The Origins of Burmese Cat
The Burmese cat has been around for centuries and has been living in Burma, Malaya and Thailand. The Burmese cat breed first came to America in 1930 and was brought by Dr. Joseph Thompson. He brought a walnut brown female cat from Burma and named her Wong Mau. In England, these cats were known as chocolate Siamese, but due to less demand for these cats the Burmese cats slowly started dying out from Europe and England. The ancestry of Burmese cats can be traced back to Wong Mau.
The Burmese were established as a separate breed by following some selective breeding techniques to Siamese. The Burmese cats are well-known for their friendly, sociable and dog like character. In Burma these cats are held sacred and thought to protect humans from evils.
Burmese Cat History
The modern day Burmese cat’s ancestry can be traced back to Wong Mau. Some believe that Wong Mau came to United States from Burma with Dr.Thompson who was fascinated by these shorthaired and brown colored cats that were found in abundance in Tibet. These cats were also called as copper cats and have been around that area for centuries. According to a legend the Burmese is a descendent of a breed that was once worshipped in Burmese temples as incarnation of god.
Dr.Thompson was so taken with the personality of Wong Mau that he decided to study the genetic makeup of this cat to establish a detailed breeding program to create more cats like Wong Mau. Since there were no male Burmese cats with him he decided to breed Wong Mau with the seal point Siamese. The resultant kittens came in three different colors primarily brown, beige, and pointed.
After thorough investigation, it was found that Wong Mau itself was a Siamese hybrid cat with genes of Burmese as well as Siamese. The brown kittens were crossed with each other or back to Wong Mau. The Burmese gene that is responsible for the brown color is a member of the albino gene. The Burmese gene causes black color to appear dark brown that is similar to a chocolate by reducing the pigment in the hair. The modern day adult cats do not have the point restricted color, but can be found in the Burmese kittens to some extent.
The CFA has accepted the Burmese cat breed in the year 1936, but when hybrid Burmese or Siamese cats were sold in the market as purebred Burmese it led to a lot of confusion, which caused protests and added confusion. The CFA decided to withdraw its recognition in the year 1947 while the other cat associations did not. Despite all these confusions about this particular breed the breeders continued their efforts to develop this breed, which subsequently led to the CFA to reinstate the recognition to the Burmese in the year 1953 and was given the championship status in 1957. The renewal was given only after the new standards were followed, which permitted only solid color coats without any markings.
The body style of the Burmese has changed over the years. They are strong, athletic, elegant and short haired cat’s breeds that unbelievably carry their own weight for their size. The Burmese, have short, even and glossy coat with hair that feels like silk. Their coat requires very little grooming. The males are large in size at maturity while females are graceful and delicate with the difference in weight between the two varying between two to three pounds only.
These compact cats have a small round head with wide eyes that are golden or yellow in color. The tail of the Burmese is narrow. The European Burmese has a narrow, longer muzzle with less prominent nose and narrow head. The other contemporary Burmese has a short, broad muzzle, prominent nose, and broad round head. Both these types of Burmese cat breed still exist. Other than the head and body type the differentiating feature between these two varieties are the European Burmese come in more color variants since the European Burmese were crossbred with the European Siamese that had the red gene, which produced the cream and red colors along with some additional colors.
The Burmese has ten recognized colors in Australia, Europe and the United Kingdom, which includes brown, blue, lilac, chocolate, red, cream, blue tortie, brown tortie, chocolate tortie, and lilac tortie. In America, the colors are Brown, champagne, platinum and blue. Here, the cat associations recognize only the above four principal colors for the Burmese cats.
The Burmese have an endearing personality, which is one of the prime reasons why people love them. They enjoy the company of their people and will not be over demanding. Given a chance they would like to play a game of fetch. The kittens can be very spirited, playful, and fearless and attempt stunts that are beyond their means and land on their sturdy little legs safely. A Burmese kitten will remain playful until adulthood. These cats are intelligent and confident creatures that will surely rule your hearts as they grow. The Burmese are soft-spoken and will not trouble you for their needs.
These extremely people oriented cat breeds can sometimes behave like dogs and follow you around the house. They enjoy company of children and pets. They will snuggle up to their owners lap when they are reading or watching TV. If allowed they will look forward to sleeping with you on your bed. Females are more active than males. These trusting cat breeds should not be allowed to venture outdoors.
Burmese Health and Care
The Burmese cats were prone to flat-chested kitten syndrome once upon a time, but research has found that all breed suffer from this problem. Both purebred and mixed breed cats have varying degrees of health problems due to genetics. Though the Burmese are healthy they can suffer from gingivitis and sensitive to anesthesia.
The soft coat of the Burmese requires weekly brushing to remove loose hair and to distribute excess skin oil. Regular dental cleaning is essential to prevent periodontal diseases. Check the ears weekly and remove any dirt by using a wipe. Keep the litter box clean as these cats are particular about their hygiene.
The Burmese are friendly and energetic cats. They are intelligent and love company of humans and children. They are curious creatures and will explore your house and enjoy playing with toys. He can learn to play fetch and even walk on leash. With proper conditioning car rides to the vet will be pretty cool with these cat breeds.
Burmese with Children and Pets
Burmese love the company of children, adults, and guests. They have no problem with other animals around them even if it is a dog, or another cat. Your guests will surely love these cats as they love attention.
A happy Burmese cat will add to your happiness and be a blessing in disguise while an unhappy Burmese can disrupt your home.