Egyptian Maus are a medium-sized short-haired Cat Breed. Depending on which definitions you accept, they may be the only naturally spotted breed of domesticated cat. Like most cat markings, the spots on an Egyptian Mau are not just on the Coat (animal); a shaved Mau has spots on its skin. The Ocicat is very similar in appearance to the Egyptian Mau. Both are the products of selective breeding which led to their characteristic spots. Another similar looking breed is the Bengal cat, but this breed tends to be considerably larger.

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. 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.


The exact origin of the Egyptian Mau is not recorded and therefore cannot be known for certain. The Egyptian Mau is often said to be descended from African wild cats, and a descendant of the cats seen in wall paintings of Ancient Egypt.

The modern Mau is said to have originated in 1953, Italy, when exiled Russian Princess Natalie Troubetskoy met the cat of the Egyptian Ambassador to Italy.

Physical attributes Rectify

Bride for web egyptian mau

Smoke-Colored Mau

Egyptian Maus are thought to be one of the progenitor breeds of the modern domestic cat. As of 2006, a total of 6741 Maus are registered with the Cat. 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.

Popular cultureRectify

  • In the 2004 movie Cat, the cat 'Midnight' who brought Patience Phillips back to life as Cat was played by three Egyptian Maus, as well as a computer-generated Mau. The movie reveals that the ancient Egyptian Mau breed has the (fictional) ability to restore life through its connection with the Egyptian goddess Bast (goddess).
  • Internet star Cory Williams's cat, Sparta, is an Egyptian Mau.

Egyptian Mau Rescue OrganizationRectify

EMRO is an adoption agency both locally and internationally for tame Maus. Supported solely by private and corporate donors, EMRO aims to increase education, in Egypt and around the world, about cats. .

See alsoRectify


  • Siegal, M., Cornell Feline Health Center (Editors) (1989) The Cornell Book of Cats: A Comprehensive Medical Reference for Every Cat and Kitten. Villard Books. ISBN 0-394-56787-0
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.