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The Egyptian Mau Cat

| January 27, 2011
Egyptian Mau Cat

The Egyptian Mau Cat

Character: Highly intelligent and personable, the Mau is extremely loyal and devoted to his family members, both human and 4-legged. Maus have a distinctly soft melodious voice, and chortle to express their happiness. Although regarded as a “living relic” because of their ancient historical roots, Maus are very much “today” in their roles of being active, expressive family members, while at the same time enthralling throngs of worshipers at cat shows.

The Egyptian Mau breed, while perhaps not the oldest recognized cat breed in registries, is believed to stem from the oldest domesticated cat. The original African Wild Cat, is thought to be the cat originally domesticated by the Egyptians, over 4,000 years ago. Today, the Egyptian Mau is the only naturally-occurring spotted breed of cat. To add to its historical distinction, the name “Mau” literally means “cat” in Egyptian. This striking cat fully lives up to these honors, and then some.

Physical Appearance:

Body: The Egyptian Mau’s body is medium long, with well developed muscles, while retaining a graceful appearance. Its hind legs are slightly longer than the front, giving the cat a somewhat “rakish” appearance.

Head: Its head is described as a slightly rounded wedge with no flat planes, medium in length. The nose, when viewed from the front, is even in width for its whole length, with a slight rise from the bridge of the nose to the forehead.The Mau’s muzzle is neither short nor pointed, and its ears, which may be tufted, are of a medium size, moderately pointed, with ample width between the ears. One of the most distinctive features of the Egyptial Mau is its eyes: large, slightly slanted, and of a unique light “Gooseberry green” color.

Coat: Its lustrous, dense coat can be silver, bronze, or smoke, and is distinguished by a marvelous mixture of striping and spotting, which makes this cat really stand out in a show hall.

Personality:

Highly intelligent and personable, the Mau is extremely loyal and devoted to his family members, both human and 4-legged. Maus have a distinctly soft melodious voice, and chortle to express their happiness. Although regarded as a “living relic” because of their ancient historical roots, Maus are very much “today” in their roles of being active, expressive family members, while at the same time enthralling throngs of worshipers at cat shows.

History:

Its ancient lineage notwithstanding, the Egyptian mau was first shown in Europe prior to WWI, but during the war its numbers were decimated, with most of the known survivors found in Italy. A Russian Princess, Nathalie Troubetskoy, who had a varied and distinguished history, exiled in Rome shortly before WWII. While there, she was given a spotted kitten living in a shoebox, by a young acquaintance. Through research, she determined the kitten to be an Egyptian mau, and named her Baba.
In 1956, Princess Troubetskoy emigrated to the U.S., bringing with her Baba and two other rescued maus. Shortly thereafter, she established her cattery, Fatima, and set off to establish the Egyptian mau as a recognized breed in North America. Her efforts were successful, with the acceptance by the Cat Fanciers’ Federation in 1968, and The Canadian Cat Association shortly after.

It was fitting that in 1972 silver Egyptian mau female bred by Princess Troubetskoy became the first Egyptian mau to win a grand championship in CCA. During those early years, because of the lack of breeding stock, the mau was likely outcrossed with selected domestic cats, along with some inbreeding. However more recent imports of maus from Egypt and India, have preserved and strengthened the breed.

Tiuk

The legacy of Princess Troubetskoy will live on in the remarkable Egyptian Mau breed.

POINT SCORE

HEAD (20)
5 .. Muzzle
5 .. Skull
5 .. Ears
5 .. Eye Shape

BODY (25)
10 .. Torso
10 .. Legs and Feet
5 .. Tail

COAT (5)
5 .. Texture and length

PATTERN (25)

COLOR (25)
10 .. Eye color
15 .. Coat color

GENERAL: the Egyptian Mau is the only natural domesticated breed of spotted cat. The Egyptian’s impression should be one of an active, colorful cat of medium size with well developed muscles. Perfect physical condition with an alert appearance. Well balanced physically and temperamentally. Males tend to be larger than females.

HEAD: a slightly rounded wedge without flat planes, medium in length. Not full-cheeked. Profile showing a gentle contour with slight rise from the bridge of the nose to the forehead. Entire length of nose even in width when viewed from the front. Allowance must be made for jowls in adult males.

MUZZLE: should flow into existing wedge of the head. It should be neither short nor pointed. The chin should be firm, not receding or protruding.

EARS: medium to large, alert and moderately pointed, continuing the planes of the head. Broad at base. Slightly flared with ample width between the ears. Hair on ears short and close lying. Inner ear a delicate, almost transparent, shell pink. May be tufted.

EYES: large and alert, almond shaped, with a slight slant towards the ears. Skull apertures neither round nor oriental.

BODY: medium long and graceful, showing well developed muscular strength. Loose skin flap extending from flank to hind leg knee. General balance is more to be desired than size alone. Allowance to be made for muscular necks and shoulders in adult males.

LEGS and FEET: in proportion to body. Hind legs proportionately longer, giving the appearance of being on tip-toe when standing upright. Feet small and dainty, slightly oval, almost round in shape. Toes: five in front and four behind.

TAIL: medium long, thick at base, with slight taper.

COAT: hair is medium in length with a lustrous sheen. In the smoke color the hair is silky and fine in texture. In the silver and bronze colors, the hair is dense and resilient in texture and accommodates two or more bands of ticking separated by lighter bands

PENALIZE: short or round head. Pointed muzzle. Small, round or oriental eyes. Cobby or oriental body. Short or whip tail. If no broken necklaces. Pencillings in spotting pattern on torso. Solid stripes on underside of body instead of “vest button” spots. Poor condition. Amber cast in eye color in cats over the age of 1 1/2 years.

DISQUALIFY: lack of spots. Blue eyes. Kinked or abnormal tail. Incorrect number of toes. White locket or button distinctive from other acceptable white-colored areas in color sections of standard.

MAU PATTERN
(Common to all colors)

PATTERN: markings on torso are to be randomly spotted with variance in size and shape. The spots can be small or large, round, oblong, or irregular shaped. Any of these are of equal merit but the spots, however shaped or whatever size, shall be distinct. Good contrast between pale ground color and deeper markings. Forehead barred with characteristic “M” and frown marks, forming lines between the ears which continue down the back of the neck, ideally breaking into elongated spots, along the spine. As the spinal lines reach the rear haunches, they meld together to form a dorsal stripe which continues along the top of the tail to its tip. The tail is heavily banded and has a dark tip. The cheeks are barred with “mascara” lines; the first starts at the outer corner of the eye and continues along the contour of the cheek, with a second line, which starts at the center of the cheek and curves upwards, almost meeting below the base of the ear. On the upper chest there are one or more broken necklaces. The shoulder markings are a transition between stripes and spots. The upper front legs are heavily barred but do not necessarily match. Spotting pattern on each side of the torso need not match. Haunches and upper hind legs to be a transition between stripes and spots, breaking into bars on the lower leg. Underside of body to have “vest buttons” spots; dark in color against the correspondingly pale ground color.

EGYPTIAN MAU COLORS

EYE COLOR: light green “gooseberry green.” Amber cast is acceptable only in young adults up to 11/2 years of age.

SILVER: pale silver ground color across the head, shoulders, outer legs, back, and tail. Underside fades to a brilliant pale silver. All markings charcoal color with a white to pale silver undercoat, showing good contrast against lighter ground colors. Back of ears grayish-pink and tipped in black. Nose, lips, and eyes outlined in black. Upper throat area, chin, and around nostrils pale clear silver, appearing white. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black with black between the toes and extending beyond the paws of the hind legs.

BRONZE: warm bronze ground color across head, shoulders, outer legs, back, and tail, being darkest on the saddle and lightening to a tawny-buff on the sides. Underside fades to a creamy ivory. All markings dark brown-black with a warm brown undercoat, showing good contrast against the lighter ground color. Back of ears tawny-pink and tipped in dark brown-black. Nose, lips, and eyes outlined in dark brown, with bridge of nose brown. Upper throat area, chin, and around nostrils pale creamy white. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black or dark brown, with same color between toes and extending beyond the paws of the hind legs.

SMOKE: pale silver ground color across head, shoulders, legs, tail, and underside, with all hairs to be tipped in black. All markings jet black with a white to pale silver undercoat, with sufficient contrast against ground color for pattern to be plainly visible. Nose, lips, and eyes outlined in jet black. Upper throat area, chin, and around nostrils lightest in color. Nose leather: black. Paw pads: black with black between the toes and extending beyond the paws of the hind legs. Whiskers: black.

The following information is for reference purposes only and not an official part of the CFA Show Standard.

Egyptian Mau Color Class Numbers

Silver 0842 0843
Bronze 0844 0845
Smoke 0846 0847
AOV 0848 0849

Egyptian Mau allowable outcross breeds: none.

Copyright & Credit:
Breed Profile and Photos copyright & courtesy:George & Lavina Kormendy – KATZMAU Egyptian Mau Cattery – katzmau@msn.com

Category: Feline Resources

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