Egyptian Mau

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egyptian mau portrait
Welcome to the fascinating world of the Egyptian Mau, the speedsters of the cat kingdom. Beloved for their striking spots and captivating "gooseberry green" eyes, these ancient charmers are the only naturally spotted breed of domestic cats.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, care, health concerns, history, and more!


HEIGHT8-10 inches
WEIGHT6-14 lbs
LIFESPAN15-20 years
egyptian mau at a rooftop
Photo: nature picture/Getty Images


The Egyptian Mau is a study in balance and grace, each feature perfectly complementing the others. These cats typically tip the scales at a weight range of 6 to 14 pounds, with males generally weighing more than the females. Standing tall at about 8 to 10 inches in height, these felines are a sight to behold.

To begin with, let’s talk about the Mau’s body. It is of medium size, muscular yet elegant, with a distinctly rounded abdomen. Some people affectionately refer to this as the Mau’s “jelly belly”, a charming trait that brings a smile to many a face.

Their body is supported by long, slender legs, and the rear limbs are visibly longer than the front ones. This unique physical feature awards them with an exceptional ability to leap great heights and distances, a skill that easily commands admiration.

The Mau’s tail is medium in length, broad at the base, and narrows to a rounded tip. It is often seen arched or curled, displaying the cat’s buoyant and playful spirit.

Moving onto the head, it’s a modified, slightly wedged shape, topped with medium to large ears that are set well apart. The ears are broad at the base, with a slight forward tilt, as if always on alert.

But perhaps the most arresting features of the Mau are its expressive eyes. Each Mau is gifted with a pair of large, almond-shaped eyes that gleam with an enchanting gooseberry green color. These eyes express a full spectrum of emotions, from curiosity to contentment, making the Mau an engaging companion.

Finally, but certainly not least, is the Mau’s spectacular coat. It is medium in length, silky to the touch, and shines with a glossy sheen. The coat is adorned with distinct spots that are randomly scattered. The spots can be large or small, but they’re always striking.

The coat comes in three colors: silver, bronze, and smoke. Silver Maus have a bright silver base coat with contrasting dark spots. Bronze Maus sport a warm copper base with dark brown to black markings, while Smoke Maus have a smoke-gray base with darker spots.

egyptian mau hiding in the bed
Photo: joci03/Getty Images Signature


The Egyptian Mau is more than just a pretty face. Beyond their striking appearance lies a personality that is equally attractive. Maus are known for their warm, friendly, and sociable nature. They are considered among the more “personable” breeds of cats, always eager to mingle and interact with their human companions.

Being descendants of a venerable lineage, Maus carry a dignified air. They are often seen quietly observing their surroundings with those gooseberry-green eyes, analyzing every detail with a level of intelligence and curiosity that is genuinely remarkable. However, don’t mistake their thoughtful demeanor for aloofness. They are far from being standoffish.

When it comes to playtime, Maus are in a league of their own. Their long, agile limbs and inherent athletic abilities make them lover of high-energy games. Watch them leap in the air to catch a dangling toy or sprint across the room in the blink of an eye, and you’ll see a creature that revels in the sheer joy of movement.

Like most cats, Maus value their independence but they also enjoy the company of their human families. They are known to form strong emotional ties with their people, often following them around the house, wanting to be part of whatever is happening.

They have a unique way of communicating, too. Their voice is a fascinating mix of melodious purrs, trills, and chortles, which they use effectively to express their needs and emotions.

Despite their sociable nature, Maus can be somewhat reserved with strangers. They can take some time to warm up to new people or situations. It’s essential to give them the space and time they need to make new acquaintances. But once they do, they are loyal and affectionate, creating bonds that last a lifetime.

The Egyptian Mau is a cat of contrasts. In them, you’ll find the perfect blend of elegance and playfulness, independence and sociability, reservation and affection. They are bright and curious, yet calm and wise, embodying the best of the feline world. In a nutshell, sharing your life with an Egyptian Mau means embarking on an exciting journey filled with love, fun, and unique companionship that is hard to match.

Finally, their adaptability is worth mentioning. Whether you live in an apartment or a house with a backyard, a Mau will be quite content – as long as you provide them with lots of love, playtime, and the occasional cozy lap for them to curl up in. This breed appreciates routine and can be a bit sensitive to changes, so maintaining a consistent environment and schedule will help them feel secure and loved.

egyptian mau relaxing on the street
Photo: Tbowerman/Getty Images Pro


Caring for an Egyptian Mau can be a joyous experience, made even more rewarding when you understand their unique needs and preferences. This breed requires a balanced mix of grooming, exercise, and play, and a specific diet for their optimal health and happiness.


Egyptian Maus have a medium-length coat that’s as soft as it is beautiful. Fortunately, these cats are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Their coats are naturally resistant to matting, so a once-a-week brushing session should suffice to keep them in good condition. Use a stainless steel comb for this. It helps remove loose hair and distribute skin oils.

Bathing, on the other hand, is rarely necessary. However, remember to check their ears weekly and clean them gently with a pet-safe cleaner if needed. Regular dental hygiene is a must too. Brush their teeth frequently with vet-approved pet toothpaste for overall dental health.

Exercise and Play

Egyptian Maus are energetic creatures who love to play. Their strong hind legs enable them to leap great heights and run at impressive speeds.

To keep these agile cats content, ensure they have enough playtime each day. Use interactive toys like feather wands, laser pointers, or even simple balls of crumpled paper. If you have a safe, enclosed outdoor space, let them explore it under your supervision. They’ll relish the opportunity to stretch their legs and satisfy their curiosity.

Diet and Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition, Egyptian Maus need a diet that suits their active lifestyles. A high-quality cat food that’s rich in proteins and low in carbohydrates is ideal.

Fresh, clean water should always be available. Treats can be given from time to time, but do not constitute the main part of their diet. It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet to establish the best feeding routine and diet to maintain their health.

egyptian mau's face up close
Photo: joci03/Getty Images Signature


Egyptian Maus are generally considered a healthy breed, with a life expectancy of around 15 to 20 years. However, like all cats, they can sometimes face certain health issues. Here, we’ll highlight some of them:

Allergic Dermatitis: Egyptian Maus might develop skin irritations due to allergies. This can cause discomfort and excessive scratching.

Gingivitis: This is a form of gum disease that can lead to oral health problems. Regular dental care is crucial in prevention.

Respiratory Issues: This breed can develop respiratory problems, due to their distinct facial structures.

Urinary Tract Infections: Like many cats, Egyptian Maus can be prone to urinary tract infections, which need early detection and treatment.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart disease that is genetic in some cat breeds. Regular monitoring can help manage the condition.

To keep your Egyptian Mau in optimal health, remember a few key principles. First, diet plays a critical role. Serve them high-quality, protein-rich cat food, following your vet’s recommendations on portion sizes to avoid overfeeding.

Second, make regular vet checks a priority – these are the cornerstone of preventive care. Regular visits will ensure any potential health issues are spotted early and treated promptly.

Finally, keep your Mau’s vaccination schedule up-to-date. Vaccinations are a key line of defense against a variety of common feline diseases and will keep your Egyptian Mau happy, healthy, and by your side for many years to come.

egyptian mau walking
Photo: nature picture/Getty Images


The story of the enchanting Egyptian Mau cat breed is as fascinating as its captivating beauty. This breed holds the honor of being one of the oldest cat breeds in existence, with its history tracing back thousands of years to the time of the Pharaohs.

They were admired and revered in ancient Egyptian society, their spots symbolizing divine favor. Egyptian Maus can even be found in ancient Egyptian artwork, a testimony to this breed’s long-standing legacy.

Fast forwarding to more recent history, it was only in the 20th century that this breed was brought to the United States. The captivating story goes like this: An exiled Russian princess, Nathalie Troubetskoy, fell in love with the breed while in Italy, and she brought a few of these cats to the United States in the 1950s. The breed quickly gained popularity, capturing the hearts of cat enthusiasts all across the country.

In 1968, Egyptian Maus were officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), a testament to their growing popularity. The breed was appreciated not just for its stunning beauty, with its sleek, spotted coat, but also for its playful and affectionate nature.

Then, a decade later, in 1979, The International Cat Association (TICA) also accepted the breed for registration. This recognition further cemented the breed’s status in the feline world.

Today, the Egyptian Mau continues to thrive, cherished by cat lovers for its unique blend of historical significance, beauty, and loving temperament. This breed’s rich history and endearing characteristics ensure it will hold a special place in the hearts of feline aficionados for many years to come.

So, if you’re lucky enough to have an Egyptian Mau in your life, you’re not just sharing your home with a pet, but with a tiny piece of history.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breed standards are devised by breed clubs and recognized by various cat registries worldwide.

These standards provide detailed descriptions of the breed’s physical characteristics such as body shape, size, coat type and color, eye color and shape, ear placement, and tail length.

egyptian mau at home
Photo: nature picture/Getty Images


Why is the Egyptian Mau so rare?

The Egyptian Mau is one of the few naturally spotted breeds of domesticated cats. The breed is rare because of its unique genetic makeup that is difficult to replicate. Also, responsible breeders prioritize the health and temperament of the breed over mass production, which also contributes to their rarity.

Why are Egyptian Maus so expensive?

The cost of an Egyptian Mau cat often reflects the rarity and unique characteristics of the breed. Additionally, reputable breeders invest a considerable amount of resources, such as time, effort, and money, into ensuring the kittens are healthy and well-socialized before they go to their new homes. These factors contribute to the higher price of this breed.

Are Egyptian Maus good pets?

Absolutely! Egyptian Maus are known for their playful, affectionate nature. They form strong bonds with their human families and tend to get along well with other pets. Their intelligence and curious nature make them fun and interesting companions.

Why is the Egyptian Mau so fast?

The Egyptian Mau holds the record for being the fastest domestic cat breed, capable of running at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. This speed is attributed to their powerful hind legs which are longer than their front, providing them with exceptional jumping and sprinting capabilities.

What distinguishes the Egyptian Mau from other cat breeds?

Aside from their unique, naturally spotted coat, the Egyptian Mau is recognized for its striking “gooseberry green” eyes, and the characteristic “M” marking on their forehead. Their distinct body structure, athletic build, and speed also set them apart from other breeds.

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