Wednesday 14 April 2021

Are Abyssinian cats vocal and talkative?

Yes, they are talkative but there are two ways to answer the question: the conventional and the unconventional way. The conventional answer pretty clearly states that Abyssinian cats are talkative. Gloria Stephens, a cat show judge and a person with considerable knowledge of the cat breeds, describes the Abyssinian cat as an individual that "loves to talk with people in a euphonic voice". Fair enough.

Abyssinian cat
Abyssinian cat. Photo: Helmi Flick.

A pretty distinct and clear answer. The unconventional answer comes from me but of course I defer to Gloria Stephens. However, I don't think that you can say with certainty that Abyssinian cats are talkative. Firstly, it depends on the individual cat because even within a cat breed there will obviously be variations between individuals as to personality and personality has a bearing on whether the cat is talkative or not.

Secondly, the amount of vocalisations that a cat makes depends upon the environment in which they live. If you have a tremendously loving human caretaker in a close relationship with an Abyssinian cat, the cat is liable to be quite talkative to that person. It's simply an extension of their relationship.

Thirdly, cat breeders normally focus on the appearance of the cat they are breeding and their behaviour comes second. You never hear of cat breeders selectively breeding for a cat that is talkative. It is not on their radar to declare to themselves that a particular cat is very talkative and therefore to put that cat in the breeding line to ensure that offspring and their offspring are going to be more vocal. To the best of my knowledge, they don't do that. They don't focus on a tendency to vocalise because they are fully focused on the appearance which takes precedence over everything else.

The Siamese cat is known to be vocal with a particularly characteristic voice as it happens. But even with the Siamese there is variation. The point that I'm labouring on explaining is that Gloria Stephens makes a definitive statement about Abyssinian cats being vocal but I wouldn't go that far. I would answer in a more cautious way because I don't think you can brand an entire cat breed with the description that all the cats in the breed are talkative and vocal.

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