Egyptian Mau – the fastest domestic cat

Egyptian Mau cat

The royal appearance goes hand in hand with the aristocratic disposition of the Egyptian Mau cat. However, this does not prevent him from enjoying life. He loves various games and activities, in which he preferably takes part in the company of an owner. In this article, we will also learn whether the Egyptian Mau is a cat from Egypt and what it has in common with a cheetah.

FIFe classification

  • Category III: Shorthair and Somali cats
  • EMS code: MAU
  • Country of origin: Egypt
Egyptian Mau cat

History of the breed

The modern form of Egyptian Mau was probably created in 1952 in Italy, when the exiled Russian princess Natalia Trubeck met the Egyptian ambassador there. She asked him to bring some Egyptian cats for her, which she then started breeding. They were already known in Europe before the Second World War, but after its outbreak, the breed was on the verge of extinction. Probably, then, Princess Trubeck greatly contributed to the revival of Egyptian Mau.

Is the breed originally from Egypt?

There are many indications that… no. Based on DNA analysis, it was found that it comes from Europe and North America. It has also been found to be most closely related to the Maine Coon, the Korat, and the American Turkish Angora. This means that Egyptian Mau actually comes from the West.

It is known, however, that this breed arose naturally and that its distinctive pattern was not planned by breeders or geneticists.

In 1968, the breed was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Federation, and in 1977 by the CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association). The modern breed is accepted by most felinological federations, including the FIFe.

Egyptian Mau cat



Cats of this breed are usually muscular but slim in shape. They are distinguished from other domestic cats by their limbs – the front legs are slightly shorter than the hind legs. It is also for this reason that Mau appears to be moving on tiptoe. The large, round eyes are usually gooseberry green. The head is shaped like a rounded wedge with medium or large ears.

A fold of skin similar to that of cheetahs is visible on the abdomen, between the knee and the side of the abdomen. Thanks to it, Mau can take bigger steps. Another unique feature of the breed’s appearance is the long and dark dorsal stripe that runs along the spine from head to tail.

The coat is silver, brown or smoky (smoke – characterized by a combination of light silver and black). Medium-length fur is silky smooth and delicate to the touch. A characteristic pattern consisting of various stripes and rosettes forms on the hair. There is an “M” -shaped meaning on the forehead, while black lines can be seen on the cheeks. The tail is decorated with relatively thick, black rings. The lighter belly and breast are covered with characteristic dots.

In addition to the three color variations mentioned, Egyptian Mau can also have black, silver-blue, blue mottled or smoky blue. However, these shades are not accepted for show cats.

Egyptian Mau cat


Egyptian Mau makes it very clear that he is in a great mood. It emits various sounds that have a pleasant effect on the owner’s ears. Some of them are almost like a chuckle. The happy Mau moves his tail and kneads the ground with his paws. He feels best with the family to which he devotes himself completely. He also loves games related to chasing and hunting.

It shows medium or high activity. He likes jumping, climbing tall trees, windows, scratching posts, etc. He often looks for the highest objects in the territory to observe the surroundings from them. Moreover, he loves playing in the water; he can dip his paw in a puddle or aquarium, unscrew the faucet in the bathroom or kitchen, and even splash in the sink.

Egyptian Mau lovers describe him as a loyal cat who generally dislikes strangers. He wants him to be loved only by the closest people.

Egyptian Mau cat

Detailed data / dimensions (size)

Egyptian Mau cat

  • Height at the withers: 20-25 cm (8 – 10 in)
  • Weight: 3-4 kg (6.6 – 8.8 lb)
  • Lifespan: 18-20 years
Egyptian Mau cat

Egyptian Mau – interesting facts

  • The name of the breed comes from the Egyptian language, more precisely from the word mw, which literally translates as “cat”.
  • The Egyptian Mau is one of the ancestors of the modern domestic cat.
  • The Egyptian Mau is considered the fastest domestic cat – it can run at a speed of 48 km/h (30 mph).
  • British breeders used to cross Egyptian Mau with Siamese, Tabby and Abyssinian cats, but they did not look like real Egyptian Mau at all. These crossbreeds became the basis of a new breed – Ocicat.
  • There is also the Arabian Mau cat breed.
Egyptian Mau cat


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