Mau is the Egyptian word for cat. By examining mummified cats found in Egypt, it has been shown that the Mau is the domesticated version of a spotted sub-species of the African Wild Cat (felix lybica). It is also probably the ancestor of all our domestic cats. The hieroglyphs of the ancient Mau are very similar to its modern day relative. The Egyptian Mau is the only naturally spotted breed of domestic cat. Originally, the modern Mau population relied on just a few cats imported from Egypt to the United States in the 1950's. Since then, breeders have imported new cats from Egypt to enlarge the breed’s genetic pool. The breed was accepted by CFA in 1978 and by FIFé in 1992. The breed is still more common in the USA than in Europe. The first Egyptian Mau was imported to Finland in the 1990s, but it wasn't until 2006 that the first litter was born in the country. Currently, at the start of 2013 there is a small population of cats (under 100) in Finland.
About the breed
The Egyptian Mau is a medium sized muscular cat. Accepted colours are black silver (MAU ns 24) and bronze (MAU n 24) spotted tabbies and black smoke (MAU ns). Black and blue Maus are acceptable in breeding programs in some organizations, but they are not eligible for shows. Their hair is short and shiny and very dense in silver and bronze cats but softer and silkier in smoke. The spots come in various shapes and sizes, but they have to be clearly separated by the basic colour. One or more broken necklaces are seen in the chest. Their big almond shaped eyes are gooseberry green in colour. In young cats yellowish eye colour is acceptable until one and half years of age. Ears are medium or large in size and continue along the planes of the head. The head is medium in length with gentle contours in the profile and a slightly rounded forehead. The overall look of the Egyptian Mau is alert and well balanced. Egyptian Maus are said to be very intelligent and affectionate to their family. They often act nonchalant towards strangers rather than shy or timid. They get along well with other pets. Male cats are tender fathers and help the female to take care of their offspring if allowed. Maus seem to have intense senses and instincts. They are often very sensitive about smells and react with their familiar worried look. They also seem to have a particularly sensitive taste. Furry and feathery
toys will end up in their claws and catching mice in their outdoors cage is no
trouble at all. Even the smallest kittens drag their chicken wings to the corner and grunt as if they’re feeding on a bigger prey! Maus take part in their owners' daily life without being overly unbearable. They often find things to do by themselves. A lot of them like to ride on their owners' shoulders. They are also very witty and ingenious in achieving their goals. Maus are lively and playful without being hyperactive. They are also determined and strong willed. Maus are sociable and tender without being clingy and overly dependent. They have a balanced amount of independency and closeness, calmness and speed. When they’re feeling tender, they love to come to your lap and cuddle and kiss and then take a nap. On average the Maus are not particularly loud, even though they can be fairly talkative. A lot of Mau owners have noticed that their cats are prone to water and some even take a swim if given the opportunity! Maus usually get along well with other pets and children. Their appetite is mostly very good and they enjoy a healthy and comprehensive diet. However, there are personal differences in tastes as well as other characteristics.
Source: Finnish Egyptian Mau Association