You might want to consider the Egyptian Mau if you’re looking for a cat that combines beauty, intelligence, and personality. This breed is one of the few naturally spotted breeds of domestic cats and the only natural domesticated breed of spotted cat. Its name comes from the ancient Egyptian word for cat, “Mau,” and its history may date back to the cats that were revered by the ancient Egyptians and associated with the goddess Bastet. This article will explore this fascinating feline’s appearance, personality, health, and care.
|Coat color||Silver, bronze, smoke, black, caramel, blue/pewter|
|Personality||Playful, active, devoted, loyal, alert, and affectionate|
|Good with kids||Moderate|
|Good with pets||Moderate|
History of the Egyptian Mau
The Egyptian Mau’s origins are shrouded in mystery, but some evidence suggests that it may have descended from ancient Egyptian domestic cats that were depicted in art and hieroglyphics as early as 1900 BCE. These cats were likely valued for their rodent-catching skills and companionship and became symbols of grace and divinity. The worship of Bastet, the cat-headed goddess of protection, fertility, and motherhood, was popular during the Roman rule of Egypt, and it is possible that some Romans brought these spotted cats back to Italy and other parts of Europe.
The breed declined during World War II and was almost extinct until a Russian-born nurse named Nathalie Troubetskoy rescued some spotted street cats from Egypt in the 1950s and brought them to Italy. She began to breed them and imported more cats from Egypt and other countries to introduce them into her breeding program. She also registered the breed with the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) and moved to the United States in 1956. She continued her breeding program there and gained recognition from the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1968. Today, the Egyptian Mau is still a rare breed, but it has loyal fans all over the world.
The Egyptian Mau is a medium-sized cat with a graceful and athletic build. It has well-developed muscles that allow it to run fast and jump high. In fact, it is one of the fastest domestic cats, reaching speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. It also has a distinctive flap of skin on its belly, giving it more flexibility and agility.
The most striking feature of the Egyptian Mau is its coat, which comes in three main colors: silver, bronze, or smoke. The coat has dark spots of varying sizes that occur only on the tips of the fur, creating a contrast with the lighter background color. The spots can be round or oblong but should not be connected or form stripes.
The coat also has other markings, such as a dorsal stripe that runs along the spine to the tip of the tail, an “M” pattern on the forehead, and “mascara” lines that start at the corner of the eyes and sweep along the cheeks. Some other colors that occur in this breed are black, caramel, and blue/pewter, but they are not accepted by some registries for show purposes.
Another distinctive feature of the Egyptian Mau is its eyes, which are large, almond-shaped, and expressive. They are always green in color, ranging from light to dark shades. The eyes are set slightly apart and have a slanting appearance. The ears are also large, alert, and moderately pointed. They are set well back on the head and have tufts of hair at the tips.
The Egyptian Mau is a beautiful cat and a wonderful companion. It has a playful, active, devoted, loyal, alert, and affectionate personality. It loves to interact with its human family and may bond strongly with one person who becomes it’s favorite. It enjoys playing games like fetch or chase and can learn tricks and commands. It also likes exploring its surroundings and may climb high places or perch on your shoulder. It is not a couch potato, but it will cuddle with you when it feels like it.
This is a breed that is also quite vocal and likes to communicate with its human family. It has a melodic and musical voice that can express a range of emotions and needs. It may chirp, chortle, or trill to show its happiness or curiosity or meow loudly to demand attention or food. It may also perform a unique tail wiggle when it is excited or content.
The Egyptian Mau is not a cat for everyone, though. It can be shy or aloof with strangers and may take some time to warm up to new people. It may also be territorial or jealous of other pets and may not get along well with them. It needs a lot of attention and stimulation from its human family and may not do well in a busy or noisy household. It is best suited for a calm and stable environment where it can feel secure and loved.
Common Health Issues
The Egyptian Mau is generally a healthy and robust cat that can live up to 12 to 15 years. However, like any other breed, it may be prone to some health issues that you should be aware of. Some of these include:
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency
- Feline Leukemia
To keep your Egyptian Mau healthy and happy, you should provide it with regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and spaying/neutering. You should also monitor its weight and body condition and report any changes or concerns to your vet.
The Egyptian Mau is an easygoing cat that does not require much grooming or maintenance. However, you should still follow some basic care guidelines to ensure its well-being.
The Egyptian Mau has a high-protein nutritional need and may not do well on low-quality or grain-based foods. You should feed it a balanced and complete diet that meets its energy and nutritional requirements. You should also avoid overfeeding it as it can become obese and develop health problems. You should always provide it with fresh water and avoid giving it cow’s milk as it can cause diarrhea.
The Egyptian Mau has a medium-length shorthair coat that may be silky, fine, or dense, depending on the color. It does not shed much and does not need frequent brushing. However, you should still brush it once a week to remove dead hair and dirt and to distribute the natural oils. You should also bathe it occasionally if it gets dirty or oily. You should trim its nails regularly and clean its ears with a cotton ball and a mild cleanser. You should also brush its teeth daily or at least weekly to prevent dental problems.
The Egyptian Mau is a very active and energetic cat that needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation. You should provide it with plenty of toys and games to keep it entertained and challenged. You should also play with it every day and encourage it to run, jump, and chase. You can also provide it with a cat tree or a scratching post to allow it to exercise its natural instincts. You should also keep it indoors or in a secure enclosure to protect it from predators, diseases, or accidents.
Where to buy an Egyptian Mau
The price of an Egyptian Mau kitten may vary depending on the breeder, the location, the color, and the quality of the cat. Generally, you can expect to pay between $500 and $3,500 for a pet-quality kitten and more for a show-quality or breeding-quality kitten.
Both CFA and TICA maintain short lists of registered breeders, you can find their links below to get you started in your search:
- Egyptian Mau | The Cat Fanciers Association Find A Breeder
- Egyptian Mau Breeders TICA
You can also consider adopting an Egyptian Mau cat from a rescue group or a shelter. There are many cats that need loving homes, and you may be able to find an Egyptian Mau or a mix that suits your personality and lifestyle. You can search for Egyptian Mau rescue groups online or contact your local shelter for more information.
The Egyptian Mau is a stunning cat with a rich history and a loyal personality. It is one of the oldest and rarest cat breeds in the world and has many unique characteristics that make it stand out. It is playful, active, devoted, loyal, alert, and affectionate with its human family and may bond strongly with one person. It is also vocal, curious, intelligent, and can learn tricks and games. It has a medium-sized athletic body with a spotted coat that comes in three main colors: silver, bronze, or smoke. It also has striking green eyes and large ears.
More Cat Breeds
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Q: What is the origin of the Egyptian Mau?
A: The Egyptian Mau may have descended from ancient Egyptian domestic cats that were revered by the Egyptians and associated with the goddess Bastet. The breed was almost extinct after World War II but was revived by a Russian-born nurse who rescued some spotted cats from Egypt and brought them to Italy and the United States.
Q: What are the main colors and patterns of the Egyptian Mau?
A: The Egyptian Mau has a spotted coat that comes in three main colors: silver, bronze, or smoke. The spots occur only on the tips of the fur and create a contrast with the lighter background color. The coat also has other markings, such as a dorsal stripe, an “M” pattern on the forehead, and “mascara” lines on the face.
Q: What is the personality of the Egyptian Mau?
A: The Egyptian Mau is a playful, active, devoted, loyal, alert, and affectionate cat that loves to interact with its human family. It may bond strongly with one person and be shy or aloof with strangers. It is also vocal, curious, intelligent, and can learn tricks and games.
Are Egyptian Maus rare?
Yes, Egyptian Mau cats are rare. According to some sources, they are one of the oldest and rarest cat breeds in the world, with only about 200 Egyptian Mau kittens registered every year1. They are also difficult to find outside of Egypt, where they originated from. If you want to buy or adopt an Egyptian Mau cat, you may have to do some research and find a reputable breeder or rescue group that can offer you a healthy and well-socialized cat.
How much does an Egyptian Mau cost?
The cost of an Egyptian Mau cat may vary depending on the source, the location, the color, and the quality of the cat. According to some sources, you can expect to pay between $500 and $3,500 for an Egyptian Mau cat. The cost may be higher for show-quality or breeding-quality cats or for rare colors such as silver or bronze. The cost may also include some medical services such as spaying/neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, and shipping. If you want to buy an Egyptian Mau cat, you should do your research and find a reputable breeder who can provide you with health certificates, pedigree papers, and references. You should also visit the breeder’s facility and meet the parents and the kittens in person. You should avoid buying from pet stores, online ads, or backyard breeders who may not care about the health or welfare of the cats.