Egyptian Mau Breed Standard
Egyptian Mau Genetic Color Chart
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Egyptian Maus are a
medium-large sized short-haired cat breed. They are the only naturally
spotted breed of domesticated cat.
The spots on an Egyptian Mau are not only just on the coat; a shaved Mau
does, in fact, have spots on its skin. The spotted Mau is an ancient breed
from natural stock; its look has not changed significantly as is evidenced
by artwork over 3000 years old. Unlike other spotted cats such as the Ocicat
or Bengal cat, the Egyptian Mau is a natural breed.
Other breeds are created from domestic breed outcross or, in the case of the
Bengal cat, domestic outcrosses with wildcats. The Mau is significantly
smaller than these other breeds. The breed conformation is described by The
Cornell Book of Cats as a balance between the compactness of a Burmese and
the slim elegance of a Siamese. Its medium-length body is muscular, with the
hind legs longer than the front, giving the Mau the appearance of standing
on tiptoes when upright.
The Egyptian Mau is the fastest of the domestic cats, with its longer hind
legs, and unique flap of skin extending from the flank to the back knee,
provides for greater agility and speed. Maus have been clocked running over
30 mph (48 km/h).
Maus often possess very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle and
emit other distinctly unusual vocalizations when stimulated.
Another behavior, quite common in happy Maus, has been described as
"wiggle-tail." The cat, male or female, moves its back legs up and down, and
appears to be marking territory, also known as spraying, but it is not
actually releasing urine. Even veteran Mau owners are known to check after a
joyous Mau does this little dance.
The exact origin of the Egyptian Mau is not recorded and therefore
cannot be known for certain. The Egyptian Mau is often said to be
descended from African wild cats, and a descendant of the cats seen in wall
paintings of [[Ancient E184.108.40.206 (talk) 16:38, 31 March 2009 (UTC)gypt]].
The modern Mau is said to have originated in 1953, Italy, when exiled
Russian Princess Natalie Troubetskoy met the cat of the Egyptian Ambassador
She convinced him to obtain several cats from Egypt for her, and she began
to breed them. From her the Mau has been described as having a "troubled"
look, with their round eyes and open expression. The Mau achieved
championship status in some organisations in 1968. There were attempts by
British breeders to create Maus from cross-breeds of Abyssinians, Siamese
and tabbies, however these did not resemble the true Maus. This mix became
the basis for the Ocicat.
Egyptian Maus will either have a 'scarab beetle' or 'M' marking on their
foreheads, those with the latter tend to be from the United States.
Egyptian Maus are thought to be one of the progenitor breeds of the modern
They have anatomical, metabolic and behavioral differences from other cat
breeds which could be considered as evidence of antiquity or at least
uniqueness from other cat breeds. Maus are more temperature sensitive than
most breeds - they are fond of very warm temperatures.
They are more sensitive to medicines and anesthesia. Maus allegedly have an
unusually long gestational period, about 73 days.
The maximum normal period for cats is 65-67 days, although Siamese may take
a day or two longer.
Albeit largely anecdotal, the Egyptian Mau is well known for intelligence
and close bonding with responsible and loving owners. Such owners typically
report their Maus eagerly greet them at the door at the end of a long day at
work. Usually requiring more effort than other breeds, Maus can be "lap
cats," but their alert nature makes the task difficult, yet far more
rewarding once accomplished. Although ill-advised by most veterinarians and
animal-care givers, the Egyptian Mau loves an outdoor life. Their speed,
coupled with their innate intelligence, allows them to avoid almost all
dangers if carefully introduced to an outdoor world very early in life.
Unusually averse to loud noises and fast-moving objects, Maus are rarely
"road kills," and instead are far too busy wiping out the mouse and rat
population in the back yards and farms of your neighbors. Many responsible
farmers report that a few Mau crossbreeds have saved entire crops from
rodents. The typical Mau is not social with strangers of any species, other
cats in particular. Maus will fight trespassing cats with astonishing
ferocity and uncannily disappear from strange and loud humans. Accordingly,
the Egyptian Mau is not a good choice for an absentee condo owner who, when
home, brings in strange pets and humans.
Egyptian Maus are a relatively rare breed to encounter. As of 2007, fewer
than 200 kittens are registered with the GCCF each year. As of 2006, a
total of 6741 Maus are registered with the CFA. Maus come in five colors.
From most to least common these colors are: silver, bronze, smoke, black and
Black and pewter Maus cannot be shown, but may be used in breeding. All Maus
must have green eyes, but an amber cast is acceptable in kittens and young
adults up to eighteen months old.