Egyptian Mau is a stunning feline, boasting an athletic build and a lustrous spotted coat. It is the fastest domestic housecat, reaching speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, and the only one with naturally occurring spotted markings, which are not produced by human manipulation. This graceful and dignified cat breed might be intimidating but is far from being such. It gets along well with most families and would be a playful, loyal, and friendly addition to any home.
Origin of the Egyptian Mau
The Egyptian Mau is deemed to be the feline initially domesticated in the Egyptian culture about 4,000 years ago. The cats seen on artworks during the times of the pharaohs were similar to the Egyptian Mau, in which they were used for hunting or were worshipped by ancient men.
However, Egyptian Maus first appeared in Europe before World War I but were placed on the brink of extinction during the war itself, with few of its survivors found in Italy.
The existing breed we today traces its root to a spotted Mau given to Natalie Troubetskoy, a Russian princess who was then exiled to Rome before World War II. It was believed she acquired the kitten, either from a young boy or from Egypt’s ambassador to Italy.
Troubetskoy named her kitten, Baba, and brought it, along with her two litters, to the United States in 1956. To keep the breed thriving, she created a breed standard and started breeding the Egyptian Mau. These cats were also imported in the 1980s and in 1991 to heighten its gene pool.
Physical Characteristics of the Egyptian Mau
- Length: Up to 24 inches
- Weight: 10 to 14 pounds (Males), 6 to 10 pounds (Females)
- Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
- Coat Color: Silver, bronze, smoke
- Type of Coat: Medium
- Eye Color: Green
The Egyptian Mau is a medium-sized cat with a muscular body, wedge-shaped head, green eyes, and fairish-sized to large ears. Their hinds legs are longer than their front legs, providing them a tiptoe-ing look. However, what conspicuous about them is their naturally-occurring soft, glossy, and spotted coat that comes in silver, bronze, or smoke, which provides them their lustrous appearance celebrated by many cat enthusiasts.
Egyptian Mau Personality
It is easy to love the Egyptian Maus for their elegant look, but their personality is more than just their lustrous appearance. These cats are incredibly loyal, building strong bonds with the members of the household, and establishing closer relationships with one or two family members, who they treat as their “special masters.”
As long as they receive the proper homage, this feline breed will shower their owners with affection, usually through a shoulder perch, or some lap time, accompanied by unique chirps, trills, and other distinct “chortling” sounds.
They will greet immediate family members when they come home, but won’t talk to guests or visitors that may arrive. They are renowned for being anti-social with strangers and will prefer to bond with their trusted family, rather than other humans.
Generally, they are amenable to live with toddlers and cat-friendly dogs and pets as long as a proper introduction has been made at a young age. However, they can be pretty territorial and may engage in fights should any unfamiliar creature get into its personal space, inside or outside the home.
Moreover, like their ancestors that were trained for duck hunting, Egyptian Maus are incredible hunters. Sometimes, their innate hunting behavior exudes, and their favorite persons will have to wake up with unwanted gifts, such as catnip mice or birds, on their pillows. Otherwise, they can be seen raiding panty cabinets or the refrigerator should they be given a chance, displaying their mischievous side.
Caring for the Egyptian Mau
Egyptian Mau’s spotted coat is undeniably stunning, but it is easy to care for. It only requires weekly combing to keep it healthy and shiny, while bathing is rarely needed. When it comes to dental health, brushing their teeth weekly is an excellent way to keep them healthy and prevent periodontal disease. Other parts of their grooming routine include eye cleaning, ear cleaning, and nail trimming when necessary.
As active cats, Egyptian Mau will be happy to see high perches in the house to climb and survey their surroundings. Getting a high vantage point empowers these cats and lets them feel like they control the area.
Due to their roots, Egyptian Maus are skilled hunters and will pretty much enjoy a game of fetch. However, the said trait also requires caution from its owners, especially when other small pets are in the house. While proper introduction at a young age may help, it will be best to keep them from their natural prey in the wild, such as birds and rodents.
When it comes to health, Egyptian Maus are generally healthy and don’t suffer from many breed-specific conditions. As with other cat breeds, preventative immunization, regular vet check-ups, and monitoring may help them achieve long and healthy life.
It is best to keep Egyptian Mau indoors to prevent them from catching any infection from other animals or avoid them from engaging in fights and activities that might result in injuries.
Egyptian Maus are ideal for families a stunning, graceful, and dignified cat that while can be intimidating, are genuinely capable of devoting affection and extreme loyalty to those who will add them to their adorable homes.