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Arabian Mau Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

Arabian Mau basking in the sun

Height: 8–10 inches
Weight: 9–16 pounds
Lifespan: 9–17 years
Colors: Red, white, black, gray, brown tabby
Suitable for: Any loving family, including those with kids and other pets
Temperament: Energetic, smart, friendly, affectionate, playful, adaptable

The Arabian Mau is a domestic cat breed that has been roaming the Arabian Peninsula, its streets, and its deserts for more than 1,000 years. An old and natural breed that had to adapt to desert climates and life on the city streets, Arabian Maus are as hardy and independent as they are playful and affectionate. They’re also a high-energy breed and there’s never a dull moment when they’re around!

If these spunky little cats have caught your eye of late, this post shares all you need to know about the Arabian Mau.

hepper-cat-paw-dividerArabian Mau Kittens


While you can check in with a breeder for this cat,  you can quite easily adopt an Arabian Mau instead of buying one. We were able to find some Arabian Maus listed for adoption online on websites and some Facebook groups are dedicated solely to Arabian Mau adoption, so it’s certainly an option worth considering if these lovely cats have stolen your heart!

3 Little-Known Facts About the Arabian Mau

1. The Word “Mau” Means “Cat” in Egyptian

Let’s face it, “Arabian Mau” is a pretty cool breed name, and the “Mau” part translates to “cat” or “sun” in ancient Egyptian.

2. They May Have Descended from African Wildcats

We know that the Arabian Mau descended from desert cats, but some believe that they also share origins with African Wildcats. Though it’s unclear whether or not this is true, the resemblance is pretty striking.

3. They’re a Natural Breed

The Arabian Mau is a natural breed, meaning these cats developed and adapted without any human intervention. It’s no wonder Arabian Maus are known today for their hardiness and independent natures!

Temperament & Intelligence of the Arabian Mau

Arabian Maus are, first and foremost, highly energetic and love to be kept busy. It simply isn’t in their nature to doze their way through the day—they need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to ward off boredom and frustration.

If you’re considering adopting an Arabian Mau, we recommend stocking up on mentally stimulating puzzle toys, balls to chase, and a cat tree or three for climbing and people-watching—your Arabian Mau will be much happier in an environment with plenty of space to burn off all their energy and toys to keep them occupied.

They also appreciate warm places like beds, sofas, and blankets to snuggle under because they’re a breed that seeks out warm spots. This is because of their desert origins, and they don’t do well in the cold.

Though not known for being lap cats, Arabian Maus are far from lacking in affection for their human companions. Don’t be surprised if you find them at your heels a lot, following you here and there as you get stuff done. They love being involved in whatever it is you’re up to and will happily accompany you—in any case, it’s another excuse for them to be active.

Arabian Maus isn’t afraid to speak their minds and are known for being quite vocal. If you don’t want a cat that will chatter away to you and make bold demands, don’t get an Arabian Mau!

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Yes, Arabian Maus do well in families, including those with responsible children who know how to behave with them. They enjoy spending time with people, love being active, and—even more so—being the center of attention, so the more people around to shower them with adoration and help keep them busy, the better! That said, Arabian Maus are perfect for both large families and people who live alone as long as the home is a loving one.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Arabian Maus are a hardy breed that can hold their own in a household and they stand the best chance of getting along with other pets if they’ve been socialized alongside them. If you bring a new pet into your household, always introduce them gradually and supervise interactions at all times until they can at least tolerate each other’s presence.

Arabia Maus are very capable of getting along with other pets like dogs with proper socialization—just don’t be surprised if these charismatic cats end up ruling the roost!


Things to Know When Owning an Arabian Mau

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

With all the energy that Arabian Maus burn from being so active, they love to recharge their batteries with a good old munch. Luckily, their dietary requirements don’t differ from other cat breeds and the portion sizes you’ll give them depends on their age and activity levels.

A high-quality commercial food from a trusted brand should be just fine for your Arabian Mau. This is the easiest way to ensure your cat is getting a nutritionally complete diet that’s high in protein. Cats also need fat, a minimal amount of carbohydrates, and a variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids.

Exercise 🐈

These high-energy cats need plenty of opportunity and space for exercise and play. They’re pretty easy to please—as long as they’re running, jumping, exploring, or chasing after something, they’ll be happy. You could probably play for ages with a simple piece of string with your Arabian Mau and they wouldn’t complain, but it’s a good idea to provide more challenging toys they can play with independently when you’re not around.

Obstacle feeders or toys that you can put treats in are pretty solid choices, as the Arabian Mau enjoys a challenge. Feather and butterfly chasers are also popular cat toys, but the possibilities are endless. If your Arabian Mau doesn’t get enough exercise, they may start to act out because of all their pent-up energy.

Training 🧶

Arabian Maus are very smart and easy to train. Training them to use a litterbox or even walk on a leash if necessary isn’t likely to cause you too much strife, though they may be stubborn at times due to their independent natures. This all comes down to individual cases, though—some Arabian Maus may take a little longer than others to learn what to do.

Grooming ✂️

Arabian Maus are short-haired and don’t have an undercoat because they’re adapted to tolerate warm climates. As a result, they’re not big shedders. A good brush once or twice a week just to get rid of dead or loose hairs and tidy them up a bit should be perfect for an Arabian Mau, though feel free to brush them more regularly if they enjoy it.

Check their ears regularly, too, and clean them out to get rid of dirt and debris, and clean their teeth at home to reduce plaque. Keep their claws dull with regular trimming every 2–3 weeks and provide scratch posts so they can act out their natural scratching and stretching urges.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Arabian Maus are a pretty healthy breed overall. This is because, as a natural breed, they’re less likely to suffer from hereditary conditions. They also have pretty long lifespans on average, with some living up to 17 years and beyond. Nevertheless, it’s important to be vigilant for health conditions, both serious and minor, that can affect all cats regardless of breed.

Serious conditions that sometimes affect cats include kidney disease, diabetes, and various cancers. Obesity is another common problem commonly affecting cats of all breeds, so weight management is crucial for good health.

Minor Conditions
  • Gingivitis
  • Minor stomach upsets
Serious Conditions
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Obesity


Male vs Female

There are no known distinctions temperament-wise between male and female Arabian Maus. Appearance-wise, males are likely to be a bit larger than females, but that’s about it. Unspayed female cats in heat can become clingy and excessively vocal, whereas unneutered males are more prone to spraying and aggression. Spaying and neutering help minimize these behaviors.


Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a cat with bags of personality and one that is a healthy mix of independent and affectionate, the Arabian Mau could be the fluffy friend you’ve been waiting for. Just don’t be surprised if your Arabian Mau runs rings around you—quite literally. These sprightly cats have a real zest for life and are sure to keep you smiling and, at times, howling with laughter!

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Featured Image Credit: Medhi Photos, Shutterstock

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