The Egyptian Mau is a fascinating cat, not only
because of its past history, but because of its
delightful personality and striking appearance.The
name of the breed Mau derived from the Egyptian
word for cat. Regarded by most registries as the
only natural spotted breed of domestic cat, experts
consider that mixed breeding with a sub species
of wild cat was probably responsible for the unique
coat pattern. Spotted cats were often depicted
in ancient Egyptian wall paintings dating back
over 3,000 years and many believe these to be
the true ancestors of the Egyptian Mau.
The ancient Egyptians held these cats in great
affection and respect. They were worshipped as
deities, cherished as pets, protected by laws,
and mummified and mourned upon their death.
Today's pedigree Mau stems from North America
where it originated from cats imported by the
exiled Russian princess, Nathalie Troubetskoy
in 1956. In the past, all Egyptian Maus in the
U.S. and Canada traced their ancestry to two of
the original imports from her Fatima Cattery,
but recent importations have enriched and broadened
the available gene pool for breeders. Recognition
for championship competition came in 1977.
The Egyptian Mau is an active, colorful cat
of medium size with well-developed muscles.
It is a graceful mover described as having a
"cheetah-like stride". The head is
typically foreign, wedge shaped with rounded
features, rather large ears, a moderately long
nose and distinctive mascara lines. The elegant
body is randomly spotted with banded legs and
tail. Large, expressive almond eyes set under
patterned frown marks create that "what-me-worry"
expression which adds to the appeal of this
pretty face. Males tend to be larger than females
and also have fuller cheeks and are more muscular
on the shoulders and around the neck.
Despite the Mau's eleganct, slim body, slender
legs and dainty feet, this is a feline of tremendous
strength. These athletic cats are considered the
fastest breed of domestic cat. Maus have been
clocked running over 30 mph.
The coat length of the Egyptian
Mau is technically described as "medium short".
The fine texture enhances the characteristic lustrous
sheen for which the Mau's coat is famous. Maus
are very easy to groom requiring only minimum
The Egyptian Mau is a cat that likes company.
Extremely intelligent cats, Egyptian Maus place
a great importance on their human family and are
noted for their fiercely loyal and passionate
devotion to their owners. They are active cats
that like to exercise, and many are quite amenable
to training to a harness and lead. A Mau will
also communicate by chortling in a soft melodious
voice and with a characteristic wiggle of the
tail while "kneading" with its soft
paws and licking your face. Egyptian Mau owners
know they have a very special cat in their alert,
The Egyptian Mau is always spotted and comes in
three colors: bronze, silver and smoke. Bronze
color has dark brown to seal spots on a dark to
lighter bronze background. Silver color has black
spots on a pure silver white background, with
smoke color having black spots on a smoke background.
Coat color can take up to 15 months to fully develop.
The spots on an Egyptian Mau are random in their
distribution over the body and vary in size as
well as shape. They can be round, oval or irregular
or a mixture of all three. Ideally the contrast
between dark spots and ground color should be
distinct. Broken necklaces on the chest, buttons
on the stomach and that all-important "M"
on the forehead complete the pattern. Eyes are
an expressive, almond-shaped beautiful gooseberry
green and can take over a year to reach their
Mau Breeders' and Fanciers' Club
Association for Egyptian Mau (AIME)