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Description of Egyptian Mau

The Breed History

Mau is an Egyptian word for cat-perhaps originally this word was an approximation of the meow sound. This is the only naturally spotted domestic cat breed. The first scribed records of the Mau cat go back to 1400 BC which makes it one of the very oldest known breeds; they were represented in artwork dating much further back-about 3000 BC. It is thought that they were domesticated from spotted African Wild Cats, Felis libyca subsp. ocreata. Egyptians used to hold cats in special regard, and frequently mummified them. At one cemetery site, 300,000 cat mummies were interred. Bastet, daughter of Ra was the Egyptian goddess of fertility and in statuary, was represented with a cat head. Egyptian Mau spotted cats came from Cairo to America in 1956 via Italy. The breed was accepted by CFF in 1968 and accorded championship status by CFA in 1977. The FIFР№ approved them in 1992. In the UK, Shorthair Oriental Spotted Tabbies were called "Maus" for a while and this has caused some confusion regarding the two breeds. No outcrossing is currently allowed. The progenitor female for the North American lines was a silver cat named Baba.

Physical Characteristics

Weight: 5-12 lb (2-5.5 kg), males larger than females

Coat: The original coat was the spotted pattern in bronze (dark brown-black spots on bronze agouti), but now silver (charcoal spots on silver agouti) or smoke (black spots over silver-charcoal body hairs and white undercoat) are also accepted. Black and blue kittens occur and can be registered but are pet quality. Agouti hairs have at least two bands of color striping. Hair is short-medium in length. Good sharp contrast between spots and background is highly valued. Spots of the silver and bronze coats can be any size or shape but should not form any tabby pattern. Bronze cats may have a pattern limited to the topline though. Some tabby markings are seen in the Smokes. Forehead pattern is in an M-shape, which had significance in ancient times, as it reminded the Egyptians of their sacred scarab. Dark lines extend between the ears back to the neck. These lines are termed frown marks. Mascara marking lines the eyes. A dorsal stripe goes down the topline extending to the tail base. Other specific coat markings such as tail and limb banding are noted in the breed standards. Hair texture varies between coat colors but is silky and lustrous in general.

Eyes: Eyes are always a shade of light green (called gooseberry) in mature cats. Kittens may have amber overtones up to 18 months of age only. Almond shaped eyes are large.

Points of Conformation: Medium sized cats, they are well muscled, with rounded-wedge shaped head and medium length muzzle. There is no break, and ears are large, moderately pointed and positioned to continue the lines of the face, preferably tufted. Paws are small and round-oval in shape. Tail is medium-long, tapering from a thick base, and overall the cat is quite fine in appearance. They possess a loose skin flap, running from flank to stifle area.

Grooming: The Mau has low grooming needs; a periodic light brush or hand/chamois will suffice. Towel rather than blow dry if a bath is needed.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau Figure

via bib.ge