Egyptian Mau Cat Facts

Egyptian mau cat relaxing on a gray green couch

What is an Egyptian Mau cat? These beautiful and friendly felines have been around for far longer than most other cat breeds. Are you ready to learn if this is the right breed for you?

Breed History

It is well known that Egyptians once worshipped cats—holding them in high regard. Even before these felines were treated like royalty, people welcomed the cats due to their ability to catch rodents and snakes. It is believed that the Egyptian Mau breed originated in Egypt, and there is archeological evidence to support this theory.

Depictions of cats with similar markings to those of the Mau have been found on ancient pieces of artwork. This idea is further supported by the feline geneticist, Dr. Leslie Lyons, and it is thought that the Egyptian Mau descended from a small, African wild cat.

By the early 1900s, Maus had made their way to various countries in Europe, including Italy, France, and Switzerland. Like many other cat breeds, the Egyptian Maus’ population was negatively affected by World War II, and by the end of the 1940s, these cats were nearly extinct.

Through the help and efforts of Russian Princess Nathalie Troubetsky, the Egyptian Mau breed was saved. While in Europe, she rescued some of the last Maus, and she brought her cats along with her when she immigrated to the United States in the 1950s.

Throughout the next few decades, more people began to take notice of these fascinating cats, and their population numbers slowly began to rise. Today, these cats are no longer sitting on the brink of extinction, but they are still a relatively rare breed.

Attributes

Being an ancient breed but not an incredibly common one, there is much to learn about these felines, for instance, how to pronounce ‘Egyptian Mau.’ While ‘Egyptian’ is pronounced exactly like any other usage of the word, ‘Mau’ is pronounced like ‘wow,’ just with an “M” at the beginning.

Since not many people have ever seen a spotted domestic cat like the Egyptian Mau before, it’s natural for people to have some questions about the breed. Common questions include:

Are Egyptian Mau Cats Rare?

These cats are considered to be a relatively rare breed. There’s a great chance that out of all your family, friends, and co-workers who have cats, none of those cats will most likely be an Egyptian Mau. This not-so-common breed may not be the easiest to find up for adoption in humane societies, cat shelters, or rescues. You may just have to visit a few different places before you find the right cat for you.

How Long Do Egyptian Mau Cats Live?

The average Egyptian Mau lifespan is around 12-15 years of age. With that said, the average life expectancy for a Mau can be different for each cat. Based on the feline’s living environment, previous health, diet, and lifestyle, it’s easily possible for Maus to live above or below this range.

Are Egyptian Mau Cats Hypoallergenic?

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, Egyptian Mau cats are not hypoallergenic. This means that if you have a cat allergy, then this may not be the right choice for you. On the other hand, some individuals who only have a minor cat allergy can be okay living with cats, thanks to a combination of allergy medications, frequent house cleanings, and keeping their cat well-groomed.

How Big Do Egyptian Maus Get?

These cats are expected to weigh anywhere from 6-14 pounds. Of course, every cat is unique, and a healthy weight for one may not be the ideal weight for another. If you have questions about what a healthy weight for your cat looks and feels like, talk with your veterinarian. Based on your cat’s needs, you may need to adjust their diet and exercise regime.

Egyptian Maus are overall lovely cats that can make for an ideal addition to most families. These felines get along well with other cats and dogs, plus they can make excellent companions for kids. It’s helpful to teach children of any age how to interact properly with your cat and for younger kids, be sure to monitor all interactions they have with your cat.

Maus prefer to spend their time around their family, whether that be playing or just cuddling. It’s essential that you provide your four-legged friend with plenty of entertainment, otherwise they will get bored—items to help curve boredom include scratching posts, climbing towers, and puzzle toys and games.

It’s also essential that you take the time to socialize your Egyptian Mau, beginning as early as possible. Though this is a kind cat, some have been known to become standoffish around guests if they are not socialized well.

Egyptian mau cat sleeping soundly on a sofa

Grooming

The grooming requirements for Egyptian Maus are fairly routine and do not include any extensive needs. Their nails will need to be trimmed about once a month, which can be done by a professional pet groomer, your veterinarian, or even yourself.

Be sure to brush your cat’s teeth at least once a week, though more frequently is even better. You can purchase a cat-safe toothpaste and toothbrush online or at your local pet store.

It may also be worthwhile to keep an eye on your cat’s ears. If they ever appear to be dirty, you can easily clean them out with a cat ear-safe cleaning solution and a cotton ball. Never use cotton swabs or clean down into your cat’s inner ear, as these both could cause accidental injury.

To help manage the cat hair around your home, brushing your cat can help. Not only does brushing your cat eliminate the amount of hair on your clothes, furniture, and basically all other surfaces, but a few brushings per week can help keep your pal’s coat healthy.

It is most helpful to begin your cat’s grooming routine as early as possible, even the very week you bring them home. By making each item a part of your routine, your four-legged friend will become more comfortable with their grooming regimen. Remember that it still may take some cats a little longer to become comfortable with each item. In the meantime, try to make the experience positive by rewarding your pal with plenty of cuddles, pets, and treats.

Care

One of the most important items to keep in mind when caring for an Egyptian Mau is that they require mental and physical stimulation. Puzzle toys and games that challenge your cat mentally are perfect examples. Providing a climbing tower, various toys, and perches near windows can also allow your cat to use their mind in different ways.

Hand-in-hand with your Mau’s mental exercise is their physical exercise. Being physically active provides numerous health benefits, including keeping your cat at a healthy weight. Although some Maus may entertain themselves, if you notice your pal being extra sluggish, you may need to encourage them to move about more.

It’s critical that you also keep an eye on your cat’s diet. Staying away from specific human foods and an overload of treats can help keep your cat’s waistline in check and tummy happy. Depending upon your cat’s eating habits, you may find that a couple of regulated meals per day work out better than allowing them to graze out of their bowl all day.

If you ever have questions concerning what type of food is best, or any other inquiry dealing with your Egyptian Mau’s weight or eating habits, talk with your veterinarian about recommendations.

Common Health Issues

Egyptian Maus are considered to be a relatively healthy cat breed. In order to keep them in great health, it is crucial to take them for yearly check-ups with their veterinarian. If you have noticed any changes in your cat’s health or any odd behaviors, don’t hesitate to discuss these with your veterinarian.

Although Maus typically receive a clean bill of health, these cats are still susceptible to some health issues. According to our claims data,** the most common include:

As an Egyptian Mau parent, it may be worth your time to become familiar with these most common health issues that your Mau may face—though there is no guarantee they will ever be diagnosed with any of these ailments. By knowing the primary signs of each item, you will hopefully be able to catch any issues earlier on.

Keep in mind—felines are notoriously skilled at hiding when they don’t feel their best. This means that even if you believe your cat to be in perfect health, it’s essential that you still take them for their annual examination nonetheless.

Fun Facts

There are many fun facts to learn about the mysterious Egyptian Mau. Here are some favorites:

If you decide to adopt an Egyptian Mau, don’t forget to look out for each of these fun traits in your feline friend.

Egyptian Mau Cat Names

When it comes to naming your cat, the possibilities are nearly endless. You can name them after your favorite character from a book, movie, or television show, after your favorite food, or vacation spot.

Check out these travel-inspired cat names:

  • Cruiser
  • Ranger
  • Rover
  • Trekker
  • Atlas
  • Amelia
  • Aurora
  • Cairo

Now that you have a new, adorable member of your family, learn some tips and tricks for photographing your new pal.

**Internal Claims Data, 2015-20
The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

RELATED ARTICLES

highland lynx kitten lying on its back atop a fluffy white blanket

Highland Lynx Cat Facts

Highland Lynx cats like the water, will play fetch, and can learn various tricks. No wonder some people consider these cats to be dog-like.

READ MORE >

Find Articles