Archive for the Egyptian Mau category

Discover the Exotic Egyptian Mau

If you’ve always wanted to own a wild cat, you may want to take a close look at the Egyptian Mau. This cat, which is descended from cats that lived in ancient Egypt, is closely related to the African Wild Cat. When you look at a Mau, you are looking at the same spotted wild cat that the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt domesticated and kept as pets and objects of worship.

Surprisingly enough, this descendant of the Egyptian cat did not reach the United States until the nineteen fifties, when an exiled member of the Russian royalty brought her Maus with her to the United States. For several decades, her two cats were the ancestors of all Maus in North America. However, recently, concerned breeders finally imported additional cats to prevent hereditary diseases and to widen the gene pool.

The Egyptian Mau is on the small side, weighing in at a lightweight five to eleven pounds. This breed has a wedge shaped head that looks a bit small for its muscular, sturdy body and a graceful tail that is approximately two thirds the length of its body. These cats have small, dainty paws and move with a jungle cat’s walk. The recognized colors are smoke, silver tabby, and bronze tabby. All of these cats have a spotted appearance. Occasionally, black cats are produced, but they cannot compete in the Cat Fancier’s Association’s Championship classes. The shape of the Mau’s eyes and mouth give it a slightly startled and worried appearance, but this cat is actually quite a happy go lucky breed. Interestingly enough, these cats actually look as though they have kohl rimmed eyes, just as the ancient Egyptians did.

If you are not found of mewling cats, you will enjoy the Mau’s vocalizations. This breed communicates with a noise that sounds like a little chuckle instead of a cat’s normal mewling. This quiet, pleasant sound makes this breed the perfect apartment pet. In addition, these cats actually wag their tails in a dog like manner when they are happy.

Maus love their families and are very protective of them and devoted to them. These intelligent cats are very playful and need to have plenty of toys to keep them happy. If you cannot spend a lot of time with your cat, you may want to add a second cat to the home. This breed’s loyal and affectionate nature makes it ideal for multiple cat households.

Since this is a shorthair breed, you do not have to spend a great deal of time grooming your cat. However, you should plan to groom him at least once a week to remove loose hair and debris. You may also want to bathe him once a month to control dander. Since cats can develop serious health problems from tooth decay and tartar, you should also accustom your cat to having his teeth brushed several times a week.

If you want a cat that looks wild, but is actually a sweet and loving animal, then you may want to consider owning an Egyptian Mau.

The Egyptian Mau – Small Cat With a Big History

By Donovan Baldwin

If there is any sort of valid claim to being the cat of ancient Egypt and the Pharaohs it must go to the Mau. After all, the word “mau” means cat. What better credentials could a fantastic feline have?

Well, what if the particular breed of cat can be clearly seen in ancient Egyptian artwork? Even better, what if Hollywood itself has given its stamp of authenticity to the breed? In the 2004 movie, “Catwoman”, Halle Berry’s character, Patience Phillips, is killed, but is brought back to life by a Mau named “Midnight”, which was actually played by three different cats. It’s not surprising that they turned out to be movie stars, however, because they are known for not only their striking appearance, but for their personality and charisma as well.

When you go as far back into history as the Egyptian Mau, you are bound to come in contact with some wilder, less refined ancestors. The Mau is directly descended from wild African spotted cats. These ancestors were domesticated, by the ancient Egyptians and may be, as some believe, the starting point for all modern breeds of domesticated felines, from the pretty Persian kitty to those backyard balladeers…the alley cats.

Though many years removed from its ancestral strain, the Mau has retained the spots which are one of its trademarks. In fact the spots are even more a part of the Mau than just a hair color. Its skin is actually spotted as well! Another note on spots is that this cat breed is the only naturally spotted breed. All other known spotted cats have been bred to produce the spots in their fur.

The Mau is a smallish cat, only weighing in the vicinity of five to about eleven pounds. However, don’t let its size fool you. It still has the graceful hunter’s moves of its wild ancestors. It is also one of the fastest breeds of domesticated cats, and a natural design in the skin which allows its long hind legs to take longer strides than other cats is the same feature found in another cat relative…the cheetah. This small pet cat has been clocked at 30 MPH! Even with its small size, however, the Mau possesses a working cat’s muscles in an overall sleek package that is topped, or bottomed, off by a graceful tail which may be as much as two thirds of its total length.

A feature that particularly endears this breed to me is that it tends to chuckle or chortle when happy, rather than mewling. It also becomes quite animated when happy and expresses its pleasure with rapid tail movements and kneading with the feet while chuckling to itself.

The Mau is a great family cat. It is friendly but protective, and is devoted to its family. A possible drawback here is that they tend to like a lot of one-on-one companionship and plenty of play. In the absence of a stay-at-home human, they are graciously willing to play instead with other cat friends. So, if you cannot be at home as often as your Mau would like, you may have to get him or her a pet!

Living with the Mau is the least of your problems, however. A Mau does not come cheap, with one site I visited quoting a starting price of $400, and it goes up from there, of course. The other issue is the scarcity of the breed. They are a popular breed with a limited supply, so you may be on a waiting list for some time.

While any old Mau may come in several shades and variations of colors, the Cat Fanciers’ Association recognizes three acceptable colors for show – silver, bronze, and smoke. Cats of other colors, such as black, blue-silver, blue spotted, blue smoke, and solid blue, are still one hundred percent Mau, although they are not recognized for show.

If you want a cheerful, playful family cat that can give you a taste of history, and a touch of the wild, you might just be looking for an Egyptian Mau.

Donovan Baldwin is a Central Texas writer and a University of West Florida alumnus. He is a member of Mensa and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. In his career, he has held many managerial and supervisory positions. However, his main pleasures have long been writing, animals, nature, health, yoga, and fitness. In the last few years, he has been able to combine these pleasures by writing poetry and articles on subjects such as health, fitness, the environment, happiness, self improvement, and weight loss.

Learn more about other cat breeds and how to care for your cat at .

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Bengal Cats the Lap Leopards of Today to the Legend Of The Marble Cat

Bengal Cats the Lap Leopards of Today to the Legend Of The Marble Cat

By Jody Hewitt

Bengal’s are Beautiful and exotic cats that are loved by so many people around the world. With their graceful movements and unusual intricate markings its like having part of the wild in your own living room. Staring up at you with their green or golden eyes as they are true Lap Leopards to be enjoyed by everyone of any age. In my findings these beautiful cats are every bit the same in behavior as your average house cat with normal litter box habits. They are inquisitive, curious, and explorative and adapt well to other household pets. They have the same nutritional and immunization requirements as regular domestic cats. Bengal’s are relatively large cats with a short haired coat. Males can range from 18-25 pounds and females 7-15 pounds. The face has a feral look with small rounded ears and exotic facial features. with colors ranging from Snow which are varying shade of white cream background with light brown pattern, to the Brown which is various degrees of Rufus, Golden, Light Brown to Black-Brown Carmel colors, and the new accepted color the Silver which is a white back ground with a black pattern. There are various other degrees of colors not recognized yet which are Blues, Chocolates.

The Bengal Cat is a wonderful cat to own and love. They have wonderful temperaments while retaining beautiful exotics feral patterns and characteristic that is unique to only the Bengal Cats. These beautiful creatures have a few unique qualities for instance they love water and don’t have a problem jumping right into the shower with you. And they love to go on long walks on a leash or car rides to go shopping. Mainly they love to be with people they are very social and like most cats they are very entertaining.

Bengal Cats range from highly exotic being closer in generation to their hybrid ancestors The Asian Leopard Cat all the way to being domesticated with exotic markings.

The Bengal Cat is a cross from the Asian Leopard Cat and the domestic cat. The most commonly used domestic crosses were the Abyssinian, Egyptian Mau and the Ocicat. This was done to preserve the effort of retaining the stunning beauty of the Asian Leopard Cat. The first three generations are called foundation cats. By the time they reach the fourth generation they are considered SBT which is the domestic cat resembling characteristics of the Asian Leopard Cat. The first documented cross between the Asian Leopard Cat and the domestic cat in the United States is recorded in 1963 by Jean Mill.

The Asian Leopard Cat is a small wild spotted cat, weighing about twenty pounds. The general build of the Asian Leopard Cat (Felis Bengalensis) is similar to a normal domestic cat, but with somewhat longer legs and a longer back. They have a fairly small head with a short narrow muzzle, large eyes and a thick tail. Body length varies between 25-32 inches, and they weigh between 7-25 pounds. There are around ten sub-species all showing different variations in body color and can be found in southern Asia, across India, threw China, Korea and the Soviet Far East. It can be also found on islands such a Sumatra, Philippines, Taiwan, Borneo, Bali and Java. Since the Asian Leopard cat dwells in so many regions they have acquired many different names such as the Javan cat, Wagati cat, Chinese cat or “money cat”, because of the so called spots resembling Chinese coins.

Here is a short Fictional story to explain where the Bengal Cat received its markings – enjoy.

Legend Of The Marble Cat

The Legend of the Marble Cat … Deep, deep in the rainforest, a very long time ago, a jungle mother gave birth to six, perfect little kittens and the Spirit of the Forest was pleased. Four of them looked just like their mother, soft and gold and spotted all over, like tiny leopards, a pattern designed by nature to hide them in the deep forest from ancient and fearful enemies who liked kittens for lunch. The other two, however, were different. They, too, had coats as soft as velvet, but one of them was all gold, as bright as the sun and the other was as white as the full moon! Mother named them Sunlight and Moonbeam. She named her other kittens more traditional names, names that had been passed from mother cat to daughter cat, on and on, down through the generations: Panthera, Tiger Lily, Orchid and Raven.

Deep in the nest, hidden in the secret glen behind the waterfall, in the thickest part of the rainforest where the trailing orchids bloomed in a wild and colorful profusion, Mother cared for her kittens and worried. She knew that her son Moonbeam and her daughter Sunshine would soon be exposed to a very dangerous world and with their beautiful, bright coats, they would stand out like lights on the jungle floor, easy for enemies to see. As the kittens grew and the day approached when they would be venturing from the safety of the den, Mother began to council them in the ways of concealment: To Sunshine and Moonbeam she said: “Now, remember, until you are grown and can run very fast, you must stay under leaves and vines so you will be hidden from above. Never venture into the open jungle unless you can sit in a spot of bright sun or a beam of the full moon, for that is what you look like.

To her spotted children she said: “You must also be cautious, but you may use the pattern of the forest floor as your camouflage. When stalking your prey, move only when they look away and when you freeze in place, your spots will help you to disappear into the sun dappled jungle. And so it was that the two kittens learned to hide their special beauty, venturing out from beneath the leaves and vines only rarely, while their spotted brothers and sisters came and went as they pleased, carrying their concealment with them. The Spirit of the Forest was pleased.

One bright, sunny day, Mother took her four tiny leopards on a hunting lesson, warning Sunlight and Moonbeam to stay hidden until they returned. “I don’t want to stay here all day.” complained Sunshine, “Me either. I want to watch Mother.” replied Moonbeam. “Why don’t we just creep from plant to plant and keep hidden. She will never know we’re there.” suggested Sunshine. Off they went, excited to be on an adventure, and, being the good kittens they were, preceding cautiously as well, remembering all the lessons their mother had taught them. They could smell the scent of their family and followed it. They scampered on, always under the leaves of low growing plants, while the sunlight painted beautiful, undulating patterns of deep shade on their bright coats.

Suddenly, the smell of danger raised the hairs on their backs and they froze like statues even before they saw the horrible sight. As their eyes adjusted to the pure sunlight, the kittens saw they were at the edge of a brightly lit clearing, filled with dry weeds and golden grasses. Up against a rock wall were their brothers and sisters, cringing in the presence of… Jackal! A very large Jackal! He was in between Mother and her kittens. Mother was crouched and snarling behind him. Everyone knew Jackals eat kittens! Glancing back and forth between the kittens and their mother, Jackal sneered and boasted to her, “You know I’m going to get at least one of them, maybe even two. Why, I’ll be out of here with my lunch before you can reach me. I just don’t know which one to take first. They are all so fat and yummy looking.”

Under the cover of a leaf, Sunshine and Moonbeam looked at each other and passed a single thought between them. “Mother’s lessons!” They silently circled the small clearing, keeping to the cover of the forest. Now they were on opposite sides of Jackal and entered the dry weeds. Softly. Quietly. Keeping as flat to the ground as the dry, dusty rocks, they inched toward their ancient enemy, each moving only when he turned his attention to gloat to Mother or frighten the kittens. As they neared the Jackal, Mother’s crouching posture changed just slightly, subtlety. She knew they were there! She couldn’t smell them because they had wisely placed themselves down wind of the enemy, but she could just barely see her bright and beautiful children in the bright sunlight of the field!

Intent on the kittens he had cornered, Jackal was oblivious; he never knew what hit him. Jackal took half a step toward the frightened kittens frozen against the rock face and Wham! The earth before him erupted in a squalling, screaming fury of knives and teeth! Stunned and frightened, Jackal felt Mother’s teeth sink deeply into his rear haunches and her claws rack his sides. Slashing, screaming demons were fastened to his head! Leaping madly about the clearing and crashing into trees and rocks, Jackal finally managed to dislodge his attackers and all he could see with the eye that was still open, was the tail end of Mother, as she disappeared into the jungle.

Panthera, Tiger Lily, Orchid and Raven had been stunned by the apparently sudden appearance of their brother and sister, but wasted no time streaking past the besieged Jackal, into the safety of the rainforest. They were followed shortly by Sun, Moon and Mother. Together, they ran swiftly through the jungle, to the safety of their hidden den, in the secret glen, behind the waterfall, in the thickest part of the rainforest where the trailing orchids bloomed. It had been a miracle. Nothing needed to be said. Mother cleaned her kittens and purred them to sleep. Sunlight and Moonbeam awoke at dusk, from a deep slumber of complete exhaustion. They crept out of the den, called by a silent summons. There! Under the big tree, or was it part of it? They thought they could see the faint form of the Spirit of the Forest. They knew it was she who had summoned them. Her voice was like the whisper of the leaves or maybe the passing breeze, but the kittens could hear her plainly in their heads.

This was strange, indeed. Not in the time of any ancestor they could remember, had anyone actually seen the Spirit of the Forest, but, oddly, they were not frightened. She spoke, “You are all my children and I love you. Even the Jackal is one of my children, but it was not his destiny to eat kitten for lunch today. You have performed a selfless act of incredible bravery and shall be rewarded. I give you something you have always wanted, the gift of concealment.” To Moonbeam she said: “You will be a cat of the night: I bless you with the misty shadows of the leaves and vines, falling across your back by the light of the full moon. You will be able to pass by unnoticed in the night jungle.” To Sunshine she said: “You are to be a cat of the day, wearing the deep shadows of the leaves and twisting creepers across your body, letting your glittering sunlit coat sparkle through in bits and swirls. You will be impossible to see in the jungle on a sunny day. Step forward now.”

The kittens stepped out from under the leaves they had instinctively stood under and were amazed to see that their coats now had the patterns of the vines and leaves. As her image and voice began to fade, The Spirit of the Forest said, “From now on, your names will be Secret Sun and Hiding Moon. All of your unspotted descendants will be blessed with these marking as well, to conceal them safely in either sun or moonlight. I am pleased.” To this day, marbled kittens carry with them the patterns of the leaves and vines of that long ago jungle, the reward of their ancestors’ uncommon courage: the shadows cast upon them through the trees, by the sun and the moonlight.

Thank You Susan Dunsworth for letting me share your story with everyone.

My name is Jody Hewitt I breed, raise, and show Bengal Cats I am located in Gilbert Arizona with a passion for all animals wild or domestic. Please come visit me anytime

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