This athletic and agile breed is quick on its feet! It currently holds the record as the fastest cat in the world; The Egyptian Mau has been clocked at top speeds of up to 30mph (48kmph). Today, these cats are loved for their affectionate, playful natures and exotic appearance.
Genome sequencing suggests connection to Maine Coon and the Turkish Angora. As for their point of origin, scientists have found Egyptian hieroglyphs depicting spotted cats that are strikingly similar to the Abyssinian and the Egyptian Mau as we know them today. It is therefore suspected that both breeds may have descended from the cats that were domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians. If this is true, it’s possible that the Egyptian Mau could be 4000 years old, making them one of the oldest breeds on the planet!
The Egyptian Mau is a medium-sized, short-haired cat breed with a lean muscular physique, large almond-shaped ears, and a heavily banded tail. They grow to around 12-16 inches in length, with males typically being larger and more muscular than females. These cats appear as though they are walking on their tiptoes, which aids their impressive agility. This breed also has an additional skin fold that runs from the flanks to its knees. This trait is seen in cheetahs, suggesting it may be related to the impressive speed we mentioned earlier.
The Egyptian Mau is the only domestic breed of cat with a naturally occurring spotted coat. They can also be identified by the long dark-colored stripe that runs from their heads down to the tips of tails. The coat is medium-length and fairly dense, with a silky sheen to it. The distinct spots on the coat are usually dark grey or black, depending on the other colors of the coat. Accepted colors of this breed, according to the GCCF, are bronze, silver, and smoky.
All Egyptian Maus have large almond-shaped eyes that are light green in color, often described as ‘gooseberry green’. The wide-set position of their eyes gives them their characteristic ‘worried’ expression.
Considering their roots and relatedness to the Abyssinian, it will come as no surprise that Egyptian Mau are extremely active cats. They must be provided with plenty of exercise and toys to keep them entertained. They also love to climb, so it is worth investing in one or two cat trees if you are considering adopting one of these beautiful cats. A unique aspect of their character is that, unlike most cats, Egyptian Maus love to play in water. They have even been caught trying to turn on taps!
This is a breed that’s incredibly affectionate towards its owners. They can, however, be a little more introverted towards strangers. They are highly intelligent and love to run, jump, climb, and chase toys, easily picking up new tricks if you teach them.
This personality can also make them a bit mischievous at times. You’ll often find your Egyptian Mau climbing up bookshelves, opening cupboards, or splashing about in the sink! However, with the proper care, this energetic, fun-loving character can become a much-loved member of the family.
Egyptian Mau and other pets/children
Egyptian Maus often make the perfect companion for families with older children, due to their playful nature and limitless energy. However, care needs to be taken around younger children to ensure that play does not get too rough.
Egyptian Maus are fairly social cats that will easily get along with most animals, including dogs. But this is only true as long as they are brought up together or introduced slowly and with care.
The relatively short, close-lying coat of this guy makes him a fairly low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. A brush once or twice a week should be sufficient to keep the coat in good condition. However, these cats tend to love being brushed, so there is no harm in adding more grooming sessions to strengthen the cat-owner bond.
Like other cat breeds, Egyptian Maus will shed more in the spring and summer months, so it’s good practice to brush more frequently during this period to keep on top of things.
Why you should adopt an Egyptian Mau
There is no doubt that Egyptian Mau are striking to look at! However, it is often their enchanting and infectious personalities that make people fall in love with them.
They are incredibly loyal and affectionate towards their owners, and will provide plenty of entertainment for the family with their comical antics and love of games!
A potential con is that they do not do well when left alone in the house for longer periods, and can often become destructive when bored or lonely. You will need to ensure you have the time to provide the attention and care that this breed requires, otherwise you may have a menace on your hands. They can also be pretty vocal, especially if they don’t get what they want!
If you are looking for an energetic, playful companion that will keep you on your toes, the Egyptian Mau is the breed for you! These striking cats are always up for a game or two and are incredibly loyal and affectionate once they get used to you.
Hereditary diseases & Special considerations
The Egyptian Mau is known to suffer from several health problems, including umbilical hernias and sensitive skin. They are also thought to be predisposed to a neurological condition known as leukodystrophy, which can affect kittens as young as seven weeks old.
Finally, it is worth keeping in mind that this breed is more sensitive to medicine and anesthesia than other cat breeds, and is thought to be more sensitive to temperature changes.