The breed conformation is described as “a balance between the compactness of a Burmese and the slim elegance of a Siamese. Its medium-length body is muscular, with the hind legs longer than the front, giving the Mau the appearance of standing on tiptoes when upright.” The Egyptian Mau is the fastest of the domestic cats, with its longer hind legs, and unique flap of skin extending from the flank to the back knee, providing for greater agility and length of stride. Maus have been clocked running more than 48 km/h (30 mph).
Egyptian Mau’s are a medium-size cat of 7 to 9 pounds.
Despite claims that the breed originated in Egypt, DNA analysis shows mainly European and North American origins. However, historical evidence points to the Mau being an Egyptian breed. The feline genome data published in the Pentascope document shows the Egyptian Mau to be very closely related to the Maine Coon, Korat, and American Turkish Angoras.
Maus come in six colours. From most to least common these colours are silver, bronze, smoke, black, caramel and blue/pewter.
Black and pewter Maus cannot be shown, but may be used in breeding. All Maus must have green eyes, but an amber cast is acceptable in kittens and young adults up to eighteen months old.
The Birthplace of the Egyptian Mau is no other than Ancient Egypt. Their ancestors are highly visible in the artworks of the Ancient Egyptians. Many of their pictures were of heavily spotted cats bearing the distinctive mascara marking and barring seen on today’s Mau. A Bengal breeder named Jean Mill also made some contributions to the breed. Mill was working with the Egyptian Mau’s during the time she was creating the Bengal cat breed. In 1982, Mill took a trip to India and spotted a domestic cat “running around the rhinoceros compound” in a zoo. “He was an orange cat with little spots all over him,” Mill said. “He was so unusual, I asked [the zookeepers] to catch him for me. Mill called him (Millwood Toby of Delhi). The curator of the New Delhi Zoo also gave Mill the sister of the cat in the rhinoceros cage which Mill named (Millwood Tasha of New Delhi). These two Indian domestic cats Toby and Tasha introduced a feature previously unknown in the Mau: the rufus polygene. The descendants of these two cats Toby and Tasha were often recorded as both Egyptian Mau and Bengal.
It has been said that all glitter in the Bengal cat, Egyptian Mau and Toyger breeds originates from Millwood Tory of Delhi.
Maus often possess very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle, and emit other distinctly unusual vocalizations when stimulated. Another behavior, quite common in happy Maus, has been described as “wiggle-tail.” The cat, whether female or male, wiggles and twitches its tail, and appears to be marking territory, also known as spraying, but during this behavior the Mau is not releasing urine. Facial expressions may change according to mood, and eye colour may change from green to turquoise.
The Egyptian Mau has one problem that may affect the breed is leuodystrophy, a neurological condition that may appear in kittens as early as 7 weeks of age.
Here is a helpful guide for the different characteristics of the breed. On a Scale of 1-5. 1 being very low level to 5 being high level.