are a small-medium sized short-haired cat breed. Along with the Bahraini Dilmun Cat, they are one of the few naturally spotted breeds of domesticated cat. The spots of the Mau occur on both the coat and their skin underneath. The spotted Mau is an ancient breed from natural stock; its look has not changed significantly as is evidenced by artwork over 3,000 years old. Unlike other spotted cats such as the Ocicat or Bengal cat, the Egyptian Mau is a natural breed. Other breeds are created from domestic breed outcross or, in the case of the Bengal cat, domestic outcrosses with wildcats. The Mau is significantly smaller than these other breeds. The breed conformation is described by The Cornell Book of Cats as
The Egyptian Mau is the fastest of the domestic cats, with its longer hind legs, and unique flap of skin extending from the flank to the back knee, providing for greater agility and length of stride. Maus have been clocked running over 36 mph (58 km/h). Maus often possess very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle and emit other distinctly unusual vocalizations when stimulated. The back legs of Maus are longer than the front legs, and frequently land on their back feet when taking a leap, making them appear rather haughty and kangaroo-like. Eye colour changes from green to turquoise according to mood, and amazingly, so do facial expressions. Extremely intelligent cat. Another behavior, quite common in happy Maus, has been described as “wiggle-tail.” The cat, male or female, wiggles and twitches its tail, and appears to be marking territory, also known as spraying, but it is not actually releasing urine. Even veteran Mau owners are known to check after a joyous Mau does this little dance.