Welcome to Cat breeds an online reference for cat fanciers and cat owners. Learn more about your cat's history and genetic origins. This is a guide for future cat owners to find the purrfect life companion for them. Find rare and hard to find cat breeds here and cattery website links about the breed. If you have a cat breed in mind for me to showcase please do so inform me on my email.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Egyptian Mau

This ancient breed called the "Mau" that means cat in Egyptian, dates way back 3000 years ago and may be druing the first Egyptian dynasty. They are the direct descendants of Felis lybica (African wild cat) who roamed the desserts and savannahs of Egypt and Namibia. Records now show that they were first bred as bird retrievers that possesed an extraordinary speed to aid them as the fetched their quarry. The mau even has loose skin under its belly like that of the cheetah allowing its legs freedom of movement. Carvings and paintings of the ancient Egyptians shows the Mau holding birds in its mouth and carrying them back to the shooter of the arrow as it trudges along a papyrus filled marsh.

They were later venerated by the Priests of Bastet, the Goddess of both the Moon and the Sun. These cats were pampered as the Temple cats, watching over the altar of Bastet and the other Ancient Gods. These cats enjoyed a life of luxury and of honor, even after death their importance to the egyptians showed for they were burried in a better state compared to peasants, They were mummified with the finnest linnens and the most expensive of perfumes to aid them in the journey to the afterlife. The human family that owned the mau would shave their eyebrows in respect of the departed emissary of Bastet. And in the ancient times who so ever harm or kill a Mau shall only be punished by death.

The Mau is the only naturally spotted cat breed in the world, in fact the Mau's spots are not just on its fur the spots are even visible on the skin after you have shaved the fur off. Its eyes are a gooseberry green with an expression of compassion or worry, inherting the nature of her diety Bastet. The Mau's body is scattered with random spots spreading from the back of its head down to the base of its striped tail, stripes can also be found on its legs down to its feet. Its neck is elegant and slightly elongated looking that of a refined princess. Its color ranges from smoke to silver and bronze, a few blacks are recorded and they do occassionally pop up out of a litter due to the smoke color of the breed.

The Mau breed nearly face extinction during the world war, but their story becomes more romantic as they were rescued by an exhiled princess named Nathalie Troubetskoy. Her dedication was the salvation of this rare and mystical breed. Her first Mau was given to her by a boy when she was staying in Italy, this boy had been keeping a little silver spotted female in a shoe box. This was inturn given to him by a diplomat working from the middle east.

Princess Nathalie Troubetskoy researched more on the Identity of her newly found pet, and through her search she has found that the kitten was indeed an Egyptian Mau. Through her other contacts she gathered all the Mau's she could her find determined to save them from oblivion. She acquire more of the cats through the Syrian Embassy, these cats which later became the base blood of the modern Mau's from Nathalie's Fatima Cattery that she established her self to spread the popularity of the breed.

In the 1970's the breeders of the Mau felt the weight of a limited gene pool once again, a new heroin of the breed stepped up for the challenge. It was Jean S. Mill who introduced the Indian lines of Mau's, these cats came from a Zoo from New delhi where they ran loose inside a Rhino enclosure. These cats introduced the glitter gene into the breed which later helped in improving the beauty and health of the gene pool.

The torch of the breed savior was then passed to Cathie Rowan in the 1980's when she brought thirteen new Mau's into America, her help bolstered the ranks of the Mau's bloodlines and helped in the general survival of the breed into the next decade.

J. Len Davidson brought fresh new genes from the Mau's home land Egypt when she imported four more cats that had a more broader bloodline than the first two lines, these were the beginnings of the Egyptian lines. These excelled in intelligence and produce more litters and healthier kittens. Marie-Christine Hallepee in 1999 is the latest heroin of this breed when she imported Fondcombe’s SahourĂȘ from Egypt to France.

These new imports were taken from the very streets of India and Egypt that is why their histories are shrouded in such mystery and intrigue. If your looking for a cat with a heritage and a knack for finding "Joan's of Arc" then the Mau is indeed a breed for you.

Check out these sites for more info and if your interested in getting the breed:

For the breed standard in TICA please click on this link:

"All photos seen here are not my own and in no way am I claiming them to be my own. Some have the knowledge of the owners of me showcasing their cats Photos.
These photos are here to give adequate and vivid representations of cat breeds and conditions and are in no means for profit."

1 comment:

christien said...

For a directroy of local Egyptian Mau breeders in your area.