The Egyptian Mau

A complete breed guide

LAST UPDATED 30 November 2020

This article is written by ADVANCE™ veterinarian, Dr Fiona Patterson

Meet the Egyptian Mau, a cat with striking good looks, a love for learning new tricks and a reputation for speed!

1. Characteristics

2. Personality

3. Nutrition

The Egyptian Mau is a small to medium-sized short-haired cat breed that originates from the Cairo area. 'Mau' is the Ancient Egyptian name for the divine household cat. Their lifespan is around 15 years.

In comparison to other spotted cats, the Egyptian Mau is an ancient breed from natural stock. The Bengal by comparison, was created from domestic outcrosses with wildcats.

Image: Heikki Siltala, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

1. Characteristics

Smoke Egyptian Mau.

The spots on the Mau occur only on the tips of their hair coat and they are one of the few naturally spotted breeds of domestic cat. A characteristic of the Mau is a long dark stripe that runs from their head and along the spine to the tip of their tail.

Maus come in a range of coat colours including silver, bronze and smoke, as well as the less common black, caramel and blue/pewter. Their coat is silky and lustrous and requires only a weekly brush. The eye colour of the Mau must be green however kittens and young adults may show an amber cast.

2. Personality

The Mau is considered a loving cat that adores fuss and attention. They are playful, as well as very clever, and are particularly suited to family life. They are devoted and loyal but can be wary of others, so early and continuing socialisation is necessary. They enjoy activity and need to be kept stimulated such as with toys (they love to play fetch) as well as with company. An unusual quality of the Mau is their unique vocalisations which have been described as chirps, trills or chortles.

Maus also enjoy playing with water, and you can often find them splashing water out of any source (bowl, sink, fountain, pond) or by turning on the tap!

Athletic & agile


Earning the title of the fastest of the domestic cats, this breed has been observed running more than 48km per hour! In addition to running, they also enjoy climbing. The Mau has longer hind legs and a unique flap of skin extending from the flank to the back knee. This provides for greater agility and length of stride.

Bronze Egyptian Mau. Image: Liz West from Boxborough, MA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Nutrition

A premium quality diet, scientifically formulated to meet your Egyptian Maus nutritional needs for their lifestage is essential for maintaining healthy and wellbeing. For this highly active, agile breed, look for formulas containing quality proteins which are readily digested, absorbed and utilised by the body to support lean muscle mass. For indoor Maus in particular, be sure to set their daily feeding amount to suit their activity levels, and monitor their body condition, adjusting the feeding amount as needed.

Dr Fiona's Recommendations

Further Reading

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