Is the Egyptian Mau Cat the oldest of all domestic breeds? Is this the same naturally spotted cat that was revered and even worshiped by the Ancient Egyptians?
Who can be absolutely sure, but one look at the felines depicted in the wall art of Ancient Egypt and the Mau is instantly recognizable.
Likely a direct descendant of the African wildcat, these 'regal' cats were not only prized as rodent catchers, but also held in very high esteem by all of society including the Pharaohs.
They were protected under law, woe betide anyone who harmed a Mau in any way.
Mourned upon their passing, some of these cats even received an elaborate royal
So do these cats of the Pharaohs make good pets, or are they so royal as to be aloof and reserved?
Far from being aloof, Maus grow very fond of company especially the company of the humans they adopt as being their very own.
If you have plenty of time for your royal cat it will certainly have plenty of time for you.
Some cats of this breed are a little shy with strangers until the company is accepted by them.
The Mau is a lively, intelligent cat well suited for indoor life. For trips outside, these felines take very well to walking on a leash and harness.
Most humans that share their home with an Egyptian Mau cat agree that they bond very well with their one special human and are often like a shadow to their owners.
They also report that this cat loves to play at every opportunity, can be very affectionate and appreciates fuss and a grooming session with a brush.
Some say that it is only their one special person that the Mau will take to and is likely to hide away from other humans even other members of the same household.
They say the cat is extremely shy, shuns the company of other pets and can be resentful and jealous.
There are many others however that claim their Mau will behave very sociably and has no problem in befriending other humans and pets alike.
This difference could be because cats are individuals whatever their breed.
Most Egyptian Maus like their share of attention are happy to be to be lap cats, others prefer to curl up at the feet of their special human.
Many who enjoy the company of Mau cats say that these felines have their special way of greeting them. They do this by using their tail in an unusual way, wiggling and waggling their tail, pretty much like a puppy, while treading the floor with their front paws.
They have a distinctive voice too, a melodic chirrup or chortle, which they will often use to say hello to you.
A Russian princess, Natalie Troubetskoy living in exile in Italy became fascinated with these royal cats and was determined to ensure the continued existence of their lineage. She manage to acquire several examples from Egypt and began a breeding program.
Deciding to take her royal cats to the United States, the princess was unable to book a ticket for the 51st Atlantic crossing of the luxury liner Andrea Doria.
Had she been able to get a ticket, the development of the Egyptian Mau might have been very different because the Andrea Doria was sunk after a collision with a Swedish liner the Stockholm, many lives were lost.
The princess did manage to immigrate and import three of her cats, two females and a male. Settling in New York city, Nathalie established a cattery where she continued her breeding program.
Not too long ago, the pedigree line of all Maus in the United States could be traced to two of Nathalie Troubetskoy's cats. Recently though, the available gene pool has been widened by imported cats.
Mau is simply the name for cat in Middle Egyptian.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the adult Egyptian Mau cat is the captivating gooseberry green eyes.
Many Mau kittens have amber eyes and do not develop the gooseberry green color until around eighteen months old. Some retain amber irises with a ring of green about the pupil.
Cleopatra like mascara lines extend from the corners of the eyes around the cheeks contributing to the Mau cat's distinctive appearance.
An M marking can be found on the forehead, similar to a Tabby.
This marking is often described as a 'Scarab,' a symbol of good luck in Ancient Egyptian art.
The Mau is frequently described as having a worried look upon its face, it would perhaps be kinder to describe it as a look of slight apprehension.
The slightly pointed ears are set towards the back of the rounded head and may be tufted like the Lynx.
The Mau sports a medium muzzle, not pointed and has a firm chin.
The body of the Egyptian Mau cat is of medium length, both elegant and muscular, the necks of males can be powerful.
The tail is quite thick and long.
When running this cat can be quite the speedster.
A Mau's rear legs are slightly longer than the front legs, also there is a loose fold of skin under the belly that allows the rear legs to stretch right back.
These slight differences in anatomy aid the Mau in running faster than most other cat breeds and to be able to leap from perch to perch with great agility.
With it's longer back legs this cat can appear to be standing on tiptoe.
The magnificent coat of the Egyptian Mau cat can be decorated with round or irregularly shaped spots.
The Mau is only accepted for championship showing in Bronze, Silver and Smoke, but also appears in Blue Silver, Dilute Bronze, Blue, Blue Smoke and Black.
The regal Mau does indeed make a fine, loyal companion and endearing pet.
If you fancy being owned by a show or breeding quality example of this breed it will set you back a pretty penny, even a pet quality Egyptian Mau cat will command a high price. Most Mau kittens are sold before they are born.Best Cat Art > Cat Breeds > Egyptian Mau cats.