Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Mau actually Egyptian?

Yes, the original foundation cats for the breed were sourced directly from Egypt by Nathalie Troubetskoy in 1953. Over the years further cats from Egypt have been imported to prevent inbreeding. Additionally spotted cats are present on wall-paintings in the temples of Thebes on the Nile, built around 1400 B.C, and these are thought to be early versions of Maus!

Is the Mau a manufactured breed?

No, not in the usual sense of the word (e.g Bengals and Ocicats are manufactured breeds). While there has been some outcrossings to American shorthair over the years to prevent inbreeding the Maus are no more manufactured than say, Burmese.

But I heard they were manufactured from Orientals and other breeds?

Not at all. During the 1960s there was a deliberate attempt to create a spotted cat by crossing Abyssinian, Orientals, Siamese and Shorthair breeds but this did not lead to any infusion into Mau lines. The attempt was abandoned after producing spotted Orientals, but shortly afterwards the spotted Siamese, Abyssinian crossing (Ocicat) was produced.

Is the Mau just a moggie with spots?

Not at all! While the ideal type of a Mau is not extreme like some other breeds, there are significant physiological differences between a standard domestic cat and a Mau. Maus have a flap of skin between their knees and abdomen that enable them to run much faster. They make different noises (chirps and trills). Finally their behaviour and personalities are quite different from a standard domestic.

Is a Mau different from a Bengal?

Yes! Bengals were manufactured by crossing Asian Leopard cats Prionailurus Bengalensis with (initially) Egyptian Maus and Mau crosses. So in a way Bengals and Maus are related, but only in the sense that initially Maus were used for the domestic outcross. Since then a number of other breeds have been added to the mix (Siamese, Burmese, Silver tabbies) to produce differing colors in the Bengal. So there is no guarantee that a given Bengal has much Mau inheritance present.

I'm considering breeding Maus, What do I need to do?

The first thing to do is talk to a local Mau breeder and explain your interest in breeding. Do not just ask to buy a kitten entire (i.e not desexed) as this is likely to evoke a less than supportive response. In most cases you will need to organize becoming a registered breeder before anyone can sell you a kitten for breeding. You will need to be interviewed by a number of local and international breeders before you get to start breeding! This may seem a bit over the top, but note that the Mau breeding community is quite small and the ability for us all to work together is vital, so we need to check you out!