Egyptian Mau Description
The Egyptian Mau is the only naturally spotted breed of domestic cat. The spots lay at random along the coat, together with banded legs and tail. They have gooseberry green eyes, a worried expression, and cheetah like grace. There are three coat colors: silver, bronze and smoke. They have an easily identifiable 'M' shape on their forehead, often called a scarab beetle mark. The markings on their face are similar to those worn by the women of ancient Egypt, making it easy to believe that these women mimicked the facial designs of the deities they worshipped. The coat should be medium in length with a lustrous sheen. In the smoke color the hair should be fine and silky, while in the silver and bronze it should be dense and resilient with two or more bands of ticking.
The head is a rounded wedge with a medium length muzzle that flows with the shape. The muzzle should be neither short nor pointed with a firm chin. Ears should be medium to large, alert and moderately points. There should be slight flaring with ample space between them. Eyes should be large and alert. They are almond shaped and may take up to a year and a half to fully develop in color.
The body of the Egyptian Mau is medium long and graceful, with well developed muscular strength. Balance should be emphasized over size. Legs should be in proportion to the body and they should appear as though standing on tip toe. Feet are small and dainty, slightly oval and almost round.
Egyptian Mau Temperament
Extremely intelligent, the Egyptian Mau is a fiercely loyal and moderately active breed. They communicate in a melodious voice with chortling and a pleasant treading of their paws. They have a tail wiggle that imitates that of a 'spraying' male but is simply a sign of happiness to see you. They love to hunt and will become competent hunters if left outdoors. Egyptian Mau's love to eat and will go toe to toe with an owner, even initiating a hunger strike if diets are attempted. Perhaps as a throw back to their ancient roots, the Mau drinks water with one paw just barely dipped into it.
Egyptian Mau Care
The Egyptian Mau is easy to care for. There are no grooming requirements; however, it is important to keep your Mau on a healthy and balanced diet.
Egyptian Mau History
The Egyptian Mau has been clearly identified in the artwork of ancient Egyptians, and leaves no doubt in the mind of many experts that the cat we see now is indeed domesticated from a spotted subspecies of the African wild cat (lybica ocreata) by the Eyptians. They were worshipped, cherished, protected, mummified, and mourned.
Their modern history is almost equally as exciting. It begins with the exiled Russian Princess Nathalie Troubetskoy who immigrated from Italy in 1956 with her three Egyptian Mau; two silver females and one bronze male. She established a cattery and began to breed the beautiful cats in North America. World War II had decimated the breed in Europe, and she brought them back from the brink, even securing an import from Egypt. Selective outcrossing was necessary in the 1960's and 70's until a breeder in the 1980's brought an additional 13 Maus into the United States, and opened the doors for further imports. This widened the gene pool and provided greater healthy and well being.
The CFF gave recognition to the breed in 1968, followed by the CCA and the CFA gave Championship status in 1977.