Rare and exotic, the Egyptian Mau is reminiscent of the days when the Egyptians worshipped cats as gods. They are said to be descendants of the wild African cats, and their unusual physical characteristics would suggest that this is true. The Egyptian Mau is the track star of the cat world, and has been clocked at over 30mph, making them the fastest pedigreed cat on record! Their unique physical build contributes to this ability, with long hind legs and a remarkable flap of extra skin on their lower abdomen, which gives them increased range of motion and thus speeds.
Though the exact origins of the breed have been lost to time, breed enthusiasts claim they are one of the oldest breeds of cats and that they existed in Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs. Today, they’re extremely rare, with fewer than 7000 cats registered worldwide. It’s not for lack of charm that keeps this breed in small numbers, as the Egyptian Mau is prized for its devotion and loyalty to their family.
Appearance / lifespan:
The Egyptian Mau is a cat with several unique characteristics. They are medium-sized and athletic, not as slender as a Siamese, but graceful none-the-less. Their hind legs are slightly longer than the front, and it appears that they are “tip-toeing” when they’re standing fully upright. The Egyptian Mau has a considerable flap of loose skin from mid abdomen to hind knee which provides their long back legs with a greater range of motion, and enables their remarkable speeds.
Their head is a rounded wedge, medium in length with a strong, broad nose gently curved from bridge to forehead, and even in width from top to bottom. The brow line and eye-set give the Egyptian Mau a characteristic “worried” look. The eyes are large and expressive, rounded, but slightly almond in shape, and with an upward slant towards the base of the ear. The Egyptian Mau’s eye color is an unusual “gooseberry” green, and ringed with a dark, mascara-like outline. The ears are moderately pointed, and may have a lynx-like tip.
The Egyptian Mau’s coat is short, but stunning. They are one of the few naturally spotted breeds, though the patterns on their coat are only present on the tip of the hairs. Stripes are present, too, with an “M” on the forehead, mascara-lines on the face, and legs, tail, neck and upper chest that are barred. The texture of the hair is silky and fine, and may have a lustrous, glossy sheen. They come in remarkable shades of silver, bronze, black, and smoke, as well as the diluted versions of these colors – blue silver, blue spotted, blue smoke, and blue.
The Egyptian Mau is largely a healthy cat, but it’s important to know that they seem to have some significant metabolic differences from other cat breeds. They’re often more sensitive to medications and anesthesia so your veterinarian needs to plan accordingly. They are very temperature sensitive, preferring warm climates. Finally, the Mau has a somewhat longer gestational period than your average domestic cat.
Behavior / temperament:
The Egyptian Mau is an intelligent, active, and social cat. They want to be included as part of the family, and to have frequent interactions: this is not a cat to sit on the sidelines. While loyal and expressive to their owners, they can seem stand-offish and even shy with strangers. Change can make the Egyptian Mau nervous, and they may be easy to startle at unexpected noises, which may make them a less-than-ideal choice for a household with young children.
This is a cat that is athletic and active, and will like to keep busy playing with toys, and you’ll be impressed by their lightning-fast reflexes. They will jump and climb, and don’t be surprised if they try to sit on your shoulder! They’re not necessarily a lap cat, but they’ll be quite affectionate on their own terms.
The Egyptian Mau has a musical voice with a repertoire of chirps, chortles, and other unique vocalizations. They’re not overly-talkative, and when they speak up, it’s usually to let you know they’re happy. Another common Egyptian Mau behavior is the “wiggle-tail”, which can sometimes be mistaken for territory marking, or spraying. The Egyptian Mau does this as an expression of happiness, and no urine is actually released.
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Best Flea and Tick Collar Available
The Seresto collar is a 8-month preventative for fleas and ticks available for dogs and cats. I had a client yesterday say it is the best tick prevention she has ever used for her outdoor cats and she will never use anything else. Seresto collars are much safer than the over-the-counter Hartz and Seargents -type collars. Unlike those collars they do not use organophosphates or amitraz which can be toxic to you and your pet if ingested. When you apply the collar, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. It is a break-away collar, so if your cat becomes tangled, it will break off. However, the company (Beyer) will supply you with one replacement collar, if you contact them. Although it is available over-the-counter, I recommend getting the collar through your veterinarian due to the fact that we are seeing knock-off versions and counterfeit products that can cause toxicity. .
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Physical exam before beginning treatment
A comprehensive physical exam is a must before beginning any treatment for a "behavior problem." Any sudden changes in your cats behavior may indicate an underlying medical problem. Your veterinarian will do a complete physical exam to check for any obvious signs of pain or injury. Also, they will check a temperature to ensure there is no fever. Another important indicator is checking the weight of your pet. Unexplained weight loss or weight gain may indicate an underlying metabolic disorder. Based on their physical exam, the vet may recommend bloodwork as well to check the kidney, liver, and thyroid functions of your cat. They may also need this information before starting medication for your cat as a baseline, so that the values can be monitored if your pet is on behavior-altering medications long term. .
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