Egyptian Mau Breed Profile

Grey egyptian mau cat

Origin & History

Ancient Egyptians began keeping domestic cats at least five thousand years ago, and artwork depicting cats dates back at least as far as 1400 BCE. Some of the cats depicted were spotted and otherwise resembled today’s Egyptian Maus. According to PetMD, a painting dated to 1400 BC depicts a spotted cat retrieving a duck for a hunter. The ancestors of Egyptian Maus thus fetched game for their owners as well as protected their grain from rodents. Mau, by the way, is the Egyptian word for “cat.” 

Cat breeders didn’t begin working with Egyptian Maus until the 20th century. French, Italian, and Swiss breeders all began working with Egyptian Maus in the early part of that century. Unfortunately, many of the cats were killed during World War II, and the Egyptian Mau was virtually extinct by the end of the war. 

The exiled Russian Princess, Nathalie Troubetskoy, decided to try to resuscitate the breed. She began by gathering the few surviving cats in Italy. She also secured the Syrian Embassy’s help in importing at least one Mau from Egypt. Troubetskoy immigrated to the United States in 1956 and established the Fatima Egyptian Mau Cattery. 

Since Troubetskoy and other breeders only had a handful of cats to work with, inbreeding soon became a problem. In the 1980s, Cathie Rowan imported 13 more Maus from Egypt and thus led the way to importing more cats. Those cats were crossed with the existing bloodlines and the Egyptian Mau’s health improved over the generations. 
The Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF), which is based in Ohio, was the first registry to recognize the Egyptian Mau as a breed; it did so in 1968. The CFA followed suit nine years later, and the Egyptian Mau is now recognized by all major cat registries. 

In March 2018, the CFA listed the Egyptian Mau as the 25th most popular breed of the 42 breeds it recognizes. 

Coat Colors & Appearance

Egyptian Maus are known for their black spots that occur in a random pattern and form bars around the cat’s legs, neck, upper chest, and tail. The cat also has a single stripe going down the spine to the tip of the tail. Egyptian Maus have a “M” on their forehead that is sometimes called “the mark of the scarab.” 

Show cats have to have bronze, silver, or smoke coats. Black and dilute colors can occur but are only accepted in pet cats or breeding stock. Dilute colors are lighter versions of other colors; blue (gray) is the dilute version of black, for example. 

Egyptian Maus always have light green eyes of a shade called “gooseberry.” The color is similar to that of a grape. The obliquely-set eyes are shaped like rounded almonds, and the set of the eyes give the cat a “worried” look. 

The coat’s texture can vary depending on the color. Cats with a smoke coat, for example, tend to have fine, silky fur, while cats with bronze or silver fur tend to have denser coats. 

The Egyptian Mau often appears to be standing on tiptoe for its hind legs are a bit longer than its forelegs. It has a lithe and athletic look. 

Personality

Sometimes refered to as “the gentle cousin of the Abyssinian.” Egyptian Maus are quick and active cats that enjoy playing with their humans. They will happily ride on their owner’s shoulder or climb to the top of the refrigerator to enjoy the view. They do not, however, enjoy being picked up, and they are too active to be lap cats.

The Egyptian Mau isn’t as rambunctious or extroverted as the typical Abyssinian. While it is devoted to its chosen people, it tends to be more reserved around unfamiliar humans. Once it gets to know them, however, it will happily play with children and dogs. Because of the Mau’s strong hunting instincts, it is probably not a good idea to keep a bird or small mammal around it. 

Some say that the Egyptian Mau likes things and people on its terms and has definite opinions about who its friends are, while others simply describe the Mau as wary of strangers. The International Cat Association (TICA) says the Egyptian Mau is a shy sensitive cat that is easily upset by loud noises. If you plan to show your Mau, TICA recommends getting them acclimated to noise and handling from kittenhood. 

Egyptian Maus like to talk to their humans. They have a melodious voice and can produce a variety of trills and chortles. They may also wag their tail like a dog or knead their paws when pleased. 

Egyptian Maus often enjoy games of fetch, possibly because their ancient ancestors used to retrieve game for Egyptian hunters. The enjoy hunting games, in general, and a Mau that is allowed outside will hunt. Some Maus can be leash-trained. 

Egyptian Maus are intelligent enough to learn tricks. That means they are also smart enough to open doors or drawers to get something they want. 

Grooming Your Egyptian Mau

An Egyptian Mau is a shorthair with a thick coat. As such, it doesn’t need a lot of grooming. Brushing the cat once a week will suffice to keep its coat shiny and healthy. 

Brush the cat’s teeth frequently to keep the teeth healthy and the breath fresh. Ask your vet to recommend a toothpaste for your cat. 

Similarly, ask the vet to recommend a good cleaner if the cat’s ears appear dirty. Trim your cat’s claws once a week. 

Like other cats, Egyptian Maus often don’t enjoy all of these attentions. If you just got a kitten, begin grooming them as soon as possible so they will get used to your brushing their fur, cleaning their teeth, and trimming their claws. 

Health

Egyptian Maus are generally healthy cats. They can, however, develop a degenerative neurological condition called leukodystrophy, which can appear in kittens as young as seven weeks old. PetInsurance.com warns that the condition is fatal and that there is currently no cure.

According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Missouri, Egyptian Maus are susceptible to bladder and kidney stones. 

The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at University of California Davis has conducted a survey of 38 cat breeds to determine their susceptibility to a type of hemolytic anemia called Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Deficiency). The condition is inherited, so affected cats can pass it down to their kittens. While the symptoms can vary, they often include extreme lethargy, jaundice, weight loss, enlarged abdomen, and weakness. The Egyptian Mau proved to be one of the breeds that are most susceptible to PK Deficiency. 

There is a genetic test that can be used to identify both affected cats and carriers. Mating two carriers would result in a quarter of the kittens being born with PK Deficiency. 

The Egyptian Mau can be prone to obesity, which can cause it to develop health problems like arthritis as it gets older. You will thus have to watch your cat’s diet to keep it slim. 

What Makes The Egyptian Mau Different?

The Egyptian Mau is the only naturally spotted cat breed. It is also the fastest of the domestic cats and can run up to 30 mph. It owes that speed to a loose flap of skin that extends from the flank to the knee. Because of its speed, the Egyptian Mau is sometimes described as the “greyhound of cats.” 

Buying An Egyptian Mau

You will, therefore, most likely have to buy your Egyptian Mau from a breeder. Cat registries like TICA and CFA keep lists of breeders. The Fanciers Breeder Referral List has a page devoted to Egyptian Mau breeders in the US and Canada. 

Most breeders won’t sell kittens until they are at least 12 weeks old. The cattery Ajaharah includes a detailed description as to why that is. By 12 weeks, a kitten will be fully weaned, and its mother will have taught it proper cat behavior. 

Similarly, a kitten’s immune system is still developing. After it starts eating solid food, it will need vaccines to bolster its immune system and protect it from disease. Buying a kitten before it has had all of its shots jeopardizes its health. 

You should expect to pay between $1000.00 and $1400.00 for a pet kitten; show quality kittens will cost significantly more. Many breeders have their kittens inoculated, and the price covers that. Some breeders also microchip their kittens. 

Interestingly, smoke kittens often cost less than silver or bronze kittens: $700 or $750 to $1000+. If you’re looking for an adult, some breeders will sell retired show cats and/or queens and sires. 

Adopting An Egyptian Mau

There are some rescue groups that work with pedigreed or purebred cats. They are not guaranteed to have Egyptian Maus, but you could get lucky and find one. 

Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue has been working with surrendered or abandoned pedigreed cats for over 20 years. They are based in the American Midwest. While they mostly have common breeds like Persians and Siamese, they will sometimes have something rarer, like an Egyptian Mau or American Bobtail. 

Purebreds Plus Cat Rescue is a non-profit staffed entirely by volunteers that specializes in pedigreed and special needs cats. It is based on the US West Coast.

Siberian Breed Profile

The Siberian originates as the name suggests from Siberia in the cold northern part of Russia. Its history as a breed is a bit difficult to accurately describe, as what were probably variations of the Siberian naturally existed as far back as 1000 years, being frequently mentioned in Russian folk tales.

These precursors to the modern Siberian Cat breed were living as stray cats in the streets of Leningrad (known today as St. Petersburg) and other cities throughout Russia. These cats were taken in by families and adopted as was quite normal in Russia at the time.

The breed we know today, however, is relatively young, officially being recognized in the 1980´s even though breeding started on a small scale in Moscow in the 1960´s. The first breed standard was created by 1987 and registration of the breed began in Leningrad under the Kotofei Cat Club. Shortly after the Fauna Club of Moscow also began registering the breed.

Modern-day St.Petersburg

We see the Siberian mentioned in Harrison Wiers book `Our Cats and All About Them´ from 1871, where the author describes his encounter with this mysterious and beautiful feline for the first time. [2] Naturally, since this was long before the official registration and breeding of what is today´s modern Siberian Cat breed, this must have been one of the aforementioned stray cats that would eventually become the Siberian cat breed.

The breed made its way to the US in 1990 even though the breed was still rare to see outside of its native Russia. The breed was officially recognized and included as a new breed in TICA and CFA in 1992 and 2000 (opened for registration) respectively. The breed gained championship status in TICA in 1996 and achieved championship status in CFA in 2006.

Today, the Siberian is growing in popularity in the west as more and more people have become aware of this Russian beauty.

From Russia With Love
If you want to look at more cats that hail from Russia, be sure to check out the Russian Blue Breed profile.
he thick, water resistant triple coat that keeps the Siberian warm is adorned by an abundant, full collar ruff around the neck as well as britches on the posterior legs. The body is medium in length, supported by medium-sized, sturdy legs where the hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs.

All colors and combinations are accepted in the breed.

The Siberian is a medium to large cat, with an often imposing and impressive physique and appearance. Males are much larger than females. According to the breed standards, the Siberian is slow to mature, taking up to 5 years to reach full maturity.

Personality

The Siberian may seem imposing to those who do not know its true nature. However, as one spends time with this sweet feline, they will find an affectionate and trusting friend who wants nothing more than to love and be loved by its owner.
The Siberian is a social cat that gets along well with everyone, making him a perfect family cat. So it should not be a problem if you have or plan to have kids. Similarliy dogs or other cats in the household should also be fine (allthough this can vary based on the disposition of the individual cat).

Despite its size, the Siberian is an agile cat that loves to jump and play. Their impressive intellect contributes to this curiosity but also requires that they are stimulated enough throughout the day. Be sure to entertain and stimulate him by playing with interactive toys or play other games like fetch that can both stimulate him mentally and physically at the same time.

Because of his love for heights, climbing and jumping buying or constructing a tall cat tree from where he can monitor his territory is a good idea. If you live in an apartment, it is essential that you make use of any vertical space you may have for your cat, especially since the square feet/meters may be limited.

Grooming Your Siberian

Coat:The Siberian sports a medium to longhair triple coat that comes in all traditional and pointed colors and combinations with or without white. This thick coat does require some maintenance even though it does not tend to tangle or mat easily. Brushing it once or twice per week is therefore sufficient.

Ears:
It is a good idea to go over the ears and clean them weekly with a soft, damp cloth to remove any puss and to avoid infections. Ask your vet for a recommended solution to use when cleaning the ears. Do not use cotton swabs as these can damage the interior of the ear.

Eyes: 
Keep an eye on your Siberians eyes and remove any discharge if you spot it, with a soft, damp cloth.

Teeth: Brushing your Siberian’s teeth daily is recommended to prevent periodontal disease, but if time scarce commodity, you can do it on a weekly basis.

Nails: Trim weekly with your favorite cat nail clipper (this link opens our buying guide on the best nail clippers for cats).

What Makes the Siberian Different?

Are Siberian Cats Hypoallergenic?

The Siberian is sometimes referred to as a “Hypoallergenic” cat breed, and websites like PetMD claim that the breed produces less of the Fel-d1 protein, a known feline allergen.

To answer the question whether the Siberian can be called hypoallergenic, we should clarify what we mean when we say hypoallergenic. Some people confuse the term hypoallergenic to mean “non-allergenic” and as such expect a hypoallergenic cat to be completely allergy free – this is not the case.
“Hypo” is the same as saying less, and therefore “Hypoallergenic” simply means less allergenic. It is worth to note that no cat breed is completely allergy free.

Knowing this, it is a good idea to look at what we are asking here. Is the Siberian less allergenic than other breeds?

To answer the first question, we looked for studies to help us understand if the breed actually produces less Fel-d1. One study from 2017 from the University of Turin, Italy attempted to answer these questions by analyzing blood samples from 35 non-Siberian cats and 4 Siberians to compare their Fel-d1 levels to see if there was a conclusive difference.

What they found is that some of the Siberians seemed to produce less Fel-d1 due to genetic mutations of the CH1 and CH2 genes, which in layman’s terms have coding in them that affects the production of the Fel-d1 protein in the cat.

They concluded that further studies are needed to understand whether these genetic mutations that they observed are common and in anyway isolated to the Siberian breed as a whole.
This is not enough data to conclude that the breed in its entirety produces fewer allergens and is therefore hypoallergenic as a breed, but it does suggest that some Siberians can produce fewer allergens and are therefore better for allergy sufferers.

Because of this, the only way you can know if the Siberian you want to get is allergy friendly to you as an allergic is to meet the cat beforehand and spend some time with it, and see if you get any allergic reactions.
Beware that even if the Siberian in question produces fewer allergens, you may still get an allergic reaction, and if there are other cats in the environment, the allergens may be present in the air as cat dander, and as such provoke allergic reactions.

Therefore, meet your prospective Siberian in an environment where it is separated from other cats to be as sure as possible that you do not react to it. Ask a breeder if you can take your kitten or cat home for a test period and if you can return it if you were to have adverse reactions. If this is not possible, many serious Siberian breeders offer “samples” from their kittens so that you can see if you react badly to them before making a purchasing decision.

We recommend consulting with your doctor before getting a cat if you are prone to or have a history of severe allergic and asthmatic reactions to cats, as these in the worst cases can be life-threatening.

Key Takeaways:

    • Siberians can have low Fel-d1 values and therefore be hypoallergenic, but this is on a cat by cat basis and does not apply to every Siberian.
    • It is wise to either get an allergy test/sample from a breeder or meet with your prospective kitten in a neutral environment for some time to identify whether or not you are allergic to this kitten.
    • Fel-d1 is not the only allergen produced by cats. They also produce Fel-d4 which some people are sensitive to. There is no evidence to show that Siberians produce any less Fel-d4 than any other breed.
    • There are a number of steps you can take to minimize allergic reactions, such as thoroughly cleaning your home environment, reduce or remove carpets, curtains or other surfaces where cat hair and dander can attach.

Health

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) occurs in the breed. HCM is the most common cardiovascular disease in cats. It is a condition in where the walls of the heart become progressively thicker. This thickening of the heart mainly affects the chamber that pumps blood through the aorta to the rest of the body (The left ventricle). Furthermore, the lower part of the septum is often affected, which is the part that separates the left ventricle from the right ventricle.

When the left ventricle thickens the chamber becomes smaller and the muscle becomes very stiff. This makes it harder to fill it with blood as well as making it more difficult to pump blood out from the left ventricle through to the aorta. For further information about this disease and how you can help to ensure that HCM screenings become more widespread and cost-effective visit http://www.hairlesshearts.org/index.php/what-is-hcm/hcm-defined.

Buying a Siberian Cat

Choosing the right breeder

Choosing a reputable and good breeder is very important if you are looking to buy a Siberian. Never buy a Siberian from a pet shop or an unauthorized breeder (such as on Craigslist etc.)!

These sellers are either complete scams that do not even deliver a kitten, or a so called kitten mill where kittens are churned out irresponsibility for short term profit without regard to proper health and safety of the kittens. These kitten mills also tend to care little for adhering to the breed standard.

If they offer a purebred Siberian kitten under a $1000 and offer a short or no health guarantee, you have the right to be very sceptical. You should also ensure that your kitten and its parents have been tested for HCM

How much does a Siberian cost?

The price of a Siberian cat as with any breed cat depends on the “quality” of the prospective cat. Quality in this context means if it a show quality cat that adheres closely to the ideal set in the breed standard and that the cat is, therefore, suitable to enter cat shows. Another factor in determining the price is the pedigree of the Siberian cat.

If the kitten in question has parents that have been champions, be prepared to pay more. If you do not care as much about the pedigree or do not plan to enter your Siberian in cat shows a “pet quality” Siberian is probably the right choice for you and is easier on your wallet.

We compared the pricing of 13 TICA registered breeders in the US and Canada that chose to display their pricing publicly and it breaks down as follows:

Pet Quality Siberian: $1200 – $1800 with an average price of $1569.

Show Quality Siberian: $2500+

Champion Quality Siberian: We did not find any public pricing information. This part will be updated once we have gotten the required data from breeders.

If you want to breed with your Siberian be prepared to pay a premium for those breeding rights.

Insuring your Siberian

Since Siberians are fairly expensive breed cats it might be a good idea to insure your new family member. We have compared pricing from different insurance companies by getting a quote for ”Mr Frosty”, a fictitious 1 year old male Siberian that has been neutered and is up to date on vaccinations and has no medical problems.

Our winner, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation offered us a unlimited coverage plan with a $250 deductible for $21.26 where they reimburse 80% of the veterinary bills. They also offer a plan with the same deductible but 90% reimbursement for $24.91.

Adopting a Siberian Cat

if you want to adopt a Siberian, your best bet is to check out resources like the Fanciers Breeder Referral list or the Petfinder listings and websites like Adoptapet.com. You can also enquire in shelters near you if they have a Siberian in need of a new home. You can also check out our friends at Specialty Purebred Rescue to see if there are any Siberian cats in need of a home!