Bearing a striking resemblance to depictions of cats from ancient Egypt, Abyssinians are long, slender and muscular. There are some discrepancies about where the Abyssinian breed originated, but new information is pointing to a region from Southeast Asia [source: Cat Fanciers Association].
Abyssinians are great for older, energetic children. These cats like to be outside, and they'll get your kids on the lawn as much as possible. Abyssinians are playful and considered the clowns of the feline world -- they will amuse you with their antics. However, these cats don't make great starter pets for toddlers or younger children, who aren't old enough to play outside on their own.
Abyssinians do get fussy if not attended to regularly, and they tend not to warm up easily to new people. Children must practice patience when getting to know their new pet, but once the Abyssinian develops a relationship with them, it becomes an extremely loyal cat. It's a good idea to adopt Abyssinians as kittens in order to maximize relationship-building time.
Next up: The mice-eating, indoor American shorthair.