Egyptian Mau

An Egyptian Mau cat breed

Breed standard: CFA, FIFe, TICA, ACFA/CAA, CCA-AFC | Size: Medium | Average Lifespan: 15 to 20 years | Personality: Affectionate and loyal | Coat: Short | Origin: Egypt.

The Egyptian Mau is an intelligent and affectionate cat. It is also one of the oldest and most famous cat breeds in the world. In addition, as this cat get very attached to its owner, it is the perfect companion.

The Egyptian Mau’s origins

Straight from Egypt

As its name suggests, this cat originated in Egypt. It is one of the most ancient breeds, which explains why it is so well known. In the past, the Egyptian Mau symbolized the protection of the ancient Egyptians’ crops. This is because they were able to drive out rodents that would destroy their crops. Many statues that were made at the time were representations of this cat, often in the form of a deity. We can tell from these depictions that the breed must have been seen as a sacred animal.

The Abyssinian cat or the Egyptian Mau?

However, experts are still unsure if these statues and other depictions found in Egypt really represented the Egyptian Mau. This is because the statues might be representing the Abyssinian cat. Whichever cat it was, we what we do know is that the cat was prized by Egyptian pharoahs. We also know that the two breeds were not created by humans. They appeared naturally. Moreover, the Abyssinian and the Egyptian Mau share some common characteristics and origins.

Nearly extinct

Like many cat breeds, the Egyptian Mau nearly went extinct during the Second World War. Before then, their numbers were rapidly increasing in Europe, especially in Switzerland, Italy and France.

We can thank Natalie Trubetskoy, a Russian princess who lived in Rome, for saving the Egyptian Mau from extinction. Because she loved this breed, in 1953, she decided to import a male so that he could mate with her female Egyptian Mau. As she moved to the United States, all the current Egyptian Maus are considered to be descendants of Trubetskoy’s cats. In 1977, the breed was officially recognized and breeders started to present this breed during exhibitions.

The Egyptian Mau’s personality

This cat is very attached to its owners. They are also very eager for affection.

Is the Eyptian Mau right for you?

This cat is very intelligent and loves to play. It is the perfect cat for a family living in a house with access to the outside, as it is a great hunter. While this cat knows how to be independent, it is best to have time to devote to them. This breed is lively and never meows for nothing. Furthermore, when they express themselves, it’s because they want something. The Egyptian Mau loves to be in the background to observe the surroundings. At first, they can be a little wary, but once they start to build a bond with you, it’s a strong relationship.

Do you have a lot of free time to play and cuddle with your feline? If so, the Egyptian Mau is probably for you. If you also have a cozy corner for your cat to take long naps in, your Egyptian Mau will be very happy with you. In addition, this cat can get along with other cats as long as they don’t bother him.

Are there any downsides to having an Egyptian Mau?

Even though the Egyptian Mau likes to spend time inside, they really like being able to go outside to hunt small prey. However, this cat has no problem living in an apartment. It is sociable towards other animals, but does not like to be disturbed. If you have other cats, it will never bother them and will even know how to make friends with them. However, if other cats do not respect an Egyptian Mau, it will not be happy about it.

Extremely loyal

The Egyptian Mau is loyal to its family no matter what. They get so attached to their owners that they become dependent on them and need to have them close to be reassured. However, they do like to be left alone from time to time, especially to take long naps.

Physical characteristics of the Egyptian Mau


The Egyptian Mau is a well-proportioned cat, with a long and muscular build. It is of medium size. Its coat can be one of four different colors. There is no predefined standard as for its size and weight.


The head of this cat is rounded. It has full cheeks. Ears can be medium to large, set fairly far apart and slightly pointed. The Egyptian stands out because of its large almond-shaped eyes, which are usually light green.


Its legs are well-proportioned compared to its slender and long body. The breed has a long tail that tapers at the tip. The Egyptian Mau’s coat is extremely soft to the touch, with fine and silky hairs.

An Egyptian Mau cat

Coat, color, and grooming


The Egyptian Mau is known for its unique coat. It has ticking markings, which are small bands of color on their coat. In addition, this breed’s coat is short.


Four colors are accepted for the Egyptian Mau:

  • Silver: silver with black markings.
  • Black smoke: smoky gray with black markings.
  • Bronze: dark brown with black markings. Red reflections are not accepted.
  • Black: completely black.


As this breed has a short coat, it is only necessary to brush this cat’s coat once a week. It is quite easy to brush the Egyptian Mau because it likes being close to its owner.

Did you know?

“Mau” means both “light” and “cat”. Therefore, the name can mean two things: Egyptian cat and Egyptian light.

The Egyptian Mau at a glance

Size: 25 cm (≈ 9.8 in).

Weight: 3.5 to 5 kg (≈ 6.6 to 11 lbs).

Health: This cat is very sensitive to temperature variations. It can also suffer from the same health issues as other cats.

Average Lifepan: 15 to 20 years.

Is the Egyptian Mau good with children? This breed is very affectionate and loves cuddles. As long as they are respected, this cat can live well with children.