The Egyptian Mau has been around for centuries, with temple frescoes, papyri scrolls and pyramidal inscriptions denoting the reverence ancient Egyptians held it in. However, the breeding of the Mau as a cat breed started in Italy when the exiled Russian Princess, Natalie Trubetskaya took it upon herself to save the Egyptian Mau from extinction. Her efforts in establishing the Fattima Cattery in New York to enhance the breed’s reputation paid off; the Mau has since become popular with the generation of the Indian and the Egyptian line, which has improved the gene pool and general health of the Mau. It was granted recognition by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979.
The Egyptian Mau is extremely intelligent, and likes to interact; it loves to explore and can even browse through the hitherto unexplored corners of the attic. It can be termed aloof, but has been known to exhibit extreme loyalty towards its owners. The Mau also dislikes being picked up, preferring to have its feet on the ground like its wild ancestors. This cat is also very demanding of attention – it wants attention all the time, and simply refuses to be pushed away.
- Activity level: 4/5 (very active)
- Intelligence level: 4/5 (very intelligent)
- Curiosity: 4/5 (very curious)
- Friendliness: 3/5 (quite friendly and loyal)
- Vocal: 3/5 (quite vocal)
The most striking feature about the Mau is its striking resemblance to a wild spotted cat. With its sleek body, characteristic spots and stalking gait, it resembles a miniature leopard in the living room and is the very reason why it finds place in some of the most opulent houses. The main characteristics of the Egyptian Mau are:
- Fur: Short, spotted fur coat; the colour is usually silver, bronze, smoke, black or blue/pewter. A long, dark dorsal strip runs along the spine from head to tail.
- Eyes: Vivid green/turquoise.
- Body structure: Medium body structure; long, lithe, muscular body. Front legs shorter than hind legs and a skin flap under the belly allows for greater acrobatic ability and speed.
- Facial features: Wedge-shaped, rounded head; distinctive scarab or ‘M’ shaped marking on the forehead.
- Weight: Male Mau weighs around 10-14 lbs, whereas the female weighs around 6-10 lbs.
The Egyptian Mau tends to be more sensitive than other cats to medicine and anaesthesia; therefore proper precautions need to be taken when administering medical care. The fur is easy to care for; biweekly brushes should be adequate to take care of the Mau’s fur coat.
Periodontal diseases are quite common in the Mau; therefore proper dental hygiene has to be maintained for this breed. Daily dental brushing is recommended to avoid gingivitis and other dental problems. A complete Oral Exam by your vet can diagnose if there are any issues. Since eye infections are also quite common, any discharge at the corner of the eyes must be removed with a soft, damp cloth.
It is also recommended to keep an eye on the Mau in case you have pets or stray animals nearby; it is extremely outgoing and curious, and can tend to get hurt.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org