|Bronze colored Mau|
|Domestic cat (Felis catus)|
Egyptian Maus are a small- to medium-sized short-haired cat breed. Along with the Bahraini Dilmun Cat, they are one of the few naturally spotted breeds of domesticated cat. The spots of the Mau occur on only the tips of the hairs of their coat.
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.
They frequently land on their back feet when taking a leap, making them appear rather haughty and kangaroo-like. 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, providing for greater agility and length of stride. Maus have been clocked running more than 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, whether female or male, wiggles and twitches its tail, and appears to be marking territory, also known as spraying, but during this behavior the Mau is not releasing urine. Even veteran Mau owners are known to check after a joyous Mau does this little dance. Facial expressions may change according to mood, and eye color may change from green to turquoise.
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. A similar-looking cat is depicted in murals and wall paintings of Ancient Egypt. The breed name itself references the Middle Egyptian word mw (literally, cat).
In Ancient Egypt, Maus were used for hunting due to their bird-like voices. Their use in hunting is depicted in murals that have survived the ages. They were small enough not to carry away the prey for themselves and were able to alert hunters to the location of the prey without scaring off other animals of prey.
The modern Camille Mau is said to have originated in 1952, in Italy, when exiled Russian Princess Natalie Troubetskaya met the cat of the Egyptian Ambassador to Italy. She convinced him to obtain several cats from Egypt for her, and she began to breed them. She described her Maus as having a "troubled" look, with their round eyes and open expression.
The Mau achieved championship status in some organizations 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.
Although the Egyptian Mau is reputed to have its origins in Egypt, DNA analysis shows that it is mainly of European and North American origins and is therefore another man-made cat with little or no relationship to the purported country of origin. The feline genome data published in the Pentascope document shows the Egyptian Mau to be very closely related to the Maine Coon, Korat, and American Turkish Angoras (not native Turkish Angoras). The phylogenetic tree published in PlosOne demonstrates that the Egyptian Mau belongs to the group of Western-derived breeds. The East Mediterranean/Anatolian group is omitted because breeds that supposedly originate in that geographic area do not do so.
Egyptian Maus typically are slender and muscular and they are thought to be one of the progenitor breeds of the modern domestic cat. They have anatomical, metabolic, and behavioral differences from other cat breeds which could be considered evidence of antiquity or at least uniqueness from other cat breeds. Some anatomical differences are their legs, which are slightly shorter in the front than in the back. They also have a skin fold under the belly, resembling that of the cheetah, which assists in running by allowing the legs to stretch back farther. Also one of the most important recognizable "traits" of this particular animal is a long, dark, dorsal stripe that runs from its head to its tail along its spine.
The Mau is known for having what is considered a loyal, friendly personality.
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.
Egyptian Maus are a relatively rare breed to encounter. As of 2007, fewer than 200 kittens are registered with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy each year. As of 2006, a total of 6,741 Maus were registered with the Cat Fanciers' Association.
Maus come in five colors. From most to least common these colors are: silver, bronze, smoke, black and blue/pewter.
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.
Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization
EMRO is an adoption agency both locally and internationally for tame Maus. Supported solely by private and corporate donors, EMRO aims to increase education, in Egypt and around the world, about cats. EMRO's cats are not pedigreed Egyptian Maus; they are Egyptian and Arabian street cats of unknown pedigree. The only cats that legitimately may be called Egyptian Maus are cats with registration papers from a reputable registry that certify them as such. Although EMRO's cats come from the Egyptian Mau's current region of import, CFA, the world's largest registry of pedigreed cats, will not consider these cats and their offspring Egyptian Maus unless they have met a number of exacting requirements to rule out disqualifying physical traits and detailed record-keeping to verify parentage. The first generation imported cats themselves are considered to be native Maus and their second and third generation offspring are considered domestic Maus. Finally, the fourth generation cats are eligible for placement on the active registry provided they have been evaluated fully and approved by a designated representative of the Egyptian Mau Breed Council.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Egyptian Mau.|
|Look up egyptian mau in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- The Egyptian Mau Breed EgyptianMauBreed.com
- Becker, Marty; Spadafori, Gina (2006). Do cats always land on their feet?. Deerfield Beach, Fla: Health Communications Inc. p. 200. ISBN 0-7573-0573-3.
- Egyptian Mau behavior CatPage.info
- The Egyptian Mau. The Cat Fancier's Association, Inc.
- Egyptian Mau Breed Profile Cat-World.com
- History of Egyptian Mau By Lisa Root, July 19. 2003. TCA Inc.
- Stephens, G. (1989) Legacy of the Cat, pp. 58-59. ISBN 0-87701-695-X
- The Egyptian Mau – Some Facts & Figures
- Number of Egyptian Maus registered
- CFA Egyptian Mau Breed Council Import policy
- Siegal, M., Cornell Feline Health Center (Editors) (1989) The Cornell Book of Cats: A Comprehensive Medical Reference for Every Cat and Kitten. Villard Books. ISBN 0-394-56787-0