The history of the Egyptian Mau cat goes almost as far back as the history of Egypt itself. Pictures similar to the Egyptian Mau are found going back to 1500 BC. The Egyptian Mau may be descended from the African wildcat –Felis lyica ocreata. The modern history of the Egyptian Mau cat as an internationally accepted Breed begins in 1953 when the Egyptian ambassador to Italy who had an Egyptian Mau cat was asked by a princess to help her get some of these cats from Egypt to Italy which in 1955 were shown at the Rome cat show. Eventually Egyptian Maus were exported to Great Britain and the USA. They were first accepted by TICA in 1988.
The Egyptian Mau is a medium-sized spotted cat of semi foreign body type with Gooseberry green eyes. It has a distinctive flap of skin hanging from the belly in front of the hind legs. This is called a primordial flap. Its purpose is to allow the cat to run very fast by hyper extending its hind legs. The ears of the Egyptian Mau are medium and large and set well back on the head. The eyes are a rounded, almond shape. The head has a modified wedge with gently rounded contours, and no flat planes. The neck is muscular and arched. The hind legs are longer than the fore legs and very muscular leading to small slightly oval paws. The tail is moderately long thicker the base, tapering slightly to the tip. The coat is short fine and silky and lies very flat against the body. It is long enough to have at least two bands of ticking over the ground colour. The Egyptian Mau has typical Tabby markings with the M on the forehead, mascara, paler fur around the eyes and the distinctive horizontal band leading back from the eyes. Similarly there are rings on the tail which also has a dark tip, a broken neck lace on the chest and broken rings around the legs. The Egyptian Mau is always spotted and comes in two ground colours, either silver or bronze. The silver has brick red nose and black paw pads. The bronze also has a brick red nose with a light brown ground colour. The Egyptian Mau may also come may come with the silver gene in the smoke pattern. Only black smoke is allowed. Black smoke varieties have black nose and paw pads.