About the Burmese Cat Breed
Burmese are extremely people-oriented cats. They are almost dog-like in their tendency to follow their owners to give and receive affection. In fact, many Burmese can even learn to play fetch.
Burmese Physical Characteristics
The breed can be broadly divided into two types: European Burmese and contemporary Burmese. The European Burmese possesses longer, narrower muzzles with a less pronounced nose break, and a slightly narrower head; the contemporary Burmese has shorter, broader muzzles, a pronounced nose break, and broader, rounder head shapes.
Additionally, the contemporary Burmese bears the brown coat proudly, while the European Burmese sports brighter colors like red.
The CFA recognizes the breed in four colors: sable (a rich dark brown), champagne (a warm beige), platinum (a pale gray with fawn undertones) and blue (a medium gray with fawn undertones).
Short and silky to the touch
Burmese Personality and Temperament
The breed is very fond of people and activity. There are certain differences in temperament, however, between males and females: females display more curiosity and are more emotionally attached to their owners; males are quieter, though they, too, are fond of human company. They both display tremendous interest in food. Most Burmese cats have never met a lap they don’t like to curl up in and they are very social.
See more easy-going cat breeds.
Things to Consider
The Burmese speaks with a hoarse voice as if it has a bad throat from too much chatting. It is quieter than its Siamese counterpart, but will purr when it becomes restless or annoyed.
Ideal Living Conditions
Known for being adaptable and amusing, the Burmese can be equally comfortable in a shop, home or office setting. They do thrive on companionship, however, and will do best spending time with people or other pets.
Their short, close-lying coats require little grooming and are easy to care for.
Common health conditions in the breed may include cranial deformities (that may have begun as a result of excessive inbreeding) and glaucoma.
Burmese History and Background
In their country of origin, the Burmese breed is sometimes referred to as the copper cat. Their history dates back thousands of years and the legend goes that the illustrious forefathers of the Burmese were worshiped in temples as Gods in Burma.
Experts agree this breed of domesticated cats descended from Wong Mau, a female feline that was found in Burma (present day Myanmar) and exported to the U.S. in the early 1930s by Dr. Joseph Thompson, a medical officer in the United States Navy.
Thompson, a man of many interests, had served as a Buddhist monk in Tibet and instantly took a keen interest to the short-haired, brown cats that lived there. After acquiring Wong Mau, he decided to begin a breeding program. However, as she had no male counterpart, Wong Mau was crossed with a seal-point Siamese named Tai Mau.
The kittens produced were beige, brown, and pointed in color. The brown kittens were crossed with one another, or with their mother, to produce more Burmese cats.
The Burmese was officially recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) in 1936. However, as more breeders began to bring cats from Burma to the U.S., the breed began to become diluted. Soon hybrid Burmese cats were deceptively sold as purebreds. Protests poured in and the CFA withdrew its recognition. Burmese breeders who had faith in the breed continued their work despite the gloomy scenario. At last their efforts were rewarded when the Burmese once again gained recognition in 1953 and was granted Championship status in 1959. A new standard which allowed only solid coat colors unmarred by marking was followed to distinguish this breed. Today, the Burmese has Championship status is all associations.