We just picked up this cat at a local shelter and she has calico markings but the shape of her head and body looks like a Egyptian Mau. What do you think.
Hi Mindy.. I would actually like a breeder of Egyptian Mau's to answer this one. If he or she did they would probably so there is no Egyptian Mau in your cat. Or at least that it was unlikely. This though in no way lessens the status of your cat. Purebred cats are only that because there parents and grandparents were also purebred. Purebred is no better than random breed.
What they might say is that your cat is a DSH - domestic shorthair of foreign type. This means a body conformation that is slender or slenderish.
This type of cat body is generally applies to cats from warmer climates as it is hotter. The cats from the colder northern European countries are cobby or stocky (e.g. Norwegian Forest Cat).
But the slender shape is ubiquitous across the southern continents and it includes the wild cats. The African wildcat is slender while the Scottish wildcat is stocky.
Yes, the Egyptian Mau does have s slender lithe appearance with a longish as opposed to square or rounded face and head. But that on its own is not enough to speculate that your fine looking cat is part Egyptian Mau. Not in the view of a breeder anyway.
But the truth is there may be some Egyptian Mau genes in your cat. The Egyptian Mau is the refined version of the domesticated African wildcat; tamed by the ancient Egyptians.
There would be a good bit of movement of these cats over the centuries and although there are general trends in the movement of the spread of the domestic cat from the area where first domesticated (the fertile crescent east of the Mediterranean) there is no reason to suppose that some Egyptian Mau genes have not found their way to America and into your cat.
One day we might have full genetic profiling of the breeds so we can do a DNA test and compare. At the moment that is not possible and appearance alone is not a good test in my opinion.
A pedigree or at least evidence of some sort as to how your cat was bred would obviously answer the question. If your cat was close to Egyptian Mau I think the appearance would be closer - meaning that there would be tabby cat spots not a dilute calico coat. The Mau is the only cat with naturally occurring spots and spots are a basic necessity as I understand the breed.