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Egyptian Mau Cat Breed: Info, Pictures, Care, Traits & Facts

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Egyptian Mau Cat

Height: 7 – 11 inches
Weight: 8 – 12 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Spotted, smoke, black, blue
Suitable for: Singles, families with kids, house and apartment settings
Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, affectionate, independent

The Egyptian Mau is an athletic cat breed considered to be one of the fastest of all domesticated cats currently in existence. These cats typically have spots, which is a natural progression that breeders had nothing to do with. Egyptian Maus have been around for at least 3,000 years! Most of the cats featured in ancient art from Egypt are based on the direct descendants of the Egyptian Mau.

These are exotic-looking cats that have retained a few of the unique features that their ancestors had before domestication. For example, they have a gait that resembles a cheetah when they walk, and they have a loose flap of skin that runs from their hind legs to the flank of their bodies that gives them optimal freedom when it comes time to run and jump.

Egyptian Mau Kittens

Egyptian Mau Kitten
Image Credit: Anastasiia Chystokoliana, Shutterstock

Since Egyptian Maus are not as widely bred as other cat breeds (especially mixed breeds), they typically sell for high prices.  You may be able to find one of these cats at a rescue facility, but there is no way of knowing whether the one that you find there is purebred because you will not have access to any lineage information.

Make sure that any breeder whom you decide to buy a kitten from can provide you with paperwork that outlines the breed, health, and lineage of the kitten’s parents. You should also ensure that the kitten has a full veterinarian checkup and their first vaccinations before you bring them home for the first time. This will help ensure that you do not end up buying a sick cat and having to deal with expensive vet bills.

It is a good idea to learn all you can about the Egyptian Mau before deciding whether to buy one as a pet for your household.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Egyptian Mau

There are many interesting tidbits to learn about the Egyptian Mau cat, so we want to share a few of the littlest-known facts about these beautiful animals.

1. They Are Naturally Spotted

Unlike the Ocicat and Bengal cat, which have spots due to breeding, the Egyptian Mau is naturally spotted and got no help from breeders to achieve their coat design. Their spots can be silver, black, or bronze in color.

2. They Are Extremely Fast Runners

These cats were born to run. They have a loose flap of skin that runs from their back legs to the front of their belly, they have unusually long legs, and they have an uncanny ability to stretch, which makes them one of the fastest domestic cats in the world. They are said to be able to run up to 30 miles per hour.

3. They Can Be Quite Shy

Even though the Egyptian Mau is known for being loving and interactive with their human family members, this breed can be quite shy when meeting new people or animals for the first time. They may run and hide under a bed or simply stay put in the corner on their bed while strangers are around. Once they get to know a person, though, they will come out of hiding and look for attention.

Egyptian mau cat in the garden
Image Credit: VadimZosimov, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Egyptian Mau

These cats are intelligent, interactive, affectionate, and loyal to their human family members. They often like to snuggle with their loved ones, yet they have an independent streak that enables them to spend hours at home alone without feeling too lonely or bored. They enjoy playing with toys of all kinds, and they sometimes like to communicate with household members through purrs and meows.

Egyptian Maus can be possessive of their people and their things. They do not appreciate their toys and bedding being moved around because they like maintaining familiar surroundings. These are smart cats that can learn tricks and seem to know when they are being called for a meal or to experience playtime. They are full of energy and will not sleep well at night unless they enjoy fun, adventure, exploration, and interaction with family members during the day, even if for just a few minutes at a time.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The Egyptian Mau is a perfect family pet. They will happily spend time playing with the kids and then switch gears and lie at their feet when it comes time to do homework. This breed will snuggle up on the couch during movie time and sleep on the end of the bed all night long while everyone else in the house gets their beauty sleep.

They seem to understand that young children are delicate and will keep their claws to themselves when playing around with them. They tend to look over babies and toddlers by sleeping near their cribs, and they will never miss an opportunity to lounge in the yard while everyone spends time around the firepit.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

These cats can get along with other pets, but they must be socialized while still kittens to make it work. If not socialized with other cats and dogs at a young age, Egyptian Maus can be aggressive toward any other animal that they come across when they get older. It may be impossible to introduce another cat or other type of pet to the household if an established Egyptian Mau is not well socialized.

Two cute Egyptian Mau cats
Image Credit: Sarah Fields Photography, Shutterstock

Things to Know When Owning an Egyptian Mau

There are still a few important things to know about the Egyptian Mau before bringing one home for the first time. You should know what and how to feed your new cat, what kind of exercise to provide them with, and whether training should be a consideration.

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

The Egyptian Mau does not require a breed-specific diet. However, they do require a high protein diet that contains all the nutrients that the typical domestic cat needs for good health. These cats can be free-fed because they do not typically overeat, and they prefer to snack throughout the day rather than indulge in larger meals.

Keeping your Egyptian Mau’s food bowl filled with high-quality commercial food is enough to keep them nutritionally healthy as time goes on. Look for a food option that includes real meat as the first ingredient and that does not include any fillers, like corn and soy, or artificial ingredients.

Exercise 🐈

These cats have great athletic ability, but they are not rambunctious or highly active. They do enjoy playing, and they will run around the house to release pent-up energy when necessary. However, most owners find that their Egyptian Maus are gentle on the furniture and curtains and instead, focus their attention on toys. A little exercise goes a long way with this breed of cat. Leaving a few interactive toys around the house and spending a few minutes with them each day for interactive play should be enough to keep this type of cat well-exercised.

Training 🧶

Due to the high intelligence of the Egyptian Mau, this breed can be easily trained to do a variety of things, such as come when called, walk on a leash, and even play fetch. It is not necessary to train this breed to enjoy their affection and loyalty, but training can enhance the overall relationship that you have with your furry family member as time goes on.

Grooming ✂️

There is no need for special grooming supplies when caring for an Egyptian Mau cat. These cats have short, thin coats that are easy for them to maintain themselves for the most part. Combing or brushing a couple of times a week will keep shedding to a minimum. These cats never get mats or tangles and do not need to get haircuts for any reason throughout the year. A dental treat offering or tooth brushing should take place regularly, and nails may need to be occasionally trimmed if outdoor activity is not allowed.

Health and Conditions 🏥

These cats are usually healthy throughout their lives, but there are a few health conditions that they are susceptible to that every potential owner should be aware of. But just because these cats can get these health problems, that does not mean that they will succumb to them. Regular veterinarian care, a proper diet, plenty of clean water, and exercise can help your cat maintain good health.

Minor Conditions
  • Bacterial infections
  • Parasites
  • Feline lower urinary tract disease
Serious Conditions
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Arterial thromboembolism

Male vs. Female

There are slight differences between male and female Egyptian Maus that owners and experts have noted, such as that females tend to be easier to potty train than males. Males seem to be more independent, and females tend to be clingier. Males also tend to play a little rougher than females do. No matter the sex, this breed is generally gentle, fun-loving, affectionate, and interactive as a whole.


The Egyptian Mau is an exotic-looking cat that offers all the joys that any other domestic cat can offer a family. They can happily live in apartment and house settings, and they are just as happy living indoors as they are exploring outside. What is the most attractive feature or aspect of the Egyptian Mau to you?

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Featured Image Credit: MDavidova, Shutterstock

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