Egyptian Mau at a Glance
The Egyptian Mau is a colorful, elegant cat with an alert appearance that gives it a regal bearing. They are intensely loyal and are passionate about their families yet also happy to go about the business of being a cat. Mau’s are shy, sensitive cats that are easily upset by sudden loud noises. They are the only natural spotted breed of domestic cat. The active and playful Mau is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. Their coat is medium in length and easy to maintain. Find out more about this breed and if the Egyptian Mau is right for you and your family.
- Temperament: Fast, Loyal, Gentle
- Size: Medium-sized cat.
- Colors: The Egyptian Mau comes in silver, bronze and smoke. All colors have “gooseberry green” eye color, a hallmark of the breed.
- Life Expectancy: 10-15+ years, with proper care.
About the Egyptian Mau
Gentle and extremely loyal, the striking Egyptian Mau has many unique qualities that make the breed stand out among felines.
Their looks set them apart as a result of their brow line and characteristic eye set that gives the breed a naturally worried look. They are also the only domesticated cat with a naturally occurring spotted coat and have an “M” shape on their forehead called the mark of the scarab. Their "tiptoe" stance given by the hind legs being proportionally longer than the front legs, lends to the graceful look of elegance to the Mau.
They are powerful athletes among their fellow felines with an uncanny leaping ability and are considered the fastest breed capable of great bursts of speed.
Despite their amazing athletic ability and physical power, the Egyptian Mau is a gentle and reserved cat. They love being a part of a family, but are wary of others. Early socialization is essential otherwise they can be easily startled by unexpected noises or events. Maus communicate pleasure or enthusiasm with a wagging tail and kneading paws, and may converse with you in a voice that chortles and trills.
A devoted family companion, Maus make great family pets. They get along well with playful children and other cat-friendly pets as long as they can keep up with the Mau’s energy.
The Egyptian Mau is a moderate- to highly active breed. They are athletic and love to climb and jump, making a perch or cat tree essential, otherwise they will create their own perch on top of the refrigerator or bookcases.
They are smart and observant and tend to teach themselves how to open doors and drawers. They love to play with water and are smart enough to learn how to turn on the faucet.
Despite their high energy levels, they love to sit on laps and snuggle.
TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues
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Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders
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The Egyptian Mau has a medium-length coat. The texture of the fur varies depending on the cat’s color. Cats with smoke coloring have silky, fine fur. Cats with silver or bronze coloring have fur with a more dense, resilient texture. Brush their coat weekly to keep it shiny and healthy.
The only other grooming the Egyptian Mau needs is regular nail trimming, usually weekly, and ear cleaning if the ears look dirty. Use a gentle cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.
As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from some cat behaviorists: place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive, and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.
Egyptian Mau is generally a healthy breed, with the only predispositions for disease being urolithiasis, pyruvate kinase deficiency (PK-Def), and leukodystrophy a neurological condition that may appear in kittens as early as 7 weeks of age.
There is little doubt that Ancient Egypt was the birthplace of the domestic feline we call the Egyptian Mau. Their ancestors are highly visible in the artworks of the Ancient Egyptians. Many of their pictures were of heavily spotted cats bearing the distinctive mascara marking and barring seen on today's Mau. Recent findings in research studies lead by feline geneticist Leslie Lyons, PhD confirmed that cats first originated in Egypt. There is archaeological and genetic evidence to show that cats first originated in the fertile crescent.
The Egyptian Mau arrived in the United States in 1956 when Russian Princess Nathalie Troubetskoy, with help from Richard Gebhardt, imported three Maus from Italy: two silver females, Baba and Liza, and a bronze male called JoJo.
The origins and history of the Egyptian Mau are important to understanding the ideal cat to which Mau breeders aspire. Through the years, it has been challenging to meet the standard while maintaining the distinctive qualities and characteristics of the breed. This was especially difficult due to a very limited gene pool. Recent imports have broadened this gene pool and helped improve the overall quality and uniformity. This has all been a challenge to breeders and judges, but today the Egyptian Mau is beautiful and healthy.
TICA accepted the Egyptian Mau breed into championship status in 1979.
Did You Know?
Mau is the Egyptian word for cat.
The “M” shape on the forehead is called the mark of the scarab.
Egyptian Maus are the fastest domestic housecat. They’ve been clocked running at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.
The Egyptian Mau’s hind legs are longer than his front legs, giving him a characteristic tippy-toe stance.
From the Breed Standard
The Egyptian Mau is the only natural domestic breed of spotted cat. The body is graceful, showing well-developed muscular strength. It strikes a balance between the heftiness of the cobby and svelteness of the oriental types. It is an alert, active, strong, colorful cat of medium size. It should be well-balanced physically and temperamentally. General balance is more to be desired than size alone.
Click here to read the full TICA Breed Standard.
Additional information and an introduction to the breed can be found in the links below:
Egyptian Mau Breed
Accepted For Championship in TICA in 1979
- Egyptian Mau Breed At A Glance
- Breed Introduction
- Printable Breed Introduction
- Egyptian Mau Breeders
- Breed Standards
- Breed Committee