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Egyptian Mau

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Egyptian Mau

Felis catus

Last updated: June 9, 2021
Verified by: IMP

An ancient breed of domestic cat!

Egyptian Mau Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Felis catus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Egyptian Mau Conservation Status

Egyptian Mau Locations

Egyptian Mau Locations

Egyptian Mau Facts

Fun Fact
An ancient breed of domestic cat!
Loving, playful and clever
Average Litter Size
Common Name
Egyptian Mau
An ancient breed of domestic cat!

Egyptian Mau Physical Characteristics

  • Grey
  • Blue
  • White
  • Silver
Skin Type
12-16 years

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View all of the Egyptian Mau images!

The Egyptian Mau is a rare small-to-medium size short-haired breed of domesticated cat that is naturally spotted on the tips of its fur.

Originating in Egypt, it is considered an ancestor of modern domestic cats as well as one of the fastest. The breed name of “mau” means “cat” in Egyptian Arabic.

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Egyptian Mau Traits: What to Know Before You Buy

  • The Egyptian Mau is a descendant of the African wild cat.
  • Physically, this breed is long and very muscled.
  • It has a much longer pregnancy than other breeds, 73 days to be exact.
  • It’s very fast, running more than 30mph (48km/h).
  • The breed is so rare it is more common to find a mixed breed than a purebred outside of Egypt.

Egyptian Mau Personality

The Egyptian Mau personality is friendly, chatty, playful, and active. It has a social, balanced temperament with characteristics of loyalty, alertness, independence, patience, and intelligence. This social cat is physically gorgeous, strong, regal, and graceful and while it has an affectionate personality, it is a freedom-loving “four on the floor” (all feet on the ground) cat that does not enjoy being held or being a lap cat half the time or more. It can be possessive in temperament and cherish one human to be attached to above all others. Strange noises and abrupt movements make it skittish.

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This breed is very vocal and musical per its breed name Mau, meaning “cat.” It may chirp, trill, chortle, and make other unusual sounds in response to stimulation. Another common behavior in this breed is the “wiggle-tail” in which it twitches its tail, shaking it similar to spraying territory although it does not release urine.

This breed can be territorial with other pets but can learn to get along. It does however enjoy families, especially those with older children. It is shy around strangers.

It has gooseberry green eyes which can change to turquoise depending on its temperament.

Two cute Egyptian Mau cats sitting on a shelf.
Two cute Egyptian Mau cats sitting on a shelf.

Egyptian Mau Size and Weight

The Egyptian Mau is small to medium in size with short to medium silky fur and a long body. It has the slender elegance of a Siamese with the density of a Burmese, overall resembling the Abyssinian but with more length, muscle, shapeliness, distinct curves, and height. It is often confused for an Ocicat, which is a mixture of an Abyssian and an Egyptian Mau and retains the spotted fur.

Health and Entertainment for your Egyptian Mau

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Both sexes are 8-14 inches in height, with male Egyptian Maus being larger than females. Males weigh 8-14 lbs on average and females weigh 6-10 lbs on average. Kittens reach full maturity at about 18 months and weigh about 7-9lbs on average, reaching their full weight later.

Egyptian Mau Price

The price of an Egyptian Mau depends on whether you are getting a purebred or a mixed breed as well as its age and where you get it from. If you get Egyptian Mau kittens from a breeder, they can each cost anywhere from $1,800-2,500 on the high end and $600-1,200 on average depending on color, breed registration, and other characteristics.

However, there are Egyptian Mau rescues in the U.S. where you can find purebred and mixed breed kittens and adult cats and pay the standard adoption fee.

Egyptian Mau Kittens

These kittens all have green eyes, but amber is naturally occurring in kittens and young adults up to 18 months of age. They can cost as much as $1,200. If you are looking for a female for breeding, it can cost up to $2,000. Ideally, you should choose a reputable breeder with a healthy line and a written health guarantee to avoid issues, some of which can appear at a young age.

Cute Egyptian Mau kitten playing by itself.
Cute Egyptian Mau kitten playing by itself.


Egyptian Mau Lifespan

The lifespan of these cats ranges from 9 to 20 years, but 12-16 on average. Although it’s generally very healthy, it can be prone to heart disease, urate urolithiasis, pyruvate kinase deficiency, and leukodystrophy. It is more sensitive to temperature than other breeds and enjoys very warm temperatures. It is more sensitive to medicines and anesthesia than other breeds as well.

Egyptian Mau Breed vs. Mixed

Some characteristics of a purebred cat is as follow:

  • A rounded, triangular-shaped head
  • Medium-to-large softly shaped, black-tipped, tufted ears
  • Large, almond-shaped “gooseberry green” eyes with a somewhat worried expression
  • Spotted tabby markings
  • A paler underside
  • A cheetah-like walk
  • A back stripe running from head to tail
  • An “m” or scarab beetle marking on its forehead
  • Two “mascara lines” on each side of their cheeks
  • The front legs slightly longer than the back
  • Thin, long tail with classic black tip

These cats are street cats in Egypt and rare everywhere else. An Egyptian Mau mixed breed is often a cross between an Egyptian Mau and a shorthair domestic cat rather than another purebred. Its breed name as a cross is Egyptian Mau mix.

Types of Egyptian Mau Cats and Colors

These cats come in three main colors for show quality:

  • Silver with charcoal spotting(most common)
  • Bronze with black or dark brown spotting
  • Smoke with black spotting

On the other hand, pet-quality cats have other colors which are diluted rather than natural, including blue silver, blue smoke, blue-spotted, solid black, and blue (or pewter). Ordered from the most common to the least, the colors are silver, bronze, smoke, black, caramel, and blue. Black and blue Egyptian Maus cannot be show-quality but can be used for breeding.

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and — of course — pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Egyptian Mau FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Egyptian Maus herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Egyptian Maus are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Egyptian Maus belong to?

Egyptian Maus belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What phylum to Egyptian Maus belong to?

Egyptian Maus belong to the phylum Chordata.

What class do Egyptian Maus belong to?

Egyptian Maus belong to the class Mammalia.

What family do Egyptian Maus belong to?

Egyptian Maus belong to the family Felidae.

What order do Egyptian Maus belong to?

Egyptian Maus belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do Egyptian Maus have?

Egyptian Maus are covered in hair.

What genus do Egyptian Maus belong to?

Egyptian Maus belong to the genus Felis.

How many babies do Egyptian Maus have?

The average number of babies an Egyptian Mau has is 6.

What is an interesting fact about Egyptian Maus?

Egyptian Maus are an ancient breed of domestic cat!

What is the scientific name for the Egyptian Mau?

The scientific name for the Egyptian Mau is Felis catus.

Are Egyptian Maus good pets?

Yes, they are very good pets that tend to be attached to one particular human and enjoy families, especially older children.

How much does an Egyptian Mau cost?

The price of an Egyptian Mau can range anywhere from $600-2,000.

Do Egyptian Maus like to be held?

Although Egyptian Maus are affectionate, they mostly do not enjoy being held because it means their legs and rear are not on the ground.

Are Egyptian Maus lap cats?

Not particularly. They are affectionate but independent cats.

How long do Egyptian Maus live?

Their lifespan is typically 12-16 years but can be as much as 20 years.

  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Mau
  2. Kitty Wise, Available here: https://kittywise.com/egyptian-mau/
  3. Catspro, Available here: https://catspro.com/egyptian-mau-2.html
  4. Pet Coach, Available here: https://www.petcoach.co/breed/egyptian-mau/
  5. Pet Guide, Available here: https://www.petguide.com/breeds/cat/egyptian-mau/
  6. All About Cats, Available here: https://allaboutcats.com/cat-breeds/egyptian-mau
  7. Cat Breeds List, Available here: https://www.catbreedslist.com/all-cat-breeds/egyptian-mau.html
  8. Vetstreet, Available here: http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/egyptian-mau
  9. Cat Fanciers Association, Available here: https://cfa.org/egyptian-mau/
  10. Hills Pet, Available here: https://www.hillspet.co.uk/cat-care/cat-breeds/egyptian-mau

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