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Egyptian Mau
Characteristics, History, and Health

Egyptian Mau

Exotic Breeds

Loyal, playful, and exceptionally athletic, the Egyptian Mau cat is one of the few naturally spotted domestic cat breeds. This is a graceful, medium-sized kitty with a lean and muscular body. Maus are water lovers and are considered the fastest of all domestic cats!

Main Info
Europe, North America, Egypt
Coat Pattern
Naturally spotted
Coat Length
Health Issues
  • Feline urate urolithiasisFeline urate urolithiasis
  • Temperature-sensitiveTemperature-sensitive
  • Sensitive to medicine and anesthesiaSensitive to medicine and anesthesia

Main Characteristics of the Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau is one of the few naturally spotted domestic cat breeds. The breed conformation is described by The Cornell Book of Cats as "a balance between the compactness of a Burmese and the slim elegance of a Siamese". The naturally occurring coat colors of the Mau include silver, bronze, smoke, and black. Black and dilute Maus are not eligible for showing. Around 7,000 Egyptian Mau cats are registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association, signaling that the breed is considered rare by today’s standards.

Egyptian Mau Origin

Controversy still surrounds the history of this breed. Historic evidence has suggested that the Mau is an Egyptian breed, yet DNA studies reveal that the breed we know today is mostly of European and North American origin. The first records of the Egyptian Mau come from Egypt, and it is known that the breed was prized by the Pharaohs, but how and when the breed got there has yet to be confirmed. The first Egyptian Mau was brought to the United States in 1956 by a Russian Princess named Nathalie Troubetzkoy.

Egyptian Mau Personality Traits

The Egyptian Mau is an athletic breed that requires an engaging environment. Maus are known lovers of water who are also playful, vocal, and adventurous. They thrive in active environments that enable them to express their natural hunting instincts. They tend to do better in homes with adults and older children.

Egyptian Mau Common Health Issues

The Mau is at a higher risk for developing feline urate urolithiasis, a urinary tract condition caused by the crystallization of minerals and compounds such as ammonium and uric acid. This leads to a buildup of stones within the urinary tract, which can be fatal if left untreated. Egyptian Mau cats are fond of very warm temperatures and are more temperature sensitive than other domestic cats. They are also known for their sensitivity to medicines and anesthesia.

Egyptian Mau Fun Facts

  • The beautifully-balanced cat. Loyal, playful and exceptionally athletic, the Egyptian Mau cat is one of the few naturally spotted domestic cat breeds out there. "The Cornell Book of Cats" describes this gorgeous cat as "a balance between the compactness of a Burmese and the slim elegance of a Siamese".

  • Maus are the fastest of the domestic cats. They have been recorded to run at more than 48 km/h (30 mph)!

  • They have very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle, and make other unusual sounds when stimulated.

  • Instead of spraying, Maus like to 'wiggle' their tail to mark the territory. Egyptian Maus, both male and female, tend to wiggle and twitch their tails when marking territory, without actually releasing urine.

  • They express their mood with facial expressions. Some people report that their Maus not only change their facial expressions according to the mood, but also that their eye color may change from green to turquoise.

  • Their name comes from the ancient Egyptian word for 'cat'. Mau literally translated to “cat” in the language of ancient Egypt.

  • The Egyptian Mau is one of the few naturally-spotted domestic cats. The unique markings in this cat were not created through selective breeding by humans, rather, this spotted trait is naturally-occurring.

Egyptian Mau Characteristics

12-15 years
Good with
Children, Cats, Families
Shedding amount
Affection level
Activity level
Tendency to vocalize
Exercise needs


The International Cat Association (TICA) “Introduction to the Egyptian Mau”

Cat Fanciers' Association "About the Egyptian Mau"

FETCH by WebMD "What to Know About the Egyptian Mau"