Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau is the only natural spotted cat breed. Elegant and slender, these majestic felines are believed to be direct descendants of the African wild cats.

There is evidence that suggests that Ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate the Mau. Indeed, cats were highly revered by this the people of this ancient nation.

History shows that cats played an important role in their day-to-day life. Maus appear in Ancient Egyptian wall paintings and artifacts, as well as in mythology and religion.

These beautiful spotted felines are not only elegant and beautiful but also loyal and of good disposition.

A brief history of the Mau

What does Mau mean? Mau means cat in Egyptian. Curiously, it seems like a variation of “meow”.

As I previously mentioned, Ancient Egyptians held Maus in high regard. Cats in general were considered gods, and Egyptian Maus were not the exception. Archaeologists have found mummified cats in several Ancient Egyptian tombs, which shows that these animals were highly admired.

Interestingly, Ancient Egyptian depictions of Maus show that these felines have changed very little since those ancient times.

Egyptian-Mau cats were bred and showed in Europe as early as the 1900s. They made their way to America thanks to a Russian princess named Nathalie Troubetskoy. While living in Italy, she convinced the Egyptian ambassador to bring her some Egyptian cats. She soon started breeding Maus and later brought them to America.

The Cat Fancier’s Federation (CFF) recognized the Mau in 1968. The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) recognized the breed for competition in 1977. Though still relatively rare, this breed continues to grow in popularity.

Mau's physical traits

The Egyptian Mau is a spotted, short-hair, midsize, “cheetah-like” breed of domestic cat. This beautiful Egyptian cat happens naturally as opposed to other spotted cats like the Ocicat and the Bengal. In fact, these breeds are a result of cross-breeding. The Bengal, for example, is a cross between domestic and wild cats. Interestingly, the Mau is much smaller than both the Ocicat and the Bengal.

I must point out that Maus have spots not only on their coats, but also on their skins. If you shave a Mau, you will see them.

Egyptian Maus are extremely agile. In fact, they are considered one of the (if not the) fastest domestic cats.

Maus are also known for their big, round eyes as well as their worried expression.

Colors of the Mau

These regal Egyptian cats come in several color variations. However, bronze, silver, and smoke are the only colors accepted by the CFA to be shown in championship competition.

Maus also come in solid black and in diluted variations. These variations include diluted bronze, blue silver, solid blue, and blue smoke. These colors qualify for registration purposes but not for showing.

Behavior and personality

According to breeders and cat experts, Maus make wonderful pets. Maus are known for their loyalty and good disposition. They are also extremely intelligent.

Cats of this breed are very vocal, showing a wide repertoire of sounds, including chirping and chortling.

An interesting behavior of the Maus is their happy dance, known as "wiggle-tail". Both males and females of this breed will act as though they’re spraying urine, moving their legs up and down and raising their behinds; however, urine is never sprayed.

Gifts and books

Here are some gift ideas celebrating the Mau:

-Posters, prints, and photographs portraying this beautiful cat breed make great gifts for both cat lovers and art lovers. Here are several Egyptian Mau cat-pictures you will love.

-Figurines depicting Maus are another great option.

-You can also find t-shirts and other clothing items showcasing Maus.

And for those who love to read…

Here are some books you may find interesting:

--The Cat Fanciers' Association Complete Cat Book by Mordecai Siegal. This book includes information on the Mau.

--The New Encyclopedia of the Cat by Bruce Fogle. Also includes information on the Mau, plus lots of other information on cat history, cat breeds, and much more.

Related Links

More on Egyptian cats

Egyptian Cat Art

Bastet - The Egyptian Cat Goddess

Mafdet - The Cheetah Goddess

Bengal cats - on the wild side

Egyptian names for male cats

Gorgeous Siamese cats

Learn about the beautiful Colorpoint Shorthair

Choosing the right cat breed

More Egyptian cat names

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