Kamis, 01 Desember 2011

Things to Know About the Egyptian Mau Cat

Egyptian Maus can be fierce hunters if let outside.

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Egyptian Mau cats, while domesticated, share many characteristics with wild cats. Egyptian Maus have markings that are similar to jungle cats, as well as a natural ability to run at fast speeds. Egyptian Maus can run up to 30 mph. Before purchasing or adopting this interesting breed of cat, learn more about its history, personality and traits to make sure that the Egyptian Mau is the right pet for you and your home.

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The Egyptian Mau breed can trace its beginnings to ancient Egypt. Most cat enthusiasts consider the breed one of the oldest in the history of domesticated felines. Maus have been depicted in papyrus drawings and hieroglyphics dating back to 2200 B.C. The breed became scarce and endangered around World War II. The cats were struggling to survive after the war. Exiled Russian princess Nathalie Troubetskoy made a concerted effort to save the breed after being given a stray Egyptian Mau kitten in Italy. Troubetskoy brought three purebred Egyptian Maus to the United States in 1956. She started a cattery where she bred and promoted the breed. Over the years, other breeders have received permission to bring Maus into the U.S. to refresh the bloodlines. Today, the breed thrives.

Coloring and Markings

Egyptian Maus are one of only two naturally spotted registered breeds that remain in existence. The spots are in the fur as well as on the skin of the cat. The head markings of the Egyptian Maus are very distinct. The cats have mark on the forehead that resembles an “M.” This is also called a scarab beetle mark. Two dark lines mark the sides of the cat’s face. One of the lines looks similar to eyeliner, as it circles the eye and sweeps out to the cheek. Legend has it that ancient Egyptian women mimicked the Mau’s markings with kohl eyeliner to create their famous look. Egyptian Maus come in base colors of silver, bronze and smoke. The smoke variety can range from hues of dark grey to black to even a bluish hue. The silver and bronze varieties have a coat that is denser than the smoke-colored cats, which are silkier.

Breed Traits and Features

Egyptian Maus are considered a medium-sized feline breed. The cats have graceful lines and thin legs. The front legs are a little shorter than the hind legs. The coat is a medium length and requires only the occasional brushing to remove dead hair. The cats have large, almond-shaped, light-green eyes that slant toward the ears. The head of an Egyptian Mau is shaped similar to a rounded wedge. The ears are medium sized and are in an alert position. The breed is said to have a slightly concerned expression. The cats can run at very fast speeds and are an athletic breed. Egyptian Maus are very good a playing fetch, much like a dog. The cats have been depicted in Egyptian history as duck hunting companions. The owners would shoot ducks with arrows and the cats would retrieve them after they fell from the sky.

Temperament and Personality

The Egyptian Mau is described as a devoted cat. The cats tend to bond to one or two owners and will exhibit an unwavering loyalty towards the chosen people. This devotion does not lend the cat to adapting to new families easily. The cats are active and like to play games. Egyptian Maus can be trained to do tricks and walk on a leash. The breed is very intelligent and has a strong memory. The cats are vocal, but not overly so, and like to communicate with humans. They have voices that are described as melodious and will let you know if the food bowl is empty or if they need some attention by meowing. A happy Mau will wave its tail, tread its feet and chortle to let you know its contentment.

ReferencesPetfinder: Egyptian Mau CatFanciers Breeder Referral List: Egyptian MauCat Facts: Egyptian MauThe Cat Breed Guide: The Egyptian Mau Cat ProfileTraditional Cat Association: History of Egyptian MauTerrific Cats: Egyptian Mau Breed InformationPhoto Credit George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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