“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” – Albert Schweitzer
Egyptian Mau Cat Slide Show coming up – the best cats – the best photographs – the best slide show on the ‘net of this breed of cat. This is a discussion of the CFA breed Standard while referring to the best examples this cat.
On this page I discuss the CFA breed standard informally. I do not profess to cover every aspect of the standard. I just want to read the standard and understand what makes a prize winning Egyptian Mau. The slide show is manually operated so feel free to stop it and read about the breed standard at the same time. I refer to the specific cats in the slide show by name, which is noted in the captions to the show.
On another page I go over other aspects of this cat such as history etc. Did you know that the Egyptian Mau cat is one of the oldest purebred cat breeds? And it does (it is thought) originate from Egypt.
This cat has gained in popularity over recent years. The CFA starts by saying that the Egyptian Mau Cat should give the appearance of being active and “colorful”. The use of the word “colorful” is interesting as the most common “base color” (my words) is a soft diluted color and often grey (see Luke, who is almost three colors, white, grey and black). Perhaps in the context it means that they have colorful characters.
The word active is very accurate as this cat is very quick and therefore agile. Plus this cat is apparently intelligent. This makes for an active cat. If you stop the slide show at look at Helmi’s series of photographs of Lukeby manually jogging the photographs forward, I think that you will get the impression of activity that is part of this cat’s character. This places demands on the human keeper.
This cat should have well developed muscles. Being active and athletic this is to be expected. This breed should also be well balanced physically (all the elements in proportion aesthetically).
The head should be medium in length. This cat has a rather delicate face and this is noted when the CFA say she is not “full-cheeked”. You can clearly see this in the rather fine face (compare this with say the American Shorthair). The profile should show a slight rise from the top of the nose (the bridge) to the forehead. This can be seen very clearly if you stop the slide show at Lotus (at the end of the show) or in the photograph left of “Spike” by Nanci Gates. The muzzle should not be pointed (think Norwegian Forest Cat) and not short (as for the British Shorthair for example).
You can see the classis “M” tabby cat coat marking on the forehead although it is somewhat masked. The Egyptian Mau cat is a tabby cat, albeit a very fancy one. Apparently, before this cat was brought to the USA they usually had a “scarab” shape on the forehead. I think this is a beetle shape.
The eyes should be almond shaped large and alert. In the Egyptian Mau Cat standard they are referred to as, “gooseberry green” (see Starz – the third cat – in the slide show for example). If not gooseberry green an Amber caste is OK up to one and a half years of age. All Egyptian Maus should have this aesthetically pleasing eye color of gooseberry green.
The body is medium long with a “loose skin flap” going from the flank to knee of the hind leg. This loose skin is referred to as allowing the Egyptian Mau Cat to run faster than other domestic cats when combined with the longer than average body, which provides greater flexibility and leaverage. Helmi’s pictures clearly show the longer than average body conformation. Gloria Stephens in her book, legacy of the cat, refers to it as, “the primordial flap”. Primordial means: existing in or persisting from the beginning¹.
The hind legs should be longer than the front (this, though, is normal) and the feet dainty (where is the African Wild cat in this cat? – wildcats have large feet).
The spots on coat can be any size or shape and will vary in size and shape. They should, though, be distinct (this means good contrast between the spots and the background). This attribute is superbly demonstrated in the photographs on this page. The spots can be seen best in the “beauty pose”, when (in this instance) Luke faces away from the camera, showing his back, and looks over his shoulder at the camera.
General comment: In terms of cat fancy language, the body should be “semi-foreign”. “Foreign” means slender in cat fancy lanuage so you can see tha this cat breed should be quite slender and refined. See a full description of body types here: Cat Body Types. See this page out of sheer interest: The Nile Valley Egyptian Cat. It asks some profound questions about this cat.
- Thanks to Nanci Gates of the Khemenu Cattery for her photographs. You can see more of her photographs here.