Egyptian Mau Kittens Lost Their Spots!

Egyptian Mau Kittens Lost Their Spots!

by Thomas Robertson
(New York N.Y.)

My two beloved girl Egyptian Maus are 10 yrs old.

They have: Gooseberry eyes, long rear legs, abdominal skin flap, blue-gray fur with some white marking along the nose bridge.

Here is the curious part.

As kittens they had distinctly spotted flanks with a decidedly leopard-like appearance.

After the first year or so of life the spots faded away.

Does anyone know what’s up with the girls’ “lost spots”.


Hi Thomas… Thanks for visiting and asking. The answer as you have no doubt discovered is not readily available on the internet or indeed in the best books.

I have asked you for some photos. In the meantime as an initial answer I will say the following.

One site says that the spots fade in the sun. This sounds wrong but there may be a heat element. But as they faded with the kittens development this points to a natural occurrence.

The lion comes to mind. The Egyptian Mau is not a lion! But it is at its origin a domesticated wild Jungle cat.

Lion cubs have spots much like a leopard which fade at adulthood. It is said that the spots aid survival by providing camouflage.

Cat coats not infrequently mature like this.

These answers are provided without real research so I will do some work on this and see if I can provide a definitive answer and in the meantime I would hope that you can provide me with some photos in response to my email.

A visitor may, in the meantime, provide a good answer.

My answer is subject to seeing photos as expectation and subjectivity can play a part in these discussions.

Michael Avatar

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

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Egyptian Mau Kittens Lost Their Spots!

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Jun 03, 2010
Opinion seems divided about spotted skin!
by: Phil (London)

Hi Thomas, no problem – and I think that many people feel the same way about their cats, purebred or not. I was drawn to the Mau breed after reading a lot about different breeds, but now that my two have been with me for nearly two years, their breed is neither here nor there! They are loved for who they are, not what they are…

tinnuelenath – to be quite honest, I haven’t actually checked whether my Maus have spotted skin, but I will check later. I have found conflicting information about their skin being spotted – some articles say it is and some say not. So I reckon first-hand experience counts for more than dubious information from the internet!

Update: if you Google “mau spotted skin”, the majority of sites report that the skin is spotted. I’m not planning to shave my boys to find out though…

May 27, 2010
“Nearly Maus” sounds right to me
by: Thomas Robertson

To Phil (London)
Your explanation seems the most plausible. I had no idea what a Mau was until the woman who gifted me with them explained the spots. However she never claimed pure breeding or produced any documentation. Makes no real difference to me as they have become two family members as well as the joy of my life. Thank you for taking the time.
Thomas Robertson

May 27, 2010
mau spots
by: tinnuelenath

Baby Maus have fuzzy kitten fur and less defined spots. Their stripes and spots are supposed to become more defined as they get their adult coat.

Some tabby cats are called “Maus” but do not posess the body type or personality of a true Mau. They may share some of the markings such as eye liner and spots.

Correction: Pure-Bred Egyptian Maus do NOT have spotted skin. The color for the spot does not even extend down the shaft of fur, it is merely on the tip. (I have a Pure-Bred Mau, that’s how I know), also see Animal Planet’s Cats 101: Egyptian Mau.

May 10, 2010
Probably not…
by: Phil (London)

Hi Thomas, it would be good to see some photos, but from your brief description I suspect that you have ‘Nearly Maus’, to coin a phrase… there have been a few described here recently (I also made an earlier comment to the effect that ‘if it looks like a Mau and acts like a Mau, then to all intents and purposes, it is a Mau’ – a comment I should retract; only purebred Maus, with pedigrees, can correctly be called Egyptian Maus).

Since deviations from the basic cat-shape are limited between different breeds (unlike dogs), similarities to certain breeds are bound to occur; you mention blue-grey fur and white markings on the nose, both of which are features that are un-Mau like. Furthermore, Maus do not lose their spots – if anything, they become more pronounced as they reach one year of age and beyond as they lose the fuzzy fur of kittenhood. If you were to shave a Mau, their skin would be spotted in exactly the same places as their fur, and so I feel this points toward their spots as being a permanent feature.

What has happened, in all likelihood, is just what Michael said; that the spots were a feature of their kitten fur, and which disappeared as they became adults. It is quite startling to see lion cubs with their beautiful spots, and I am certain that early spots on kittens is something that continues in the genes of some cats today, either regularly, or as a throwback to much earlier times.

Love to see some pictures, though…

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