What’s a Mau?
There is actually a breed of cat that could well be named for their most renown sound, MAU.
Originating from the Cairo area in Egypt, Mau is actually the ancient Egyptian name for the divine household cat. They are a naturally evolved breed rather than bred for particular characteristics, and were first seen in Europe in the 1950s at a Rome based cat show. From Europe, they were introduced into America in the late 1950s, where about 15 years after introduction, they were recognised as a breed.
The Egyptian Mau cat is a small to medium-sized, short-haired cat, and is considered a rare breed. The Egyptian Mau can look quite Siamese like, but is more muscular, with well-defined muscles and an athletic appearance. Their heads are slightly rounded wedge shape with no flat edges. The nose is not pointed in profile, but they do have green eyes. They range in weight from 2.5-3.5kg, with males heavier up to 5kg. Lifespan expectation is excellent, generally 18-20 years with no outstanding health issues.
The Mau has a naturally spotted coat with the unusual characteristic of the spots being only on the tops of the hairs of its coat, rather than full hair depth, base to tip. This is known as ticking.
The breed has distinctive markings, including banding on the legs, and good contrast between the light base colour and darker ticking or marking. The coat hairs should each have the 2 colours present.
The colours have 3 variations, Silver Smoke and bronze, and all are very striking in appearance.
The Egyptian Mau personality is playful and loving. They are very clever and love to learn tricks. They are one of the few cat breeds that enjoys harness time. Generally, fuss and attention are required and paid back in full by these active and engaging felines. Do be prepared to provide stimulation as these athletic cats need exercise and play, as they retain their kitten-like playfulness into adulthood. The Egyptian Mau is highly vocal (perhaps the inspiration in the name originally?) and have great loyalty and affection. They are ideal family cats as they do well with children and other pets.
Best kept indoors as they are an attractive cat and rare breed, with some risk of catnapping if not confined safely.
It can be difficult to locate an Egyptian Mau breeder, so look for recommendations from registered cat groups and associations, if you are wanting one of these lovely felines for your family.