Best Egyptian Mau Cat Guide – Characteristics & Temperaments


The spotted Egyptian Mau Cat is the only natural breed of pedigreed spotted domestic cat and is arguably descended from the sacred cats of Egypt. Egyptian Maus bear a strong resemblance to spotted cats depicted in wall-paintings found in the temples of Thebes which were built on the Nile around 1400 B.C. An earlier tomb at Thebes, dated about 1750 B.C. contained an earthenware statuette of a spotted cat.


The Egyptian Book of the Dead dated around 1100 B.C., contains spells that will guarantee a safe passage to the afterlife and also includes papyrus pictures of spotted cats. The Maus of this period were probably descended from the African wild cat. They were later domesticated, cherished as pets, worshipped as gods and mummified after their death. The origins of the Mau breed can be traced back to almost 3,500 years ago.

The modern Mau (actually mau is the Egyptian word for cat) is a common domesticated breed in North Africa and can be found in the streets of Cairo. However the Mau’s history in the western cat fancy started in 1953, when an exiled Russian princess called Natalie Troubetskoy, started breeding Egyptian Maus in Rome. They were first shown at an international cat show in 1955 and then she brought three cats to the US in 1956. These three cats formed the foundation stock for the breed in the US and Canada. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognized the breed in 1977. Early Maus were a little wild and unpredictable and recently breeders have been trying to develop a quieter temperament.


Cat size

Medium (long/graceful/muscular)


Very active – requires daily exercise


Shorthair – only requires light grooming


Lively, active, intelligent, agile, possessive and wary of strangers

Egyptian Mau Cat Characteristics


The Egyptian Mau cat is a medium sized cat with distinctive darker spots that stand out from the background color. The dark spots are usually round and evenly distributed but are random and can run together to form stripes. The legs and tail are usually banded with the darker color. The breed has an ‘M’ mark on its forehead which is sometimes called the scarab mark after an ancient Egyptian symbol. This graceful and muscular medium-sized cat is similar in conformation to the Abyssinian. Male Maus can weigh from 8 to 11 pounds and females are smaller at 6 to 8 pounds. The Egyptian Mau cat is probably the fastest known pedigreed cat and has been clocked at over 30 mph. Maus have a slightly rounded wedge-shaped head with medium to long slightly pointed ears. The hind legs are longer than the front and the tail is medium long and tapers from thick at the base to a moderately pointed tip. The large eyes are almond shaped and slant slightly upward to the ears. The preferred eye color is light green but an amber cast is acceptable in young cats. The spots show up in young kittens from birth. The coat is short to medium in length and is dense, silky and fine to the touch

Color Varieties

There are four color varieties in the Egyptian Mauu Cat breed – silver, bronze, smoke and black.

  • Black Maus make great pets but cannot be shown because the spots are not visible. The lustrous coat hairs should be long enough to show at least two bands of distinctive ticking.
  • Silver Mau has clear markings in dark charcoal on a pale silver background color. The nose, lips and eyes are outlined in black while the upper throat, chin and area around the nostrils is pale clear silver white. The nose leather is brick red and the paw pads are black.
  • Bronze Mau has a warm glowing appearance with dark brown markings that show clearly on the light bronze background color. The upper throat area and chin are creamy white and the underside also fades to a creamy ivory. The nose, lips and eyes are outlined in dark brown and the nose leather is brick red.
  • Smoke Mau has a charcoal gray background color with a silver undercoat. The jet black markings are clearly visible and the color seems to change as the cat moves. The nose, lips and eyes are outlined in jet black while the upper throat, chin and nostril area is the lightest in color. The nose leather and pads are black.

Temperament Of Egyptian Mau Cat


Egyptian Mau cat are extremely active, agile and playful cats which need lots of exercise. The Mau is intelligent, loyal and affectionate and can be possessive of its owners. Maus that have been thoroughly socialized make good family pets but can be distrustful of strangers. Maus can be trained to walk on a leash but will do fine as indoor cats. Maus have quiet melodious voices and communicate through chirps and chortles. This breed needs daily exercise and play time and doesn’t like to be left alone.

Cat Care

This short haired cat only needs light grooming once or twice a week to remove loose hair and other debris. Maus enjoy being groomed and will probably benefit from a monthly bath to control dander. You should also get your cat used to a twice weekly dental brushing to control tartar and reduce the chance for tooth decay.


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