Tuesday, October 4, 2011

EGYPTIAN MAU CATS

My feline brother and sister, Charlie and Chloe, and also my foster kitten brother, Jacen, all keep telling me I need to write more in my blog about cats.  This is silly because I am a DOG, and I prefer to write about DOGS!  But in order to stop all the kitty pestering I've been getting, I finally agreed to write about a type of cat called the Egyptian Mau.





This breed of cat is very, very old, and in fact it might be the very first, original domestic cat.  In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped, but I can't imagine why.  It would make lots more sense to worship dogs, if you ask me.  But no one asked me.  So anyway, you can see pictures that the Egyptians made of spotted cats, and these were probably the very earliest Egyptian Maus.  The word mau even means "cat" in the Middle Egyptian language.

Egyptian Maus are probably descended from African wild cats.  They are the only naturally spotted domestic type of cat.  If you shave the hair off an Egyptian Mau --which would likely not be easy to do without getting clawed -- you will find that the skin is spotted, too, and not just the fur.  There are other spotted cat breeds, such as the Ocicat and the Bengal cat, but these breeds were made by mating domestic cats with wildcats to get the spots.

An interesting thing about Egyptian Maus is that they can run really fast, like over 30 miles an hour, which is almost as fast as a greyhound can run.  The reason these cats can run like this is because (1) their back legs are longer than their front legs, and (2) they have an extra flap of skin that lets them stretch out their back legs really far when they are running.







The modern version of the Egyptian Mau breed got started in 1953 when the Russian Princess Natalie Troubetskaya, who was exiled from Russia, met the cat that belonged to the Egyptian Ambassador to Italy.  She asked him to get her some Egyptian Maus, and she started breeding them.  By 1968, Maus had become champions in some official cat organizations.  British breeders tried to make Egyptian Maus by crossing Abyssinians, Siamese, and tabbies, but these cats did not look like real Maus.  Instead, they became the start of the Ocicat breed.











Egyptian Maus are small to medium in size.  They are slender and muscular, and they come in several different colors, such as silver, bronze, smoke, black, and blue/pewter.  Cats with those last two colors can't be shown, but they can be bred.  All Maus have green eyes, but not just any color of green.  Their eyes are supposed to be "gooseberry green."

These cats can be sort of aloof and shy, just like basenjis.  But Maus are very loving and loyal with their people, and when they want your attention, they can be really demanding.  Since they have short hair, Maus don't need much grooming.  They don't usually have health problems, and they can live a long time.



This breed is still pretty rare.  As of 2006, there were 6,741 Maus registered with the Cat Fanciers' Association, and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy was registering fewer than 200 kittens each year.  But if you want a Mau kitten, you can probably find a breeder who will sell you one for a lot of money.  There is also a rescue group working in Egypt to save native Maus.  They have lots of cats who need homes, but it's kind of complicated to get them to where you live.  Anyway, if you want my opinion -- which I'm sure you do -- you should just adopt a cat from your local shelter.  Or better yet, you should adopt a dog!

8 comments:

  1. Hi Piper, this is Dodi. I am sooo surprised I get to write today, because I've been in trouble the past couple days, but guess my mom forgot about that. :) I think it's very nice of you to write about cats, especially since you are a dog. My mom said there was a question on Free Kibble the other day, and the answer was the Egyptian Mau...but she can't remember the question. Sometimes my mom can't remember anything. Shhh...don't tell her I said that. I would love to meet a Mau, because I like to run and I think it would be fun to have a race. I also think my sister, Di, must have Mau in her because she's very aloof and sometimes acts like she doesn't notice anyone else in our house or doesn't care about anything. I happen to care about everything! Thanks for the great subject today - you are a very good sister to your cat brother & sister and Jacen. Have a good day.
    Love, Dodi

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  2. Hey Piper!
    I am ALIVE!!! I was always trying to post comments but I couldn't sign in and you can't comment as anonymous. Oh, and OMG!!! I started a story about a mischievous egyptian mau cat named mau a few months ago but since it is long and complicated, it's gunna take some time to finish.
    So, I know more about them so thx!!!

    Fluffy-Lucky

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  3. Dear Dodi,
    I remember that there was a question on Freekibble about Egyptian Mau cats. Was it about what the fastest cat was? Or maybe it was about their spots? Anyway, that's part of why I decided to write about them. I'm glad you liked my blog today. It really was nice of me to write about cats, wasn't it? LOL
    Love, Piper

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  4. Dear Lucky,
    WOW! I thought you had fallen off the edge of the earth! Or at least I thought maybe you went to Bangladesh or someplace far away like that. Some other people have had trouble signing in, too, but I don't know why. One friend of mine couldn't even leave a comment as "anonymous," even though that's what she usually does. I think maybe Google is just being weird and mean to people.

    Anyway, I'm glad you are alive and that you are writing a story about an Egyptian Mau. I guess we were both thinking about the same thing.

    Your friend, Piper

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  5. excellent read. i just passed this onto a buddy who was doing a little research on that. he actually bought me lunch because i found it for him! so let me rephrase: thanx for lunch!

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    1. Dear pharmacy one,

      I hope you had a good lunch, and I wish you had brought me some of it in a doggy box. But I guess it's too late now. Anyway, I'm glad your friend can use the information about Egyptian Mau cats.

      Sincerely, Piper

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  6. Hola amigo bloguero: tienes un espacio muy interesante, lleno de buenos datos y quisiera compartir contigo y tus lectores más información sobre la raza de gato Mau Egipcio y un video de imagenes del Mau Egipcio.

    Espero que te haya gustado mi blog de mascotas y su nuevo post. Déjame un comentario si te apetece.

    Saludos

    ReplyDelete