The Egyptian Mau cat is a fascinating and elegant cat with a spotted coat who contests with the Abyssinian for the title of the oldest domestic cat of which any written record has been preserved.
Indeed, effigies of these cats, bearing both the typical Abyssinian ticking and the net spotting of the Mau, are represented on Egyptian tombs dating back to 1567 BC.
It is not known which of the two was then the cat of the Pharaohs, also loved by the people and precious – a great hunter, he saved the gigantic granaries on which the economy depended from the attacks of rodents. – to the point of being protected by severe laws and venerated in the form of a divinity like the goddess Bastet, represented in the guise of a cat.
The only certainty is that the two races, originating in the same region, were absolutely natural, that is to say that they were not created by man.
The historian Diodorus writes that the Egyptians prepared for him a “delicious meal” which consisted of bread soaked in milk with minced fish. In addition, he was the favorite cat of Chepea, the goddess of creation, as his forehead was adorned with a sacred scarab.
Very affectionate cat, its attachment to their master is so strong and so absolute that he never seems to take its eyes off him, always attentive to its smallest changes in mood. It is reserved but capable of tender outbursts of affection towards its master.
In general, it is not very social with strangers as it tends to reserve its friendship for people it knows. It adapts to all those who experience the charm of the past and who love felines with a docile and faithful temperament.
It is a real domestic cat: it loves the tranquility of the house and the one who has chosen them as their companion. It does not require special care or attention because it also knows how to be independent.
The origins of the Egyptian Mau Cat
Before the Second World War, the Egyptian Mau cat was rather widespread in Europe, especially in Italy, France and Switzerland, but like all cats, the vicissitudes of war caused its total disappearance in these countries.
A Russian princess who lived in Rome, Natalie Troubetskoy, even used diplomatic channels to obtain a male cat of this breed (whose export was banned) to mate with his female in 1953.
From this couple descend all the present-day Egyptian Mau, which even spread to the United States when, in 1956, the princess moved there and where, since she considered the suffix Mau, cat in Egyptian, superfluous, they were from first known only as the Egyptians.
In 1977, the CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association) recognized the breed that was shown at shows and, as a result, became even more successful across the Atlantic.
Appearance of the Egyptian Mau Cat
The morphology of the Egyptian Mau cat is elegant and mysterious, almost statuary: its silhouette appears slender and slender; of medium height, its musculature is well developed.
The head, slightly rounded and never pointed, is triangular with full cheeks. The chin is strong, the straight profile presents a slight curve from the tip of the nose to the forehead. The ears are medium or large, slightly pointed, broad at the base and set apart.
The eyes are almond shaped and very large; their color should be light green, although a slight amber shade is tolerated until the age of one and a half.
The body is of medium height and muscular; the dimensions of the legs are in relation to those of the body and they are well developed.
The hind legs are slightly shorter than the anterior ones; the feet are small and their shape is a compromise between the round and the oval. The tail is long and slightly refined near the rounded tip; it must have rings well marked and spaced between them.
The fur, of medium length, is silky, plentiful and soft to the touch; its texture is very fine. The coat shows bands of different colors – ticking – in a fish scale pattern which is typical of the breed, with a sharp contrast between the light colors of the background and the darker one of the markings.
The “M” design on the forehead is characteristic; it continues down the neck in parallel lines that meet at the end of the backbone, forming a single band that continues to the tip of the tail.
The cheeks, the base of the neck, the chest and the legs bear well-defined stripes; the body is dotted with spotted markings of different sizes.
Coat color of the Egyptian Mau Cat
The accepted colors are silver, brown and black smoke.
The character of the Egyptian Mau Cat
The Egyptian Mau cat is a cat with a lively intelligence, reserved and almost shy; despite this, it socializes well with their fellows who must not risk molesting them, otherwise it will react violently.
Very affectionate towards everyone, it tends to stick its nose everywhere and is a very good playmate; with their master, to whom it is very faithful, it establishes a relationship based on trust and an almost exclusive love.
Its meow, which it only emits when it wants to get something, is docile and discreet, which really can’t be said of its solid appetite.
The Mau has the typical characteristic of the real feline: agile and leaping, it is a very good hunter. This quality allows them to be completely autonomous. Despite its independence, in “captivity” it is friendly and good company and this makes them a very good domestic cat.
The Egyptian Mau will be very affectionate, especially with its humans. In fact, he needs cuddles, but coming almost exclusively from the human with whom it is primarily bonded.
A skilled hunter, this feline will want to play a lot! And jump, and run …
Yet it has a reputation for being the perfect house cat, who loves peace and quiet.
Originally a working cat (it hunted vermin from the granaries on the banks of the Nile), this characteristic necessary for its survival has obviously remained with them. Very good observer, it also learns very quickly.
Fearful / Suspicious
of Strangers : It is said to have a slight tendency to be wary of strangers, preferring humans it knows. We must therefore give it time to adapt.
Its physical and intellectual capacities make them perfectly autonomous on all levels. But it will still seek the presence of its human!
Behavior of the Egyptian Mau Cat
Moderately talkative, its voice is however known to be melodious.
Greedy / glutton:
Watch out for its voracious appetite! It should not develop overweight.
Need for exercise: A
small athlete, this feline needs heights to be able to jump, and periods of games to be able to exercise.
Very connected to its human, it is not known to be a runaway, but its curiosity can still push them to explore.
Compatibility of the Egyptian Mau Cat with other animals
The Egyptian Mau with Dogs:
Compatibility with dogs is very possible, provided you make a good introduction and give it time to familiarize itself with this new presence. Having a lot of heights also allows the cat to be inaccessible while being in the same room.
The Egyptian Mau with Other Cats:
A good introduction is also essential, but as a rule, it adapts well to other feline individuals.
The Egyptian Mau with Children:
This cat will love children, but it should not be forgotten that it also likes calm, and that it can be a little distant, even fearful, towards novelty. Installing height points will allow them to decide whether it wants interaction or not.
The Egyptian Mau with the Elderly:
Because it likes calm, it can therefore be compatible with a calmer person, but it should not be forgotten that it also likes to play and climb in height.
Price of the Egyptian Mau Cat
The Egyptian Mau is considered a rare breed, and its price can be explained by this rarity. The average price for a kitten intended for companionship is around 1200 USD , while for a cat intended for breeding, the average is more like 1800 USD and more.
In order to meet his needs, a monthly budget of around 50 USD is to be expected.
Maintenance of the Egyptian Mau Cat
Easy to maintain, a simple weekly brushing is sufficient. You can also use a chamois to shine your hair more. It is recommended to pay some attention to your teeth. Thus, daily brushing of the teeth will be of great benefit to them.
Although it still has a certain amount of hair, it does not lose excessively. Adequate food quality and weekly brushing will still help in this regard.
Food of the Egyptian Mau Cat
It is important to choose the food of this cat in order to limit overweight, while making sure to meet its needs as a moderately active cat.
Caring of the Egyptian Mau Cat
The Egyptian Mau cat adapts very easily to apartment life because it does not feel the need to live in an open space, even if it does not disdain to lie down on a terrace to sunbathe. The master of the Mau should not forget that it is a delicate cat because it suffers from temperature changes. This is why it needs special care and attention when the seasons change. It only requires minimal maintenance: weekly brushing is sufficient.
Health of the Egyptian Mau Cat
If it can live to 17-18 years , the average is rather around 14 years .
Resistant / robust:
The Egyptian Mau is rather intolerant of temperature changes. It may require additional care when the seasons change.
Tendency to gain weight:
If you are not careful, he may be prone to overweight. It will therefore be necessary to ensure an appropriate diet and daily and sufficient exercise periods.
There are no officially listed genetic diseases in this breed. Only anecdotes or pathologies present in specific lines are reported:
The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy , a disease of the heart, is a bit more present in the traditional line
Leukodystrophy, a disease that affects the white matter of the brain, is also possibly a little more common in Egyptian Mau, although it is very rare.
Umbilical hernias, a phenomenon caused by the abdominal wall which does not close at the level of the navel after the umbilical cord breaks, after birth, could be a little more frequent in some bloodlines.
The periodontal disease is to watch for in this race, especially if any dental maintenance is performed
All diseases and pathologies of domestic felines are possible. The Egyptian Mau is generally in excellent health.
The Egyptian Mau cannot be married to any other breed.
On the physiological side of its reproduction, the gestational duration in this breed is longer than that normally experienced by other domestic cats. It can go up to 73 days of gestation, while the average is rather between 63 and 68 days.
Good to know
The word “MAU” translates, from the Egyptian language, as much by “light” as by “cat”. The Egyptian Mau is therefore, literally, the “Egyptian Cat” or even the “Light of Egypt”. What to add even more magic to this rare and ancestral breed, champion of speed in the category of domestic cats.