The Egyptian Mau: an athletic cat with an exotic appearance

Egyptian Mau lying down

The Egyptian Mau is a very smart cat with an exotic appearance. The cat loves human contact and is very social towards everyone in his family. When you take an Egyptian Mau into your home there is a very good chance that it will interfere with a lot of daily activities. Moreover, you should not be frightened when the cat jumps on top of your shoulder. These cats can jump very high, so they also love climbing poles. Are you curious why the Egyptian Mau can jump so high? You can read it here.


The ancestry: a cat that in all probability already exists for an eternity

The Egyptian Mau is a cat that has probably been around for a long time. Ancient drawings in the tombs of Egypt – which originate from antiquity – already depict a cat that has many similarities with the Egyptian Mau. The claims that contemporary Egyptian Mau actually descended from this cat are only unfounded. To this day, there is no hard evidence for this.

The Russian Princess Natalie Troubetzkoy played a major role in the creation of the Egyptian Mau as we know it today. This Russian princess, who had been exiled from Russia, imported several Egyptian cats into Italy in 1956. This was a small group of cats that laid the foundation for today’s Egyptian Mau. At the end of the last century more cats were imported from Egypt so that the gene pool was slightly enlarged.


The character: a cat that is very present in its own environment

The Egyptian Mau is a very smart cat and is very loyal to his or her owner. In general, this breed cat is very affectionate, but the cat can also be very sensitive and shy. This is certainly the case when unfamiliar people come over the floor. In its own environment with familiar people on the other hand it seems as if this cat knows no fear and is very present.

The cat has a nice character and is very social to everyone in his family. An Egyptian Mau really expects to participate in the family and is very interactive. When you are busy with your daily activities, there is a very good chance that your cat will come and have a look. The construction of the cat is such that it has very fast reflexes, which allows the cat to jump very high. You shouldn’t be frightened when your Egyptian Mau jumps on top of your shoulder or the fridge.

Infographic Egyptian Mau

Appearance: an athletic body with an exotic appearance

The Egyptian Mau has a bit of an exotic appearance. This is partly due to the mottled pattern of the coat. The coat all contains small spots which gives this cat a bit of a jungle look. This is quite special as the Egyptian Mau is the only domesticated cat that has got this pattern all by nature. Furthermore, the cat is normal in size and has a strong charisma. The body is quite muscular, and the cat has an alert appearance. An Egyptian Mau has in general a very good condition. The body weight is usually between 2,5 and 5 kilos. It is worth noting that males are often a bit bigger in size than females and therefore weigh a bit heavier.

The body is – compared to other cats – also normal in size and looks quite elegant. This is because the Egyptian Mau has well-developed muscles which are clearly visible and because the different parts of the body are in nice proportions. Male cats are in general a bit more muscular than females and this is especially noticeable at the neck and shoulders. The muscles here in males are more developed than in females. The tail is normal in size, has a thick base and runs a bit pointed. Furthermore, the hind legs are a bit longer than the front legs, so the cat stands a bit on his toes when standing upright. What is remarkable about the Egyptian Mau is that the skin on the hind leg is a bit looser from the side till the knee. This makes this cat very flexible. Because the cat is so flexible it has a very fast reaction and can jump very high. The legs are relatively small and look very graceful. The legs are oval shaped, and the Egyptian Mau has five toes on the front legs and four toes on the hind legs.

The Egyptian Mau has a wedge-shaped head that is nicely in proportion to the rest of the body. The cat doesn’t have very full cheeks, but it does have a firm chin. The muzzle is in the same lines as the wedge and has a normal size. The snout is not pointed off as you sometimes see in some other cats. The size of the ears is between normal and large and have a broad base. The hair on the ears is quite short and there is a lot of space between the ears. The eyes of the Egyptian Mau are very alert and large in size. They are in the shape of an almond and are a bit oblique towards the ears. The eyes of an Egyptian Mau are always green.

Egyptian Mau kitten playing with its tail

The coat of the Egyptian Mau

The coat of the Egyptian Mau is not short, but not really long either. It is also said that the coat is medium in size. What makes the coat of this cat very special is the spotted pattern. The Egyptian Mau is the only domesticated cat that got this pattern all by nature. Man has had no influence on this.

The markings of this mottled pattern can be found all over the body and in different shapes and sizes. The markings are quite sharp and contrast well with the pale basic coat. Because this coat is completely natural it only appears in the natural colours. These are:

  • Silver
  • Bronze
  • Smoke colour

In the silver version of the Egyptian Mau, the basic coat is silver. On the head, shoulders, legs, back and tail this colour is pale silver and on the underside of the cat this colour fades even more. The markings are in the same colour as charcoal and have a white/bleached silver undercoat. The nose leather of this cat is brick red in colour, and the cushions of the paws are black where the space between the toes is also black.

The bronze version of the Egyptian Mau has a warm bronze base colour at the head, shoulders, outer legs, back and tail. At the top of the back the coat is darkest in colour. When you go down the side it becomes lighter and lighter. On the side the coat is yellow-brown and on the underside more cream ivory. The markings are brown-black and have a warm brown undercoat. The nose leather of this cat is brick red and the cushions of the paws are black or dark brown. The same goes for the space between the toes.

Finally, an Egyptian Mau can also occur in a smoke variant. In this case the coat of the cat is in a smoke colour. The cat has a pale silver ground colour at the head, shoulders, legs, tail and underside. The end of the hair is black which gives you a kind of smoke effect. The markings are also black with a white to pale silver undercoat. Despite the fact that both the top of the base coat and the markings are black there is a clear difference between the two. The nose leather of this cat is black just like the cushions of the paws.

For more information about the coat colours and the different colour combinations of the Egyptian Mau, it is wise to have a look at the breed standard.

Two Egyptian Mau cats sitting on a cat shelf

The upbringing: let the cat get used to human contact

The first phase in a kitten’s life is one of the most important periods in terms of upbringing. Kittens have two so-called socialisation periods. These periods take place until the kitten is about 14 weeks old. In these periods a kitten is prepared for the rest of its life, as it were. The kitten learns to get used to human actions, learns to deal with strange noises but also learns his place in a household. In this way a kitten will also learn to deal with other animals during these periods. During these socialisation periods it is important that a kitten grows up in the presence of the mother cat. The mother cat plays a very important role in the upbringing of a kitten.

Most breed cats come from breeders who generally don’t give the kittens until they are about 13-14 weeks old. This means that a kitten spends almost the entire period of socialisation with the breeder. So when you are looking for a kitten to take in, it is wise to see if the breeder has paid enough attention to this. This can be done by asking the breeder a few questions, but it can also be useful to take a good look at the mother cat. Often you can see from the mother cat what kind of circumstances a kitten grows up under. For more information about the socialisation periods you can take a look at the next article: insert link or article.

After the socialisation periods, the upbringing does not stop. When you get your kitten in the house, it’s important that you give a good indication of good behaviour and bad behaviour. You can do this by lightly punishing your cat for bad behaviour – for example, by addressing the cat severely – while rewarding the cat for good behaviour. When it comes to rewards you can think of giving a sweet or a stroke on the ball, for example.


The care: with good care, your cat will be more comfortable in his skin

When your cat is in a good state of health, it is also more comfortable in its skin. Good care plays an important role in this. The care of a cat consists of several parts. For example, you can take care of the body, but you can also take care of the cat in the form of sufficient exercise.

The coat of the Egyptian Mau needs little care compared to other cats. Once every few weeks the health of the coat is sufficient. It is worth noting that the Egyptian Mau loves to be groomed. When the cat is brushed more often it feels more connected to its owner. So, it is advisable to brush your cat regularly. This is easy to do while playing, for example.

Besides the coat it is also important to take good care of your cat’s teeth. You can do this by getting enough hard food in the house. Hard food – such as kibble – will keep your cat’s teeth in good condition and prevent tartar. In addition to getting hard food into the house, it’s also a good idea to brush your cat’s teeth. It’s best to do this on a daily basis, but if you don’t get around to it once a week is also sufficient.

It is also important that you take good care of the nails of your Egyptian Mau. It is handy to get a scratching post in the house so that the cat can scratch nicely. Besides getting a scratching post in the house, it is also wise to cut your cat’s nails regularly. This ensures that the nails remain in good condition.

A cat’s eyes and ears can accumulate a lot of dirt. You can think for example of eye and ear wax. It is important that you, as the owner, clean this thoroughly to prevent infections, for example. You can use a damp cloth and carefully remove the dirt. However, it is important that you use a different part of the cloth for the different eyes and ears so that the chance of spreading an infection is as small as possible.

In general, cats are also very fond of hygiene. It is therefore important that you keep your cat’s litter box clean and tidy. If you don’t do this your cat may need to do his needs somewhere else and of course you don’t need this. How often you have to change the litter box depends on how much the litter box is used. Usually, it is wise to change the litter box every 2 to 6 weeks.

Part of caring for a cat that is often overlooked is movement. It is very important for the condition of your cat that it gets enough exercise. This also helps to prevent overweight. By playing sufficiently with your cat and getting plenty of active toys in the house, you ensure that your cat gets enough exercise every day.

Egyptian Mau sitting next to tree trunk

The food: cats are real carnivores

It is important for the health of a cat to have a varied diet of hard and wet food. Hard food includes kibble that is good for the health of your cat’s teeth. Chewing the hard food prevents tartar and keeps your cat’s teeth in good condition. Wet food includes raw meat. Wet food is important for a cat as cats drink very little on their own. Wet food can help maintain a cat’s fluid intake. In addition, raw meat is a very good source of nutrition for cats.

Cats are, by nature, true carnivores. The natural food of cats is the mouse. Since a mouse consists for the most part of meat, cats also get most nutrients from meat. So, it is important that a cat’s food contains a lot of protein. Cats, on the other hand, have difficulty processing carbohydrates. In the search for suitable food for your Egyptian Mau, it is therefore important that you look closely at the amount of protein and carbohydrates in the food. So, it is wise to look carefully at the labels with ingredients. You can also check that there are no unnecessary additives and flavour enhancers in the food.

Finally, it is very important to match a cat’s energy supply to its energy consumption. Here you can give cats that are very active more food than cats that are less active. This is important to prevent obesity and to keep your cat in good condition. You can read more about nutrition in [insert article].


Common diseases

As an owner you have a big role in the health of your cat. With proper care and nutrition you can bring your cat into good condition and lead a healthy life. It’s worth noting that you don’t have full control over your cat’s health. Just like people, cats can also be affected by diseases. There is a chance that every type of cat will become ill. Breeders who claim that this is not the case often don’t speak the truth or know any better.

When you get your kitten from a breeder, it is important that you check the parents have been tested for certain diseases. There are a number of hereditary diseases in cats that can occur quite often. By having the parent cats tested for these diseases, the chance that these diseases will be passed on to the litter is minimised. Most breeders provide a document in which the absence of these hereditary diseases is guaranteed.

The Egyptian Mau is generally very healthy. A disease that still wants to occur is Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy (HCM). This is a hereditary disease of the heart. In this disease the blood is less well pumped through the body and the functioning of the heart valves decreases. When you look for an Egyptian Mau it is therefore important that the breeder has had the parents tested for this hereditary disease. In this way the chance of passing on this disease to the litter is reduced to a minimum.

Two Egyptian Mau kittens sitting

How old can the Egyptian Mau become?

An Egyptian Mau is usually between 12 and 16 years old. Exactly how old your Egyptian Mau will become depends on several factors. You yourself have a major influence on life expectancy based on how you look after your cat and what kind of food you feed your cat. There are only factors that you have less influence on. Think of diseases that significantly reduce your cat’s life expectancy.


What you need to know before you take the cat into your home

Before you take in an Egyptian Mau, it is important that you know what to expect. It is important to take a good look at the character of the cat in order to make an estimation if the cat fits in your household well. In addition, it is important that you do not underestimate the tasks in the field of upbringing and grooming and that you have enough time for this. The cat should not be the victim of your busy life. It is also important to get the right things in the house. Think of a litter tray, cat basket and toys. A scratching post is also useful for the health of your cat’s nails. You just need to have space for it.

It is also important that you find a good breeder who has paid enough attention to the socialisation of your kitten. It is useful to look at the mother cat. In general, when the mother cat looks good and healthy this will also be the case with the kittens. It is also important that the kittens are dewormed, vaccinated and if necessary chipped.

There are also special breed clubs dedicated to the general health of their breed cats. These breed clubs consist of owners and breeders who together form a club in which they share information and help each other. Through these clubs it is often also possible to get in contact with breeders and to get on a waiting list. The Egyptian Mau Breeders & Fanciers club is an example of a breed club for the Egyptian Mau.  

Egyptian Mau between the curtains

What price do you have to think of?

For an Egyptian Mau you pay between €600 – €1500. By the way, in general the prices differ enormously. This amount can vary a lot from breeder to breeder and depends on several factors. For example, when there is a lot of demand for a certain breed of cat while the supply is limited, a breeder can choose to charge a higher amount. Often there are enough people on the waiting list who have a little more for a kitten.


Do you also choose the Egyptian Mau?

The Egyptian Mau is a very graceful cat with a rather athletic body. The cat is known for its ability to jump very high. We are therefore very curious to hear your stories. Does your Egyptian Mau ever jump on your shoulder or refrigerator? Or do you have another crazy story? Let us know by leaving a comment on this article!

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We are a team of cat lovers, doing our best to create and spread information about cats. On you will read all about different cat breeds, and what makes them so special. You will also find information about grooming and training your cat. Be sure to leave us a reply if you like our article.

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