Now that’s an Abyssinian of another colour

This is an interesting collusion of things, actually. I’d been meaning to post for a while about unusual Abyssinians, particularly Tortie Abys. Through my emails to the National Aby Rescue, I’ve been turned onto the Homeless Abyssinians list posted on the website of Aksum Abyssinians in Atlanta (Aengus, the Red boy and the other Abys I posted about Wednesday are now on that list as well).

They also have an Aby newsletter to which you can subscribe. Of course, I’ve signed up, and in the process I’ve entered into a correspondence with Susan, the woman behind the cats at Aksum.

So I’ve been inspired to finish that post I’ve had waiting in the wings about tortie Abys (more properly called “torbie” Abys, since Abys are genetically tabbies), silvers, sex-linked red (which is different from the “red” or sorrel Abyssinians we’re more familiar with) and other colours outside of the Original Four.

While the CFA and other registries only recognise ruddy (“usual”), red (“sorrel”), blue and fawn Abys, they actually come in quite a few more colours than that. According to the UnsualAbycats website, there are 28 variations possible. I find it interesting that Abys come in all the colours other breeds do (except for white and white-spotted): black (ruddy/usual) and its dilute blue, sex-linked (“true”) red and its dilute cream, and all torbie variations, plus silver variations, and plus “red” (sorrel) and its dilute fawn, which is caused by the Cinnamon gene and isn’t seen in many cat breeds apart from Abys.

It’s thought that silver Abys were much, much more common in the early days of the breed in the late 1800’s; in fact, Aluminum II and Salt, the first two Abys imported into the US, were almost certainly silvers.

The other colours are being bred much more extensively in the UK (Crystalpaws Cattery in Essex has some great photos), Europe and Australia/New Zealand than they are in the States…which brings us back full circle: Aksum Abyssinians is one of the few American catteries working on the other variations. As Susan said in an email, “I’ve been asked to do an article on them for the Australian Aby fanciers, and I’ll be the new ACCA (Abyssinian Cat Club of America) newsletter editor, so I am quite sure more will be said about them and I am hoping to recruit other Aby breeders to the ‘new’ colors (they were added in the 70’s and 80’s).

And how did I start looking into other Abyssinian colours in the first place? I made a random comment to about Abyssinians being a handful, and torties being a handful…but just imagine a tortoiseshell Aby! It’d be the perfect storm of cattitude!

7 thoughts on “Now that’s an Abyssinian of another colour

  1. In other news, the man in NC has refunded my money, I’m not sure what’s going to happen to the poor lil guy but me and aby and clarence will be moving out within the next 2-3 years and I just can’t take a special needs kitty 😦 and when I asked about him he didn’t even want to talk about the cat at all, he just refunded my money. Ugh 😦
    After much searching, I am currently the proud owner of a 2 week old red aby from another cattery in North Carloina. His name is Alejandro. Pix on Wednesday 😀


    1. Oh! That’s sad about Rudy…I wonder what will happen to him. That’s a definite danger sign, though, him not talking about the little guy at all.
      Reds are really amazing in person; they don’t look as dramatic in photos as the ruddies, but when you see the subtle shading of their fur close up, it’s just gorgeous. And I love the name Alejandro – I imagine him talking like Puss in Boots from Shrek. I can’t wait to see his photos!
      Which cattery is he from? I’m wondering (of course) if he’s related to Jake 🙂
      Here’s something to get you excited 🙂


      1. AbyFye/JadeCat are the breeders.. it’s 2 women, one in NC and one in PA, apparently they work together while breeding or something? I’ve googled them and they’ve had a lot of best overall abys in CFA (they don’t have an actual website, saying it takes away time from the kittens lol). The parents are named Star & Outback I think.


        1. LOL that didn’t take long at all…they’re related! Well, at least the catteries have a link.
          Abyfye only has two cats listed on ERoS, but one of them, Abyfye’s Desiree of Instincts is actually Jake’s mother’s (Instincts Santa Catalina of Pellburn) paternal Great Great Grandmother.
          Jadecat isn’t in ERoS at all, but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s sort of a grassroots website; it’s filled in by the breeders and owners, so it hasn’t got everything, especially if the breeders aren’t very “online,” like these two (odds are, the Abyfye cats on ERoS were added by other breeders who are active on ERoS, in this case, probably Instincts).
          Still, very cool: Jake and Alejandro are most likely related. When you get his pedigree, we’ll have more cattery names to look up 🙂
          Interesting side note (well, interesting to me, at least): Abyfye’s Desiree has links to San-Toi Cattery in Northern California. They’re mostly known for Siamese, but they did Abys for a while in the 80’s. I remember seeing them at cat shows when I was in junior high and high school.
          And, Desiree and Catalina can both trace back to Bastis Zachariah, who was bred by Wain Harding in the 70’s. Bastis Cattery is one of the legendary Aby breeders, based in Berkeley, CA, and another one I remember seeing when I was a kid.
          Just for fun, I Googled Star and Outback…I didn’t find Star, but here’s Abyfye’s Outback as a kitten:


          1. ah, I always think it’s amazing how you find all this info 😀 haha.
            Firstly, I was mistaken about the parents, well Outback is correct (he’s so handsome! thanks for the pic) but the mom’s name is Callie (they had 2 litters, a Callie/Outback born 5/8 and a Star/Outback born 2 weeks later. Mine is the only red from the first litter).
            I’m pretty sure the only cattery I’m dealing with is AbyFye, that’s the one in NC (and who I made the check out to).
            How awesome that they’re related! 😀 And, I get pix tomorrow. I’m so excited. He’s almost 3 weeks old.


            1. That was Outback when he was a CFA Top Kitten 🙂
              The Electronic Registry of Somalis is an awesome resource. It’s so much fun to click on random cats in your Aby’s pedigree and eventually come across names you’ve seen in books!
              LOL I’m almost as excited as you are!


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