The Egyptian Mau is a beautiful domestic cat breed that stands out as the fastest and only one with naturally occurring spots.
In the Egyptian language, the word Mau means “cat.” This unique-looking cat has a resemblance to the cats the ancient Egyptians worshipped.
The Egyptian Mau is an intelligent breed of cat, and it generally gets along well with other felines and is even considered an excellent choice for people who want to get pets for homes with children.
Table of Contents
- Breed Overview
- Characteristics of the Egyptian Mau
- History of the Egyptian Mau
- Breed Standards
- Egyptian Mau Care
- Common Health Problems
- Diet and Nutrition
- Length: Up to 24 inches
- Weight: 6 to 14 pounds
- Eye color: Green
- Coat color: Spotted coat in silver, smoke, or bronze with random spots produced by color only on the tips of the hairs
- Coat: Medium-length with fine texture
- Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
Characteristics of the Egyptian Mau
- Friendliness: Medium
- Affection Level: High
- Pet-Friendly: Medium
- Kid-Friendly: Medium
- Playfulness: High
- Energy Level: High
- Intelligence: Medium
- Exercise Needs: High
- A tendency to Vocalize: Low
- Amount of Shedding: Medium
History of the Egyptian Mau
The Egyptian Mau is an African wild cat believed to be the feline initially domesticated by the Egyptians over four millennia ago.
Cats depicted in most ancient Egyptian drawings look like the spotted Egyptian Mau and reveal that these cats were used for duck hunting and were also worshipped by a cat cult.
Per Feline genome data, it is believed that the Egyptian Mau is closer relative to Western-derived breeds than breeds of the eastern Mediterranean. Nonetheless, the Egyptian Mau possesses some unique characteristics that are not seen in other cat breeds.
Notwithstanding, the ancient lineage of the Egyptian Mau was first found in Europe before World War I, but while the war was on, the numbers of this feline were decimated, with most of its survivors found in Italy.
The Russian Princess, Nathalie Troubetskoy, exiled in Rome shortly before the 2nd World War, was gifted a spotted Egyptian Mau kitten, which she named Baba. When Princess Troubetskoy emigrated to the U.S in 1956, she brought with her the cat Baba, as well as two other rescued Egyptian Maus.
Shortly after that, the Princess established her cattery and set the Egyptian Maus as a recognized cat breed in North America. In 1968, The Egyptian Maus were finally recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, followed by The Canadian Cat Association shortly after.
In 1972, history was made when a silver Egyptian Mau female bred by Princess Troubetskoy won a Canadian Cat Association grand championship; this feline was the first of its breed to obtain such honor.
During those beginning years, due to the lack of breeding stock, the Mau was possibly outcrossed with selected breeds of the domestic cats, along with some inbreeding.
However, more recently, the imports of Maus from India and Egypt have helped to preserve and strengthen the cat breed.
According to the breed standards, the body of an Egyptian Mau is medium in length with well-toned muscles while maintaining a graceful appearance.
The hind legs of an Egyptian Mau are slightly longer than the front legs, giving the feline a somewhat “rakish” look. The longer hind legs may contribute to the Egyptian Mau being the fastest running house cat capable of speeds as fast as 30 miles per hour.
This breed of house cat has a skinfold from its flanks to its knees, and that is a trait seen in the cheetah that may also be responsible for its fast speed.
The Egyptian Mau’s head has been described as a slightly rounded wedge with no flat planes and is medium in length. The nose of this cat, from a front view, is even in width for its entire length with a little rise from the bridge of the cat’s nose to its forehead.
The Mau’s muzzle is neither pointed nor short, and its ears, which may be described as tufted, medium-sized, and not too pointed with ample width between both ears.
Asides from the spots on the animal’s body, one of the most distinctive features of this domestic cat are its eyes. The eyes are enormous, slightly slanted, and of a lovely light “gooseberry green” color. The way its eyes look gives this breed of house cat a bit of a worried expression.
The Egyptian Mau has a lustrous, dense coat that can be silver, bronze, or smoke color and is distinguished by a rare mixture of striping and spotting, which is what makes this breed of the cat really stand out.
The stripes on the Egyptian Mau’s forehead may create a letter “M,” known as the mark of the scarab. The cat also has eye stripes that create a nice pair of mascara lines, which may have spurred the ancient Egyptians to copy it.
Egyptian Mau Care
One interesting thing about this cat breed is that its coat is easy to care for with weekly brushing; it rarely needs a serious bath. It is important to help your cat with good oral hygiene to keep its teeth and gums healthy.
A Mau will love it if you provide places to climb and play to meet its exercise needs. Get your pet a cat tree or a window perch and with a scratching post; It has been noticed that a high vantage point helps the feline to feel in control of the whole room.
Make sure you have plenty of cat toys. Just like dogs, Maus loves playing fetch. Most Maus also have the weird habit of playing in the water, especially splashing in their water dish.
They are excellent hunters, and you will have to take extra care if your household includes pet rodents or birds; keep your cat away from your bird feeder.
The Egyptian Mau is a brilliant and personable breed of domestic cats, and it is known to be completely loyal and devoted to family members, both people, and pets.
It tends to be shy or somewhat reserved around strangers and may hide from visitors. One characteristic people love about them is their distinctly soft melodious voice and chortle to express their happiness.
Maus love to be in control, and even though they are very affectionate, they prefer to come to their owner rather than have them pick them up. They will train an owner to sit on the couch and then walk over to join you for a snuggle.
Common Health Problems
Egyptian Maus are not known to have any breed-specific health problems. You only need to make sure that your cat gets all of the regular well-cat checkups, treatments, and preventative immunizations, as well as monitoring for any health concerns.
Just like other house cats, keeping your Egyptian Mau indoors will help prevent infections spread by other creatures and injuries from fights. Also, Spaying or neutering is advised for any feline that is not bred.
Diet and Nutrition
The Egyptian Mau is not a breed with any specific nutritional needs, but it is vital to understand how much and what exactly a cat should feed on.
This cat is one sophisticated breed that likes to eat just a few bites at a time throughout the day, which means that you can allow the Egyptian Mau to be a free-feeder with dry food left out all day long. If you want to provide wet food, do it only at specific times in small quantities.
Be sure to monitor your Egyptian Mau for weight gain because obesity is one of the conditions that may shorten its life and lead to diseases like diabetes.
If you notice that your cat is gaining weight, talk with your veterinarian about an appropriate diet.
- Not prone to any breed-specific health conditions
- Highly intelligent, trainable, and energetic
- Likes water, although it does not need baths since it keeps itself clean
- Great for families with kids, other cats, and dogs
- Very rare to find for adoption
- Maybe skittish around strangers
- May attempt to hunt rodent or bird pets
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