Saturday 29 November 2008

Egyptian cat breed

Egyptian Mau cat
Egyptian Mau - photograph copyright Helmi Flick

People who search for Egyptian cat breed are probably referring to the Egyptian Mau. The Egyptian Mau is a popular purebred cat in the cat fancy. According to the Pictures of website's long standing poll, the Egyptian Mau is ranked 9th in popularity. There are about 70 well known cat breeds so 9th is good. See poll results.

This cat breed has a dual existence, however. While in the West, particularly, the United States, this cat is a valuable and glamorous show cat, pampered and preened, in Egypt, the country of the breeds origin, this cat is an ostracized feral cat.

The difference between the two is that the show cat is naturally more refined through careful breeding while the feral cat is, as expected, a rougher version but noticeably still an Egyptian Mau. You can see an interesting comparison on this page: Egyptian Mau Pictures.

Abyssinian Cat
Abyssinian Cat - photograph copyright Helmi Flick

Another cat that is associated with Egypt or Egyptian cat breed, at least the geographical area of Egypt is the Abyssinian cat. The Aby, as the cat is fondly known in the cat fancy, has a statuesque appearance that resembles the ancient Egyptian bronze statues at the time the cat was worshipped (see Egyptian Cat Art). We don't know what kind of cat the sculptures used as models. They are probably an idealized representation of a cat but the Aby's appearance fits very well.

The origins of the Abyssinian cat are a little vague. It is thought that the Abyssinian originates from an area around the Indian Ocean. I speculate on the origins of the Abyssinian cat on this page: Origins of the Abyssinian Cat. In my view, this cat breed came to the West (specifically the UK) from the west coast of India via Ethiopia (Abyssinia) in the mid/late 1800s.

Then there are wild cats in Egypt. Of the six possible wildcats that inhabit the Egytian landscape there is the Sand cat, the Cheetah and the Caracal. The Cheetah is probably extinct in Egypt. The Sand cat and Caracal are elusive. Finally how about a bit of Egyptian Cat Art?

Egyptian cat breed to Home page


  1. I didn't know how to contact the owner of this site or at least the writer of the dwarf cat genetic article but I did find this blog so will say it here: the dwarf article contains incorrect information. As in here:

    "In practice how do dwarf cat breeders work? They work with Standard dwarf cats (S) and Non Standard dwarf cats (NS). A litter of dwarf cats is not populated entirely by short legged dwarf cats. The litter will contain long legged cats with the dwarf gene (NS). Although the dwarf gene is dominant this does not mean that it is so dominant that all the litter are "shorties"."

    This is incorrect. Standard dwarf cats {Munchkins} carry 1 copy of the dwarf gene. Non-standard Munchkins {NS?} carry NO copies of it at all--they may have standard parents or one standard parent, but they inherited a normal {non-dwarf} gene from each parent making them complete non-carriers of the gene. This gene is generally not variable in its expression. If a cat inherits one copy, it will ALWAYS be a dwarf. The reason most Munchkin litters contain both short and normal legged cats is because all standard Munchkins have only one copy of dwarf and therefore do not breed true for it. So any litter can have both.

  2. Hi, thanks a lot for your comment. I'll work on this right away. You're contribution is welcome and appreciated.

  3. Hi wynnyelle.

    I have taken the liberty of amending the page in question by quoting you verbatim for accuracy. I hope that you find that acceptable. I have provided a source reference. See the page here:

    Dwarf cat breeding


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