Egyptian Mau Myths Exposed!

Egyptian Mau Myths Exposed!

by Phil
(London)

Sinbad, squirrel hunting

Sinbad, squirrel hunting

OK, this isn't exactly a scientific expose, just a couple of observations based on my two Maus, who turned two a couple of weeks ago.

A lot of common facts are stated about Maus, and they seem to be reproduced, sometimes verbatim, in online articles about them. Some I have found to be true, others rather more dubious - so here are the ones I would like to take issue with:

Maus have gooseberry green eyes.

- Well, yes and no. Yes, they are most definitely green, but it depends a lot on the light. The weaker the light, the more green they appear - indoors, or on cloudy/gloomy days, absolutely. But in direct sunlight, they are most definitely amber! I noticed this with my moggie as well - green indoors, but outside in bright sunlight, a definite amber colour. Since most (or many, at least) keep their Maus indoors, perhaps the 'gooseberry green fact' has been reinforced.

Maus hate the cold.

- We had a pretty cold and prolonged winter here in the UK, by our standards, anyway. Didn't stop 'the boys' spending up to a couple of hours out on the cold snowy days, though. Perhaps they knew that a warm sanctuary (ie, home) was nearby, which meant that they didn't mind getting a bit cold? Not sure. But they certainly didn't turn tail as soon as they encountered snow and ice!

Maus are the fastest breed (31mph).

- This statement is often presented with the phrase '..Maus have been clocked running at over 30mph..'. Well, this brings me to what prompted to write all of this. On a couple of walks outside my flat today with the boys, each on separate occasions suddenly went into stalk and pounce mode. I couldn't see anything, until a chase suddenly exploded, with one of the Maus chasing a squirrel, cat and rodent both at full speed. A quick search shows that squirrels can run at about 12-14mph - half the supposed speed of a Mau. Did they catch the squirrel? No, each time. They pretty much kept up with it, but didn't manage to overrun it before it made it up a tree. (The photo at the top is of Sinbad, after missing his target, waiting patiently at the base of the tree the squirrel had just escaped into, hoping to catch it on the way back down!)

This is hardly scientific, as I said, and my test group of just two Maus can hardly be called representative, but even if they were slow Maus, you would expect them to catch an animal that can only manage 14mph! Anyway, I take issue with the 'has been clocked' part of the statement, as I cannot see how anyone could set up equipment for this, and then get a Mau to run on demand...

However, the other statements about Maus I have found to be true - they are loyal, highly intelligent, very active and playful, mischievous, and have musical voices which produce lots of different vocalisations!

Phil

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Egyptian Mau Myths Exposed!

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Feb 15, 2011
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Egyptian Mau Myths Exposed!
by: Fran Fontana

Good article with wonderful insight, Phil!
My Mau loves to chase squirrels … while my Golden Retriever lays there watching. Satch doesn't catch them but he suuure does give them a run for their money. He's absolutely hilarious because when he's through with the chase and the stare down. He'll go over and lay with my Golden. At 10 1/2 years old, she just licks his head and tells him "good job" everytime.
What makes me laugh is all the chortling he does while hunting. He'll say something and then whip that tail. When he crouches down and lurches his head of his forward … he says something else. Then, his motionless body sits and waits. It's then, ime seems to stands still.
That squirrel will start chirping and doing a dance just to taunt my boy. Unmoved, the squirrel will then call out to me as though to say, put your cat in the house!
Mau's don't appear to be able to run as fast as a squirrel but the process sure is funny.


Jun 30, 2010
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Egyptian Mau myth concerning ability to run at 30mph
by: D100965

I would agree with you regarding the myth that Mau's can run at up to 30mph. This myth seems to come from the Mau entry on Wikipedia. I have 2 Maus and one of mine loves the treadmill, so much so that when I run I have to lock her out of the room as she'll dart up between my legs whilst I'm running. Anyway, I've had her on the treadmill, didn't take much
persuading as she meows until she's allowed on it. So we had her on the treadmill at 7mph which is a fast jogging pace. An 8&1/2 minute mile in fact! I'd say given more room she could do 10mph and maybe 12mph at a push or in small bursts, but 30mph is a complete joke which seems to reel in a lot of people! This myth on Wiki needs to be corrected as I too find it hard to believe that they were "clocked". If you want to see my Mau running on the treadmill type d100965 into YouTubes searchbox or search for Tia treadmill.


Jun 13, 2010
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Same genes and upbringing, different types
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi again Phil. You know your cats, so to me your observations based on just two Maus are more credible than any myth.
And you are quite are quite right that even siblings from the same litter will differ a lot.
Many years ago we had a Norwegian litter and the three kittens evolved into completely different personalities.
The boy Mons was the biggest that never had to struggle for anything, so he became the lap cat. The two girls were both much more active, but Molly would jump head first into anything while Milly carefully judged the distance before making her jump. Same genes, same upbringing - three different types.


Jun 12, 2010
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Agreed!
by: Anonymous

Hi Michael & Finn,

Thanks, appreciated!

I agree with everything you say, Finn - especially that I am basing my 'findings' on just two Maus! Even my two, siblings from the same litter, are quite different in personality and size - Sinbad has grown into a good-sized adult, whilst Napoleon is still tiny, very slender and still looks more like a kitten..


Jun 12, 2010
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Myths
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Phil. Thank you for a well written and interesting article.

The fanciers of different breeds tend to promote the special qualities of their own breed. Some are true, some are overstated and some are simply hype, so of course these myths have to be questioned from time to time. If not, we would still believe the cat to be Lucifer's little helper... 😉

Despite her viking heritage and thick fur our Norwegian Forest Cathas always hated snow, whereas I've seen Somalis enjoying it just as much as your Maus. I think it has more to do with the individual cat than what breed it is.

Finn Frode avatar


Jun 11, 2010
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Quality post
by: Michael

Thanks Phil for a quality post. I enjoyed reading it.



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