Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Ability to Adapt:
Need for Grooming:
The Egyptian Mau Cat is one of the few naturally occurring spotted breeds. The spotted coat is their most notable feature. The silver, bronze or smoked coat colors are accentuated with large gooseberry green eyes.
This is a medium-size cat with a strong and muscular body. The hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs. It has a unique flap of skin that extends from the flank to the back knee. These traits give the Mau excellent running abilities.
This cat can run at a speed of 30 mph.
This is an attention seeking and affectionate breed. They tend to pick their special person and like being worshiped.
Maus are a bit reserved towards strangers and need time to warm up to them.
Being playful and energetic, the Mau gets along better with older children who can match her energy levels.
Where Did Egyptian Mau Cat Breed Originate?
Legend and mystery surround the origins of this breed. This breed got its name from the Egyptian word Mau, meaning cat or sun. It is one of only a few domestic cat breeds with a naturally occurring spotted pattern.
This cat was worshiped by ancient Egyptian Pharaohs and kings. Papyri and frescoes dating back as far as 1550 B.C show spotted cats. Hence, it was thought that this breed originated in Egypt. However, recent DNA analysis showed mainly European and North American descent.
Maus were well-known in Europe prior to World War II. However, the breed suffered greatly during the war and was at the brink of extinction.
The breed as we know it today can be traced back to a silver female kitten.
The Russian princess Natalie Troubetskoy got the kitten from the Egyptian ambassador in Rome, Italy. Troubestkoy named the kitten Baba.
In 1956 Natalie immigrated to America and she brought Baba and two of her offspring with her.
Once in America, Troubestkoy wanted to secure the breed’s survival.
She wrote the breed’s standard and opened the Fatima cattery to breed more cats. In the beginning, the breeders had a limited gene pool to work with. Thus, it was hard to maintain the desired body type and temperament.
But the import of new cats in the 1980s and later in 1991 made things a lot easier.
The Egyptian Mau Cat was recognized in 1968 by Cat Fanciers Federation. The Cat Fanciers Association followed in 1977. Today this breed is recognized by most cat associations.
What Does the Egyptian Mau Cat Look Like?
The exotic looking Mau is an embodiment of grace and agility. This breed is easily recognizable for its glossy and short spotted coat.
The slightly rounded wedge-shaped head is topped medium-size large ears and large gooseberry-green eyes complete the Mau’s look.
The breed’s hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs and end with small dainty paws. This gives the impression that Mau is always standing on tiptoe.
As per size standards, this should be a medium-sized cat. The muscular and athletic body should be medium-long, and never cobby. The ideal body should be 24 inches or slightly longer once they reach maturity.
Egyptian Mau Cat Colors
The Mau’s most recognizable trait is its spotted shiny coat. Spots can be both large and small, round, or oblong and they cover the entire muscular body.
They also have a distinctive ‘M’ shape on the forehead. The Mau’s cheeks sport the ‘mascara’ linings, and the tail is covered with dark bands and ends with a dark tip.
Their coat comes in silver, bronze, and smoke (pale silver coat tipped with black) colors.
Additional colors like solid black and blue, blue spotted, blue silver and blue smoke can be seen in these cats. However, these colors aren’t permitted in the show ring. And although they are sold exclusively as house pets, these cats possess all the traits the breed is known for.
Egyptian Mau Cat Personality Traits
The Egyptian Mau is a highly playful, affectionate and attention seeking breed.
This is an excellent family cat that stays loyal to its human caregivers. It will pick its favorite person and cherish it above everyone else.
Being a moderately to highly active breed, the Mau likes to jump and climb. So, consider getting your cat perch.
The perch can serve as a resting area or offer your cat a chance to observe its surroundings. The Mau vocalizes in a quiet and pleasant voice and will express its happiness by chortling.
These cats swash their tails rapidly and knead their owners with front paws when they are content.
The playful Mau is the fastest breed of domestic cats and can run at speeds of up to 30mph. So, it comes as no surprise that these highly energetic cats need places to burn their energy.
You should invest in a cat activity centre that will provide scratching post, jumping, and playing areas to keep your cat entertained and away from your belongings.
This breed forms deep bonds with its people and is exceptionally loyal to its favorite person. Being with its family and being worshiped is what makes the Mau happy.
They prefer having company and won’t be pleased being left alone. Thus, only get a Mau if you can fully devote your time and attention to your cat.
Friendly toward everyone in the family, they tend to be reserved towards strangers and need time to warm up to them. But once the first impressions settle, they tend to be outgoing with absolutely no fear and a ton of curiosity.
This is a highly intelligent breed that is eager to learn new tricks and is easy to train. Teach this cat to walk on a leash or play fetch.
Egyptian Mau Cat Behavior
The sensitive and people-oriented Egyptian Mau can become timid if not properly socialized from a young age.
They are easily startled by unexpected noises or events and are wary of other pets and strangers.
Expose your cat to new people and other cats and dogs early on to build up her confidence and prevent any aggressive behavior. Also, make sure that you spend plenty of time interacting with your cat every day.
Otherwise, the Mau will feel left out and can develop separation anxiety or depression.
Are Egyptian Mau Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
This breed doesn’t like change and can have problems adapting to new owners and environments. This reserved and shy breed easily becomes nervous in new situations and environments.
Adult cats have a harder time adjusting to new owners or homes, so it is important to start with socialization early.
The Mau is a highly agile and athletic breed with lots of energy. They like to spend their days running, playing, and jumping when they aren’t lying in their owner’s laps. Get a cat scratching post and lots of toys to keep your Mau exercised.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
The playful nature of this breed makes it an ideal choice for homes with children. These cats tend to gravitate towards older kids who can match their energy levels.
Your cat will enjoy playing hunt games with your child and mice toys. The Mau is smart enough to stay away from toddlers and younger children who don’t know how to play with a cat.
This is a territorial and stubborn breed. And some cats of this breed prefer being the only pet around. Your cat needs to be socialized from a young age to be friendly towards other animals. Generally, if Mau is permitted to rule over all other pets, it will get along with them just fine.
This is a playful and energetic breed that loves games. Keep your cat’s brain stimulated with interactive puzzle toys. They are attention seeking cats who need daily interaction with their owner.
Try to spend as much time as you can with your cat and play with her every day.
General Health and Potential Risks
Egyptian Mau cats are generally healthy. It seems that their active lifestyles help them keep sickness at bay! However, the breed can be affected by the following health condition.
- Leukodystrophy: This is a congenital condition also known as Krabbe disease. This condition causes progressive degeneration of the nervous system that causes weakness and difficulty walking. First symptoms start to appear when a kitten is 2 months old. At the time of writing this, there is no known treatment for this disease.
Egyptian Mau Cat Lifespan
Their average lifespan is 12-15 years. Still, with robust health and playful nature, they are known to live longer. To prolong your cat’s life expectancy, practice all preventive health care measures.
Furthermore, get your cat from a reputable breeder who is willing to give you a health guarantee. This way you will avoid any hereditary health conditions and save on medical bills.
This breed has a medium-length coat that is easily maintained. The coat’s texture varies depending on its color. Thus, cats with smoke coloring have fine, silky coats.
Cats with silver or bronze coloring have more thick and resilient coats.
Groom this cat twice a week to keep the coat shiny and clean. Get a pet grooming glove to remove loose hair, dander and give your cat a gentle massage. Since this is a shy breed, grooming these cats regularly will also help in bonding.
Unlike other breeds, Mau isn’t afraid of water. So, you can give this cat occasional baths without much resistance. Use a good quality cat shampoo to help soothe and protect the skin.
Egyptian Mau Cat Shedding
You will be glad to know that this breed only shed moderately. You can expect seeing more loose hair during the shedding season. But a few extra grooming sessions will take care of that in no time.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer frequently asked question about the Egyptian Mau cat. Read on to learn more about this amazing breed!
How to Tell If Your Cat is an Egyptian Mau?
To identify an Egyptian Mau, you should look for a spotted coat with medium-length hair. Additionally, a cat should have vibrant green almond-shaped eyes.
Finally, take a closer look at a cat’s body. Egyptian Mau cats should have moderately-long, agile, and muscled bodies, and long and lean legs.
How Much is Egyptian Mau Cat Price?
The exact price of these cats depends on the breeder and several other factors. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $1200 for a purebred Egyptian Mau kitten.
The pet quality kittens are on the lower end of the price spectrum and can be even found for $600. But if you are set on a particular coat and eye color, and spot pattern you should be prepared to pay significantly more.
How Big Do Egyptian Mau Cats Get?
As with all other cat breeds, the males are larger and weigh from 10-14 pounds. Females are slightly smaller and weigh from 6-10 pounds.
This is a highly active breed that needs high-quality food to fuel its substantial energy needs. Feed your cat with dry cat food to keep her at the ideal weight.
Stick to recommended food amounts to prevent obesity. An automatic cat feeder would surely help.
Are Egyptian Mau Cats Hypoallergenic?
There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat breed. But certain breeds are deemed to be less allergenic and better suited for people with allergies.
Unfortunately, this cat isn’t among those less allergenic cat breeds. So, if you or any of your family members suffer from allergies, you may need to reconsider getting an Egyptian Mau as a pet.
Are Egyptian Mau Cats Rare?
Yes, the Egyptian Mau is still a rare breed. As of 2007, fewer than 200 Egyptian Mau kittens are registered with the Governing Council of Cat Fancy each year.
Hopefully, there will be more Egyptian Mau kittens born in the coming years.