Do you know what’s the fastest domestic cat breed in the world? It is the Egyptian Mau cat, and it can achieve speeds of around 30 mph when running. Not only that, it is considered one of the oldest domestic cat breeds, and it is one of the progenitors of modern domestic cats.
Egyptian Maus are also one of the few naturally spotted domestic cats, and they were used to create some other breeds, such as the Bengal cat. There are many more interesting and fascinating facts about Egyptian Maus, so keep reading to learn them all!
Egyptian Mau Cat Characteristics
|Fur color||Silver, bronze, black, smoke, caramel, and blue/pewter|
|Eye color & shape||Large round eyes of a striking green color|
|Weight||Males 8-12 lbs|
Females 8-10 lbs
|Expected lifespan||9-13 years|
|Temperament||Intelligent, loyal, dominant, affectionate, curious, vocal, and calm|
|Kids and other pets||Kid-friendly when kids are taught how to handle cats properly, will go along well with other pets if socialized from an early age.|
|Sociable and cuddly||It can be shy at first, but once it gets to know you, it becomes highly sociable.|
|Activity level||Highly active cat, needs a lot of exercise|
Requirements & Traits
|Feeding||High-quality wet and dry foods. Egyptian Maus gladly eat raw or cooked foods, and you can offer them snacks. Kittens need to eat more often than adults.|
|Grooming||Low-maintenance cat that doesn’t require too much grooming. However, occasional brushing is recommended.|
|Shedding||Normal amount of shedding|
History and Origins
Egyptian Mau cats share origins and similar genetic makeup with Abyssinians and Siamese cats. It is one of the most ancient cats, and along with Abyssinians, it was highly revered in Ancient Egypt and can be seen on various hieroglyphs. Basically, “Mau” is actually an Egyptian word for a cat.
For centuries, Egyptian Maus lived in Egypt, and they slowly spread to Europe and Asia. However, during WW2, these cats almost went extinct. Fortunately, an exiled Russian Princess, Nathalie Troubetskoy, emigrated from Italy to the US and brought three of her Egyptian Mau cats with her.
There, she established the Fatima Egyptian Mau cattery. Cats born in this cattery were ancestors of today’s Egyptian Mau population in the US. Still, these cats remained relatively rare, but that makes them even more valuable.
Egyptian Mau Personality
Egyptian Mau cats are friendly and sociable. Although shy at first, they will quickly become more relaxed once they get to know you. They are cuddly and affectionate, and although they are quite active cats, they will occasionally agree to sit on your lap.
At the same time, these cats are intelligent and playful, with an endearing sense of humor. They are also very loyal to their owners, and very often, they will bond more with one particular person.
If you have children, your Egyptian Mau will love to play with them, but you need to teach your children how to handle it properly. Also, if you have any other pets, try to socialize your Mau from an early age. If you do so, your Mau will be a great companion to your other pets, including your dogs!
Another interesting personality trait of Egyptian Maus is how they communicate with their owners. You will hear them meow, chirp, whistle, and even chortle. Also, when they feel excited, they will shake their extended tails in a way similar to spraying and marking the territory. However, there will be no urine or other liquid released.
Interestingly enough, Egyptian Maus like water, and you will often find them trying to drink from the tap. If you have a fountain in your garden and you let your cat out, it will happily play around the fountain, explore it, and maybe dip its paws into the flowing water.
Egyptian Mau Appearance
Egyptian Mau cats are one of those cats that look almost wild, but they have been living along with humans for thousands of years. Although there are some cat breeds that might look similar, Egyptian Maus are unique because their features weren’t a product of selective breeding.
They have had the same features for many generations now, and all of their features are natural and spontaneous.
The most notable thing about Egyptian Mau’s appearance is its spotted fur. Egyptian Maus are one of the rare cat breeds that naturally have spots. Most spotted cat breeds are actually a product of selective breeding.
Apart from the distinct spots, Egyptian Mau’s fur comes in a tabby pattern. The fur can come in many colors: silver, black, caramel, bronze, smoke, and blue. All Egyptian Mau cats are short-haired.
Another distinct thing about Egyptian Mau’s fur is its markings. Egyptian Maus have a dark dorsal stripe that goes across their spine. Also, they have markings on their foreheads. These markings can be M-shaped or scarab-shaped.
Most Egyptian Mau cats with M-shaped markings originated from the US and Fatima Egyptian Mau cattery. Scarab-marked Egyptian Maus can be found in Egypt, Africa, and Europe. Egyptian hieroglyphs showed spotted tabby cats with scarabs on their forehead, an obvious allusion to Mau cats.
Egyptian Maus have large and almond-shaped eyes that give the whole face a worried look. Nevertheless, Mau cats have beautiful, striking-green eyes. For a cat to be accepted as a real Egyptian Mau, it mustn’t have eyes of any other color.
However, kittens and juveniles may have more amber-like eyes, but once they reach approximately 18 months of age, their eyes should be more gooseberry-green.
Egyptian Mau cats are medium-sized felines. The males are slightly larger than the females. They can be 12-15 inches long, and they usually weigh 8-12 pounds. Females, on the other hand, are usually 10-12 inches long, and they weigh 8-10 lbs.
Other Body Characteristics
Although they aren’t extremely big cats, Egyptian Maus are quite muscular. They have a loose skin flap that extends from the flanks to the hind leg knees. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs, which enables them to jump high and run fast.
Paws are small and dainty, almost rounded. On their hind legs, Mau cats have five toes, while on their front legs, they have four toes.
Egyptian Mau cats have slightly rounded and wedge-shaped heads. Their ears are medium to large, broad at the base, and moderately pointed. They can be tufted. The tail is long, thick at the base, and slightly tapered.
Daily Life With Egyptian Mau
If you want a great family pet that won’t be too demanding, then you should get the Egyptian Mau. However, even though it is a low-maintenance pet, you still need to ensure its needs are met.
Egyptian Mau cats need to eat meat-based meals. Avoid feeding them with milk, dairy products, and carbohydrates. Their diet should consist of high amounts of animal proteins with a small amount of animal fat.
Try to feed your Egyptian Mau with the highest-quality food possible. Since Egyptian Mau cats usually don’t drink enough water, try to compensate for it by offering them wet food. However, they will still need to occasionally eat dry food.
Dry food is good for your cat’s teeth, and it can stay open for longer than wet food. However, it is important to feed your cat with both dry and wet food. Make sure that both food types are suitable for cats. If unsure which foods are good for your cat, consult your vet.
Adult cats need to eat larger portions but less often than juvenile cats and kittens. The exact portion sizes will depend on the activity level of your cat. Make sure to give it enough food, but don’t overdo it unless you want an obese cat.
Occasionally, you can offer some snacks and small treats to your Mau cat, especially if you are trying to teach it some new tricks and commands.
You will be delighted to hear that Egyptian Maus are actually quite easy to take care of. Since they are strictly short-haired cats that shed moderately, it will be enough to brush them once a week. In addition, trim their nails once a month. It is recommended that you take them to professional groomers for this.
Once in a while, you will also need to clean their ears. Use a wet cotton pad or cotton cloth. Avoid using cotton swabs to reduce the risk of accidentally hurting your cat, especially if it tries to resist your cleaning attempts.
This cat breed is best when kept indoors, but you can let it play outside under your supervision. It likes warm weather, so if you live in an area with a cold climate, keep your Mau inside.
Since this is a highly active cat breed, you will need to provide it with enough exercise to keep it healthy and happy. Buy some interesting toys that will force your cat to run, jump and even play hide and seek.
Also, since Egyptian Maus are known for their intelligence, you can stimulate them mentally by presenting them with some puzzle games and toys for cats.
Most Common Egyptian Mau Health Issues
In general, Egyptian Mau cats have a relatively wide gene pool, and they are quite healthy. Nonetheless, just like with other cat breeds, Egyptian Mau cats will be more prone to some diseases:
Egyptian Maus are susceptible to lower respiratory tract issues. The trachea and lungs are especially affected. Usually, asthma appears when allergies and various irritants cause the bronchi and lungs to become swollen and inflamed.
This causes the cat to sneeze and cough, making breathing much harder. Unfortunately, there is still no cure for feline asthma, but there are treatments that can make your cat’s life easier and longer.
When food, bacteria, and minerals get stuck between gum and tooth, a brown buildup called tartar might appear. When untreated, tartar can undermine the gums and separate them permanently from teeth.
The gums will become inflamed and painful, and teeth will become more loose and prone to various issues. The pockets between gums and teeth will fill with bacteria, and it can cause severe gum infections that can spread to other organs such as kidneys and liver.
To avoid this, try to brush your Egyptian Mau’s teeth, and have them eat dry food that will help remove the plaque from the teeth.
Egyptian Mau cats can be prone to various heart diseases, both congenital and acquired. One such disease is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is characterized by the abnormal thickening of heart wall muscles.
In some extreme cases, this abnormal thickening can cause heart failure, ultimately leading to your cat’s death. However, if you take your cat to regular health check-ups, you can reduce the chance of this happening.
This condition refers to a group of conditions that affect the lower urinary tract- bladder and urethra. Sometimes, when under stress, your cat can develop a urinary tract infection. This can, in turn, produce painful bladder stones, crystals, and cysts.
Your Mau cat will have trouble urinating, it will be painful for your cat, and you might even notice blood in its urine. Take your cat to the vet immediately if you notice any of these signs.
Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders
Not so seldom, your Egyptian Mau cat will try to ingest something that she shouldn’t be eating at all. This can lead to various issues with the gastrointestinal tract. The most common symptoms include vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy, and diarrhea.
These issues can also be caused by infections and poisoning. Make sure to take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice something could be wrong with its gastrointestinal tract.
Egyptian Mau Name Suggestions
Imagine getting an Egyptian Mau cat, admiring its beauty and elegance, and then giving it some random name. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Fortunately, there are many great cat names that could be great choices, and I think the best ones are of Egyptian origin. Here are some of them:
- Cleopatra, Cleo
Buying or Adopting an Egyptian Mau?
While Egyptian Mau cats are not as common as some other breeds, you can still find some of these cats in shelters across the United States. For only $70 to $150, you can take an Egyptian Mau with you and give it a happy new home!
If, however, you prefer to buy instead of adopting, it will cost you $900-$2500 to just buy the cat from a breeder. Apart from that initial cost, you will have to pay $1000-$1500 for the initial vet checkup before you can take this cat home.
Egyptian Mau Alternatives
Since Egyptian Mau cats have that “wild” appearance, i.e., they look like pocket versions of big cats; they are the most similar to other cats with such physical traits. So, if you like the way that Egyptian Mau cats look, but you want another breed instead, you will have some good options.
The first and the best Egyptian Mau alternative is definitely a Bengal cat, another domesticated cat breed that looks like a mini wild cat. Abyssinian cats are another great option as they have similar origins as Egyptian Mau cats.
Frequently Asked Questions
They are a relatively rare breed, but their number is increasing each year, so you can expect them to become more common in the near future.
They are known for their naturally spotted furs, agility, intelligence, and the fact that they are one of the most ancient cat breeds in the world. They were revered as sacred beings in Ancient Egypt, and they can even be seen on hieroglyphs.
You would expect such a rare and almost exclusive cat breed to be high-maintenance. However, quite the contrary is true. It will be enough for you to brush them once a week, trim their nails once a month, and clean their ears when they get dirty.
They can go outside under your supervision. Since they are mainly indoor cats, they aren’t accustomed to living outside and all the dangers that might lurk. Also, they thrive in warm temperatures, so if you live in a cold climate, your Egyptian Mau should stay inside.
Yes, their main power is making you fall in love with them and doing everything they want. Jokes aside, Egyptian Mau cats have extraordinary sight, hearing, and scent.
Egyptian Mau Fun Facts
- Egyptian Mau cats have longer gestation periods than any other cat breed. Most cats have gestation periods of 60-67 days, while the Egyptian Mau cat has a gestation period of 73 days.
- Due to the fact that their hind legs are longer than their front legs, Egyptian Mau cats can jump up to 6 feet high!
- Egyptian Mau cats are often called “living fossils” because most cat breeds changed their appearance throughout their history, but Egyptian Mau cats remain the same even after thousands of years.
I always found it fascinating when a new cat breed appears. However, I find it even more fascinating when a cat breed has existed as long as human civilization. Such is the Egyptian Mau cat breed, a breed of beautiful, regal, and intelligent cats.
If you decide to get one for your family, you won’t regret it. With just a little bit of care and grooming, you will have a perfect family pet and a loyal companion that will make your life much happier! After all, they will make you feel like a pharaoh!