Mau Egyptian cat history
The first elements that indicate the existence of the certain breed are traced back in Ancient Egypt, meaning 3.000 years ago. Studying the artwork of the ancient Egyptians, one can easily note the distinguishιng role of the Egyptian cat in the religion, mythology and everyday life. They were worshiped as deities, protected by the law and mummified and mourned upon their death.
The Egyptian Mau is therefore thought to be related to a spotted subspecies of the African Wild Cat.
The origins of the modern Egyptian cat are traced back in 1953 and specifically in Italy. There, the exiled Russian Princess Natalie Troubetskoy happened to meet the cat of the Egyptian Ambassador in Italy. The Princess, amazed by the looks and the expression of the certain breed, convinced the Ambassador to obtain several cats from Egypt in order to breed them.
It is said that the first Mau kitten was a female, given to her by a young acquaintance in a shoebox. The Princess named her Baba and in 1956 she took her and another two Maus with in the States. Shortly afterwards, she started her cattery, Fatima, and set off to establish the Egyptian cat as a recognized breed in North America. Her efforts were more than successful, since the breed was registered in the Cat Fanciers' Federation in 1968, and accepted for championship competition in 1977.
Egyptian cat personality
The Egyptian cats are primarily known for their intelligence, which combined to their high speed makes them excellent hunters. They are the epitome of the curious, active and playful cat. They will climb up the refrigerator, stalk anything that moves and decimate any mouse or rat population in their catch.
In addition, the egyptian cats are notorious for their close bonding with their owners, under the condition that these are affectionate and loving. Many owners report that their Egyptian Mau will eagerly greet them at the door, showing its loyalty and devotion. However, they usually bond with no more than one or two members of their human families.
On the other hand Egyptian cats are not social with strangers,including other cats. Actually they will fight trespassing cats with astonishing ferocity and uncannily disappear from strange and loud humans.
Egyptian Mau cats aren’t overly talkative but they do make their desires known, particularly if those wishes involve food. When communicating with their favorite humans, Maus wiggle their tails, tread their feet, and make a variety of musical chortling and trilling sounds rather than typical meows.
Egyptian cat breed standards
The Egyptian cat is the only naturally spotted cat breed, meaning that the spots are not only on the coat. A shaved Mau has spots on its skin, too.
According to the Fédération Internationale Féline, the Egyptian Mau cats possess a slightly rounded wedge shaped head, of medium length and without flat planes. In profile it shapes a gentle contour with a slight rise from the bridge of the nose to the forehead. The cheeks are not full, while the entire length of nose evens in width when viewed from the front. The muzzle is neither short, nor pointed.
The ears are medium to large and broad at the base. They are alert and moderately pointed. The inner ear is of a delicate, almost transparent shell pink. The ears may be tufted, while their hair is short and lying close. They are placed upstanding with an ample width between them, continuing the planes of the head.
The eyes are large and almond shaped, neither round nor oriental, with a slight slant towards the ears. Their expression is always alert, while the only accepted color is the "gooseberry green" (light green). The younger Maus however are allowed to possess amber colored eyes untill they become 18 months old.
The body is of medium length and graceful. Its musculature is well developed and strong. On the other hand some loose skin flap extends from the flank to the knee of the hind leg. Regarding the certain breed a general balance of the body is more preferable than its size alone.
The legs are in proportion to the body, with the hind ones being longer. This gives the appearance of being on tiptoe when the Egyptian cat is standing upright. The paws on the other hand are small, dainty and slightly oval.
The tail is medium long, thick at the base and slightly tapering. The coat's structure, finally is short, however long enough to show 2-3 bands of ticking, with a lustrous sheen. In the smoke varieties the hair is silky and fine in texture, while in the silver and bronze ones the hair is dense and resilient in texture.
The Egyptian cat coat pattern is that of a spotted cat .The spots are randomly scattered over the torso with variance in size and shape. They can be small or large, of the same or of different shape, round or oval or irregular in shape. In any case the spots must be distinct and clearly separated from the ground color.
The recognized color varieties are the following:
· Bronze spotted
· Black silver spotted
· Black smoke
The commonest faults that can disqualify a cat from being registered as Egyptian cat are small, round or Oriental type eyes, a short or round, oriental type head with full cheeks and a massive or oriental type body.