Aksum Abyssinians started in 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia USA with Abys from Bruce Alexy in North Carolina. Two young queens from Alexy were shown in TICA and then they were bred with Alexy's Traveler and we raised their kittens with his guidance. Only the best Abyssinian kittens with the right conformation and characteristics were chosen from those queens and from other breeders.
Aksum Abyssinians has always had three priorities in this order: health first, personality second, and show quality third. These three priorities are still our focus as we work with other breeders to improve the health as well as continue the Abyssinian's beauty and exceptional friendly personality.
My name is Susan Graham and I now mentor other new Abyssinian breeders in the U.S. and other countries and actively work to expand the Abyssinian breeder community worldwide. I have shown and bred cats since 1983 when I bought a lovely lilac Siamese male and showed him to a Championship title in CFA - Cat Fanciers Association (TICA - The International Cat Association - didn't exist yet). As our children grew up to be young men, we had pets and I helped two Bengal breeders for fun. Once the boys were older, I was able to focus more on my cat hobby with the support of my husband. I worked with seven breeds of cats over the years, showing three of them (Siamese in CFA, Bengal in TICA and Abyssinian in TICA and CFA).
In 2013, I and two breeder friends showed our co-owned stud boy Jaxx to the highest title in TICA, International Winner. The following year Jaxx attained the rare title of Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.
I have volunteered regularly to help shelter cats since 1980. It has always been a priority for me and my husband has always been happy to help. I started Atlanta Abyssinian Rescue in 2009 as a more official way to help Abyssinians in need. The rescue takes in, fosters, and adopts out purebred Abyssinians in the southeastern U.S. as well as helps local shelters foster and place mixed breed kittens. I also volunteer to help other local shelters and volunteer at a spay/neuter clinic.
I've been fascinated with Abyssinians since I first saw them in 1983 at a CFA show where I was championing my first show cat, a lilac point Siamese. I talked with the breeder at the show and found that Abyssinians were having health problems due to inbreeding caused by the very real fear of feline leukemia. I was out of my depth and needed to learn more before I could help the breed I had come to love and appreciate. So I helped other breeders and learned from them and from the veterinarians I worked with.
Aksum is a TICA registered cattery name and I have signed and abide by the TICA Code of Ethics as a part of the Voluntary Responsible Breeder Program. I show in TICA and CFA (Advance Abyssinians is our CFA cattery name and I also abide by CFA's Code of Ethics for breeders). I have a line of Abys that is double registered and I show regularly in CFA and TICA.
Abyssinian kittens can be picked up here or sent to their new owners in the cabin of an airplane accompanied by a professional transporter or can be taken to the new owner at cost in the cabin of an airplane. Visitors are always welcome to visit the cattery after the Buyer Questionnaire is approved. A deposit or purchase is not required.
A health guarantee against all major and genetic diseases (including FeLv, FIV, FIP, Tritrichomonas foetus, ringworm, PRA and PKDef) is an integral part of the written contract for all Aksum kittens and cats. We raise our kittens in our master bedroom area and the kittens sleep with us in our bedroom from at least 8 weeks old and sometimes much younger.
The cattery name Aksum comes from the ancient name of Ethiopia, known earlier as Abyssinia, the alleged source of the first Abyssinian cat imported into England in the 1868 from the Abyssinian War. Aksum was the first name of the country of Abyssinia/Ethiopia. The ancient city of Aksum still exists in Ethiopia today.
Aksum Abyssinians has two in-house studs -- a double registered (TICA & CFA) ruddy named Bo who is our International Winner Jaxx's son and a double registered imported ruddy from St. Petersburg, Russia named Lionel (photo below). We will always have outcrossed (unrelated) studs and queens in our quest to continue the ancient Abyssinian breed and have the healthiest Abys possible.
Arrangements are often made to buy and trade for other kittens from other breeders in the U.S. and around the world that arrive and join our breeding program as they are old enough (they are usually around one year old when they become parents, especially the queens). I study pedigrees to choose cats that will keep inbreeding to an absolute minimum to avoid genetic diseases. All breeding cats are tested for genetic diseases before using them for breeding. A cheek swab sample is sent to UC Davis Laboratory for a DNA test result that helps to make the best decisions on which cats to breed with the others. We also read scientific studies on cat health.
We prize a sweet expression, happy friendly personality, nice ticking, and an athletic balanced body. Health first, personality second, and looks third will always be our priorities here at Aksum Abyssinians.
We love our Abys and enjoy sharing them. Perhaps with you?
This page was started on July 3, 2009.
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