Egyptian Mau Breed Profile | Cat Breeds

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Cat World > Cat Breed Profiles > Egyptian Mau Breed Profile

Egyptian Mau Breed Profile

Egyptian Mau cat
Image Josh More, Flickr

Egyptian Mau at a glance

Playfulness *****
Energy *****
Shedding **
Friendliness ****
Lifespan ****
Health ****
Talkative ***
Good with dogs *****
Child-friendly *****
Intelligence *****

Origins of the Egyptian Mau

Egyptian MauThe exact origin of the Egyptian Mau is not recorded and therefore cannot be known for certain. However, the popular belief is that the Egyptian Mau is descendant of the African Wild Cat. This belief is due to the Egyptian Mau's remarkably similar appearance to the African Wild Cats. The African Wild Cats were also known to be in the same region where the Mau first appeared. No matter how they came about, once this breed was domesticated it became indispensable.

The Egyptian Mau first arrived in the United States in 1956. Russian expatriate Princess Natalie Troubetskoy  emigrated from Italy where she had bred a smoke male belonging to the Egyptian Ambassador to Italy with a silver female from Cairo. A silver kitten by the name of Baba was produced. Baba was then mated back to his father and two kittens by the name of Joseph (nicknamed JoJo) and Jude were born. Jude died but JoJo was mated back to his mother, producing a female kitten by the name of Liza. These three Mau's were brought to the United States by Princess Natalie and were to become the founding stock of the Egyptian Mau in the United States. They were recognised by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1977.

The word Mau means cat in Egyptian.

History of the Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau is an elegant beauty that graced Ancient Egyptian art as early as 2200 B.C. Throughout most of the Ancient Egyptian timeline, these cats were seen as both loving companions to be treasured and valuable protectors to be honoured and revered. Egyptian Maus were originally trained to hunt prey, such as birds and fish, and return the bounty to their humans. They were also taught to guard crops by keeping away small animals that would disturb them. Cats were held in such high regard that if anyone was to be caught killing a cat in this period, they would be immediately stoned to death for their crime.

Appearance of the Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau cats
Image Josh More, Flickr

The Egyptian Mau is a small to medium sized cat. He is muscular, with hind legs longer than the front legs. The coat is silky with a fine texture.

A dark M shape is found on the forehead, with "mascara lines" found along the cheeks, continuing down the neck, large ears,  eyes are almond shaped and a light green.

The coat lies flat against the body and has a glossy sheen. The dark spots stand out against a lighter background.

The Egyptian Mau is the only naturally occurring domestic breed of cat with spots. Other spotted cats include the Bengal and Ocicat, however, these two breeds are man-made.

Egyptian Mau personality

Egyptian Mau cat
Image Josh More, Flickr

The Egyptian Mau is an intelligent, outgoing, playful, lively and active cat. He thrives on attention and does not like to be left alone for any length of time, they bond deeply with their owners and get along well with children. 

They are athletic and love to climb. It is said that they are the fastest breed of domestic cat there is.

They are quite a talkative breed of cat and another form of communication they are fond of is tail wagging when they are happy.

Egyptian Mau colours

Egyptian Mau cat
Image Soon Koon, Flickr

The Egyptian Mau comes in four colours:

  • Pewter
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Smoke


The lifespan of an Egyptian Mau is 12-15 years.

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Egyptian Mau Breed Profile | Cat Breeds
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Egyptian Mau Breed Profile | Cat Breeds