My Egyptian Mau

I kind of never expected to figure out what kind of cat Zuzu is, I considered her to be a mongrel mix like most street cats are. Egyptians love them some long-haired Persians and just long-haired cats in general- I think has something to do with their love of long straight hair, but I digress- so most pet cats are long-haired and every Egyptian who sees Zuzu’s short hair exclaims, “Why, she’s a street cat!”

Its not a good thing, obviously, so I attempt to cover her origins somewhat. Yes, she was a street-kitten but she was being taken care of by a vet. Get over it. Also, because of the unfortunate trend of Egyptians dumping their unwanted house cats into the streets there are a large number of long-haired street cats running around. Zuzu’s extremely short hair shows that she hasn’t had any long-haired papas in her past so I figured she at least might be slightly pure.

Watching Brincess Zuzu grow (at an almost alarming rate) in the three or so weeks since we got her, I’ve admired so many of her unique features. Her toes are super long, they’re almost cat fingers! and they’re webbed, her tail is incredibly long and slinky and she moves it like a snake almost, and her face, oh her beautiful face. I love her color, a mix of grays and almond and creamy white, but her face is so beautiful. So, without much hope of finding much useful information I sat down to do a bit of research on Egyptian cats.

Of course typing “Egyptian cats” into google immediately brings up the Egyptian Mau, one of the oldest known breeds of cats in the world depicted ages ago on the tombs of the Pharaohs. When I was thinking about getting a cat I had looked, briefly, at the Egyptian Mau and admired them but never thought I would get one as they seemed much more of a western idea rather than an Egyptian one. Again, Egyptians love them some long hair, so when you look at pet shops that is mostly what you will find.

However, as I read the descriptions of Egyptian Maus and saw their pictures I realized that I had unwittingly found myself an almost pure Egyptian Mau. Now, she is not pure, her spots are not clear, except on her belly, and she has the striping of some tabby forefather, but the resemblance is uncanny.

“The Egyptian Mau showcases a scarab, or an “M,” on their forehead.” Source

Do you see her ‘M’? Its also there in reference to Multicultural Muslimah, Molly, and Mr MM whose name starts with M as well.

“Mau eye color can take from one, to one-and-a-half years to come in. One can often see a green ring around the iris when the green color is starting to appear.” Source

Look closely, click on the picture, and you will see the green ring. Her eyes remind me of my mom’s eyes which are a very similar mixture of brown and green, another reason why I love Zuzu so much. I wasn’t sure what color her eyes were supposed to be, but if it takes that long for the color to come in then I guess I will have to wait. She also has really big ears, I mean I know she’s still a kitten, but them are some big ears!

“The Mau has a sweet musical voice and they sometimes go about the house chirping or chortling, much like a bird.” Source

Zuzu squawks, squeaks, chirps, screeches, meeows, and rumbles. I thought she was just an especially vocal cat, but now it appears its just a hallmark of her breed.

“Egyptian Mau’s make the best living companions that are comparable in their loyalty to the best of dogs. Unlike many breeds that only deal with their humans when they’re hungry, the Egyptian Mau is always seeking company. The average Mau is quite clingy to his/her owners; some will take to only one member of the family, while others will take over the entire household. Which ever way it goes, once the Mau has bonded, he/she is your lover for life and will actively participate in anything that you are doing (whether you want them there or not). As the Egyptian Mau is incredibly intelligent, they have been known to break open closed doors by either slamming against them, or by twisting the doorknob. Privacy is a rare luxury with a Mau in the house, and often times you will hear them chortle a “welcome home” song, a “let me in” plea, or just a general speech about their day.” Source

Thats my Zuzu. She is super intelligent, she has already figured out how to open our bedroom door and come under the mosquito netting to sleep with us at night. She follows me around the house, sits at my feet when I’m cooking, cleaning, watching TV, and will often ‘help’ me read my book by laying on top of it.

Oh my Brincess Zuzu, how much you have enriched our lives.

Some pictures of other Egyptian Maus so you can see the similarities.

An Egyptian Mau

An Egyptian Mau

Another Mau

Another Mau

Zuzu in a box

Zuzu in a box

You can see she has some spots on her belly. I mean, its obvious that she’s not pure Mau, but considering that Maus are, as a breed, bred domestically for those characteristics, Zuzu is what Mau’s were before breeders intervened.

Here if you look close you can see that she is faintly spotted, but they connect and look like more stripes.

Yawn! You can see more of her beautiful coloring, and how incredibly long she has gotten since we adopted her. I credit it to getting adequate nourishment and lots of love. Look at those long legs!

She’s my very own Egyptian Mau, like a pharaonic souvenir except I didn’t have to buy her at Khan el Khalili!

Edit: Gah, ok. So I guess tabby cats have ‘M’s on their foreheads as well. I still think Zuzu is Mau though.


12 responses to “My Egyptian Mau

  1. Ha, Brincess! She’s so cute!

  2. LOL, I can see she has you wrapped around her paw;-)

  3. She is just incredibly beautiful and seems so sweet! I want a cat with the personality of a dog. I had one like that and I miss him so much. He actually died in Egypt many years ago. Any idea where I can find a Mau here in Egypt?

  4. Yaay, kitty pics! I demand more kitty pics!

    (we may be adopting a kitteh this weekend inshaAllah)

  5. look what i found!!!

    I am so going there ASAP, insha Allah!

  6. *winking her hazel eyes at her sweet daughter*

    I miss you!!! Can’t wait to see you and meet the mini-princess in January!!!

    Love you ! Mom

  7. I found your blog looking for egyptian cats and am delighted by your description and pictures of your Mau. I didn’t know anything about these cats until I saw yours and I’m intrigued. She sounds like she has so much personality.
    I have a cat blog (see link) but I have put it on hold while I am writing a book…about cats!
    I am going to take a look at the rest of your blog in a bit, insha’allah.

  8. Oh my god! You have MY cat! Seriously, she looks just like my Mister Buttons!
    Your story is very interesting, because it’s just like ours. I found Mister Buttons at a shelter, alone, so unfortunately I don’t know what his sisters or mom/dad looked like. He was maybe a month and a half when I adopted him. Instantly I knew he was special. 🙂 He was (and still is) the most intelligent cat I had ever come across. After my vet said he was probably a Mau, I did some research, and he fits the breed standard to a T. Like yours, his spots on his sides are faint, but very stark and noticeable on his stomach. He’s very possessive of his toys/food/mommy. He’s fairly aloof with most people, even those he knows very well. The people he does love he shows an insane amount of affection towards. I was looking up pictures on a search engine and the one of your cat popped up, which is why I’m here 🙂 If you ever want to exchange pictures my email is

  9. I just adopted on one she is so pretty and i love her so much ,ive had her now for almost a month and she has learned how to fetch ….Love it!!
    Here is a picture..

  10.…here is another picture when i first got her ..Her name is Sheeba,She want to be laying on me all the time, loves to ride in the car and to go for walks..and her eyes are so pretty like a golden amber color..

  11. Thank you for talking about your Zuzu! We also have an Egyptian Mau that we rescued from our back yard when a feral cat had a litter of them. We picked out two to keep and adopted out the rest. My male cat, Mr. Pastel had some unusual features that have developed over his first year of life. He has the body of a large wild cat and is super fast and smart. He is loyal to a fault and follows me from room to room and insists on being as close as he can. It was when we saw this video a week ago, that I knew my cat was exactly as they describe. He has the extra flap of skin, the build, the stripes and spots and all of the same things you describe the green ring around the iris, the meowing and the ability to open doors. It is so exciting to finally find out what he is. I saw the mother kitty and my cat does not look like her much at all. This video will help you learn more about some characteristics of your Mau.

    While my female cat Smokey looks more like a Russian blue, she does have a similar build of a Mau. It is common for momma cats to be impregnated by several fathers so kittens can be from the same litter but look very different.

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