Most Common Health Conditions For Abyssinian Cats


Bryan Huynh

- Updated February 23, 2024

Most Common Health Conditions For Abyssinian Cats

The Abyssinian is thought to have originated in Southeast Asia and the Indian Coast. They resemble cats from Egyptian tombs, with a ticked coat and large erect ears. This highly social breed thrives in multi-cat households and enjoys interaction. They are constantly on the move, exploring and playing, showing a fondness for water and even playing fetch. The Abyssinian is an excellent choice if you are looking for a people-oriented, attention-loving companion.

Abyssinian cats are one of the oldest breeds known to mankind and continue to be one of the most popular choices for a devoted and playful companion. They are also simple to care for, as they don't require any special considerations aside from their activity levels. However, Abyssinian cats are susceptible to a number of common health issues. If you are thinking about getting or already have an Abyssinian cat, here are a few things to consider.

Common Health Issues for Abyssinian Cats


Dental Disease Dental disease is one of the most common chronic problems in pets who don’t have their teeth brushed regularly. Unfortunately, most cats don’t take very good care of their own teeth, and this probably includes your Abyssinian. Without extra help and care from you, your cat is likely to develop potentially serious dental problems. Dental disease starts with food residue, which hardens into tartar that builds up on the visible parts of the teeth, and eventually leads to infection of the gums and tooth roots.

Regularly removing food residue can protect your cat from dental disease and reduce the need for costly and stressful treatments. Preventive care is beneficial to avoid severe dental infections, potential tooth loss, and organ damage. Plus, your cat will be a more pleasant companion without the inconvenience of stinky cat breath!

Patellar Luxation Patellar luxation, also known as "kneecap dislocation," is a condition that can affect Abyssinian cats. The kneecap moves out of its normal position in the femur's groove, resulting in varying degrees of limping or lameness in the affected leg.

While Abyssinians are not as prone to patellar luxation as some other cat breeds, they can still develop it. Genetics or trauma may play a role, and it can affect one or both hind legs. Consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment if you notice any signs of limping or discomfort.

Renal (Kidney) disease Renal failure occurs when the kidneys are unable to cleanse the blood and regulate hydration effectively. While kidney disease is more common in older cats, it can also affect young cats due to toxins or genetic factors. Before any anesthesia or surgery, young kittens with inherited kidney defects should be screened for kidney problems. It is recommended to have regular screenings throughout one's life. Although severe renal failure is progressive and fatal, special diets and medications can help cats with kidney disease live longer, more fulfilling lives.

Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD) is an inherited disease caused by a lack of the pyruvate kinase enzyme in red blood cells. This deficiency reduces the lifespan of red blood cells, causing mild or progressive anemia in affected pets. Fortunately, the majority of cases are mild, and cats can adapt without showing any obvious symptoms.

In rare cases, PKD can cause severe and rapidly developing anemia, which can be fatal. The condition is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, and a reliable genetic test to identify affected, carrier, and non-carrier cats is available. To prevent PKD in susceptible breeds such as Abyssinians, both parents should be tested before breeding, as symptoms are not always visible.

Hyperesthesia Syndrome The neurological condition hyperesthesia syndrome, also known as "rolling skin disease" or "twitchy cat syndrome," can affect Abyssinian cats and other breeds. This disorder can be recognized by episodes of increased sensitivity, most commonly along the back and tail area.

During these episodes, affected cats may exhibit signs of agitation or discomfort, as well as unusual behavior. While the exact cause of hyperesthesia syndrome is unknown, it is thought to be related to sensory hypersensitivity, which may be exacerbated by stress.

Are Abyssinian Cats The Right Breed for You?


Making the decision about whether Abyssinian cats are the right breed for you involves considering various factors, including your lifestyle, preferences, and ability to meet their needs. Here are some essential characteristics of Abyssinian cats to take into account:

Active and Playful: Abyssinians are highly energetic and love to play. If you enjoy interactive playtime with a lively and curious cat, they might be a good fit.

Social and Demanding: Abyssinians are social cats that crave attention and interaction. They may not do well if left alone for long periods as they thrive on human companionship.

Affectionate but not Lap Cats: While they are affectionate, Abyssinians are not typically lap cats. They prefer to be nearby and engage in activities rather than cuddling for extended periods.

Intelligence: Abyssinians are intelligent and curious, making them trainable and prone to getting into mischief if not mentally stimulated.

Grooming: Their short, fine coat requires minimal grooming, but regular dental care is essential to prevent dental issues.

Health Considerations: Be aware of potential health issues like dental problems and patellar luxation, which may require proper monitoring and care.

Time Commitment: Abyssinians need daily play and mental stimulation, so be prepared to invest time and attention.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Common Health Issues for Abyssinian Cats?

The extent of pet insurance coverage for common health issues in Abyssinian cats varies based on the insurance provider and the specific policy you select. In general, pet insurance may provide coverage for the following common health issues:

Accidents and injuries: This includes coverage for unexpected accidents, like fractures or wounds, that may occur due to falls or other incidents.

Illnesses: Pet insurance may cover various illnesses, such as respiratory infections, gastrointestinal problems, urinary tract infections, and skin issues.

Hereditary and congenital conditions: Some policies may cover certain hereditary or congenital conditions that Abyssinian cats may be prone to, such as kidney diseases or heart conditions.

Diagnostic tests and treatments: Pet insurance may cover the costs of diagnostic tests, x-rays, blood work, and treatments prescribed by the veterinarian.

Hospitalization and surgery: If your Abyssinian cat requires hospitalization or surgery due to an illness or injury, pet insurance may help with the expenses.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to thoroughly review the terms and conditions of the specific policy, as pet insurance may exclude certain aspects, such as:

Pre-existing conditions: Most pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing health conditions that your cat had before enrolling in the insurance plan.

Routine and preventive care: Routine check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive treatments are typically not covered by standard pet insurance plans.

Behavioral issues: Behavioral problems or training costs are usually not covered by pet insurance.

Dental care: Some pet insurance plans exclude dental care or only offer limited coverage for dental issues.

Waiting periods and exclusions: Pet insurance policies often have waiting periods before coverage begins, and they may exclude specific conditions or certain age-related issues.

Bottom Line

Discover the most common health conditions impacting Abyssinian cats and learn how to care for them. Abyssinians, one of the oldest cat breeds, are noted for their unusual appearance and social attitude. Keep up to date on potential difficulties such as dental problems, renal concerns, hyperesthesia syndrome, and more.

Our comprehensive guide empowers responsible cat owners with valuable information, helping them make informed decisions about their feline friend's health. From dental care to managing genetic predispositions, we provide the advice needed to support your Abyssinian's overall health. Keep your beloved pet happy and healthy with our top-notch resources and practical tips. Prioritize your Abyssinian's well-being by staying informed and proactive in their care journey.

Abyssinian Cats Health Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average life expectancy of an Abyssinian cat?

On average, Abyssinian cats have a life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years. With proper care, a healthy lifestyle, and regular veterinary check-ups, some Abyssinians have been known to exceed 15 years in age.

Are Abyssinians high maintenance?

Due to their short, dense coats, Abyssinian cats are low-maintenance in terms of grooming. However, they are highly active, playful, and intelligent, necessitating a considerable amount of attention and stimulation from their owners.

What are the most common health issues in Abyssinian cats?

Common health issues in Abyssinian cats include dental problems, kidney diseases, hyperesthesia syndrome, and patellar luxation.

How much does an Abyssinian cat cost in the US?

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $2,000 or more for an Abyssinian kitten from a reputable breeder.

About The Author

Bryan Huynh

Bryan Huynh

Product Tester & Writer

Bryan Huynh is a dedicated Product Tester & Writer. Just as insurance has your back, Bryan works to review and inform you about the wide range of insurance products available, ranging from business, auto, health, home, pet, to life insurance.

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