The Arabian Mau will capture your heart with its big ears and even bigger personality. This cat breed has become very popular in the Middle East over the past hundred years. They are also becoming well-known overseas thanks to their infectious personality, energetic spirit, and unique appearance.
Is the Arabian Mau right for you? Find out about the Arabian Mau's unique personality and care requirements here!
Arabian Mau Cat Breed Origin & History
You may have never heard of the Arabian Mau, but this cat breed has been around for over 1,000 years. This desert cat is native to the Arabian Peninsula, found roaming Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.
Some experts believe that the Arabian Mau has traces of the African wildcat in its lineage. Either way, the Arabian Mau is a hardy breed adapted to harsh desert climates and conditions. That's what allowed the cat to survive for hundreds of years without any formal domestication or breeding.
At some point in its development, the Arabian Mau realized that human settlements in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates had much more food than the unforgiving wilderness. The spotted cat began to move in on the cities, becoming domesticated shortly after.
The Arabian Mau is a popular breed in the Middle East. Petra Mueller is credited with breeding modern-day Arabian Maus and developing them into the cats we see today. Mueller currently lives with over 50 Arabian Mau cats!
The breed was recognized by the World Cat Federation in 2008. It was the first breed recognized by the organization in over a decade.
Arabian Mau Cat Breed Personality
The Arabian Mau may be wild at heart, but they are loving and affectionate with their human family. They become attached to individuals that show them love and take care of them. Once they recognize you as their favorite human, they will follow you from room to room, figuring out different ways to be a part of the action.
The Arabian Mau is known to be quite vocal. Their high-pitched meows often sound demanding. If you ignore them as they sit on the barstool, watching you cook, they may start making a fuss. They also might meow if you've been watching television for a while without petting or playing with them.
The Arabian Mau needs playtime! They have a lot of energy and make excellent hunters. They will show off their acrobatics whenever you take out a ribbon, and they will never grow tired of racing down the hall after a feathery mouse toy.
The Arabian Mau can jump very high. You'll often find them on the top of the fridge or climbing up their cat trees and shelves. They love watching the action from above.
This cat breed can be quite territorial. Arabian Maus are protective of their homes and won't take kindly to new cats, especially if they are of the same sex. This breed might be wary of strangers, but it will warm up to humans once it gets to know them.
Arabian Mau Characteristics
The Arabian Mau is a naturally occurring breed, meaning it doesn't rely on breeders. However, it still has to meet breed standards to be considered a "true" Arabian Mau.
Domesticated Arabian Maus must resemble the cats roaming the Arabian Peninsula. Fortunately, this is a pretty lax breed standard compared to the Cat Fanciers' Association's strict expectations from more developed cats.
Arabian Mau Size
The Arabian Mau is generally a medium-sized cat, although males can get much larger. They have firm, muscular bodies that are often described as sleek and agile. The Arabian Mau's tail is medium in length.
This cat has a round head with well-defined whisker pads. You'll often recognize an Arabian Mau thanks to its large and pointed ears. Their ear shape helped the cat release excess heat while living in the desert.
The Arabian Mau has oval-shaped eyes. There is not a standard eye color, although the cat's eyes should match its coat color.
Legs & Paws
The Arabian Mau has long legs, perfect for jumping and running.
The Arabian Mau's fur is short with no undercoat. This allows it to lie close to the body, looking sleek. The colors are often red, white, black, and brown tabby. Patterns can vary, and they will sometimes even have spots.
Arabian Mau Health Problems
Since Arabian Mau cats are naturally occurring, the breeding pool is quite large and resilient. There are no hereditary complications or health conditions associated with the breed. While hardy and healthy, you want to make sure you get your kitten from a reputable and trusted breeder who can guarantee the health of their litters.
Arabian Mau Life Expectancy
The average cat lives to around 16 years old, and the Arabian Mau is no different. With proper care and regular vet visits, these cats will love long, full lives.
Arabian Mau Cat Breed Care
The Arabian Mau originated in the desert. A lot of their characteristics, both physical and personality-wise, come from their former lifestyle. You'll notice that Arabian Maus crave warmth. They can easily get cold since they originally developed within the desert climate.
Provide Arabian Maus with warm blankets, beds, and even heated pads if you live in a colder region. You'll also find that this breed is right at home when it's snuggled beneath the covers.
The Indoor Hunter
You also want to make sure you have plenty of cat trees and shelves for this energetic height aficionado. The Arabian Mau loves to play, climb, and jump. It is crucial to give your cat enough equipment to exercise its energy indoors since it should not be given free rein to run around outside.
While this breed originated as an outside feral cat, they are considered an invasive species when brought into your neighborhood. They are excellent hunters who will catch an abundance of birds, bugs, frogs, lizards, and rodents. This can mess with the local ecosystem, throwing it off balance. Instead, let them play with a variety of toys inside.
The Arabian Mau is also highly territorial. Being outside will only invite catfights that can lead to infections, wounds, and disease. Keeping your Arabian Mau inside will also protect them from dogs, predators, catnappers, and cars.
The Arabian Mau requires a high-quality cat food brand that has meat as the first ingredient. This doesn't include "meal," which is made from processed meat-factory leftovers that are not fit for human consumption. The best cat food protein sources are turkey, chicken, and salmon. This is a highly active breed that needs a lot of protein and fat in its diet.
You want to avoid cat food heavy in carbohydrates, including wheat and corn. These ingredients are often called "fillers" because cats don't need them in their diet. In fact, it's often what makes cats overweight or allergic to their food.
A healthy alternative is wet food. Canned food has no carbohydrates. Instead, it contains over 70% water. Wet food is a great way to give your cat the liquids they need to ensure they don't become dehydrated.
When it comes to treats, the choice is up to you and your kitty. If you want to give your feline a boost to their overall well-being, try some CBD capsules for cats or you can use CBD oil to add to their favorite food or snack!
Children & Other Pets
The Arabian Mau doesn't take kindly to new cats. Consider adopting two cats at once — preferably while they are both kittens — to avoid conflict later on. With proper introductions, this breed can get used to a new cat being in their territory. Just make sure to have a plan and supervise the cats' first few meetings.
The friendly and loving Arabian Mau gets along great with children. Kids will love playing with this energetic hunter, watching them chase down toys endlessly. It also doesn't mind being on a leash, meaning supervised children will love playing with them outside, too.
More About This Breed
This breed usually costs between $800 and $1,800, but that's if you can find a breeder to begin with! This is a rare breed that's not found as easily as more developed and popular breeds.
Count yourself lucky if you come across a legitimate Arabian Mau kitten! These are loving and dedicated cats that you will love spending time with throughout the day. Whether it's cuddling under the covers at night or playing a game of fetch, the Arabian Mau is an energetic and affectionate cat that is the perfect addition to any family!