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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Arabian Mau Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

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

close up bronze Arabian Mau cat

Arabian Maus are elegant cats of a medium size that are believed to have originated in the middle east hundreds of years ago; most likely in the Arabian Peninsula or close to it. These cats have been present for over 1,000 years in the area. As time has passed, the breed has spread throughout the rest of the world, eventually being recognized by the World Cat Federation in 2008.

Breed Overview


8–10 inches


8–16 pounds


9–17 years


Red, brown, black, white, or tabby

Suitable for:

Caring families and households with or without children or other pets


Confident, active, loving, fun-loving, inquisitive, and friendly

Arabian Maus are very vocal creatures—when they love you, you’ll know all about it. Besides being talkative, these cats are also affectionate pets that want your attention and love, and they’re happy to reciprocate your love too.

Although they bond very tightly with their families, they are not just lap cats that curl up with you all afternoon. In contrast to typical housecats who sit around all day, these cats prefer to spend their energy running around and playing, rather than chilling out. They’re also highly intelligent creatures that require a lot of mental stimulation, such as interactive toys and puzzles that challenge and make them think.

Arabian Mau Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-catArabian Mau Kittens

arabian mau kitten
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Arab Maus are commonly seen as feral street cats in many parts of the middle east. These cats are very popular in their home countries but are extremely rare elsewhere. Due to the fact that they have only been recognized as a distinct breed for a little over a decade, they haven’t been able to spread across the globe as quickly as some other similar breeds have.

Due to their relative rarity, you might expect Arabian Mau kittens to be exorbitantly priced, as many rare breeds are. However, if you find a reliable breeder, you can actually find them for a reasonable price.

Despite being semi-rare, these cats might come up for adoption occasionally. You will need to search hard and be a little patient to find one, but if you do, you’ll save even more money.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Arabian Mau

These cats are very affectionate. They form strong bonds with family members and can form similar bonds with several people. They will follow you around the house, demanding your attention. It is also common for them to be very vocal about their desires, and they will often even “scream” if they do not receive your attention!

In spite of their affection, they aren’t the kind of cats that curl up in your lap all day long. This is a pretty independent animal who will do whatever pleases him or her. Aside from being too active to sit on the couch beside you for whole days, they’re also very active.

Having lots of toys and ways for them to stay engaged and prevent boredom is essential since these are highly intelligent felines with lots of energy. They will be stimulated mentally and physically by puzzles and toys that make them work for a treat.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Arabian Maus are loving and devoted companions, and they will share a similar bond with everyone in the family as well. They are therefore great family pets. Because they love to be loved and cherished, they would benefit greatly from being surrounded by several people who can offer them love and affection.

The Arabian Mau is also known for its good temperament with kids. While they’re not recommended for very young children who could behave unintentionally rough, they’re great for older children who know how to behave with pets. It is likely that your Mau will bond as closely with your children as they will with you.

black and white Arabian Mau cat
Image Credit: Mehdi Photos, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

With a bit of socialization and training, Arabian Maus will still get along with other pets, even if they’re pretty territorial. As soon as they get used to sharing a space with other pets, they usually get along well with other pets in the family, though they tend to retain territorial tendencies with outside animals. As long as they don’t chase or act aggressively, Arabian Maus can get along well with dogs.


Things to Know When Owning an Arabian Mau

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

These cats are known for their very diverse palate and will eat anything they can find. They aren’t picky eaters, but they tend to overeat quite a bit. You’ll need to be careful with how much you feed your Arabian Mau. If you provide food, they will eat it, even when they are full! If you’re not careful, this will lead to fast weight gain.There isn’t much to consider when feeding an Arabian Mau, other than avoiding overfeeding. As long as they get plenty of protein from different sources, they do well on high-quality wet and dry cat food.

Exercise 🐈

Leashes work well for Arabian Maus, and they can be walked outside with little training because they are so clever and energetic. Unlike many cat breeds, Arabian Maus require a lot of exercise. Moreover, they love to play with toys that operate automatically, laser pointers, and anything that keeps them actively moving. If you don’t expend all of your cat’s excess energy, it’ll build up until some less than desirable behaviors!

black and white Arabian Mau cat outdoors
Image Credit: Mehdi Photos, Shutterstock

Training 🧶

It is quite easy to train Arabian Mau cats in a variety of ways as they are highly adaptable. It is easy to train an Arabian Mau to use the litter box, and it is also possible to train them to walk on a leash like a dog. However, they can also learn more advanced things. You can teach them where they can and cannot access rooms, and even teach them to respond when their name is called. It is even possible to train out undesirable traits in your Arabian Mau, for example, teaching them to be calmer or more respectful of other pets in the home. But you most likely won’t be able to change their vocal and demanding nature.

Grooming ✂️

The Arabian Mau is a short-haired cat with just one coat. As these cats come from very warm climates, there is no undercoat to keep them warm, making grooming an Arabian Mau easy. Twice a week, brush their coat to remove loose and dead hairs and help prevent hairballs. This will also help distribute your cat’s natural oils across their coat, keeping them looking and feeling healthy, shiny, and smooth. You should also keep their ears, teeth, and claws trimmed.

Despite their not being technically hypoallergenic, Arabian Maus may cause fewer reactions in those with mild allergies due to their low shedding and dander production.

Health Conditions 🏥

The Arabian Mau is one of the healthiest breeds of cats and isn’t genetically predisposed to any health problems. Getting one of these cats means you can most likely count on a long, healthy life together. However, there are a number of health issues that are common in domestic cats. These issues can include things like overeating, oral health issues, colds, coughs, and cases of flu. All of these issues can cause a cat to be uncomfortable and may require veterinary care.

Minor Conditions
  • Dental problems
  • Upper respiratory infections
Serious Conditions
  • Obesity

Male vs. Female

There are only a few physical differences between male and female Arabian Maus. Males tend to weigh a bit more and are often a bit longer and taller than females. However, there are more temperamental differences than physical differences. In general, males are quieter than females and tend to be more affectionate. Females can also be quite affectionate, but on average, males tend to show more outward affection for others. Obviously, personality can vary greatly from cat to cat, so your Arabian Mau may or may not conform to those characteristics.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Arabian Mau

1. A Natural Cat Breed

Historically, domestic cat breeds have been largely created through breeding programs. Cat breeders have purposefully bred cats together to create a specific trait they wanted, developing a new breed along the way. But the Arabian Mau breed was created in an entirely different way.

The history of these cats spans hundreds of years and this breed arose long before humans began manipulating the genetics of domesticated animals. As one of a handful of natural cat breeds that developed naturally on their own, Mau’s have evolved completely independent of human intervention.

2. They Love Warmth

The Arabian Mau originated in the desert. Because of this, they have developed a special affinity for heat. Even though they mostly hunted and did other activities at night, when the hot sun wasn’t beating down on them, modern Arabian Maus still have the blood flowing through their veins that made them used to the high desert temperatures. Due to this, they struggle to survive in colder environments, and in colder homes, these cats will seek out the warmest place.

3. Their Ears Are Special

It was necessary for Arabian Maus to evolve special traits to cope with high temperatures in the desert wasteland where they evolved. They developed a number of features in order to deal with the sun and the heat, one of which was their unique ears. You’ll notice Arabian Maus have very large, pointed, thin ears that help dissipate heat, keeping them cool.

arabian mau cat lying
Image Credit: Jutharat289, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

You can count on Arabian Maus to be affectionate and independent, but they’ll always tell you how and when they want it. They’re very vocal and always make their feelings clear to you. You can expect them to love you a lot and they’ll bond with everyone in the family, but don’t expect them to laze around on your lap all the time.

In addition to being extremely active, Arabian Mau cats require a lot of exercise and stimulation. But they are highly adaptable to many different situations and can be trained more than most cats. If you can find one, they’re a great choice for anyone looking to add a feline to their family!

Featured Image Credit: SeraphP, Shutterstock

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