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 Ancient Egyptian Sacred Cats

One of the few ancient communities that regarded animals as sacred was the Egyptian community. It is interesting to study the animals of Ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians had numerous types of pets - monkeys, ducks, geese, pigeons, hoopoes, falcons, cats, dogs, and even ferrets.

Feline reverence had a remarkable significance in their religious life. The people worshiped cats, and Bastet was the cat goddess.
 Egyptian Mau Cat
Egyptian Mau Cat


 Egyptian Mau Cat

The Egyptian Mau is known for having what is considered a loyal, playful, and friendly personality. Egyptian Maus are considered one of the progenitor breeds of the modern domestic cat.

Egyptian Mau Cat videos

 The breed conformation is described as "a balance between the compactness of a Burmese and the slim elegance of a Siamese. Its medium-length body is muscular, with the hind legs longer than the front, giving the Mau the appearance of standing on tiptoes when upright."

There was a word for cat, and that was miu or mii, meaning "one who meows." The fact that the armies were even sent to retrieve cats from abroad tells us how much they appreciate these loving animals.
Egyptian Mau Cat
Egyptian Mau Cat


 Egyptian Cat Mummy

Cats were mummified after death as humans. Cat mummies are found out in large numbers as Cats were popular companions of the people. The discovery of a large tomb outside the town of Beni Hasan had 4-20000 cat mummies dating from 1000-2000 BC. Mummified cats were given to the cat goddess. Bubastis contains the remains of over 300,000 cat mummies. In the tombs of the cats were set bowls of milk with mice and rats.
Egyptian Mau Cat
Egyptian Mau Cat



Egyptian Cat Goddess

Bastet (Devouring Lady) is a sacred cat of ancient Egypt. Bast is first and foremost a protectress, specifically of the royal house and the Two Lands. Later she got the life-preserving goddess of joy and protector of women. However, Bast's original role did not include the "cat as sex symbol" archetype.

The cat goddess Bastet eventually replaced the cult of Mafdet, and Bast's image softened over time and became the deity representing protection, fertility, and motherhood. Bastet was often described as having the body of a woman and the head of a domestic cat. It has been associated with the Eye of Ra, acting within the power of the sun god.
 Egyptian Mau Cat
 Egyptian Mau Cat
 Egyptian Mau Cat
Worshiped in the Delta city of Bubastis and usually depicted as a cat or in human form with the head of a cat, Bast was seen as a protector of cats and those who cared for them. The first feline Egyptian goddess might be Mafdet, depicted in the Pyramid Texts as killing a snake with her claws. Mafdet might be translated as "runner" in Egyptian. While there are many other cat goddesses, Bast is the only one represented as a domestic cat.

Cats were not only protected by almost every occupant of Egypt but also by the law. So extreme was the devoutness of the Egyptian culture to the cat that if a human killed a feline, either intentionally or unintentionally, that human was sentenced to death.

Egyptian House Cat

 The cat was domesticated in Egypt, probably around 2000 BC. These adorable animals fascinated the Egyptians, so cats were considered sacred and respected. Initially, they were used to ward off snakes, and slowly, they were started to be worshiped as deities. Whoever killed a cat was sentenced to death in the country. A household would go into mourning when a cat died. Children, especially young girls, were often named after cats. The goddess who symbolizes Mafdet of justice and execution was a lion-headed goddess.
Women accounted for their support surfaces mirrors with cats on the wooden handles and on their cosmetic pots. The best part is that ordinary people could not enjoy the protection of the cat goddess through their amulets on their clothing or around their necks, or in their ears. Cats even figured in dream interpretation. There were even laws prohibiting the export of cats.


Egyptian Cat Breeds

In Egypt, from the day to day streets of Cairo, to the long-lived pyramids at Giza, cats are and have always been a big part of Egyptian culture.

There were two main breeds of cats native to Ancient Egypt. The jungle cat (Felis chaus) and the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica). The latter had a calmer temperament and so was more commonly domesticated than its wilder relative.

The wild cat has mainly been tamed; the jungle cat was not as docile and was probably not particularly useful in the initial stages of domestication. During the New Kingdom, there were funeral scenes that started showing cats as part of everyday life. The ancient Egyptians took their cats on hunting excursions instead of dogs.

The two species eventually merged, creating a new breed that was closely related to the modern Egyptian Mau. As the cat was domesticated, further changes in temperament and appearance became apparent. Cats became more colorful, their bodies became smaller and less muscled, their brains became smaller, and they developed an increased tolerance for humans. The cat in ancient Egypt was a sacred and respected animal.
Egyptian Mau Cat

Egyptian Mau Cat
Egyptian Mau Cat

Egyptian Mau Cat

Egyptian Cat Statue

A very common scene in tomb paintings was a cat sitting under the chair of a woman, showing that the cat had become an integral part of the ancient Egyptian family life. During periods of time, statues of cats were made for shrines or for burial. There was a festival Bastet conducted each year in October to please the god Bastet. There were cats with gold bracelets, pendants, complex small golden cat, cat amulets soapstone for necklaces and rings.

Egyptian Mau Cat


 Egyptian Mau Colors

Maus come in six colors. From most to least common, these colors are silver, bronze, smoke, black, caramel, and blue/pewter. Black and pewter Maus cannot be shown but may be used inbreeding. All Maus must have green eyes, but an amber cast is acceptable in kittens and young adults up to eighteen months old.


 Egyptian Mau Personality

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, which assists in running by allowing the legs to stretch back farther, providing for greater agility and length of stride. 
Maus have been clocked running more than 48 km/h (30 mph). Also, one of the most essential recognizable "traits" of this particular animal is a long, dark dorsal stripe that runs from its head to its tail along its spine.

Maus have an unusually long gestational period, about 73 days. The maximum normal period for cats is 65–67 days, although Siamese may take a day or two longer. Maus often possess very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle, and emit other distinctly unusual vocalizations when stimulated.

 Another behavior, quite common in happy Maus, has been described as "wiggle-tail." The cat, whether female or male, wiggles and twitches its tail and appears to be marking territory, also known as spraying, but during this behavior, the Mau is not releasing urine. Facial expressions may change according to mood, and eye color may change from green to turquoise.