Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Maus are a small-medium sized short-haired cat breed. Along with the Bahraini Dilmun Cat, they are one of the few naturally spotted breeds of domesticated cat. The spots of the Mau occur on both the coat and their skin underneath. The spotted Mau is an ancient breed from natural stock; its look has not changed significantly as is evidenced by artwork over 3,000 years old. Unlike other spotted cats such as the Ocicat or Bengal cat, the Egyptian Mau is a natural breed.[citation needed] Other breeds are created from domestic breed outcross or, in the case of the Bengal cat, domestic outcrosses with wildcats. The Mau is significantly smaller than these other breeds. The breed conformation is described by The Cornell Book of Cats as a balance between the compactness of a Burmese and the slim elegance of a Siamese. Its medium-length body is muscular, with the hind legs longer than the front, giving the Mau the appearance of standing on tiptoes when upright.[1] The Egyptian Mau is the fastest of the domestic cats,[2] with its longer hind legs, and unique flap of skin extending from the flank to the back knee, providing for greater agility and length of stride. Maus have been clocked running over 36 mph (58 km/h).[2] Maus often possess very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle and emit other distinctly unusual vocalizations when stimulated.[3] The back legs of Maus are longer than the front legs, and frequently land on their back feet when taking a leap, making them appear rather haughty and kangaroo-like. Eye colour changes from green to turquoise according to mood, and amazingly, so do facial expressions. Extremely intelligent cat. An

ther behavior, quite common in happy Maus, has been described as "wiggle-tail." The cat, male or female, wiggles and twitches its tail, and appears to be marking territory, also known as spraying, but it is not actually releasing urine. Even veteran Mau owners are known to check after a joyous Mau does this little dance. The exact origin of the Egyptian Mau is not recorded and therefore cannot be known for certain.[5] The Egyptian Mau is often said to be descended from African wild cats,[6] and its ancestor is depicted essentially unchanged in wall paintings of Ancient Egypt. The breed name itself references the Middle Egyptian word mw (literally, cat). In Ancient Egypt, Maus were used for hunting due to their bird-like voices. They were small enough not to carry away the prey for themselves and were able to alert hunters to the location of the prey without scaring off other animals of prey. The modern Mau is said to have originated in 1952, in Italy, when exiled Russian Princess Natalie Troubetskaya met the cat of the Egyptian Ambassador to Italy.[6] She convinced him to obtain several cats from Egypt for her, and she began to breed them. From her the Mau has been described as having a "troubled" look, with their round eyes and open expression. The Mau achieved championship status in some organizations in 1968. There were attempts by British breeders to create Maus from cross-breeds of Abyssinians, Siamese and tabbies, however these did not resemble the true Maus. This mix became the basis for the Ocicat. Egyptian Maus will either have a 'scarab beetle' or 'M' marking on their foreheads,[5] those with the latter tend to be from the United States.[7]