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Egyptian Mau Cat

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Egyptian Mau Cat

Egyptian Mau Cat | Breed Profile | Breed History | Breed Description

The Egyptian Mau is the fastest of the domestic cats, with its longer hind legs, and unique flap of skin extending from the flank to the back knee, provides for greater agility and speed. Maus have been clocked running over 30 mph (48 kph).

Maus often possess very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle and emit other distinctly unusual vocalizations when stimulated. Another behavior, quite common in happy Maus, has been described as “wiggle-tail.” The cat, male or female, moves its back legs up and down, and appears to be marking territory, also known as spraying, but it is not actually releasing urine. Even veteran Mau owners are known to check after a joyous Mau does this little dance.

  

Egyptian Maus are a medium-sized short-haired cat breed. They are the only naturally spotted breed of domesticated cat. The spots on an Egyptian Mau are not just on the coat; a shaved Mau has spots on its skin. The Ocicat is very similar in appearance to the Egyptian Mau, but was the product of selective breeding which led to its spots. Another similar looking breed is the Bengal cat, but this breed tends to be considerably larger.

Egyptian Maus are the fastest breed of domestic cat, capable of running at 36 mph. The next fastest breed is the American Shorthair which has a top speed of 31 mph. For comparison, giraffes also run at 36 mph. Maus are powerful cats for their size, alert and active. Males are usually somewhat larger than females.

The longer hind legs are another reason for the breed’s startling speed. The Mau also has a loose flap of skin on the lower abdomen, similar to the cheetah, which allows a longer stride while running, again contributing to its great speed. A Mau running at full speed is impressive, with incredible acceleration.

Egyptian Maus are thought by many to be one of the progenitor breeds of the modern domestic cat. They have anatomical, metabolic and behavioral differences from other cat breeds which could be considered as evidence of antiquity or at least uniqueness from other cat breeds. Besides those already mentioned, Maus are more temperature sensitive than most breeds – they are fond of very warm temperatures. They are more sensitive to medicines and anesthesia. Maus also have an unusually long gestational period. The maximum normal period for cats is 69 days, although Siamese may take a day or two longer. For a Mau, 73 days is still considered normal.

Maus often possess very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle and emit other distinctly unusual vocalizations when stimulated. Another behavior, quite common in happy Maus, has been described as “wiggle-tail.” The cat, male or female, moves its back legs up and down, and appears to be marking territory, also known as spraying, but it is not actually releasing urine. Even veteran Mau owners are known to check after a joyous Mau does this little dance.

Purebred Egyptian Maus are a relatively rare breed. Currently, the number of registered Egyptian Maus worldwide is probably about 3000. Maus come in five colors: silver, smoke and bronze, which are eligible for showing, and black and pewter, which are not, but which can be used in breeding. All Maus must have green eyes, but an amber cast is acceptable in kittens and young adults, up to age 1 1/2 years.

Egyptian Maus are thought to be one of the progenitor breeds of the modern domestic cat. They have anatomical, metabolic and behavioral differences from other cat breeds which could be considered as evidence of antiquity or at least uniqueness from other cat breeds. Maus are more temperature sensitive than most breeds – they are fond of very warm temperatures. They are more sensitive to medicines and anesthesia. Maus allegedly have an unusually long gestational period, about 73 days. The maximum normal period for cats is 65-67 days, although Siamese may take a day or two longer.

Albeit largely anecdotal, the Egyptian Mau is well known for intelligence and close bonding with responsible and loving owners. Such owners typically report their Maus eagerly greet them at the door at the end of a long day at work. Usually requiring more effort than other breeds, Maus can be “lap cats,” but their alert nature makes the task difficult, yet far more rewarding once accomplished. Although ill-advised by most veterinarians and animal-care givers, the Egyptian Mau loves an outdoor life. Their speed, coupled with their innate intelligence, allows them to avoid almost all dangers if carefully introduced to an outdoor world very early in life.

Unusually averse to loud noises and fast-moving objects, Maus are rarely “road kills,” and instead are far too busy wiping out the mouse and rat population in the back yards and farms of your neighbors. Many responsible farmers report that a few Mau crossbreeds have saved entire crops from rodents. The typical Mau is not social with strangers of any species, other cats in particular. Maus will fight trespassing cats with astonishing ferocity and uncannily disappear from strange and loud humans. Accordingly, the Egyptian Mau is not a good choice for an absentee condo owner who, when home, brings in strange pets and humans.

Purebred Egyptian Maus are a relatively rare breed. As of 2007, fewer than 200 kittens are registered with the GCCF each year. As of 2006, a total of 6741 Maus are registered with the CFA. Maus come in five colors. From most to least common these colors are: silver, bronze, smoke, black and blue pewter. Black and pewter Maus cannot be shown, but may be used in breeding. All Maus must have green eyes, but an amber cast is acceptable in kittens and young adults up to eighteen months old.