December 23, 2015 PetGuide
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Arabian Mau

  • Height: 8-10 inches
  • Weight: 9-16 lb
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Physique: Sleek, muscular
  • Best Suited For: Any loving household with the time to play with their cats, including those with children and other pets
  • Temperament: Active, energetic, devoted, outgoing
  • Comparable Breeds: Egyptian Mau

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The Arabian Mau is one of the oldest of all of the natural feline breeds. Only recently has this desert cat become recognized as an actual breed, even though it has been common in the Arabian Peninsula, including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, for over 1,000 years. In fact, if you go to those parts of the world, you will commonly find Arabian Maus living as street cats, surviving independently and adapting to their environment even as the deserts are transformed into cities.

“Mau” is actually the Egyptian word for “cat,” and these kitties are active at night, preferring to sleep during the day just like their ancestors did in order to avoid the hot sun of the desert.

The Arabian Mau is one of the oldest of all of the natural feline breeds.

The Arabian Mau is one of the oldest of all of the natural feline breeds.Arabian Mau cats are social and energetic. In fact, because they are so active, these cats do best in homes where their owners will be able to provide them with plenty of playtime and enrichment. They need a means by which to release all of their energy, so these are cats that require loads of attention and interaction from their owners.

Also, because these kitties are so friendly, intelligent, and adaptable, they will get along great with just about anyone, and they will even get along well with other pets and children. They will likely follow you around the house, always looking for interaction and something to do, though they may not make the best lap cats.

One of the distinct features of this breed is its ears, which are large and pointed in order to help release excess heat from the body (very handy when living in the desert). The tail is also a medium length compared to the rest of the body, and it somewhat tapers towards the tip.

Overall, the Arabian Mau’s body is typically medium in size and sleek, making it an agile hunter. And these cats also feature oval paws, long legs, and strong muscles.

The Arabian Mau is one of the oldest of all of the natural feline breeds.The Arabian Mau naturally occurs in a wide array of patterns and colors, as these characteristics have allowed the cats to blend into a variety of environments. However, they typically exhibit some combination of white, black, brown, and gray. You can also find them in red, black and white, and brown tabby.

Because the Arabian Mau has short fur without any undercoat, grooming is really simple. You can occasionally brush your kitty to bond with her, as well as to help distribute the naturally occurring oils throughout the coat to keep it looking and feeling smooth and healthy. Other than that, you should trim your cat’s claws, clean the ears, and brush the teeth, just as you would with any other breed.

Photo credit: Gilbert Dunkley/Bigstock; Ali Barrett/Flickr; nixsimages/Flickr

Comparable Breeds

Go to Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau

  • Height: 8-10 inches
  • Weight: 7-9 lb
  • Lifespan: 18-20 years
  • Physique: Muscular, long body
  • Best Suited For: Families with children, singles with other pets
  • Temperament: Athletic, intelligent, loyal, playful
  • Comparable Breeds: American Shorthair, Ocicat