Shape: Modified wedge with rounded contours as viewed from the front. A rise
from the bridge of the nose to the forehead without evidence of a sharp break. The
head should be of ample length in general balance with the rest of the cat and gently
curved from the forehead over the skull flowing into an arched neck.
Ears: Large, alert, and moderately pointed, broad and cupped at base and
arched forward, set as though listening. Hair on ears short and close-lying, preferably
tipped in conformity with the color requirements. A “thumb print” marking is
desirable on the back of the ear.
Eyes: Almond shaped, large, brilliant and expressive. Skull aperture follows
almond shape of eyes being neither round nor oriental. Eyes accentuated by darker lid
skin, encircled by a light colored area. Above each eye appears a short vertical
darker pencil stroke amidst the light area. At
the sides of each eye appears a curved darker pencil line as if a continuation of the
upper eyelid. Eye Color to be gold, copper, green or hazel, the more richness and depth
of color the better. There is no relationship between coat and eye color. Points shall be
divided equally between shape and color.
Muzzle: The muzzle shall follow gentle contours in conformity with the head as
viewed from the front and in profile. Chin shall be full and neither projecting nor
receding, having a rounded appearance. Allowance to be made for jowls in adult
males. The muzzle shall not be sharply pointed and there shall be no evidence of
snippiness, foxy appearance or whisker pinch.
Profile: Without flat planes, showing gently curved transition between brow, nose
Torso: Medium long, lithe and graceful, showing well developed muscular strength
without coarseness and is solid to the feel. The rib cage is rounded with no evidence of
flat sides. The back is slightly arched giving
the appearance of a cat about to spring. The flank shall be reasonably level without tuckup.
Proportion and general balance to be desired more than mere size.
Legs: Proportionately slim, long and well-muscled. The Abyssinian/Somali stands well off the ground.
Feet: Oval and compact. When standing, giving the impression of being on tip toe.
Tail: Long and tapering.
Musculature: Well-developed muscular strength without coarseness and solid to the feel.
Length (AB): Coat resilient to the touch with a lustrous sheen, fine in texture.
Medium length, long enough to accommodate four to six alternating light and
dark colored bands. The coat lies fairly close to the body; however, the undercoat
should be adequate enough to avoid any evidence of slickness. Woolliness
undesirable. Coat is longest at the spine, gradually shortening over the saddle, flank,
legs and head.
Length (SO): The coat, very soft to the touch, is extremely fine-textured and doublecoated.
Semi-long length, except over shoulders where a slightly shorter length is permitted.
The more dense the coat the better. Preference is to be given to a cat with ruff and
Pattern: Coat pattern is genetically a form of agouti ticking with even, dark-colored
ticking contrasted with lighter bands giving a translucent effect.
TABBY DIVISION: The colors of the Abyssinian/Somali in the Tabby Division
should reflect warmth of color, giving the impression of a colorful cat. The more
rufousing and depth of color the better. Deeper shades/tones preferred. Darker
shading along spine allowed. White or offwhite
to be confined only to the upper throat area, lips and around nostrils. Preference to
be given to a good, even ticking.
SILVER/SMOKE DIVISION: In the Silver Division, only the undercoat color will be
different from the Tabby Division, with the six
colors of ticking being the same in both divisions. In all Silver varieties, the desirable
undercoat color is to be icy white, with ticking appropriate to the particular color, giving an
overall sparkling silver effect. The orangebrown/sorrel/cream bands within the ticking
of the Traditional Tabby Division colors are replaced with white, with the band adjacent
to the skin being the lightest. Yellow or brown pigmentation on the chest, belly,
under tail, or inside of legs is not desirable,
although minor patches of rufousing are not to be considered a fault if the overall
impression is of silver. Some rufousing may be present in the areas of ticking, especially
along the spine, and the rufous polygenes may have a small effect on the silver
undercolor as well, although lack of rufousing is more desirable.
GENERAL: The overall impression of the ideal Abyssinian/Somali is a medium cat,
regal in appearance. The Abyssinian/Somali
is foreign in type. Males proportionately larger than females, the female being finer
boned and usually more active than the male. The Abyssinian/Somali shows firm
muscular development and is lithe and panther-like in activity, showing a lively
interest in all surroundings. The coat of the
Abyssinian/Somali has an iridescent quality. Coat pattern is genetically a form of agouti
ticking with even, dark-colored ticking contrasted with lighter bands giving a
translucent effect. The Abyssinian/Somali is of sound health and vigor, well-balanced
physically and temperamentally gentle and amenable to handling.
Color Faults: Cold, gray or sandy tone to coat color in ruddies, chocolates, or
cinnamons or gray hair next to skin with absence of correct undercoat color. Distinct
broken necklaces, leg bars, mottling or speckling in unticked areas (underside of
body, chest and inside legs), tabby stripes or bars. Slick coat or excessive plushness.
Wrong color or patching in pads.
Ticking and Pattern Faults: Unevenness of ticking over body, lack of desired
markings on head and tail.
Condition: Flabbiness of body, lack of coat luster, eye color, evidence of illness,
emaciation and lack of muscle tone are faults and points shall be deducted.
WITHHOLD ALL AWARDS (WW): Unbroken necklace. Reversed ticking
(outermost tip of hair light instead of dark).
In the Tabby division, white locket or white anywhere on the body other than around
nostril, chin and upper throat areas.
Temperament must be unchallenging; any sign of definite challenge shall disqualify. The cat
may exhibit fear, seek to flee, or generally complain aloud but may not threaten to harm.
In accordance with Show Rules, ARTICLE SIXTEEN, the following shall be considered
mandatory disqualifications: a cat that bites (216.9), a cat showing evidence of intent to
deceive (216.10), adult whole male cats not having two descended testicles (216.11),
cats with all or part of the tail missing , except as authorized by a board approved standard
(216.12.1), cats with more than five toes on each front foot and four toes on each back foot,
unless proved the result of an injury or as
authorized by a board approved standard (216.12.2), visible or invisible tail faults if
Board approved standard requires disqualification (216.12.4), crossed eyes if
Board approved standard requires disqualification (216.12.5), total blindness
(216.12.6), markedly smaller size, not in keeping with the breed (216.12.9), and
depression of the sternum or unusually small diameter of the rib cage itself (126.96.36.199).
See Show Rules, ARTICLE SIXTEEN for more comprehensive rules governing penalties and
ABYSSINIAN BREED GROUP (AB/SO)
HEAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 points
Shape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Ears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Eyes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Muzzle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
BODY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 points
Torso . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Legs and Feet . . . . . . . . 10
Tail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Boning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Musculature . . . . . . . . . . . .5
COAT/COLOR/PATTERN . . . 30 points
Texture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Pattern (Ticking) . . . . . . 10
Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
DIVISIONS: Tabby and Silver/Smoke.
COLORS: Limited to eumelanistic colors and agouti pattern only.
PERMISSIBLE OUTCROSSES: None.
Revised 06/18/08 Abyssinian Breed Group Standard, 05/01/2008.