This is a page on the Egyptian Mau. It is written in plain English for children and parents who like easy to read stuff. The best cat pictures are also on this page.
The Egyptian Mau is a famous breed of cat. When you think of this cat you think of ancient Egypt, the pharaohs and ancient times thousands of years ago. It is quite exciting. They say that this cat is the only cat breed with spots that are made without cat breeders getting involved. They happened naturally.
People who breed this cat say that it comes directly from the African wildcat.
What they are saying is that many thousands of years ago an African wildcat turned up at a village next to the Nile river in Egypt – one of the world’s greatest rivers – and was friendly with the people in the village.
Gradually, the African wildcat became a domestic cat and gradually the domestic cat become the Egyptian Mau.
You have to know though, that the Egyptian Mau you see in the pictures on this page are not exactly like the Egyptian Mau cats in Egypt today. This is because the ones you see at cat shows in America have been created by cat breeders with great care. The look very special. They look wonderful but they are not the same as the Egyptian Mau cats in Egypt.
“Mau” is the Egyptian name for “cat”. I guess you already knew that!
The reason why the African wildcat decided it wanted to be a domestic cat was because there was plenty of food where people lived. The cat food it liked was snakes and rats. People don’t like these “pests” and the cat caught them and killed them. This pleased the people and the cat was pleased too. So the cat stayed and the people let the cat stay.
The Egyptian Mau looks like the cats you see in pictures from ancient Egypt. People think that the ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat. They did in some ways but it does not mean that all the cats were looked after really nicely 2000 years ago, in Egypt. Many cats were but some were not. Many thousands of cats were killed so the person could offer the dead cat to the God Bastet which they believed would bring good luck to their lives. This is pretty cruel and nothing to do with worshipping the cat.
So for thousands of years the Egyptian Mau was in Egypt killing rats and snakes. Then someone took one of these cats to Italy and he was owned by the Egyptian ambassador to Italy. Perhaps the ambassador took his cat with him? This cat was special and in 1953 a princess saw this cat and wanted one. She went to Cairo in Egypt to get one. She brought the cat back to Italy to be shown at a cat show in Rome. Her cat had kittens.
Then the princess went to America with her three Egyptian Maus in 1956. These three cats were the beginning of the cat breed in America. This cat breed has been accepted by the biggest cat club in America since 1977.
Please remember that stories about the history of cat breeds may be true but they may not be exactly what really happened.
How This Cat Looks
This is a cat of average size. This is a slender (sort of skinny), smooth coated cat with fabulous spots. They can be an size or shape but must be clear. The coat is a tabby coat. Cats with tabby coats always have the letter “M” on the forehead. The letter may not be exactly like an M but you will see it.
You will see different background colors to the spots. The normal color is a bronze but there are some clever colors. I think the best is the silver background. The spots really stand out. You will also see what cat breeders call “black smoke” Egyptian Maus. The whole coat has a dark smokey look and the spots don’t show so clearly in dim light.
There is a flap of skin over the belly. This allows the rear (hind) legs to stretch further so this cat can run faster. This cat is the fastest domestic cat. It can run at 31 miles per hour at top speed. For kids in Europe, this is about 50 kilometers per hour.
This cat has gorgeous light green eyes and looks a bit worried from some strange reason.
Behavior – Character
The Egyptian Mau is a smart cat. This is possibly because it comes from the smart African wildcat. This is an active, friendly cat and which likes to play around. This cat is happiest when there are no other cats in the house.