From The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
The exotic appearance of the Egyptian Mau is only the beginning of the magic of the breed. Owners of the Egyptian Mau find them unique in many ways in addition to their striking spotted coat patterns. These cats display exceptional intelligence and exhibit a fierce loyalty to their owners. Even though domesticated, several characteristics of their early ancestors have been retained. These include the Cheetah gait and a loose skin flap that extends from flank to hind leg, which allows the Mau remarkable freedom and agility in twisting and jumping.
Most people are attracted to Egyptian Mau because of their exotic good looks. They fall in love with them because of their incredible, irrepressible personalities. All cats are characters, but these, well, they’re absolutely enchanting. Like all cats, they are individuals, one and all, but typical for the breed they tend to take it to extremes. Friendly to everyone in the family, they tend to be cautious with strangers and select their “Special Person.” On their own territory, they tend to be extremely outgoing with absolutely no fear and a ton of curiosity. They make wonderful companions.
The Egyptian Maus are interactive cats. They dote on their humans and expect to be an integral part of the family. Some people call them the gentle cousins of the Abyssinian. While they certainly aren’t hyper, legend has it that they have some of the fastest reflexes ever seen in a feline. They are shoulder riders, refrigerator vultures, and furry alarm clocks but can definitely take a confident hand when handling. Most Egyptian Maus have very distinct ideas about who can handle them and when. They are sensitive, people-oriented cats, but they like things on their terms and dote on their people.
When you look at an Egyptian Mau, or catch sight of one out of the corner of your eye, they should draw you back through the ages to something a little exotic, a little jungle, a little breath-taking, and a little primitive. Make no mistake, these are heartbreakingly beautiful cats. No picture or book can do justice to the exotic beauty found in a silver Egyptian Mau’s dazzling green eyes and shiny spots, the ghostly elegance found in a smoke Egyptian Mau’s pattern, or the livingroom- leopard grace of the bronze.
These cats give the impression of strength, substance, grace, and agility. They are supposed to be a muscular cat with a medium long lithe body. A truly exceptional example will thrill the onlooker with its elegance and beauty. These are ballerinas, not linebackers, and topping the athletic, refined but moderate body is the crowning glory of the Mau: the totally unique head with the large, expressive gooseberry green eyes and beautiful medium to large broad-based ears set so that there is ample width between.
Legend and mystery surround the origins of this ancient and royal breed. Although time had obscured the true ancestry of the modern day Egyptian Mau, when an Egytpian Mau poses regally on a judging table and gazes out with its haunting, imperious eyes, one can envision these creatures gracing ancient Egyptian temples. And grace them they did. The Egyptian Mau was worshipped by pharaohs and kings. The word Mau meant cat or sun in Ancient Egypt, and there is no question that the Egyptians revered the cat both as a god and as a treasure. Papyri and frescoes dating back as far as 1550 B.C. depict spotted cats. Many documents found from the dawn of the New Kingdom on make it obvious that the cat was an integral part of daily life, as well as a worshipped deity.
Inherent to the Egyptian Mau is the word “natural.” The Egyptian Mau is the only naturally spotted breed of domestic cat. As such, these cats are limited to the colors that occurred naturally – silver, bronze, smoke, and black – as well as the dilute versions of these colors – blue silver, blue spotted, blue smoke, and blue. Although the black and dilute Maus are not eligible for showing, they make excellent pets, as do all other Maus.
When looking for an Egyptian Mau, you should look for a reputable breeder who will undoubtedly have a series of questions for you, designed to make sure that you and the Egyptian Mau are compatible. Do not be surprised if there is a wait of some sort. These little treasures are worth it. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age.
More information about other cat breeds:
- American Bobtail
- American Curl
- American Shorthair
- American Wirehair
- British Shorthair
- Colorpoint Shorthair
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Egyptian Mau
- European Burmese
- Havana Brown
- Japanese Bobtail
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- Russian Blue
- Scottish Fold
- Selkirk Rex
- Turkish Angora
- Turkish Van