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Breed of domestic cat, considered more similar to the sacred cat of ancient Egypt than any other living cat. It is lithe and has slender legs and a long, tapering tail. Its short, finely textured coat is ruddy reddish brown, with individual hairs distinctively ticked, or tipped, with bands of black or brown. The nose is red, and the tail tip and backs of the hindlegs are black. The Abyssinian is affectionate and quiet, though generally shy with strangers.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Abyssinian cat, visit Britannica.com.