Feline Breed Spotlight: Egyptian Mau

Let’s look at the Egyptian Mau!


Ancient Egyptian artwork depicts spotted cats with the same markings as the Egyptian Mau (mau means cat) as we know it today. These ancient Egyptian cats are most likely descendants of a small spotted African wild cat, which may or may not be the origin of the Egyptian Mau as we know it today. The breed as we know it today is fairly new. A Russian princess was very found of spotted cats, and was given one as a gift while in Italy. Later, when she moved to the USA she brought that cat and two of the offspring with her. She started a cattery and began to establish this spotted breed of cat. Selective breeding of Egyptian Maus began in the 1950s, and the breed standard was created.



Egyptian Mau’s are devoted family cats. They love to be with their people, either playing a game of fetch or with a fishing pole toy or relaxing on a lap. They are smart and observant, it may not take them long to figure out where the treats are kept and how to get them. This breed is the fasted of the domestic cats, they are known to be able to reach speeds of up to 48 km per hour!

Is this breed right for you?

  • This is a highly active breed of cat, they like to jump and climb. Appropriate cat trees or perches should be provided.
  • Shedding is normal for this breed of cat. Brushing will help keep their coat soft and shiny.
  • They are a vocal breed, especially when they are happy. Egyptian Mau’s are known for chortling, swishing their tails and kneading their paws when happy.
  • They can have a thing for water. This is not a good breed to have around fish tanks. You may also find them splashing around in their water bowl.

Health concerns

Both pure-bred and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors.

In general, the Egyptian Mau is quite healthy and does not suffer from specific health problems any more than any other domesticated cat. The breed as we know it today is fairly rare and new and therefore there may not be a lot of documentation of prevalent health concerns yet.