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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Egyptian Mau Cat Breed: Vet-Reviewed Info, Traits & Pictures

Egyptian Mau Cat Breed: Vet-Reviewed Info, Traits & Pictures

Egyptian Mau cat

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Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Egyptian Mau cats are one of the most intriguing, lovable breeds in the world. The ancestors of these cats have been around for thousands of years.  From their roots in Ancient Egypt; where there is evidence of spotted cats in papyri and frescoes from 1150 BC, Maus have now gone global. In the past few decades, the Mau cat breed has been exported into America and Japan as well as other locations around the world.

Breed Overview


12 – 18 inches


6 – 14 pounds


18 – 20 years


Silver, bronze, smoke. Blue (AOV status)

Suitable for:

Active families, those looking for a low-shedding cat


Loyal & loving, intelligent, easy to train, friendly, gets along with other pets

There are many reasons why we love these special creatures so much. First, their look is unlike any other breed on the planet. Their large ears and spotted smoky coat give them an exotic appearance that makes them stand out among all other breeds. They are also extremely intelligent and playful, which makes them even more endearing.

Known for their fierce devotion to their humans, the Egyptian Mau meows in a pleasant voice when they feel happy and will also knead their paws and swish their tails to show you how much they care. As a moderately active breed, their favorite hunting activity is chasing and retrieving a toy. On top of this, they are climbers and adventurers, often to be found on top of refrigerators and bookshelves. We love their loyal, feisty natures and we are sure you will too!


Egyptian Mau Kittens

Egyptian Mau kitten playing on a white blanket
Image Credit: Anastasiia Chystokoliana, Shutterstock

Egyptian 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.

The Egyptian Mau tends to be friendly with people and other animals. They are very affectionate and playful, making them great cats for active families. They’re relatively easy to care for making them great for anyone looking for a low-maintenance kitty.

Most Egyptian Maus live long, healthy lives if they’re correctly cared for, but keep in mind that this cat breed can experience some health issues. Keep reading the Egyptian Mau’s full care guide to know what type of care they need in terms of food, exercise, and grooming so your kitty grows into a happy and healthy cat.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Egyptian Mau

egyptian mau lying on pink cover
Image Credit: Jolanta Beinarovica, Shutterstock

The Egyptian Mau is an energetic, intelligent, curious, calm, and social cat. They are very observant, with an engaging, lively temperament that makes them extremely popular as pets for people who want a more interactive animal. They are typically calm around strangers but can be skittish if startled or scared. They are exceptionally good hunters that enjoy the outdoors and will often bring prey they’ve caught back to their human family members.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The Mau’s intelligent nature and sociability make them a great pet for families. They are good at communicating and enjoy spending time with their owners. They are very affectionate with their human families and they are more likely to be found playing with children rather than spending time on their own. They may be suitable pets for families with children as they do not scratch or bite and enjoy being petted. They are very loyal to the people they love and will display their affection in almost dog-like ways—they may greet you at the door when you arrive home, bring you a toy to initiate play, or chirp and chitter at you if they notice something such as a bird outside the window or an insect crawling over the floor.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Egyptian Mau cats are known to form social hierarchies, and humans need to provide some leadership and guidance when introducing them to new cats. It is possible for them to form friendships with other family pets, but on their terms and at their pace. It is rare for them to interact or be friendly with non-resident pets.

Many Egyptian Mau cats are very social with other companion animals, including dogs. They are generally considered to be a breed that thrives on companionship and love, making them ideal for households with other pets. There are some exceptions to the rule, so you should always carefully observe the compatibility between individual cats and dogs before leaving them alone.


Things to Know When Owning an Egyptian Mau:

If you are thinking of getting a new Egyptian Mau kitty, there are some important things to consider. Maus are regal, elegant, and active. These are not cute and cuddly cats, but they do show affection and interact quite readily once you move past their initial aloofness.


In addition to the natural spots on their coats, Egyptian Maus also have natural spots underneath their fur on their skin. They possess an athletic, lithe body, a head with an almond shape, and a coat that can be blue, silver, or bronze in color. Their overall look is that of a wild cat—in fact, they can easily be mistaken for Ocicats or even Bengal cats! Maus, however, are much smaller than either of these two breeds. It takes two years for them to reach full physical maturity.

Food & Diet Requirements

Like all other cats, Egyptian Maus are obligate carnivores which means they cannot process plants very well and if their diets are high in carbohydrates, they can develop diseases. Their stomachs are designed to digest meat. Maus, like all cats, require a lower-carbohydrate diet than humans typically consume, with a greater emphasis on protein and fat. As with all domesticated felines, Egyptian Maus cannot synthesize some amino acids on their own, so they need to consume them through their diet.

As a particularly active breed, it’s even more important that your Mau should be fed meals that are highly nutritious. There are many different types of foods that meet the nutritional requirements for a healthy Mau. You can feed your Mau dry or wet food, depending on their preference. If you do go with feeding your kitty dry food, it is important to provide fresh water at all times so your friend can hydrate adequately. It is highly recommended to fed any cat wet food over dry food.

Egyptian Mau Cat
Image: liz west, Flickr CC 2.0


Cats like these were born to run. Among the fastest domestic cats in the world, they have a loose flap of skin that runs from the back of their legs to the front of their belly—this allows them to really hit their stride.  They are said to be able to run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour! Additionally, they have unusually long legs, and they are extremely agile. From a standing position, Maus can leap six feet in the air. You can expect to find your Mau perched on open doors and your tallest bookshelves.

Exercise 🐈

Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but also your mental health, and cats are no exception! Although Egyptian Maus are naturally very active, in general, cats are also more prone to obesity than their dog counterparts. Diet is crucial and exercise is an important factor for keeping cats healthy. Egyptian Mau cats are typically more lively than other breeds of cats, and they need higher levels of exercise than others.  In fact, they are often used for circus acts because of their incredible agility.

It is vital that Maus get at least 20 minutes of playtime each day, preferably more, to reduce their risk of obesity, depression, and frustration. Maus can burn up to 260-400 calories during this time! Playing with your pal will also help strengthen their muscles and maintain good bone density as they grow older. The most popular ways of exercising your Egyptian Mau are puzzle toys and laser pointers. Puzzle toys allow you to hide food and let your cat hunt for it. Having your cat chase a laser pointer is a great way to get it pouncing and jumping.

Training 🧶

Egypt Maus are extremely intelligent, so they can be trained to perform a wide variety of tasks, including responding when called, walking on a leash, and playing fetch. Although you do not have to train this breed to be able to enjoy their affection and trust, some training will help you improve your relationship with your four-legged companion. There are many other benefits to training your cat, such as an increase in mental stimulation for your Egyptian Mau. If cat training is something you’re interested in, then this breed is a wonderful option, and there are several great books that contain valuable information on teaching your cat tricks and getting them into a routine.

Grooming ✂️

Egyptian Maus do not require special grooming supplies. Most of the time, these cats have short, thin coats that are easy to maintain. A healthy Mau coat will be just slightly softer than what you would find on most short-haired cats. Keep shedding at a minimum by combing or brushing a couple of times per week. The coat can be groomed easily with any high-quality grooming brush, comb, or flea comb. These cats are rarely matted or tangled, and they never need haircuts.

Regular dental care should include tooth brushing and dental treats, and nails may need to be trimmed if outdoor activity is not on the menu for your kitty. To keep their coat shiny, it is a good idea to wipe it down once a week with a slightly damp washcloth.

egyptian mau on white background
Image Credit: MDavidova, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

Healthy cats require regular veterinarian care, a nutritious diet, plenty of clean water, and regular exercise. Most Egyptian Maus live long, healthy lives if these conditions are met, but there are a few medical conditions that they are prone to that you should be aware of.  Some of these are due to the fact that given their active natures, Egyptian Maus are going to spend more time outside than many other breeds of cats. Even though these cats are more susceptible to some health problems, that does not mean that they will fall victim to them.

Minor Conditions
  • Animal parasites
  • Bacterial infections
  • Lower urinary tract disease
Serious Conditions
  • Heart disease
  • Blood clots in the arteries

divider-catMale vs Female

This breed is generally gentle, fun-loving, affectionate, and interactive regardless of gender. There are minor behavioral differences between male and female cats generally, and owners and experts have noted some differences between male and female Egyptian Maus. For example, anecdotally, owners say that females tend to be more straightforward to toilet train than males. Male cats tend to spend more time sniffing marking their territory with urine. A little more rough play and fighting is observed among males compared to females. Males are more independent, while females exhibit more affiliative behaviors.

These differences could be because males are territorial animals and will defend their territory while the females are looking to build relationships with other females and spend a lot of time grooming other cats, touching noses and tails, and vocalizing.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Egyptian Mau

1. Egyptian Maus were once considered sacred beings

The Egyptian Mau enjoys a history dating back over 4,000 years, although it has only been domesticated for the past 200 years. Cats were very popular pets in ancient Egypt and therefore they played a pivotal role in the culture. Cats in ancient Egypt were objects of worship and the Mau has a close resemblance to the ancient Egyptian god “Bastet” who was often depicted as a woman with the head of a cat. Ancient Egyptians believed that Bastet used her magical powers to help protect people from illness and bad luck.

2. Maus are excellent ratters

In Ancient Egypt, Maus were bred to hunt rats in grain storage and households. They were also traveling cats, used to control rodents on merchant ships. Today, if your Mau has the opportunity, it will impress when it comes to pest control.  If your Mau brings you a dead animal, they are showing their love and loyalty. They may also be boasting to you about what a successful hunter they are!

3. They weren’t recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association until 1968

Exiled Russian Princess Nathalie Troubetskoy came to the U.S. in 1956, bringing her cattery and Egyptian Maus. It is thought the vast majority of Maus in America are descended from these cats. This is why, despite their long history as a pet in Africa and the Middle East, the Cat Fanciers Association didn’t recognize this breed until well into the 20th century.

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


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Egyptian Mau cats are a great pet for people who want an alert, devoted, and intelligent animal to be their companion. Despite their reputation for aloofness, once they warm up to you, they love to play and be around people. If you want a little mischief and affection in your life, consider getting an Egyptian Mau for years of low-maintenance—but always entertaining—companionship.

Featured Image Credit: Fields Photography, Shutterstock

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