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Egyptian Mau


Section 4 – FOREIGN – Group 3

The Egyptian Mau is an elegant spotted cat that bears a striking resemblance to the cats depicted in the art of the ancient Egyptians. The Mau is a natural breed derived from the modern street cats of Egypt. Part of the attraction of the Egyptian Mau is the romantic history of the breed and the possibility that Maus trace their ancestry directly back to the cats first domesticated by the ancient Egyptians.


In ancient Egypt around 4000 years BC, small cats of the genus Felis first began their close, and long-lasting association with man. The domestic cats of modern Egypt bear a close resemblance to the cats depicted in ancient Egyptian art. The Egyptian Mau breed was developed as we know it today after WW2, and by the 1990s there were breeders in the USA, Canada, Japan and continental Europe. However, the breed did not reach the UK, perhaps because of the restrictions imposed by quarantine. Melissa Bateson was finally responsible for introducing the Egyptian Mau to the UK in 1998. The first Egyptian Maus were imported to the UK by Melissa Bateson in 1998, and the breed was recognized fully by GCCF in 2006.

Appearance and Colours

Egyptian Maus are elegant but muscular spotted cats, reputed to be the fastest movers in the cat fancy. They are recognised in 3 colours – bronze, silver and smoke – and their random spotted pattern is a characteristic of the breed, seen even in the smoke colour. Their unique “worried” expression is generated by large, gooseberry-green eyes set under a level brow and on either side of the parallel lines of the nose.


The Egyptian Mau is a wonderful pet! Playful, and with a definite sense of humour, they often learn to retrieve toys thrown for them, and many have an unusual love of water, showing no fear as they stick their heads under a running tap. If they have a safe environment, they will enjoy going outdoors to gain exercise. Indoors, they will benefit from human and feline company, relishing attention and love.


Maus are very athletic and will enjoy a high activity centre onto which they can jump. Their resilient short coat normally needs no grooming, but they will appreciate being stroked with a soft brush of chamois leather. Males will generally be larger than females, and all Maus enjoy their food…so it may be necessary to watch their intake!


Some lines of Egyptian Maus are prone to umbilical hernias; these are easily corrected when the kitten is neutered, and should cause no further problems. Some Maus have been found to test positive for an inherited condition called pyruvate kinase deficiency, which causes anaemia in some other breeds.  However, so far, the condition does not appear to adversely affect the health of the Egyptian Mau.  The breed societies are actively researching the matter, so the best advice can be given to owners. A few Egyptian Mau cats have sensitive skins, and can become very itchy, especially around the head and neck.  Whilst little is known about the condition, it may be hormonal in origin, and neutering often alleviates it.