Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Breed of the Week (Cat): Abyssinian

Lest anyone think this "breed of the week" feature was all about dogs, here is our first cat breed.

Notice the gorgeous "ticked" fur on this fine feline specimen.
This is one of the oldest known breeds of domestic cats. 
They come in a variety of colors: ruddy, blue, fawn, chocolate, lilac and silver. The ticked fur, which is the alternating dark and light bands, really gives them a "wild" cat look. Similar to what the coat of a mountain lion is like. 

A little known "secret about me": Although I have always rescued cats, the one cat I WOULD consider getting from a reputable breeder is a blue Aby (they are frequently referred to by this abbreviated name). I saw one at a cat show and she was stunning. 

Above are two images of Blue Abys

I have only seen a handful of this breed in 13yrs of practice.
They are known to have a few medical problems though not as many as some of the other breeds I will cover in the future.

One of the big ones is called renal amyloidosis. Basically, amyloid (a substance made of proteins that is not broken down by the body) accumulates in kidney cells causing destruction and ultimately kidney failure.  It is a genetic disorder that attacks them from 1-5yrs of age. There are varying degrees to which the cat can be affected. Some cats decline rapidly while others can be managed for years.

They can also have retinal atrophy, resulting in vision deficits of varying severities. 

I have seen several that have inflammatory bowel disease though it is not necessarily a "breed" specific thing. 

They are very active playful cats and not "lap" cats. 

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