Egyptian Mau Cat: Breed Information, Characteristics, and Facts

Egyptian Mau Cat: Breed Information, Characteristics, and Facts

History of the Egyptian Mau

While we don’t know the exact origins of the Egyptian Mau cat, there are some that believe they date back to the time of the Pharaohs. You may already know that Egyptians used to worship felines, so perhaps the Mau was one of the cats that was revered in godlike status. The breed first started developing recognition in Europe in the 20th century. Most famously, the Russian Princess Nathalie Troubetskoy, who was exiled in Rome prior to the Second World War was given one, which she named Baba. Later, she emigrated to the US, bringing three of the breed with her.

Egyptian Maus were officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1968. Importation of the breed continued in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, it is a recognized breed by the majority of cat associations.

Animals at home. Egyptian mau cat

Quick Facts About the Egyptian Mau

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Egyptian Mau is the dense coat with characteristic spots. They come in silver, bronze, and smoke colors.

The Egyptian Mau is a medium-sized cat that tends to weigh between 6 and 14 lbs.

While you may not think it to look at a Mau, it can actually run at top speeds of up to 30 miles per hour thanks to its long hind legs!

One of the breed’s most distinctive features are its eyes, large and slightly slanted, they are striking in their green color.

Things You Should Know

There are a few things that you should know before bringing an Egyptian Mau into your life. We have separated out a few categories to make the information more easily digestible.

  • Health

Egyptian Maus are generally healthy cats, but if you are adopting your cat, you should ask the breeder for any health issues to be aware of. The simple act of monitoring your cat’s health and consulting with your vet if there is anything that you are worried about can go a long way towards keeping them as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

  • Feeding

There are no breed-specific nutritional requirements when it comes to the Egyptian Mau. Choose a good-quality cat food that is appropriate to your cat’s age. Take into account any allergies that your kitty suffers from. For example, many owners go for a grain-free formulation as felines are commonly allergic to some grains. Look for real meat as a primary ingredient as cats are obligate carnivores who need meat from animal sources. If you only feed your cat a dry food diet, you need to make a special effort to leave fresh water down. Drinking from a bowl doesn’t always come naturally to cats who are used to getting the moisture they require from their prey in the wild. No matter how old your cat is, you should always monitor them closely for weight gain as obesity is one of the most dangerous conditions for a cat to get into that can end up significantly shortening their lifespan. Diseases like diabetes are common as a result of significant weight gain.

Related Post: Cat Food for Weight Loss

  • Care

Egyptian Maus are adventurous cats who enjoy being able to climb up high. A cat tree or a cat window perch are a couple of good ways of satisfying this desire. Make sure that you have plenty of cat toys to keep your kitty entertained. Maus are quite intelligent felines who can even be taught to enjoy games of fetch with their owners. They are known as being adept hunters, so any toys that they can catch will be appreciated. At the same time, this means that you have to be especially careful with any smaller pets in your cat, as well as any animals in the local community if you allow your feline to go outdoors.

The decision of whether to keep your cat indoors or allow them out is one that rests squarely on your own shoulders. If you do choose to allow your cat out, you should make sure that the area is safe and the number of potential hazards are minimized. You also need to appreciate some of the risks that are involved in the outside world. These include diseases spread by other felines, attacks from other animals, and the danger of being hit by a car. On the other hand, outdoor cats have more opportunities for exercise and general mental stimulation, which many owners believe outweigh the risks. If you have a fenced off environment, your cat will appreciate having the opportunity to stretch their legs in a safe environment.

  • Grooming

Grooming your Egyptian Mau shouldn’t take a huge amount of time and effort. If you comb your cat on a weekly basis, this should be fine. You may need to complete this task a little more often during shedding season to keep your home free of loose pet hair. Bathing is rarely needed and is often more trouble than it is worth with cats. But brushing your cat’s teeth is a good habit to get into, and it is one that many owners overlook. Daily brushing is best but doing it on a weekly basis is better than nothing and one of the best ways of averting future periodontal disease. Clipping your cat’s nails is also a good habit to get into, but you should also provide them with a scratching post where they can work out their natural instincts.

Related Post: Cat Nail Clippers

Another commonly overlooked task is the checking and cleaning of ears – a job that a cat cannot do themselves. Check them on a weekly basis and use a cotton ball or soft damp cloth to clean them out as needed. There are also special ear cleaning solutions and wipes that you can buy if needed. You should make a special effort to keep your cat’s litter box nice and clean if they are kept indoors. Cats are clean and fastidious creatures. If they think that the box is not clean enough for their needs, they may end up starting to go to the bathroom elsewhere instead – and this is not pleasant for anyone involved!

  • Temperament

We have talked earlier about the intelligence of the Egyptian Mau, and this means that you have to work especially hard to keep your cat entertained, which means enjoying daily playing sessions together and having plenty of different toys. Maus are also very friendly cats who are known for their loyalty and devotion towards family members. This means that you may notice your cat acting in a shy or reserved way towards strangers or visitors to your household. At the same time, you may notice that your cat doesn’t like being picked up as they are more independent than other felines. So, you may have to wait for your cat to come to you rather than the other way around.

Egyptian cat relaxing on a couch

Unlike some other cat breeds, Egyptian cat breeds are quite vocal creatures, and possess quite a distinctive soft meow. You may even notice your cat chortling in an expression of their happiness! If you have a household where strangers come over much of the time, you may find that your cat runs off to hide.

Active and friendly in their nature, this makes them a popular choice for families with kids. They can even teach them to play cat games like fetch, which is fantastic fun for everyone involved! However, you need to teach your kids to treat your cat with respect at the earliest possible opportunity. These cats are generally fearless creatures who can even make friends with any dogs that you have in your household. If you are going to introduce any pets together, you need to do so in a slow and controlled way to avoid any potential dangers occurring.

Their high energy levels mean that they will appreciate anything like a cat tree or perch that they can climb up. Unlike many other felines, some Maus even enjoy playing in water! If you have any water in your house like a fountain, don’t be surprised if your cat has the temptation to dip their paw inside!

One of the most desirable features of Egyptian Mau cat breed is that they are friendly and balanced in their nature, which means that they don’t go through huge mood swings.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of positive qualities that make the Egyptian Mau kitten or cat an excellent pet. They are loyal towards their families, have limited grooming requirements, and they are just so darn cute! However, there are a couple of downsides in their strong hunting instincts and general fear of strangers. If you are looking to bring home a purebred Mau, always check the credentials of the breeder to ensure that you are happy with them. Ask any questions that want and ensure that you are happy with the answers before handing over any money. However, you may decide that you would like to adopt from a rescue organization instead, but you should be aware that this breed is rarely found up for adoption.


  1. Egyptian Mau, PetMD
  2. Egyptian Mau, VCA Hospitals

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