About the Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau is the only natural domesticated breed of spotted cat. Randomly spotted, with banded legs and tail they have expressive green eyes, distinctive mascara lines and a worried expression. They are also active, colourful cats of medium size with well-developed muscles. Maus come in four colours: Silver, Smoke, Bronze and Black. The males tend to be a little larger than the females. Alert and intelligent, the Mau quickly finds a place in any cat-lover's heart.

"Mau" is the Egyptian word for cat. The Egyptian Mau was a domesticated, spotted subspecies of the African Wild Cat, Felis Lybica Ocreata, from the Ethiopian highlands. This was the conclusion of Morrison Scott of the British Museum after examination of mummified cats from 600 - 200 B.C. The Mau was domesticated around 6,000 to 4,000 years ago in Egypt. They were not only a pet for the ancient Egyptians, they were a working cat, protected by law. The Maus killed mice and rats to protect homes and granaries. Maus also had the unenviable task of ridding the household of snakes. In addition, they were utilized as retrievers when Egyptians went duck-hunting.

The modern history of the Egyptian Mau began in North America in 1956, with importation by the exiled Russian princess, Nathalie Troubetskoy. While living in Italy in 1953, Troubetskoy was fascinated by two spotted cats owned by the Egyptian Ambssador. However, as one of his cats was neutered the Ambassador offered to help the princess import a Mau of her own from Egypt. When Troubetskoy emigrated to America she took with her Baba (a silver female), JoJo (a bronze male), and Liza (a barren silver female). From these kittens, and later importations she started the Fatima cattery.

Official recognition from The Cat Fanciers' Association for championship competition came in 1977.