Egyptian Mau History
The Egyptian Mau has a fascinating history and is one of the oldest domestic cat breeds existing today. Mau is the Egyptian word for cat. Experts believe that the Egyptian Mau is the cat domesticated from a spotted subspecies of the African Wild Cat by the ancient Egyptians. Evidence of the cats' pedigree can be found in ancient Egyptian art and architecture. A papyrus painting from 1100 BC shows the Egyptian sun god Ra as a spotted cat beheading an evil serpent. On a tomb in Thebes dating from 1400 BC a spotted cat is pictured retrieving a duck for an Egyptian hunter. These cats were not only cherished by the ancient Egyptians as pets and workers but also worshipped as deities and mummified at death.
The Egyptian Mau breed was developed in Europe in the 1900s by Italian, Swiss and French cat fanciers but after World War Two the breed became almost extinct in Europe. It was thanks to Princess Nathalie Troubetskoy that the breed was saved. The princess had been exiled from Russia during the war and when living in Rome she was given a small spotted kitten in a shoe box. She was fascinated by this vulnerable creature and researched into its history. Discovering the historical significance and beauty of Egyptian Mau she decided to rescue the species. Princess Troubetskoy moved to the United States in 1956 and took with her three Maus from stock that she had bred in Rome and one from Egypt via the Syrian Embassy. Troubetskoy began a cattery in the US and worked hard to promote the breed. To publicize her campaign she placed one of her cats, called Liza, on display at the Empire Cat Club show in New York City in 1957. She attracted fellow fanciers of the Egyptian Mau who helped breed the cat but the small gene pool and the fact that it was almost impossible to obtain the Mau from Egypt meant that this was a difficult task and some inbreeding and out crossing was necessary to continue the line in the US. The Maus were also bred selectively to eradicate temperament problems that were present in some bloodlines.
Egytian Mau Appearance
It is rumoured that ancient Egyptian women designed their eye makeup after the markings on the Mau's face. The Mau has two mascara lines gracing its cheeks, the first beginning one at the corner of the eyes and following the cheek to below the ear. It has the characteristic tabby marking �M� on its forehead this is known as the scarab beetle mark. This cat has quite large pointed ears which are very broad at their base and beautiful pale green almond shape eyes which slant slightly towards its ears. The Maus' shiny coat is medium length and comes in silver, smoke and bronze with silver being the most common and popular colour. One of the breed's most notable features is the random spots on its body, these can vary from small and round spots to large oblong ones. The Egyptian Mau has dainty paws and longer hind legs which make it look like it is standing on tiptoe when it is standing upright.
Egyptian Mau Character and Temperament
The Egyptian Maus were duck hunters in egyptian times and still love to play fetch. They have a soft tuneful purr and are not scared to tell you when they don't like their food! They love to 'chat' by making chortling sounds, waging their tails and treading with their feet. The Mau is a moderately active cat but when not reliving its hunting past it likes to laze about in the sun. This breed is a family loving cat and is fiercely loyal; however it takes a while for the Mau to warm to strangers.
Egyptian Mau Lifespan
15 years or more
Average Litter Size
Egyptian Maus have litters of about six at a time and the kittens. Egyptian Maus usually experience an easy birth.
Maus are very healthy cats and do not tend to suffer from any specific aliments. However, it is wise to give your mau an annual check up to check kindney and liver function and to check for tooth decay.