The origin of the breed
Burmese - arguably the most charming feline breed, renowned for it’s «golden» temper. The origin of the breed is rooted in the East, and these roots braid tightly with the history of Thai. The first notion of Burmese is dated XV century, the times when they were called “Copper cat”, and described like that: “The character of the copper cat is superior to one of any breed there is. Their fur is vivid as copper, and their eyes shine brightly as the sun in zenith. These felines are the ones, that make all things cruel and foul disappear…”. In general, Burmese cats were held in the richest houses and temples, for it was considered that they bring prosperity and bliss.
The development of an independent Burmese breed was, in fact, an accident. In 1930-s Joseph Thompson, a retired medic from San-Francisco (California, Usa) was given an eastern cat called Wong Mau. It’s appearance differed so much from what he has seen before, that he has decided to form a breed and even invited a scientific group from local university to develop a breeding programme.
By the year 1934 first standard and specimens of the breed were introduced to CFA’s legislative group, and in two years the breed was given an official recognition. This is a stunning success for a breed less than 5 years in development. Breed’s renown has skyrocketed, with public demand trampling the availability.
In 1949 three Burmese cats were brought to England, where they attracted considerable numbers of breeders. By the year 1955 Burmese Cat Club was formed, and Burmese Cat Society in 1979. Local breeders produced a Burmese slightly different from american standard. That was the manifest of European Burmese cats with refined lines and lighter frame.
Currently, different standards lack uniformity, and so does the appearance of Burmese felines over the world. American (CFA and TICA) standards argue with European (WCF, FIFe, GCCF), and you can even define the Australian Burmese.
Every system claims their breed to be the most Burmese, yet there are only 3 officially approved types.
Speaking of which, what defines the American Burmese?
These somewhat heavy (7 - 13 lbs) yet rather fit cats are very small for their weight. Their coat, as clingy as it is shiny, has almost no undercoat and thus the related problems. Larger eyes go splendidly with round head and form an expressive visage. Burmese are always lean and fit, and should stay that way, signs of obesity and lacking tonus are just as intolerable for them as for bodybuilders.
Head: Round shape, no flat surfaces. Full cheeks, developed and wide. The profile is defined by a visible transition on eye level, smaller bump on nose level is allowed. Correct teeth placement makes for a strong chin and jawline.
Eyes: Large, round and very wide set, placed at ear base level. The colour ranges from yellow to amber.
Ears: Medium in size, wide set, slanted slightly forward. Broad at base, tapering to a round tip. Outer ear shape continues upper head lines.
Body: Average sized, compact. Harder and heavier than suggested by it's appearance. Straight spine rests on a strong chest, round when viewed from the side.
Legs: Strong and proportional.
Paws: Neat and round.
Tail: Straight, not too long, starts thin and tapers to a somewhat round tip.
Coat: Very short, thin and shiny. Well clinging, almost completely lacking undercoat.
Colours: No matter the colour, lower body should be brighter than limbs and spine. Kitens and younger adults may develop some visible tiger moire and brighter body colour.
So far only 4 colours are acknowledged in CFA: BSeal or sable, Chocolate or champagne, Blue, Lilac or platinum.
TICA accepts all colour options, including tortie.
Flaws: Extremely light bone structure and thin tail; flat forehead; excessively thick, long and non-clinging hair.
Green eyed, or cats with white spots on coat may not advance beyound CAC title.
Universal disqualification: Amputated claws, cryptorchism, deafness.
Character traits and features
Burmese have an active and energetic temper, they are friendly and devoted to their host, why are often referred to as “dog-cats”. Burmese cats are grace, elegance and tact as is. Their boundless love and a touching, tender appeal to their master leaves you amazed and surprised. They are very curious and active, never feel rage or aggression towards human, neither show claws nor scratch you. It is normal for them to rest on your hands or by your side for hours. Loneliness makes them sick, so it is enormous joy for them to have any kind of playmate to rejoice with, a cat or a dog, or even a kid will do. This feature makes it wise to invest in two burmese at once. Kittens won’t feel sick when you are out, and you will have fun watching them play together. What is interesting - adult cats are even more selfless in game, than their younger kin. This mood affects them for all their life, which may be as long as 16 years.
These felines are easy to care for, you just want to groom them with a normal brush on a weekly basis.
Balanced rations required, to preserve shiny coat and muscular tone.
Selection and breeding
Allowed crossings: none found.
Breeds relative to or derived from burmese: Burmalayan, Asian, Australian, British shorthair, Australian tiffany, Bengal, Bombay, Singapura, Thai bobtail, Tiffany.
Alternative and obsolete breed names
Chống dòng - obsolete thai name;
Malay - solid paint burmese in Britain, except the chocolate ones.