Sunday 22 June 2008

Blue Abyssinian Cats

blue Abyssinian cat
Blue Abyssinian cat - slate blue and oatmeal - photo strictly copyright Helmi Flick. Note: I am not 100% sure that this is a picture of a Blue Aby but I believe I am correct - wrong? please comment - thanks.

As you probably know Blue Abyssinian Cats are not a bright blue or even a mid-blue but more like a delicate blue/grey color mixed with a beige like color. A number of cats have to be blue/grey and these are the grey cat breeds.

The Abyssinian is a tabby cat but a special one with tabby pattern unlike the classic tabby cats. The Abyssinian tabby allele produces a restricted (much reduced) tabby pattern (on this occasion the term "allele" means a mutant form of a gene. This term is often used to mean one of a pair genes, however, but Robinson's Genetics says the former usage is more correct). The pattern only occurring (it seems very faintly) on the legs, head and tail and more faintly on the remainder of the cat.

There are many tabby patterns, the classic being a blotched pattern and the two other well known patterns are the spotted (seen for example in the Bengal cat) and the mackerel patterns (strips, you can see this pattern in the Toyger cat).

Ruddy Abyssinian Cats

The ruddy Abyssinian, the color we normally associated with this cat breed is produced by a combination of these genes:

-- Ticked gene in homozygous form (meaning both copies of the gene) indicated in genetic terms like this: TaTa (ticked gene)

-- Agouti gene in homozygous form (meaning both copies of the gene) indicated in genetic terms like this: AA

All Abyssinians have the combination genes of TaTa and AA. In addition there are these genes: B (browning gene) and D (dense coloration). In the ruddy Abyssinian the ground color has been intensified by selective breeding.

blue Abyssinian cat
Blue Abyssinian in foreground. Background is a Russian Blue. Photo copyright

Blue Abyssinian Cats

The coloration of Blue Abyssinian Cats is produced by the above set of genes with the exception that the gene D (dense coloration) is substituted by the dd. This produces ticking that is blue/grey over a color that Robinson's Genetics describes as "cream to oatmeal".

The genetic symbol dd represents the dilute recessive gene (lower case letters) and as it is "dd" these particular genes present in this cat are in homozygous form or there are two together which allows the genes to produce the dilute effect.

The individual strands of agouti affected hairs have banding of slate blue or blue/grey and beige (or oatmeal as mentioned above) rather than black and beige (some people say yellow rather than beige). The appearance (phenotype) should be of a warm but dark blue cat.

  • Me
  • Robinson's Genetic's for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians
  • CFA

Blue Abyssinian Cats to Abyssinian cats


  1. I really like this particular cat. My children's father almost bought me one after our first child was born. We decided to get a free cat in need of a home instead.

  2. We just adopted a beautiful blue Abyssinian girl from our local animal shelter. They told me she was taken in a cattery raid. Her ears were so infected that it affected her eyes. Also she's very tiny - only 5 lbs and full grown.
    She is such a love! She breaks out purring whenever anyone enters the room and can't seem to get close enough to us.
    It breaks my heart to think someone was so cruel to her and the rest of her family. One of her brothers at the shelter is infected with herpes in his eyes - Poor thing looks truly miserable. They told me he is "unadoptable".
    Please be very careful when selecting a cat from breeder. And, if you think anything is amiss please notify the authorities!

  3. Hi Melissa, I'd like to give a tender kiss to your Blue Abyssinian girl and my thoughts are with the boy. Thanks for your helpful comment.

  4. we just got a blue kitten a few months ago. I wanted to say I don't believe that first picture is a blue, it looks like a fawn (which are basically the diluted red/sorrel aby)

    (I know its 2010)


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