Egyptian Mau “Cheops” added by Michael@POC – photo copyright Helmi Flick
Per your page on the Egyptian Mau:
He refers to the belly flap on this breed as a specific feature of this cat, which enhances running speed. Belly flaps are either loose skin related to fat loss or simply a normal feature found on many cats purebred or not.”
I had an Egyptian Mau for 13 years. The so-called Egyptian Mau belly flap was one thing I was curious about. It is not a (one, singular) flap at all, but two bags of *extremely* loose skin, which attach from the back knee up to the belly, i.e., the skin on the front of the thigh is enormously extended. This is most emphatically NOT related to “fat loss”. My six-month-old kitten had these flaps, and they increased in size as she matured, even though she never lost any weight at all.
I was most interested to notice, early on, that when she sat on her haunches, sometimes the “belly flap” would “puddle” around her lower legs, to the point that it formed a complete “skirt”, falling all the way to the ground around her, completely hiding her back legs and toes. It wasn’t until I saw this the first time, that I realized that the ancient Egyptian sculptures I’d seen for many years were *not* “artistic” license, but an actual portayal of the Egyptian cat…exactly as it looks.
About 50% of all ancient Egyptian cat sculptures do not show the back legs at all, but show the back half of the body as a smooth cylinder where it meets the ground. This is exactly what the Egyptian Mau looks like when the “belly flap” is fully developed and the cat sits on her haunches. I have *never* seen this image before with any other breed of cat.
Egyptian Mau breed traits:
1. natural (not human-bred) spot pattern
2. “belly flap” (2 bags of skin in front of the knee)
3. athleticism (leaping to the top of a refrigerator without even crouching is a common feat)
4. speed (an Egyptian Mau has been clocked running 30 mph)
5. goose-berry green eyes (some yellow is common, orange exists but is considered a flaw in terms of showing)
6. “bars” on the legs and tail
7. small tuft of hair over each upper eyelid, which gives the “perpetually worried” expression
8. “somewhat feral” personality; they can be difficult to socialize, but are extremely loyal when socialized, and tend to be “one-person” cats
Some talk about the “chortle” sound they make, however, from the description, I would say that all cats I have had, breed or Heinz-57, have made the same sound, and that my own Mau never made a particular “noise” that I hadn’t heard before from a non-Mau, so this may be a bit of a misnomer.
Hi, thanks a lot for this. I have linked to it from the Egyptian Mau page. It is useful and I like it when people make a useful and constructive contribution.