Coat Length: Short hair
Body Type: Moderate
Appearance: The Egyptian Mau is a medium-sized cat breed with an athletic and graceful body. Mature males weigh from 4.5 to 6.3kg and females between 2.7 to 4.5kg. They have a fine and dense medium-length coat with a spotted pattern, usually in silver, bronze or smoke. The colour pattern of the cat makes a startling contrast with their bright green eyes. They have medium-sized ears with rounded tips.
Grooming Requirement: Every few weeks
Activity Level: Very high
Affection: Very affectionate
Time Alone: 4 to 8 hours a day
Attention: Needs a lot of attention
Temperament: Mau cats are active and athletic animals. They like to run and climb and it’s a good idea to get plenty of toys for your feline friend. They are people-oriented and love their family. If you want a cat that will happily sit in your lap, this is a great choice. Most cats might not be huge fans of water but the Mau doesn’t mind, they even enjoy it.
Interesting Facts: The Egyptian Mau is the fastest of all cats, running at an astonishing 30mph (48,3kph).
Behaviour Toward Other Animals and Children: Like most cats the Egyptian Mau is a kind family-loving animal, they’ll accept being introduced into a home with other pets. However you should still be gentle and cautious when you introduce new pets to each other. As ever, children need to be taught how to interact with your cat.
Common Health Problems: The Egyptian Mau has a few potential hereditary problems. Some of these are feline asthma and feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Food allergies can sometimes be an issue but in general this is a healthy breed.
Lifespan: Average 12 to 15 years.
Egyptian Maus are a small-sized cat breed. Its origin, along with that of the Bahraini Dilmun cat, dates back over 3000 years ago and is closely linked with Egyptian culture. They are one of the few naturally spotted breeds of domesticated cat. In the past, the Egyptian Mau was worshipped by its original owners – the ancient pharaohs and kings. In Ancient Egypt, the word “Mau” meant “cat” or “sun” and the Egyptians revered the animals as gods.
Egyptian Maus were originally trained to hunt prey, such as birds and fish, and return the bounty to their masters. They were also taught to guard crops by keeping away small animals that would lurk nearby.
The modern Egyptian Mau is said to have originated in 1952 in Italy when the Russian princess, Natalie Trubetskaya, witnessed the Egyptian ambassador’s cat. She convinced the man to acquire several cats from Egypt and adopted them as pets. After some time has passed, she started breeding them as well. Despite claims that the animals originated in Egypt, DNA analysis shows that they are predominantly of European and North American descent. The feline evidence, published in the Pentascope document, states that the breed is closely related to the Maine Coon, Korat and American Turkish Angoras.
In 1968, some feline organizations granted the Mau breed championship status. Attempts were made by British breeders to create Maus from cross-breeds of Abyssinians, Siamese and Tabbies. These, however, did not look like the true Maus. The cats were recognized in 1968 by the Cat Fanciers Federation, followed in 1977 by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. The 1980s saw more imported Mau cats and later, in 1991, their gene pool was further increased. Today, the breed is recognized by the majority of cat associations.
The Egyptian Mau is a relatively rare breed. In 2007, less than 200 kittens were registered by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. Maus come in five colours, the most common being silver, bronze, smoke, black and blue/pewter. Black and pewter Maus cannot be showcased, but may be used for breeding. All Maus must possess green eyes, however an amber cast is acceptable in kittens and young adults up to eighteen months of age.
This breed is fond of eating food and its unlimited access may cause overweight issues. Thus, a controlled feeding environment is essential for the cats’ well-being. These animals need access to fresh water at all times. Active by nature, they will require approximately 80 Kcals of food per kg of bodyweight every day. Maus, however, are not prone to obesity and will limit the amount of food on their own. A tinned meal once a day is sufficient for their needs. Said meal may be varied with cooked chicken or rabbit and poached white fish. Egyptian Maus should not be fed any table leftovers or scraps and treats should be given in moderation.
Both pedigreed and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health issues that may be genetic in nature. Egyptian Maus are generally healthy, however one should always ask breeders about any health issues surrounding the pets’ genealogical lineage and whether testing has been performed for any genetic diseases. One problem that may affect the breed is leukodystrophy, a neurological condition that may develop in kittens as early as 7 weeks of age. It is always wise to buy from a breeder who is able to provide a written health guarantee.
The Egyptian Mau’s coat is easily maintained with weekly combing that will remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. This cat rarely requires bathing. However, the animal will also need a weekly nail trimming and ear cleaning. The latter action should be performed using a suitable cleanser. The cat’s teeth should be cleaned with pet toothpaste on a frequent basis. All aforementioned procedures should be started while the animal is still a kitten so that the Mau may grow accustomed to them.
The active and lively Mau is a sound choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. The animal will play fetch as well as any retriever, easily learn new tricks and appreciate the attention received from children that treat the cat politely and with respect. The breed is especially fond of human company and will even try to cheer people up. The Egyptian Mau is a skilled hunter and pet birds or other small animals are probably not safe in the cat’s presence. New pets, even other cats, should be introduced slowly and in a controlled environment.