My mad Mau…

My mad Mau…

by 0colet
(Melbourne, Australia)

she's thinking about being irritated here...

she's thinking about being irritated here...

I think my cat Bibi is a natural Egyptian Mau. She's a rescue cat - little did I know that this skinny, worm and flea-ridden "ratcat" would turn out to be such a princess!

She's got the Mau features - gooseberry green eyes, the belly flap, the spotted coat, the trills and chortles and can jump and run like crazy. She's very active and loves stealing my headbands and tearing up the rugs. Because she was taken away from her mum so young, she's very small (about 5 pounds - or less than 3kg) and it took her a long time to learn how to catch mice. She's very good at hunting now - and brings them inside alive - which I hate! But we're very close - it's quite an amazing bond.

I tried to make her an indoor cat, because she was getting attacked by the two other alpha cats next door (she's also alpha, but half their size), but she wouldn't stand for it. If it's summer, and I keep her inside, she makes me pay for it later on. She can stare at me in disgust for ages! In winter though, it's different - anything less than 20 degrees C and she's happy to be inside.

I'm moving to a new place and thinking of getting her a companion cat, after she's settled in. She gets so lonely when I'm at work. I was thinking of getting a very docile kitten that she could boss around - anyone got any ideas?

0colet


Hi 0celot... thanks for visiting from far off Auz..God I wish I was there right now..

Bibi does look like a natural born Egytian Mau, and I like that. They are meant to be the fastest of all the completely domestic cats (excluding wild cat hybrids).

There are tons of feral Maus in Egypt sadly.

In response to your enquiry, I think you are right about getting a non-alpha type cat although it is hard to tell just from looking whether a cat is alpha or not.

But commonsense dictates that the more passive and less intelligent cats (without wanting to be rude to these darling cats) might be preferable.

The Egyptian Mau is one of the smarter cat breeds but the less smart ones are:

American Shorthair
Birman
Bombay
Persian*** (least smart)

I know that if you adopt a Persian it will be a doll face (traditional) and watch out for PKD. Also a cat that is non-alpha or the opposite to alpha, might be too unassertive and suffer so a mid range type cat (in terms of assertiveness) might be the best bet.

See Cat Intelligence.

Other than a cat breed why not a random bred cat and assess him or her on the spot? Not sure how you test a cat for assertiveness though. I might do a post on that.

Michael Avatar

My mad Mau... to Egyptian Maus

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My mad Mau...

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Jan 05, 2011
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Pretty Kitty
by: Bruce W USA

Your Bibi looks exactly like my Mau except is a differnt color. Congratulations to you, I got ine from a shelter here. They are the most intelligent, fun and loving cats there are and when it is time to get another I am going to get another E. Mau even if have to pay to buy one, they are that good. They are expensive but well worth it. The best of luck to you - very beautiful and quite unusual he is in that color.


Nov 04, 2010
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Company
by: Nettle

We think our rescue, Miss Fish, is a mau or mau mix too. Whether or not Bibi is a mau, her personality is what it is. We adopted our cat--who sounds like her personality is a lot like Bibi's, as well as her appearance--with a gentle Siamese who is a little older than Miss F. (Miss F was about a year old and the other cat was about three.) Surprisingly, the Siamese is alpha, even though Miss F is twice her size. I think it's the fact that Miss F was still more or less a kitten when we brought them home, and we adopted them at the same time. They are now the best of friends who spend hours every day playing chase, hide-n-seek, and wrestling--with blood-curdling sound effects. Sometimes it looks like they're killing each other, but they're having a grand time. They don't much cuddle together but they probably will in time. (We've had them four months.)

You might have already found another cat, but if you're still thinking about it, I want to make a few recommendations. I would recommend an active, robust cat--because I bet Bibi will want to chase and wrestle. I don't think breed really matters as long as the cat is active and willing to run and play. It probably would be preferable if the cat wasn't an alpha, but I think it's more important that the cat not be aggressive. I think intelligence probably doesn't matter too much, although I don't know if a stupid cat would keep up with Bibi. If Bibi is possessive, a cat that is possessive in the same way might be a conflict. It works between our two because Miss F is possessive of her toys and a few objects, and the other is possessive of one room and doesn't argue with her over objects.

When we can get another cat, we will probably bring in a young male Bengal--f5 or later--mau, or Abyssinian--we want another robust, lively, intelligent cat and think a young male will probably have fewer dominance problems with the two females. Or we might adopt another mixed breed as long as he has the right personality.

Our cat has the typical mau obsession with food, and managing their feeding is a problem. Miss F will steal the other cat's food if we take our attention off her for a second. If we could modify our apartment, we'd put in a keyed cat door to keep their food in different rooms--although we suspect that Miss F is smart enough to quickly learn to tail the other cat through the door. Having a genius cat makes things complicated.

I hope you find, or have already found, a companion for your cat!


Apr 28, 2010
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we think our mau is lonely too.
by: harry

hi 0colet, we have a 5 month old mau and we think he's lonely too. he is perfectly normal loving while any one is home and loves people.he's an indoor cat and has started crying when no one is home, he's every loud and can be heard from the ground floor ( we live on the second floor!) when we get home. we are thinking about solutions for this. how did you your mau go when a friend was introduced, did this solve your lonely mau problem?


Mar 08, 2010
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My personal opinon...
by: Phil

I think that if Bibi looks like a Mau and behaves like a Mau, then to all intents and purposes, she is a Mau! Unless you were to breed her or show her as a Mau, then the absence of a documented pedigree doesn't really matter...


Mar 07, 2010
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Addition to my previous post
by: Anonymous

Sorry, just wanted to add that the reason why she doesn't look bronze in my picture is that I've only got a 2MP mobile phone camera at the moment. It doesn't do her justice!


Mar 07, 2010
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Great picture!
by: 0colet

What a fantastic picture of the two little Maus and their friend! Wow, so cute! Great story.

Bibi's colouring is bronze, but not as brilliant as the purebred Maus. Very much like the pictures of feral Maus in Egypt that the Egyptian Maus were bred from.

She's made friends with an elderly Russian Blue a couple of doors down, so I think she'll definitely enjoy having a companion, if I do it carefully.

Thanks,

Colette (0colet)


Mar 06, 2010
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From Tasmania
by: Maggie Sharp

I'm not too sure that we do get Eyptian Maus here, sure we get the pedigree ones, but I don't think we get the wild ones. Bibi just looks like a domestic brown spotted tabby to me, though a very beautiful cat. domestic tabby females can get to about 4 kilo, and males 5 kilo. I have an Abyssinian male, he's nuetered (making him a tad larger than an entire male) but he's about 4.5 kilo, and the Abyssinian is only a small breed...

I've never been to Melbourne before, well I've stopped at your airport on the way to Canberra and on the way back to Hobart, but it seems like the weather is treating you well also. 20 degrees C!!!


Mar 06, 2010
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Uncle Triftji
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Phil. I'm glad you asked, because that wonderful photo really belongs here on the site.
If I had not read the story, I would have thought they had been friends from the beginning. 😉
But the main thing is that Triftji finally accepted the new ones. Maybe he realized that by "uncling" them he would both gain status - and also be able to join the fun.

Finn Frode avatar


Mar 06, 2010
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Hi Phil
by: Michael

Thanks for the email. I have added your heart warming photo to your last but one comment.

Thanks for your input. And thanks Finn for sorting this out..!

Michael Avatar


Mar 06, 2010
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Quite right!
by: Phil

I agree entirely, Finn - the important thing to remember is that it is the resident cat's feelings that need to be cared for, as it is his house that is being trespassed... as much as I wanted to ensure that the kittens settled in well, it was more important to make sure that Triftji didn't get upset and run away!

I have sent the photo to Michael, so hopefully he can put it up...


Mar 06, 2010
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Picture
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Phil. You are right that careful introduction is often needed in order for the older cat to get accustomed to the 'intruder'. The cats haven't chosen each other, so all we can hope for is that they will eventually accept our matchmaking.
It took our Milly half a year before she stopped hissing at newcomer Snow White, but in that case both were old dominant Alpha females and in no way prepared to yield. Only exception was feeding time - from day one they could stand peacefully face to face at the plate when something special like tuna with crème fraiche was served. 😉
I'd love to see your picture. You can mail your it to Michael at mjbmeister googlemail.com along with a notice about what article it is for - and I'm sure he will help.

Finn Frode avatar


Mar 05, 2010
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A companion, yes, but take care!
by: Phil

Bibi cetainly has all the classic Mau characteristics, although her colouring doesn't seem to be any of the classic Mau colours - perhaps one of her parents mated with a non-Mau? Anyway, she looks like a lovely cat.

I think getting a companion cat is a great idea - my (entirely personal) opinion is that having just one cat usually means that it is alone for long periods if you go out to work, as I do. I just like the idea that they have another cat for company... but if you do, I would recommend making the introductions slowly! When I brought home my two Mau kittens, my moggie, Triftji, ran away immediately - basically, his territory had been invaded and he wasn't happy about it. So began a two-month process of keeping the Maus and Triftji in separate parts of the house, but switching locations fairly regularly so that each (but mainly Triftji) could be become accustomed to the new scents. I experimented from time to time, slightly opening the door of the room where the Maus were so that Triftji could also get used to the sight of them, but he always ran away.

Then, on a complete impulse, on a sunny day in autumn, I just opened up all the doors in the house as well as the back door, and as if by magic all three ran into the garden together as if they had been friends forever! I have a sweet photo I took on that very day of all three of them asleep on my bed after several hours of running around together, but unfortunately I can't find a way to attach it to this reply!

Here is the photo...!

two Egyptian Mau cats and a friend
Photo by Phil


Mar 02, 2010
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Thanks for your advice!
by: 0colet

Thanks so much. I'm moving house soon and after Bibi is settled in, I'll look for a suitable companion for her along the lines of the advice you have given me.

I'm not so hung up on her pedigree (or lack thereof), Finn, but started reading about Maus because I was having difficulty explaining her behaviour. I'd never met a cat that wagged her tail when she was happy or hid her toys behind my dresser and guarded them like a dog. She also seemed to be acting as if she was spraying, which was odd given that she was a desexed female, and she was always "treading water" on me with her paws. I was a bit worried that she was nuts, given her traumatic upbringing, but was very happy to find that if she were a (feral) Mau, then her behaviour would be considered normal. So for me, trying to identify her other than as a DSH was about helping me manage her - because, although I adore her (and she me), she is the most demanding cat I ever met. Kind of like how I imagine Cathy in Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" would be...instinctive, passionate, intolerant, fierce...if she were a cat.

Actually, given another strange thing that she does sometimes - throw herself from a tree at the front wall to literally "bang" on it to be let in - perhaps there's a little Chuck Norris in there too!

I'm a fan of the Egyptian Mau Rescue Organisation that rehomes unwanted feral Maus from Egypt in other countries. If it weren't for the strict quarantine laws in Australia, I'd get a companion for Bibi from there, but meanwhile I'm just going to go with the vibe, and find a nice, neutered young boy cat or kitten who'll let Bibi appear to be in charge, at least!

Great site, Michael, btw!

Colette (0colet)


Mar 01, 2010
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Get a neutered male
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi 0colet. You have a beautiful tabby shorthair, and it really should not matter whether there is some Mau in her or not. Please read the page 'What Breed Is My Cat?' for the definitions on purebred and mixed-breed.
As to your question about finding another cat suitable for living with an Alpha female like Bibi, I first of all recommend a neutered male, preferably one that has learned how to get on with other and stronger cats.
A kitten will always be playful, but the smarter ones soon learn when it's time to surrender after having teased the Alpha of the house. If your new cat has already learned that lesson, he'll have a much easier time with Bibi.
Over time a male will grow bigger than her, which will put them on more equal terms, although the hierarchy will probably remain the same forever. As long as Bibi's status is not threatened, she'll be happy - and maybe even become a good auntie for him. And at any rate she will be activated by watching whatever that new cat is up to during the day. 😉

Finn Frode avatar



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