Breed Profile: Egyptian Mau

Pictured: Best of Breed GC, BW, NW EMAU'S DROP-OF-GOLDEN SUN, Silver Egyptian Mau Female
Photo: © Jim Child

The Egyptian Mau is a fascinating cat, not only because of its past history, but because of its delightful personality and striking appearance.

The Mau (mau is the Egyptian word for cat) has been clearly identified in the artwork of the ancient Egyptians, leaving no question in the minds of many experts that the Egyptian Mau is indeed the cat domesticated from a spotted subspecies of the African Wild Cat by this unique culture. To gaze upon this beautiful and engaging creature is an opportunity to view a living relic.

The role of the Mau in the religion, mythology, and everyday life of the Egyptian conveys the degree of affection and respect in which these cats were held. They were worshipped as deities, cherished as pets, protected by laws, and mummified and mourned upon their death.

Their history in North America began with their importation in 1956 by the exiled Russian princess, Nathalie Troubetskoy. Recognition by The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) for championship competition came in 1977. In the past, all Egyptian Maus in the U.S. and Canada traced their ancestry to two of the original imports from the Fatima Cattery. Recent importations have enriched and broadened the available gene pool for breeders.

Pictured: Second Best of Breed GC, RW MAUTRIX FAIRYLIGHTS, Silver Egyptian Mau Female
Photo: © Jim Child

The Egyptian Mau has the distinction of being the only natural spotted breed of domestic cat. An extremely intelligent animal, the Mau places a great importance on family, both human and their own, and is fiercely loyal in his devotion to them. They are moderately active and often express their happiness by chortling in a soft melodious voice and wiggling their tails at great speed while treading with their forepaws.

With an elegant body that is randomly spotted, banded legs and tail, expressive gooseberry green eyes, distinctive mascara lines, a worried expression on the face, and a graceful cheetah-like stride, it is no wonder that the Mau attracts such a tremendous amount of attention at cat shows.

The Egyptian Mau comes in three colors that can be shown in championship classes: Silver, Bronze, and Smoke. Also accepted for registration purposes, but not for showing, are the solid Black and the dilute versions of the "primary" colors: Blue Silver, Blue spotted (dilute bronze), Blue Smoke and the solid Blue. Although the black and the dilute Maus are not eligible for showing, they make excellent pets like all other Maus. .

Pictured: Third Best of Breed GC, RW MAUME'S HORUSMYNAME,SPOTSMYGAME, Bronze Egyptian Mau Male
Photo: © Chanan

Pricing on Egyptian Maus usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National or Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life.

There are CFA clubs devoted to the promotion, protection and preservation of the Egyptian Mau breed. For more information, please send inquiries to CFA, PO Box 1005, Manasquan NJ 08736-0805.

Text: Dot Brocksom
Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2007

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