Believed to have evolved from the early African wildcat, the Arabian Mau is a natural breed of domestic cat that has been in existence for over 1,000 years. Originating in the hot, arid landscapes of Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Arabian Mau moved towards human settlements as deserts became cities and the cat came in search of food. Quickly domesticated, the Arabian Mau is now a popular breed choice in the Middle East, and was the first breed to be recognised by the World Cat Federation in over a decade. It is widely believed that the breed was initially developed by Ms. Petra Mueller, who currently lives with 50 Arabian Mau in her home.
The variety is described as medium-sized, with a firm structure that is not as slender as other breeds. The Arabian Mau boasts long legs, a tapering tail and large ears. The single coat is fine and glossy, shedding moderately, and is recognised in three varieties – tabby, bicolour, and white. The Arabian Mau is considered a serious and highly inquisitive breed, and is not fussy when it comes to food. Having evolved to scavenge food wherever possible, the Mau of today maintains its keen, unselective appetite and behaves territorially when allowed outdoors. The breed is also a determined hunter and is prone to depositing animals on the doorstep.
Highly popular as a domestic pet, the Arabian Mau is compatible with children and other house animals when introduced to them gradually, and is well suited to indoor or outdoor living. Owners and fanciers have described the Mau’s temperament as loving, affectionate and gentle. Whilst grooming is important, the Mau is very capable of taking care of itself when it comes to maintaining its coat, and is only an average shedder, something which suits the house-proud amongst us! Typically, a fully-grown Arabian Mau can weigh up to 15 pounds, although there are large discrepancies. If housed inside, this breed can live for 20 years or longer.
Generally healthy and resilient, any breed-specific or genetic diseases are not well documented in the breed. No specific condition or health affliction appears with any great prevalence, although due to its relative rarity, this is difficult to determine.