Category Archives: Egyptian Mau

The Smallest, Tallest, Fastest and Oldest Cat and Dog Breeds

By Linda Cole

Over the years, selective breeding has given cat and dog breeds a variety of sizes, shapes and abilities. You can’t help but wonder if a Chihuahua really does think he’s as big as a Great Dane. Cats and dogs have found their way into our hearts, though, and I wanted to share some fun trivia about the smallest, tallest, fastest and oldest of our four legged friends.

Smallest dog and cat breeds

Chihuahua – He may be the smallest dog breed in the world, but his ancestors were thought of in a big way. The Aztecs believed this little dog had mystical powers and could see the future, heal the sick and guide souls through the underworld. That might explain the Chihuahua’s stubborn streak. Despite his diminutive size, the tenacious breed is on a list of the top ten watchdogs recommended by security experts. The Chihuahua is no more than 5 inches at the shoulder and weighs 6 pounds or less. Average lifespan is 12 to 20 years.

Singapura – One of the sixteen natural cat breeds, this intelligent kitty is athletic, muscular, playful and curious. Native to the island of Singapore where she lived as a feral cat on the streets, her early existence is a mystery. The breed developed naturally, without human intervention. It wasn’t until the 1970s when the Singapura was developed as a breed. The cat weighs 4 to 8 pounds and has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. You can learn more about the Singapura in this article from the CANIDAE RPO archives. The cat breed with the shortest legs is the Munchkin, with an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years.

Tallest dog breed

Irish Wolfhound – His name indicates a dog with a fierce demeanor, but this sighthound is a gentle soul despite his enormous size, and gets along well with everyone, including kids and other dogs. However, his fierceness as a hunter of large game is legendary. Native to Ireland, and old Irish proverb aptly described the breed as “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.” Standing 30 to 35 inches at the shoulder and weighing 105 to 180 pounds, their average lifespan is 6 to 8 years. The Mastiff is the heaviest dog breed, weighing 120 to 230 pounds, with a lifespan of 8 to 10 years.

Largest cat breed

Ragdoll – Developed in America in the early 1960s, the Ragdoll is a good natured, laid back kitty that loves to be with her people. She enjoys being held and has a tendency to go limp when she’s picked up. Some males weigh up to 35 pounds, but the average size is around 20 pounds. A Ragdoll can be three times larger than other breeds. This “dog-like” feline gets along well with the entire family. Average lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

Fastest dog and cat breed

Greyhound – One of the oldest dog breeds, the Greyhound originated in the Middle East and North Africa regions. Other sighthounds like the Whippet, Saluki and Afghan Hound aren’t that far behind, but at around 45 mph this speedy breed tops all dog breeds. The Greyhound is number 7 on the fastest land animal list, with the Cheetah holding the top spot. But when it comes to stamina, the Greyhound is far superior to the Cheetah who fizzles out after a short burst of speed. A Greyhound’s average lifespan is 10 to 13 years.

Egyptian Mau – This super intelligent kitty is the only domesticated cat with a spotted coat that occurs naturally. Originating in Egypt, the Mau was given high status and worshiped like a god. In Ancient Egypt, the word Mau means cat. The Cat Fanciers’ Association describes the breed as “something a little exotic, a little jungle, a little breathtaking and a little primitive.” This little beauty’s hind legs are longer than her front legs, and along with her spotted coat, she looks Cheetah-like. Not as fast as the Cheetah or Greyhound, the Mau has a top speed of 30 mph. Average lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

Oldest dog and cat breed

Saluki – Originating in the Middle East sometime around 329 BC, the Saluki holds the title as the world’s oldest breed. The Saluki was bred as a medium size sighthound to hunt gazelle and hare in the deserts. Highly prized, the Saluki was given noble treatment over all other dog breeds, sharing their owner’s food and tent. The Saluki may look elegant, but he’s an athletic, quick and unrelenting hunter, with stamina and speed to chase down his prey. Average lifespan is 12 to 14 years.

Egyptian Mau – Not only is the Mau the fastest cat breed, it’s most likely the oldest as well. Depictions of cats resembling the Mau are found on Egyptian hieroglyphics. These cats were so revered by their owners, after death their bodies were mummified and placed in tombs.

Chihuahua photo by Jose Antonio Tovar
Singapura photo by Lil Shepherd
Ragdoll by Steve Jurvetson
Egyptian Mau photo by Nickolas Titkov
Saluki photo by Renee Johnson

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10 Dog and Cat Breeds With Mythical Legends

By Linda Cole

For centuries, people have associated certain breeds of cats and dogs with mythical legends, and some are still believed today.

Shih Tzu – One of the 14 oldest dog breeds, “the Lion Dog” is the smallest of the Tibetan holy dogs. In Buddhist mythology, Buddha rode to earth on a lion and carried a Shih Tzu. The dog was bred to resemble a lion, and was given high honor as the dog loved by Buddha. It was believed Shih Tzu dogs were incarnations of mischievous household gods. It was also thought they carried the souls of lamas searching for nirvana.

Norwegian Forest Cat – This large feline originated in Norway, and sailed with the Vikings to control rodents. The cat evolved by natural selection some 4,000 years ago, and has a role in Norse mythology. Viking gods are divided into two groups, Aesir and Vanir. Aesir gods were connected to war and victory, and Vanir gods were wise with magical skills. One of the Vanir gods, Freya, was the goddess of beauty and love. During battle against the Aesir, Freya’s chariot was pulled by two large Norwegian Forest Cats.

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Egyptian Mau Cats: the Oldest Spotted Breed

By Julia Williams

The Egyptian word for cat is Mau (rhymes with wow). A translation from the Egyptian Book of the Dead (240 B.C.) states that “The male cat is Ra himself, and he is called by reason of the speech of the god Sa, who said concerning him, He is like unto that which he hath made, thus his name became Mau.”

You probably already know that cats were worshipped as deities by the ancient Egyptians. Large numbers of sacred cats were mummified and placed in underground galleries. Numerous bronze votive statuettes have also survived, such as the Gayer-Anderson cat now housed in the British Museum. Cats were also cherished as pets, and mourned upon their death. Tombs of the kings revealed not only mummified cats but toys and food as well. It’s been alleged that very often, a family would shave off their eyebrows to mourn the passing of their beloved cat.

Spotted cats were depicted on the walls of the pharaoh’s chambers, and were said to be the kings’ most sacred and revered companions. Many historical experts believe that artwork of the ancient Egyptians clearly identifies the Egyptian Mau. It’s hypothesized that the Egyptian Mau was domesticated from a spotted subspecies of the small African Wildcat.

The Egyptian Mau is the oldest and the only naturally occurring breed of spotted domestic cats, a group that includes Ocicats, Bengals, Savannahs and Safari cats. The Mau’s history in North America began in 1956, when they were imported by an exiled Russian princess named Nathalie Troubetskoy. The Egyptian Mau was recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) for championship competition in 1977.

The Egyptian Mau is a fascinating cat with a stunning “wild” look and a delightful demeanor. First-time Mau owners are said to become so enchanted with this spotted breed that they almost always want more than one.

Temperament of the Mau

As a rule, the Egyptian Mau is an intelligent and active cat. They are fiercely loyal and devoted to their human companions, and are known to form very strong bonds with their owners. Mau kittens adapt easily to new situations, but an adult Mau cat who has already bonded with a family may experience a challenging adjustment period when going to a new home.

The Egyptian Mau has a soft, melodious voice and is known to use it to express happiness. Another way they demonstrate their contentment is by vigorously wiggling their tails (the equivalent of a dog’s wagging tail, perhaps?) while kneading a person with their front paws.

Physical Attributes of the Mau

The beautiful Egyptian Mau is a medium size cat with well developed muscles and athletic grace. The large, slightly almond-shaped eyes are in a distinctive gooseberry green shade. The Mau has alert, medium-to-large ears that are broad at the base, moderately pointed and sometimes tufted.

The coat is medium long and silky, with a glossy sheen. Three colors can be shown in championship status: Silver, Bronze and Smoke, with Silver being the most popular color by far. In the Egyptian Mau standard, much importance is allocated to pattern and contrast. Spots may be any shape or size, but they must be clearly visible and should not run together.

Cats in Egypt Today

Like most American cat owners, Egyptians typically have just one or two felines in their household. However, cat-keeping is largely confined to members of the upper middle class, which is a tiny minority. Although the Egyptian peoples’ feelings toward cats are conditioned by tradition, many are not fully aware of the sacred history cats have in their country.

Photo courtesy of Lil Shepherd.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.