The Egyptian Mau

by Bonnie Wydro and Melanie Morgan
From 1999 CFA Yearbook


GC, RW Matiki's Ride 'Em Mau Boy
Silver Male
Br: Jan & Bonnie Wydro, Ow: Tony Aizawa

Maus are first and foremost, spotted cats and they hold a special place in history and the cat fancy as the only naturally spotted breed. These cats are born athletes with a muscular, lithe and agile appearance. While their expression is often described as "worried", they exude extreme intelligence from their expressive gooseberry green eyes.

The Maus have been described in finals as "a primitive cat", and of all the descriptors for these cats, that one seems to ring most true in a rather obscure way... When you look at a Mau, or catch sight of one out of the corner of your eye, they draw you back through the ages to an exotic and primitive time. No picture or book can do justice to the exotic beauty found in a silver Mau's dazzling green eyes and shiny spots, the ghostly elegance found in a smoke Mau's pattern, or the living room leopard grace of the bronze.

Of the current colors registration in CFA has broken out in the following approximate percentages over the years: 50% silver, 40% bronze, 10% smoke/black.


Although most people are attracted to the Maus because of their exotic good looks, appearance is only the beginning of the magic of the Mau: owners of Egyptian Maus find them unique in many ways in addition to their striking spotted coat patterns. These cats display exceptional intelligence and exhibit a fierce loyalty to their owners. Even though domesticated, several characteristics of their early ancestors have been retained. These include the "Cheetah" gait and a primordial skin flap, which allows the Mau remarkable freedom and agility in twisting and jumping.

GC Matiki's Mauterial Girl
Silver Female
Br/Ow: Jan & Bonnie Wydro

The Maus are interactive cats. They expect to be an integral part of the family and demand to be treated as such. They love to play and often run around the house carrying a favorite toy. They enjoy retrieving and some have been taught to walk on a leash or ride on their owner's shoulders.

These wonderfully striking spotted cats with their intelligent and alert expressions always creates a big stir with spectators at the shows. When an Egyptian Mau is taken from its cage by the judge, it is often greeted with a literal chorus of "oohs and aahs".

Today, this ancient breed which was held in reverence by the Pharaohs, enjoys an equal status with its modern day owners...... There is no other cat quite so unique and entrancing as an Egyptian Mau! Some of their singular characteristics, such as a fierce independence, uncanny intelligence and a strong stubborn streak, also make the Mau a definite "challenge" to show.

Upbringing - SHOW TRAINING?

GC Matiki's Spottin' Image
Silver Male
Br/Ow: Jan & Bonnie Wydro

The Mau is described by many judges as having a worried look, but in truth, past years saw more worried owners and judges than Maus! Selective breeding for temperament, in addition to appearance, has resulted in a substantially improved disposition and show presence, making the Mau a pleasure both to hold and behold. Careful and selective breeding for temperament is the first priority for producing the perfect Mau. The next step is handling. The key to successfully conditioning a Mau for show includes handling the kittens from birth as well as exposing them to many and varied experiences. For the show Mau, an orientation show for experience prior to actual entry is often most helpful in readying the cat for competition.


Keep in mind that even though the CFA has established an import policy, this is still very much a minority breed and the numbers prove that - 1n1998 there were 299 Maus registered in CFA. Since 1977, CFA has registered less than 3500 Maus. Breeding programs crossing Traditional and Indian lines are producing healthy beautiful cats. Problems such as cardio-myopathy, asthma, and luxar patella, and dystocia, that had begun to crop up in some of the traditional lines have decreased significantly. Overall the current Maus are extremely healthy cats with average life expectancy of approximately 12 years.

Show History

The determined efforts of the early Egyptian Mau breeders came to fruition in the late 70's and early 80's with much greater recognition of and appreciation for the Mau in the show ring.

GC, RW Joyfulpal's DUI
Silver Male - Best of Breed, 1997
Br/Ow: Yoshiko Moriya

The first Egyptian Mau to grand was Sangpur Jonathon Dot Dot, Silver male, bred and owned by Jon and Shirley Charbonneau. This title was earned in 1977. 1979 saw the first grand premier in Trillium's Spunky Peanut. In 1980 Froghaven Tiye, bred and owned By Dale and Sharon Buchbinder, became the first bronze Grand Champion.

1984 saw an increase in Maus being shown with a total of eight Grand Champions and Grand Premiers. GC RW Haj's Inka Dinka Dot, bred and owned by Jill Archibald and Janet Hershey, became the first ever to earn a regional award in championship. It is quite likely that Inka would also have garnered a win in CFA's top 20 Cats; however, the Mau world suffered a loss in this lovely cat's untimely death. This same year Haj cattery also produced GP RW Haj's Oh Spotted Fever, bronze neuter, who was the first to attain a regional award in premiership.

In 1985, 11 Maus earned GC or GP titles, followed by 8 in 1986. This year the Sangpur cattery became the first to produce a smoke Grand in Sangpur Cinderfella. 1986 also saw another first, Sangpur Alaska Diamond, a silver female bred by Brenda Keenan and owned by Shirley Charbonneau and CH Temek Ka of Kathaus, silver female bred by Tobe Goldman and owned by Cheryl and Gary Kleist, both earned the title of DM. To date, they are the only two Maus to earned this prestigious honor.

GC Brockhaven's La-Di-Dots - Silver Female
Br: Guerdon & Dorothea Brocksom, J. Dayton
Ow: Guerdon & Dorothea Brockson

Egyptian Grand Champions and Grand Premiers numbered 12 in 1987 with 11 the following year. In 1988, Matiki's Dot the I, silver male bred and owned by Jan and Bonnie Wydro, became the first kitten to be named a regional winner.

The year of 1989 only saw 4 Mau grands, but in 1990 there was much more activity with a new record of 14. This year, Kaakhamit Karida of Daytown, bred by Kerry Conway and owned by Jane Dayton And Kerry, made a bit of history in being the first ever to attain both Grand Champion and Grand Premier titles. This year also saw the first Japanese Mau grand and regional winner in Joyfulpal's Totomes III, silver male, bred and owned by Yoshiko Moriya.

In 1991 among the 6 grands, numbered Matiki's Ride 'em Mauboy. Rider surprised his owners and the Mau breeders by being The first Egyptian to grand in one show. In 1993, GC BW NW Maipet's Shanadu of Kayzie, a striking silver female, bred by Doris Morgan and owned by Kaye Chambers, came out early in the year as a top winning kitten, quickly granded, and then maintained her status as a top winner by securing a place in the Top twenty cats. She finished the year as a double national winner, and the entire Mau world celebrated with her!

1994 saw a repeat performance with GC BW NW Bacamamdit's Richochet of Pazlo, silver male, bred by Linda Buzonas and owned by Perry Long and Bruno Pazienza, finishing 13th in CFA's top twenty.

GC, NW Bacamamdit Ricochet of Pazlo
Silver Male - CFA's 13th Best Cat, 1993-94
Br: Linda Buzonas, Ow: Bruno Pazienza & Perry Long

The 94-95 show season was highlighted by GC BW RW Hajja's Wholly Smoke, who claimed the distinction of being the first smoke Egyptian Mau to attain CFA National Best of Breed. This lively boy was owned and shown by Jill Archibald and bred by Jill and the Wydros.

Late in the 94-95 season, GC BW NW Sharbees Scarlett O'Hairy of Matiki appeared on the scene, earning a regional kitten award in the Northwest region. She was bred by Sharon Partington and was co-owned by Sharon and Jan and Bonnie Wydro. She went on to compete in the 95-96 season as an adult and quickly assumed a place in the top 20, remaining there throughout the year and finishing 17th best cat in championship, thus earning her a place in Mau history as the first bronze Egyptian to attain a national award.

The 96-97 show year brought the first Japanese bred and shown national best of breed in Yoshiko Moriya's Joyfulpal's Dui, a silver male. Jill Archibald made a valiant attempt to earn the first national top 20 premiership award with her Egyptian, GP RW Hajja's I'm Not Brown. Brown finished 23rd in the standings.

The 1997-1998 show season was a year for setting records and was quickly referred to as the year of the Mau by judges and exhibitors alike. GC BW RW Brockhaven Osira and and GC RW Brockhaven Mafdet started the year off by becoming one show grands. They then went on to become the first Mau littermates to achieve a National Best and 2nd Best of Breed. Their mother, Brockhaven Philomene, DM became only the third Mau to achieve the title of Distinguished Merit and the first smoke Mau to do so. A record of 21 Mau granded this season with 11 going on to become Regional winners!

Egyptian Mau National Breed Award Winners

Best of Breed GC Froghaven Tiye
2nd Best of Breed GC Haj's Gaza Spot
Best of Breed GC Phiset Francis Spot Key
2nd Best of Breed CH Haj's Victoria
Best of Breed GC Chatachee Big Dots of Siamsil
2nd Best of Breed GC Sangpur Chantara
Best of Breed GC, RW Haj's Inka Dinka Dot
2nd Best of Breed GC Sangpur Ba of Kathaus
Best of Breed GC Haj's Johnny Appleseed
2nd Best of Breed Kathaus Sidi Yahia
Best of Breed GC Haj's Crystal of Matiki
2nd Best of Breed GC Sangpur Cinderfella
Best of Breed GC Sangpur Jonnibe Good
2nd Best of Breed GC Chatodeneuf Cleopatra of Heijinmao
Best of Breed GC Matiki's Camelback Jack
2nd Best of Breed GC Zaynzalbar's Chicklet of Orchadia
Best of Breed GC Sangpur Megadots
2nd Best of Breed GC Matiki's Mia Pharaoh
Best of Breed GC Matiki's Ga. Spotworks
2nd Best of Breed GC Sangpur Spotacular
Best of Breed GC Matiki's Ride 'Em Mauboy
2nd Best of Breed GC Atumkhepri's Shahada
Best of Breed GC Matiki's Mauterial Girl
2nd Best of Breed GC Kaakhamit Henna of Phiset
Best of Breed GC Maipet Shanadu of Kayzie
2nd Best of Breed GC Muhibbi Spotme in the Dark of Pazlo
Best of Breed GC Bacamamdit's Ricochet of Pazlo
2nd Best of Breed GC Sangpur Mauhautmau of Joyfulpal
Best of Breed GC Hajja Wholly Smoke
2nd Best of Breed GC Matiki's Lucy Fur
Best of Breed GC Sharbees Scarlet O'Hairy of Matik
2nd Best of Breed GC Brockhaven Lucky Strike
Best of Breed GC Joyfulpal's Dui
2nd Best of Breed GC Matiki's Son of the South
Best of Breed GC, RW Brockhaven Osira
2nd Best of Breed GC, RW Brockhaven Mafdet
3rd Best of Breed GC, RW Ocali Spots off the Dice of Matiki


GC, RW Brockhaven's Osira - Silver Female
Br/Ow: Guerdon & Dorothea Brockson

The past several years have witnessed some new promising competitors in the Egyptian Mau breed. Among these are Melanie and David Morgan (Emau cattery), Penny and Gary Mull (Mullodies cattery), Verdery Brown (Ocali), Melissa Bateson (New Kingdom), Susan Johnson (Freckles), Kitty Dietrick (Cactuscats), Judith Mendlesohn (J's Iris) and Bill Richot (Buzz). Many established catteries continue to produce grand champions and regional winners. This includes Brockhaven (Dot Brocksom), Kikori (Richard and Kathy Kopp) Hajja (Jill Archibald), Matiki (Jan and Bonnie Wydro), Joyfulpal (Yoshiko Moriya), Sharbee (Sharon Partington), Dolagon (Tony Aizawa), Skarbeios (Richard Davis), Bacamamdit (Linda Buzonas) and Shainefer (Karla Hensley).

Egyptian Maus have continued to gain in popularity and at the writing of this article, several have shown potential to compete with CFA's best in the new show season. The expansion of CFA in Europe has created extensive interest for the breed with many catteries hoping to be the first to earn a place in European Egyptian Mau history.

Egyptian Mau Distinguished Merit Winners

1986: Sangpur Alaska Diamond, DM - Silver Female
      Br: Brenda Keenan, Ow: Shirley Charbonneau
1986: CH Temek Ka of Kathaus, DM - Silver Female
      Br: Elmber and Tobe Goldman, Ow: Cheryl and Gary Kleist

From the tombs of the ancient Pharoahs, across the seas and into the show ring, this beautiful cat captivates and charms all those fortunate enough to see and to know them. The Egyptian Mau's regal bearing and loving nature have firmly secured a rightful place for this cat not only in the past, but in the future of the feline world.

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