The Egyptian Mau Cat is a charming and elegant feline. It is the only naturally spotted domestic cat. This is perhaps the oldest breed of cat in the world, being mentioned in ancient Egypt as early as 2000 years B.C. and probably descended from the African wildcat. The Ancient Egyptians not only loved these cats, but also worshipped them as gods. In the Book of the Dead, Ra, the God of the Sun is depicted as a spotted cat killing the serpent Apep.
Another curiosity is the scarab-like design on the forehead of this cat breed, which is probably why the Ancient Egyptians worshipped these cats. This breed was also well known in Europe before the Second World War, which undermined its existence, like many other cat breeds.
It was a Russian princess living in Rome, Nathalie Troubetskoi, who fell in love with a silver spotted cat and requested from Egypt, other similar cats. When she moved to New York in the middle of the 1950s, she brought with her three Egyptian Mau cats, with whom she started a breeding farm called Fatima Egyptian Mau cattery, which is responsible for the production of many Mau cats we know today. Until the 90’s this cat was mainly known in America and Canada, only in 1992 it became known also in Europe. Mau means cat in Egyptian.
Character of the Egyptian Mau cat
It is said that cat lovers fall in love first with its exotic appearance, but then with its wonderful character. It has a truly unique personality. They are very affectionate, especially with their favourite human, but also with all other family members. They are strong and very active cats with a very balanced character.
They are reserved, especially with strangers, and take some time to socialise. Even with other domestic animals, they must be introduced gradually and under supervision, as they can react aggressively if harassed. After a certain period of adaptation, however, there are no problems.
This cat is perfect for those who are not looking for a cat that sleeps on the sofa, but an animal that interacts, plays, proposes itself and wants a role in the family.
It is a great jumper and climber, so it is a good idea to have perches or shelves to let off steam. It has a subdued and discreet meow that it only emits when it wants to achieve something. It is, however, a rather touchy breed and likes to get what it asks for on its own terms.
Appearance of the Egyptian Mau Cat
The Egyptian Mau Cat has a build with well-developed musculature, but an elegant, long-limbed figure. It is a medium sized cat, the specimens ranging from 3 to 5 kilograms. The paws are tiny, but long and elegant. The hind ones are longer than the fore ones, with folds of skin under the belly extending from the side to the hind legs, as in cheetahs. This allows their hind legs to stretch backwards, giving the animal incredible freedom and agility. It is thought to be the fastest of all domestic cats, reaching speeds of almost 50 kilometres per hour.
The head is rounded, cheeks full, ears large and slightly pointed. The eyes are large and almond-shaped, with a slight slant towards the ears. The colour of the eyes is green, lighter as a puppy, but becoming more intense after the year and a half of life. They are very beautiful and almost hypnotic eyes. The tail is average long and slightly tapered.
But the main characteristic of the Egyptian Mau is the coat. Its coat is of medium length and shiny. There are different types of colours: pewter grey, bronze with chocolate spots, silver, with black or dark grey spots and finally the smoke version. All are absolutely spotted. Much rarer specimens of Egyptian Mau are red or dark grey.
The M or scarab pattern on the forehead, which continues up to the neck and on the back along the spine, is also characteristic.
Care and Health of the Egyptian Mau Cat
The hair of the Egyptian Mau does not require much care as it is sufficient to brush it once a week to remove excess hair, especially during the moult. Although it has a very thick coat, it sheds very little even during the moulting period. It is sensitive to changes in temperature, so care must be taken when the seasons change. It is preferable to keep this cat only in a flat.
They are a healthy breed without any specific problems, with a life expectancy of around 13-14 years. With regard to its diet, this cat is rather voracious, so it is necessary to keep a close eye on it.