|Egyptian Mau cat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The age of the Egyptian Mau is not definitively known, but it could be argued that it is the oldest breed, dating back to Ancient Egypt. Several thousands of years ago, the Egyptian Mau was a feral cat, which roamed free and was worshipped by the Egyptian people who believed that cats were gods. Some cat experts claim that the Egyptian Mau may be a direct ancestor of the modern domestic cat, but, again, this cannot be definitively ascertained.
During the 1980s, a new breed, the American Keuda, was created and the Egyptian Mau was used in the breeding program to develop the new breed. Today, the Egyptian Mau is one of the rarest breeds; it is believed that only 3000 of them exist worldwide.
All cats have different characteristics that are typical of their breed. Most cats are known for loving a spot close to a cozy fire, but the Egyptian Mau is particularly fond of warm temperatures. This is perhaps unsurprising when you consider its country of origin.
Additionally, Maus is said to make sounds that are unlike other cats, they are often described as being able to chortle, chirp and even sing. Of course, one of the most striking features of the Mau is, as mentioned above, its speed. In fact, the fastest Mau was recorded at 36miles per hour.
As previously mentioned, the Egyptian Mau is spotted. Interestingly, it is the only breed, which is officially recognized, that has spots without the help of selective breeding. In other words, it is the only breed to become spotted through natural selection rather than human intervention. Even more intriguing is that the spots of an Egyptian Mau are not merely found on the fur. In shaved Maus, the spots are still visible on the skin.
A Mau's hind legs are significantly longer than his, or her, front legs. This fact has a large impact on the incredible speeds that the breed is able to achieve. In addition, the breed has a section of loose skin around the abdomen, which is also beneficial in running, because it allows the cat to take a much longer stride than would otherwise be possible.
All purebred adult Egyptian Maus have green eyes. In addition, it is bred in five colors, but only three are considered show standard: Silver, smoke, and bronze. The other two colors, blue and black, are still bred nonetheless.
With any animal, but especially with rare breeds, such as the Egyptian Mau, it is important for any potential owner to do some homework about the breed. Ensure that you know all there is to know before making the commitment to own a pet.
In addition, seek out a reputable breeder, again this is particularly important when looking for rare breeds. You should be able to identify reputable breeders in the phonebook or on the internet, but if you're having trouble finding a local cat breeder, you may find information from a shelter or veterinarian.