An elegant, foreign-typed, spotted breed, the Egyptian Mau strongly resembles cats seen in Egyptian art that adorns the walls of pharaohs' tombs.
More than 5,000 years ago, enterprising cats began a mutually beneficial association with the Egyptians, driving rats and snakes from the people's granaries and helping to stave off famine in the land.
For their service, the cats earned the respect of their human landlords. In time, the animals were not just seen as useful partners and beloved household companions, but also as sacred animals reputed to be the agents of the gods.
The spotted cats that existed in those days are believed to be the ancestors of the beautiful and modern Egyptian Mau, which makes this cat breed one of the oldest in the world.Origins
Then in the 1960s Angela Sayer, a British breeder, sought to breed an Oriental cat with the spotted coat of the early Egyptian cats. The result was a “different” Egyptian Mau. To avoid confusion with the “true” Egyptian Mau, the version was re-named the Oriental Spotted Tabby. The breed's modern history dates back to the Egyptian Embassy in Rome in the early 1950s. Maus were brought over from their native country and became the Embassy’s mascots. In 1956 three cats from this line were brought to the U.S., where a breeding line was established to promote this ancient breed.Appearance
Although completely domesticated, the Egyptian Mau has a gait reminiscent of the cheetah. A loose flap of skin running from their flanks to their hind legs gives them an unusually broad range of movement for executing twisting jumps that frankly don't seem possible until you've personally witnessed the acrobatic feat.
To look at an Egyptian Mau is to catch a glimpse of the exotic sleekness of a jungle creature. Refined, but with a suggestion of something wilder and more primitive, the Mau is a breathtaking beauty. No photograph can do justice to the depth of their glittering green eyes, or the gloss of their shiny spots.
There is a leopard-like elegance to their strong, graceful build.
The Egyptian Mau is a medium-sized cat with a long body that should be extremely lithe in conformation. Their bodies have a pleasing, solid compactness that is a product of their sturdy musculature. Individuals will range from 6 – 14 lbs. / 2.72 – 6.35 kg in weight.
Without question, the Mau is one of the superior athletes of the cat world, a fact you will soon discover when you welcome one into your home.
Coat and Colors
Their coat is short and silky with a gorgeous sheen. Accepted colors for the breed is silver, smoke, black and their dilutes — blue silver, blue spotted, blue smoke, and blue.
Of these, the black and dilutes are not eligible to be shown in exhibitions, but they have all the excellent personality traits of the breed and are superb companions.
The spine itself is highlighted by a dark, dorsal stripe running from the head all the way to the tail.
Head, Eyes, and Ears
A Mau should have large "gooseberry" green eyes that are almond shaped and placed in perfect balance with the big, broad-based, and widely spaced ears.
The distinctive eye color may not be fully set until the cat is a year to a year and a half old. The coloration usually starts with a green ringing of the iris. In adults, the eyes have a tendency to flash from black to green.
The breed exhibits a modified wedge shape to the head.
Country of Origin: Egypt/US/UK
GCCF Group: Foreign Shorthair (provisional)
Egyptian Maus are exceptionally intelligent and display a fierce degree of loyalty for their humans. They have enchanting, irrepressible personalities.
Although a Mau will always be an outgoing and friendly presence, make no mistake that they will have a special person on whom they will train their laser-like focus and devotion.
While not necessarily hyperactive, Egyptian Maus keep themselves happily occupied as they go about tending to what they perceive to be their daily "business". Theirs is a doting affection, and one that expects to be at the center of all family activities, even in a household of one.
The Egyptian Mau can be cleverly mischievous and no cabinet door is safe against his curious paws – for that matter, he's just as likely to open the refrigerator on his own!
Your Mau will cheerfully ride on your shoulder and serve as an unerringly accurate alarm clock. He's anxious to get on with the day and assumes you are – or should be – as well!
Even within the family, however, a Mau would prefer interactions on his own terms, liking to be handled and carried more by some people than by others.
They are highly adaptable as kittens, but once they've settled into their "world" they don't like change. For this reason, relocating older animals including rescues can be challenging and requires a great deal of patience and understanding.Suitability as a pet
The Mau enjoys a family environment and the company of other cats and pets. Their bossy character can dominate a household. They love the outdoors and can become good hunters.