A shorthair cat breed, Egyptian Mau is thought to have lived for thousands of years in Egypt where it was once the object of worship, 'Mau' being the Egyptian term for 'cat'. It was adored, protected and buried alongside Pharaohs in their tombs as mummies. Over the years, the cat continued to be cherished in its native lands as an object of fancy as well as a remarkable hunter. Even today farmers keep crossbreeds from Egyptian Maus as pets to keep their fields safe from rodents. The modern recognition of this elegant feline came in the nineteen fifties when a pair was brought over to United States. They were given championship status in the seventies.
A sturdy yet finely built cat, the Egyptian Mau is a medium sized animal. It has a well muscled and graceful presence. Hind legs are longer than the front, enabling the cat to reach speeds of up to fifty kilometers an hour. Mau is the only naturally occurring domestic cat that is spotted. The spots run underneath the fur to the cat's actual skin. They are present on the whole body, with the legs and tail being striped. Recognized coat colors are bronze, silver and smoke. Eyes are in shades of dazzling green.
Egyptian Maus are healthy and active felines and don't suffer from any recurring hereditary medical conditions. Owing to their love for the outdoors and excellent hunting skills, many owners are tempted to let them outside. Though the cats are surprisingly adept at avoiding any accidents and mishaps, it's still not a good idea to leave these rare treasures outdoors unsupervised.
Athletic and playful, the Maus are always alert. They are very protective of their 'territory' and are quite prepared to defend it against any intruders. They don't accept other cats and pets well and fare best in a single animal household. From the beginning, they develop a close affiliation with their humans and maintain a very loyal relationship with them throughout their lives.
The author is a blogger about cats and an expert on Egyptian Mau cat.