tech tips and tales.