Loyal, playful and exceptionally athletic, the Egyptian Mau is one of the few naturally spotted domestic cat breeds out there. “The Cornell Book of Cats” describes this gorgeous cat as “a balance between the compactness of a Burmese and the slim elegance of a Siamese“.
This breed is extremely rare and it is estimated that there might be as little as 3 000 Maus worldwide today. And did you know the Egyptian Mau is the fastest of all domestic cats? Oh yass! But this is not where the excellence of the breed stops. Read on to learn more mind-blowing facts about the speedy Maus.
Egyptian Mau is a gracious, medium-sized cat of a muscular body. Their hind legs are longer than the front legs, giving them the adored appearance of standing on tiptoes. They also have a unique flap of extended skin in the back of their knees. Such conformation of hind legs provides this cat with exceptional agility and stride length, making them the fastest of all domestic cats.
The head is wedge-shaped and the eyes are typically green, very large and expressive. Ears are broad at the base and set ample-width apart. Their coat is naturally spotted, giving them an exotically good look. The coat comes in five colors, but only 3 can be shown: silver, smoke, and bronze. Black and pewter are used in breeding, but can’t be shown at cat shows. The spots on the silver coat are charcoal, on the smoke coat they are black and on the bronze coat dark brown or black.
There is still a big controversy behind the origins of this cat. While all the historical evidence suggests that this is an Egyptian breed, DNA studies reveal that the breed we know today is actually mostly of European and North American origin. The first records of the breed come from Egypt and it is known that the breed was prized by the Pharaohs, but how and when the breed could get there remains unfamiliar.
Based on the genetic analysis, the Mau is genetically very closely related to the Maine Coon, Korat, and American Turkish Angoras (not native Turkish Angoras). It was not until 1956 when a Russian Princess named Nathalie Troubetzkoy first brought over these elegant cats to the United States.
Health and care
The Egyptian Mau is generally a very healthy cat breed. There are some indications that the breed may be at a higher risk from feline urate urolithiasis, pyruvate kinase deficiency, and leukodystrophy. Feline urolithiasis is a disease caused by the crystallization of minerals and compounds such as ammonium and uric acid. The disease leads to a build-up of stones within the urinary tract which can ultimately be fatal if left untreated. Leukodystrophy is a neurological condition and often appears in young kittens.
Also, Maus are fond of very warm temperatures and are therefore more temperature-sensitive than most domestic cats. They are also more sensitive to medicines and anesthesia. And like many modern cats, your Egyptian Mau loves its food and is prone to obesity. Make sure to choose the right diet for them that will fulfill their energy needs, but does it properly and keep your Mau healthy happy for many years to come. The average lifespan of an Egyptian Mau is 12 to 15 years.
The coat of the Egyptian Mau is relatively easy to maintain. Weekly brushing is typically sufficient, and you should brush their teeth as often as possible, preferably daily.
Vocal, adventurous and a water lover, the Egyptian Mau is an athletic breed that requires an engaging environment. These cats are playful, fast and keen hunters that will thrive in an environment which enables them to express their instincts.
The Egyptian Mau will enjoy activities such as climbing, hunting, playing with owners and even swimming. They generally love their hoomans and they will often greet you with chirpy noises and paw kneading. They are very cheerful and humorous. They often do better with older children as opposed to young toddlers though, but will typically get along well with other pets.
Mind-blowing facts about the speedy Maus
1. Maus are the fastest domestic cat. They have been recorded to be running more than 48 km/h (30 mph).
2. Maus have very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle and make other unusual sounds when stimulated.
3. Instead of spraying, Maus like to ‘wiggle’ their tail to mark the territory. Egyptian Maus, both male and female, tend to wiggle and twitch their tails when marking territory, without actually releasing urine.
4. They express their mood with facial expressions. Some people have reported that their Maus not only change their facial expressions according to the mood, but their eye color may change from green to turquoise when stimulated too.
5. Their name comes from the Egyptian word for ‘cat’. In Egyptian, Mau literally translates to cat, thus creating the name of the breed Egyptian Mau.
6. The Egyptian Mau is one of the few naturally spotted domestic cat. The unique markings in this cat were not created through human manipulation, they are all natural.
Egyptian Mau is a truly exceptional cat breed. As one of the few naturally spotted house cats who is also the fastest one, this cat takes exotic to the whole new level. This article, nor any other, could ever do justice to the unique beauty of this cat and the dazzling sparkle of their green eyes.