Arabian Mau Cat Breed: Essential Guide, Facts & Tips

Emma Fulton Emma Fulton 7 Min Read
photo by WhiskerWitty

An odyssey of the feline world, an embodiment of endurance, and a testament to adaptability, the Arabian Mau has a story that stretches over centuries. This breed, hailing from the Arabian Peninsula, is a fine example of nature’s mastery, sculpted to perfection by the arid desert conditions of its homeland.

In the realm of cats, every breed tells a tale, a testament to its unique evolution, heritage, and character. The Arabian Mau is no different, carrying a tale of survival, resilience, and distinct charm. To truly appreciate the nuances of cat companionship, understanding these breed-specific traits is paramount.

You’ve ventured onto this guide, a comprehensive manual for the current or prospective Arabian Mau owner. Here, you’ll embark on an exciting journey, learning about the breed’s vibrant history, striking physical attributes, characteristic personality, health, care, and much more. A compass for the uncharted waters of Arabian Mau guardianship, this guide aims to equip you with the knowledge to create an enriching bond with these extraordinary creatures.

Origins and History of the Arabian Mau

photo by WhiskerWitty

Stepping back in time, our story begins in the arid landscapes of the Arabian Peninsula, a cradle of civilizations and, as it happens, the birthplace of the Arabian Mau. These cats are the epitome of adaptation, with their roots reaching deep into the sands of the Arabian Desert. Living for centuries amidst the arduous conditions of the desert, the Arabian Mau’s heritage is a testament to survival and resilience.

The Arabian Mau’s lineage traces back to the “street cats” of the United Arab Emirates, which thrived in the harsh desert environment for over 1,000 years. The breed’s evolution has been a fascinating saga of natural selection. Unscripted by human hands, their characteristics developed over centuries in response to the desert’s unforgiving climate. This shaping by nature rendered them a robust constitution, a coat resilient to sand and heat, and an enduring spirit to withstand the trials of their environment.

For much of its history, the Arabian Mau remained an unappreciated hero of the feline world. Their existence was known but remained without official recognition in cat fancier circles for many years. It wasn’t until 2008 when the breed was finally recognized by the World Cat Federation (WCF). This official recognition ignited an interest in the breed, casting a spotlight on its distinctive charm and rugged beauty.

In today’s cat world, the Arabian Mau holds a special place. It enjoys a steadily growing popularity, especially among cat enthusiasts who value the breed’s hardiness, adaptability, and vivacious personality. While still not as universally known as some of the more mainstream breeds, the Arabian Mau has begun to leave its paw prints in the hearts of feline lovers worldwide, a symbol of the timeless bond between the wilderness of the desert and the warmth of our homes.

The Appearance of the Arabian Mau

photo by WhiskerWitty

General Description

A first glance at the Arabian Mau brings to light its striking physical attributes. The breed is known for its firm, medium-sized physique. Its body is muscular yet elegantly streamlined, suggesting a perfect blend of power and agility. The defining feature of the Arabian Mau is its robustness, reminiscent of its centuries of survival in harsh desert conditions.

When you look at an Arabian Mau, you’re immediately drawn to its well-developed musculature. Firm, solid, and substantial to the touch, this breed has an undeniable physical presence. Despite its medium size, there’s an underlying strength that speaks volumes of its endurance and resilience.

Coat and Colors

In the palette of the Arabian Mau’s coat, one can read the tales of its desert ancestry. The breed flaunts a variety of colors and patterns, including white, black, red, blue, and a range of tortoiseshell and tabby patterns. Notably, each color is singularly solid and vivid, basking in the glory of the sun it has known for centuries.

The desert environment has shaped the Arabian Mau’s coat characteristics in more ways than one. It is short, dense, and lies flat against the body, designed to withstand both the scorching heat and the chilling nights of the desert. It is an outfit of resilience, perfected by nature itself.

Despite its rugged attributes, the coat of the Arabian Mau is surprisingly easy to maintain. It is firm to the touch and lacks an undercoat, which translates into minimal shedding. Regular brushing is usually all it takes to keep their coat looking healthy and glossy.

Specific Features

The Arabian Mau possesses certain features that are remarkably its own. The breed’s ears are large and wide, enabling better heat dissipation – an invaluable adaptation to the hot desert climate. The eyes are almond-shaped and come in various shades of green, amber, and hazel, offering a mesmerizing gaze that is uniquely Arabian Mau.

Another notable feature is its tail. Medium in length and tapering towards the end, the Arabian Mau’s tail has a slight curve, but never forms a complete hook. This is another telltale sign of the breed’s adaptation to its arid homeland.

In the end, every detail of the Arabian Mau – from its powerful build to its striking coat – serves as a testament to its remarkable heritage and survival story.

Personality and Behavior of the Arabian Mau

photo by WhiskerWitty

General Personality Traits

The Arabian Mau is the perfect blend of independent spirit and affectionate companion. These cats are known for their high affection levels, keen intelligence, and playful demeanor. They are loyal to their human families, often forming close bonds with one or more family members. They value their time with their loved ones but also appreciate their independence, making them well-suited for families with varying schedules.

Despite their desert origins, Arabian Maus are incredibly sociable and relish being the center of attention. They are quick to purr and happily accept strokes, often demonstrating their affection with head-butts and soft nuzzles. With an athletic and active nature, the Arabian Mau embodies a cat’s grace and agility. Its boundless energy and curiosity mean it is always ready for a game or exploration.

Interaction with Humans and Other Pets

Arabian Maus are known to integrate well within a household. They interact positively with family members and show an openness towards guests. Their robustness and playful energy can make them a delightful companion for children. At the same time, they exhibit a patience that helps them navigate the exuberance of young ones with ease.

When it comes to other pets, Arabian Maus often do well with both other cats and friendly dogs. However, due to their active and playful nature, they might sometimes be seen as overly enthusiastic by more laid-back pets. To ensure a harmonious environment, it’s crucial to give all pets their personal space and gradually introduce new companions.

Activity Levels and Play Preferences

Arabian Maus are natural athletes. They love engaging in high-energy play and will often turn any object into a toy. They enjoy a good chase, whether it’s a feathered wand, a laser pointer, or even their own tail. Interactive games that engage their hunting instincts are particularly appreciated.

But it’s not all go, go, go. These cats also enjoy downtime and will relish a cozy lap or warm spot in the sun for a mid-afternoon nap. Remember, providing a balance of activities is essential for their mental and physical well-being. With an Arabian Mau, you’re signing up for a whirlwind of activity, coupled with heartfelt moments of companionship.

Health and Lifespan of the Arabian Mau

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General Health Overview

Arabian Maus are typically healthy cats, thanks in large part to their origins as street and desert cats. They have evolved to be robust and resilient, with a strong immune system that often helps them resist common feline diseases. That said, like all breeds, they can sometimes be susceptible to specific health issues. These can include common feline concerns such as dental disease, obesity (if their active lifestyle is not accommodated), and occasionally, genetic conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to ensure that any potential issues are identified and addressed promptly.


The typical lifespan of an Arabian Mau ranges from 12 to 14 years, although it’s not uncommon for some individuals to live longer with proper care. The lifespan can be influenced by various factors including genetics, diet, activity levels, and overall health care. While genetics play a significant role, maintaining a balanced diet and ensuring plenty of exercises can go a long way in promoting a long, healthy life. Regular veterinary care, including preventative measures such as vaccinations and dental care, also significantly contribute to their longevity.

Health Tips for Owners

Maintaining the health of an Arabian Mau is primarily about providing a balanced diet, ensuring they get plenty of exercises, and taking them for regular veterinary check-ups. As highly active cats, they need a diet rich in quality proteins to fuel their energy. Portion control is essential to prevent overeating and obesity. Exercise can come naturally through play – remember, they’re lovers of interactive games! Regular vet check-ups help monitor their health and detect any potential issues early. Also, don’t forget about dental hygiene; brushing their teeth or providing dental chews can prevent dental diseases. With these considerations in mind, your Arabian Mau can lead a long, healthy life.

Caring for an Arabian Mau

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Dietary Needs

An Arabian Mau’s diet should be carefully managed to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and active. As carnivorous creatures, they need a diet high in quality proteins, sourced from real meat. It’s also beneficial to include some healthy fats for energy and a small portion of fruits and vegetables for fiber and additional nutrients. Portion control is crucial to prevent overeating, as obesity can lead to a host of health issues. Make sure to provide fresh water at all times and limit treats to less than 10% of their daily caloric intake. With a well-balanced diet, your Arabian Mau will stay in prime health.


Arabian Maus have a short coat that’s relatively easy to care for. Regular brushing can help reduce shedding and keep the coat healthy. They may not require baths often unless they get into a particularly messy situation. Regularly check their ears for signs of dirt or infection, and their teeth should be brushed regularly. Also, keep an eye on their nails; they should be trimmed every few weeks or as needed. Make grooming a positive experience, and it will become a bonding time for you and your feline friend.

Exercise and Play

Arabian Maus are known for their high energy levels and athletic nature, so daily play and exercise are essential to keep them healthy and content. They love to explore and are good at climbing and jumping. Therefore, a cat tree or a safe outdoor environment can provide an excellent outlet for their energy. Interactive games, such as chasing laser pointers or feather teasers, can provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation. Enrich their environment with puzzle toys to challenge them mentally. The breed is also sociable, so they will enjoy playtime with their human companions or other pets in the household. Remember, a well-exercised Arabian Mau is a happy and healthy one!

Adopting an Arabian Mau: Pricing and Tips

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Price Range and Factors

Adopting an Arabian Mau can be a joyous venture, but it’s essential to be aware of the costs. Prices for this breed typically range from $600 to $1000, but they can vary based on several factors. Breeder reputation, location, pedigree of the cat, and whether the cat is show quality or pet quality can all influence the price. Additionally, the cost may also include initial veterinary care, including vaccinations and spaying or neutering. It’s crucial to factor in these costs along with the ongoing expenses of cat ownership such as food, litter, toys, grooming, and regular veterinary check-ups.

Choosing a Breeder

When looking for an Arabian Mau, finding a reputable breeder is crucial. Good breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats over profit. They should be able to provide a complete health history of the parents and kittens, and their cats should live in a clean, comfortable, and safe environment. Be wary of breeders who cannot provide health clearances or those who have multiple litters available at once; these may be signs of a backyard breeder or kitten mill. Always visit the breeder’s facility in person, meet the parent cats, and interact with the kittens before deciding to adopt.

Adoption Tips

If you are considering adopting an Arabian Mau, do thorough research about the breed to ensure it suits your lifestyle. Spend time interacting with the cat before adoption, and observe their personality and health. Consider adopting from rescue organizations or shelters, where many wonderful cats of this breed are waiting for a forever home. Make sure you are prepared for the commitment and responsibility of pet ownership – an Arabian Mau can be a member of your family for over a decade. Remember, the goal is to provide a loving, secure, and healthy home for your new furry friend.

Conclusion: Why the Arabian Mau Makes a Great Family Pet

This comprehensive guide has sought to shine a light on the enchanting world of the Arabian Mau, from its rich history and origin in the arid landscapes of the Arabian Peninsula, to its robust physique and distinctive coat, tempered by the harsh desert environment. We’ve delved into the personality and behavior of this breed, revealing a cat that is not just athletic and active, but also affectionate and highly adaptable to different living situations.

Health and longevity were also discussed, with the breed generally showing good health and boasting a lifespan of 12-14 years. This, coupled with its relatively low-maintenance grooming requirements and a balanced diet, make it an easy pet to care for. The importance of activity for this high-energy breed was also highlighted, which offers plenty of opportunities for fun interaction and play.

Reflecting on these unique attributes of the Arabian Mau, it’s clear to see why they make excellent family pets. They embody a perfect blend of independence and affection, ensuring they can bond with all family members while also enjoying their own space. Their energetic nature makes them a source of entertainment and their hardiness means they can fit into varied household environments.

For those contemplating the addition of a feline member to their household, the Arabian Mau stands as a superb candidate. Their adaptive nature, combined with their loving demeanor, athleticism, and robust health, make them not just a pet, but a friend and companion for many years.

Therefore, whether you’re a first-time cat owner or a veteran, the Arabian Mau, with its captivating charm and resilience, is indeed worth considering. After all, they offer a fascinating slice of natural history, packaged in a bundle of joy that can bring warmth, entertainment, and companionship to your home.

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