|WHAT'S IT LIKE LIVING WITH AN EGYPTIAN MAU|
|HOME PAGE||If you are considering buying a kitten it is
important to find out as much as you can about the
breed. This is not an extensive study of the
Egyptian Mau but our own personal experience of living
with our pride of Maus.
We have owned Jandebo Isis, pet name Kiya, since she was three months old. As soon as we got her home she proved she was a confident cat, quickly leaving her travelling basket and looking round the room she was in. As the other cats came into the house she became less confident but was quick to hiss and spit at them, making sure they understood she was no push over. With us she was friendly and ready for a fuss. Even on that first night she followed us to our bedroom and quickly snuggled down on the bed, paying no attention to the other cats who decided to sleep in the spare room. Kiya still likes to sleep on our bed and will snuggle into the crook of my arm most nights while I, the devoted slave, tickle her tummy. It took her a few days before she accepted Elsa, our Russian Blue look-a-like. By the time she had been with us for a week Kiya had also made friends with our big marmalade neutered tom Simba. Simba and Kiya are firm friends and spend a great deal of time, playing together in spite of Simbas age . Kiya has Simba firmly wrapped round her little paws and will demand that Simba washes her. It took slightly longer for Kiya to become friends with our black and white neuter Jasper.
Kiya enjoys playing either with us or with one of the other cats. She never walks anywhere, but trots or runs with the elegance of a cheetah. As she comes in from outside we will hear the cat flap bang open, a questioning meow asking where we are as she speeds through the kitchen too fast to notice we are there. As soon as we respond to her meow she will answer with a more chirruping sound and frequently return to us for a fuss. If Simba is around he will often receive a head butt and also be asked to pay attention to her, preferably by washing her head. Kiya's favourite toy is a fishing wand, which she will chase round after or jump high in the air to catch. Egyptian Maus can learn to retrieve but this is not something which we have experienced. The breed as a whole is vocal and Kiya is no exception, she often talks to us and the other cats with meows and chirrups. It is a challenge learning to understand what all the sounds mean. One such chirrup sounds amazingly like she is saying hello back to us. Her voice can be quite demanding when she feels her wishes are not being met.
I have taught all of my cats simple commands and Kiya is no exception, she understands "sit, lay down, come, in and out", useful when you want to get the cats in or out of a room so you can shut doors. They all understand "No", being important to stop them jumping onto places where we would rather they do not go, such as the dinning room table and the kitchen work tops. She also knows words like treats, dinner, bed and tickle time. Having her tummy tickled is a favourite form of fuss. Kiya showed exceptional intelligence when she opened the vivarium to try and get our two lizards, so we had to fit a lock.
Kiya loves to curl up on our laps for a fuss, the length of time she stays there being dictated by the warmth of the day or the time of the day. She will also honour a few family members the same way but is wary of people she does not know. Anyone who shows patience and does not push themselves on her will soon be rewarded with her friendship. Maus in general are loyal to their owners but are wary of strangers, a good trait for a pedigree cat to have.
I have left the above paragraph as it was first written so the reader can get an understanding of what it is like when a Mau enters your home. Expect a little whirlwind of activity and know your life will never be quite the same again.
As our pride has grown so has our love of the breed. Each Mau has it's own personality, its own likes and dislikes. Some are more confident than others. Monji who is a shy and timid cat, still loves to be around us and is often the first cat to come and see what is going on when a new or unusual noise is heard. They all love to play and the faster a game is the more they enjoy it. They will often get toys out of the cat toy basket so it not unusual to return home and find toys scattered around.They will also carry toys from room to room. The cats have access to the outdoors in a secure run and very much enjoy the chance to go out and watch the birds in the garden. A run gives them the chance to chase and catch moths and bugs. They have even managed to get a few birds and frogs which have broken into the run.
Kiya surprised us once again by assisting at the birth of her "grand kittens". Martinajo did not seem to know how to deal with the cords or wash her new borns. Kiya and Joe remained close by during the birth seeming to give comfort to Martina during her labour. As the third kitten was born Kiya jumped into the kittening box severed the cord and gave the kitten a wash. She then sat back looked at Martina as if to say that is how it is done and the waited quietly as the final kitten was born. Martina certainly attempted to deal with the cord on the last kitten and washed her babies while Mum (Kiya) gave Martina a wash, apparently knowing the birthing process was complete.
Although Kiya has shown some interest in her grand kittens since she has not interfered with them at all, but will check that Martina is with them when they protest about being picked up to be weighed daily.
Maus can be greedy cats and keeping their weight down can be a problem. We are lucky as keeping weight down has never been a problem with our cats. Martina in particular loves food and her demanding cries of excitement are very loud when the cats get treats prior to bedtime. We tend to leave dried food down all the time allowing the cats to graze.
We have now owned Maus for seven years but still remain fascinated by the breed and continue to learn from them.
For more information about Egyptian Mau cats see:-