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From Endearment to Endangerment

The Native Egyptian Mau cat is well known in legend and ancient past.

It is believed that these cats are descendents of the sacred cats of Egypt, and their ancestry goes back at least 3,500 years. It is the only naturally occurring spotted cat, and it bears "M" mark on the forehead, sometimes called the scarab mark after the symbol the ancient Egyptians considered divine.

As highly honoured cats, it was an offence in ancient times to hurt or kill one of these cats, and many have been found mummified in tombs. Mau is the Egyptian word for cat.


Today It Is a Different Story

Presently, in their Egyptian homeland, Native Egyptian Maus are facing persecution and possible extinction. They are not protected animals or valued like they were in ancient times. In fact, the Egyptian government views these animals as undesirable pests, and sadly these magnificent cats run feral throughout the country, and forage in rubble and trash cans for food, with little veterinary care.

They live a terrible, painful and short, hungry life. The Egyptian government, in order to try to curb the growing number of stray animals, are shooting the stray dogs in large numbers, and systematically poison the stray cats, many of which are feral Native Egyptian Maus. This alarming action may endanger the Maus' very existence! Here are some recent photos of feral Native Egyptian Maus, taken of cats from the streets of Cairo:

We Believe that the Native Egyptian Mau Cats, as a Breed, Are Endangered

Not only is the gene pool of the breed outside Egypt weakening due to excessive in-breeding (little new blood), but in Egypt the increase of life-threatening feline health diseases such as FIV and FeLV threatens the continuing existence of this breed.

Unless they become protected, we believe these ancient cats may soon become extinct.


EMRO Headquarters
Villa 11, Block 4, Ground Floor, Togarayeen City
El Mokattam, Cairo, EGYPT

Telephone Landline: (Outside of Cairo) +2 022 507 6946, (Inside of Cairo) 2 507 6946
Mobile: +2 0114 748 1481

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