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Arabian Mau

The Arabian Mau is a domestic short-haired cat. This landrace native of the desert regions of the Arabian Peninsula, thrives well in the streets, conveniently adapting to the extremes of temperature. Being medium-sized, it has a firm body, well-developed muscles, long legs and oval shaped paws. It is round-headed with little curves on its nose, well-pronounced whisker pads, firm chin, and slightly slanting eyes.

Physical Appearance & Size

Weight:4kg to 7kg

Colors & Patterns

Coat:Short lying close to its body
Color:Red, black and white, brown and tabby, black, white

Other Characteristics

Other Names:Alley cat,
Group:Natural, Domestic
Life Expectancy:12 to 14 years ( Can live up to 20 years when housed in a comfortable way)
Personality Traits:Loving, Loyal, Affectionate
Good with Children:Yes
Vocalization:Known to be a quiet cat
Country of Origination:Middle East


This feline breed said to be a descendant of the African wild cat has been dwelling in the desert regions of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain for over 1000 years. Living in the arid regions, they came closer to human population primarily seeking food and shelter as the deserts started getting urbanized. These cats would initially be wandering on the streets, in alleys or even in any house.

When officials from the World Cat Federation paid a visit to Dubai during the twenty-first century, they caught sight of these unique cats. Petra Muller, UAE based German and director of the “Middle East Cat Society”, Dubai took the initiative of organizing a selective breeding program of this breed. In fact, she had been taking note of their behavioral traits since a long time and is credited to have named them as “Arabian Mau.”

Ms. Muller’s efforts paid off as these desert cats gained a provisional recognition by the WCF (World Cat Federation) in the year 2008 as a pedigreed breed at their Annual General Meeting held in Germany. They were permitted to participate in different cat shows in 2009. It has also been recognized by the Middle East Cats Society as a formal breed. The three coats of these cats that the WCF identifies are tabby, bicolor and white.

Temperament and Personality

Characterized with a loving and affectionate nature, they show complete loyalty towards their masters.The Maus get along well with children along with family pets. Though the sight of an unfamiliar face may make them conscious, these cats do not fear strangers. Some of them are also said to go one step further by walking up to the gate to welcome the new visitor.

Having a quiet disposition, they will meow to attract their owner’s attention or in a need for something. Their desert habitation has made them very agile, flexible, high jumpers as well as skilled hunters. Loving to stay outdoors, they are determined to catch their prey and bring it back home. The Arabian Mau of the masculine gender is very territorial in nature, always guarding its area against the other male felines.

This curious breed is not at all finicky about food, loving to eat everything it is given. These playful cats tend to get serious at times. It is not a lap cat but will inquisitively keep a watch on you, going to the extent of following you wherever you go.


As it is a minimal shedder, less amount of grooming is needed. Brushing its coat on a weekly basis will facilitate in removing dead hairs also maintaining the glossiness. Since most cats have the risk of suffering from gingivitis, clean your pet’s teeth on a regular basis either using clean gauze or a vet approved toothpaste and brush. Trimming their nails when required and checking their ears are other hygienic measures to be adopted to minimize infection.

Owing to their active nature, they need at least 10 to 15 minutes of regular exercise to maintain a good physical and mental health. You can arrange for a fenced yard if you have a garden or pen space in your house for them to run and play about freely. Give him a lot of toys and be their playmate to help them burn their energy in a positive way. You can place a cat tree at one corner of your house in case there is limited space for it to jump.

These hardy cats have a strong immune system with no known genetic health problems as such. They may be prone to the common feline diseases. Therefore, do not forget to vaccinate them on time. However, its owners should make it a point to provide them adequate warmth and not expose them to the chilling weather.


These intelligent cats are a trainer’s delight. Giving them socialization, obedience, and behavioral training since their kitten days will help shaping their personality well. Try teaching your pet a lot of amusing tricks, if you plan to take him to the cat show.


These carnivorous cats are highly fascinated about eating. Their diet should contain a balanced amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Giving them homemade food in general and seafood, in particular, is a good idea. Providing them with a proper quantity canned food will help them suffice their need. Encourage your Mau to drink a lot of fresh water so that he may not get sick or dehydrated.

Interesting Facts

  • Petra Muller is said to own about eighty Maus at present.
  • The male Arabian Mau is bigger in size than his female counterpart.
  • The meaning of the word “Mau” is cat.

One response to “Arabian Mau”

  1. I owned, or should I say, he owned me, an Arabian Mau. The most loyal, loving and intelligent cat, I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with. Unfortunately, he died of cancer in my lap. I was stupid enough not to recognize that he was sick when he started to come home with scratches because he lost a territorial fight. He was only 9 years old and I should have known better. 😕

    All that is written about the Arabian Mau, I can only confirm. Having 80 of them wouldn’t have been a problem at all. My Khan helped raise two other kittens and tought them to have respect. I’m serious. When these kittens didn’t listen to me, he corrected them!

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