The Burmese is a solid and muscular cat with an outgoing personality. This high-spirited breed requires equally communicable owner who will be willing to devote enough time and attention to his pet.
Photo: © cattery Alba Regia (burmesecats.eu)
The Burmese originated from a single sable brown cat, Wong Mau, who was imported to America between the 20s and 30s of the XX century by a sailor. Hereafter it was acquired by an expert in breeding, Dr. Joseph Thompson. It was a compact cat with delicate constitution, roundish head, short muzzle and tail of medium length. Doctor was infatuated with unique combination of colouration and body build of Wong Mau and initiated breeding program to produce more such cats.
Dr. Thompson paired this female of mysterious origin with seal-point Siamese and it gave birth to several kittens. Some of them inherited the appearance of its father while others bore strong resemblance to Wong Mau. Consecutive litter, which resulted from crossing her to one of her kittens with chocolate pointed coat, consisted of kittens with three distinctive looks: rich brown with points like Wong Mau, Siamese and pure brown. These solid brown kittens served as the foundation of development of the modern Burmese.
Further breeding experiments led to the appearance of kittens with chocolate, platinum and blue coats in addition to the initial sable. It may be explained by the fact that Wong Mau was a carrier of genes for chocolate and dilution.
The Burmese acquired partial recognition of the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1936 although it wasn’t until 1957 that it attained its absolute approval. The point is that the CFA stopped registering its specimens in its studbook between 1947 and 1953 since breeders uncontrollably crossed the Burmese with the Siamese. Nonetheless today most cat experts strongly believe that the Burmese matriarch Wong Mau was itself a Burmese/Siamese hybrid.
Presently the Burmese is an internationally recognised breed, although not all of feline organisation accept all of the colourings in which it’s produced. And the Cat Fanciers Associations divides the breed in two varieties: the Burmese and the European Burmese.
The Burmese is an amicable and loving cat, which seems to be brimmed with unspent energy. It took from its Siamese forebear its interactive nature and will insistently demand for your caress with its sonorous but somewhat gentle voice. This cat will sooner or later bewitch you with its irresistible charisma and become the true ruler of the household. At the same time it tends to develop intense attachment to its master and will feel itself anxious and unhappy if left alone much of the day. If you can’t provide this breed constant human companionship you’d better acquire it a feline friend or at least supply it with plentiful of puzzle toys. The child will find in its Burmese the best playmate but it’s essential to teach it to respect the cats’ right for private boundaries.
The Burmese is endowed with typical cat curiosity so it will carefully study all nooks of your house. This cat retains its natural playfulness and inquisitiveness well into its adulthood. Training will provide exercises for its brain so teaching your cat a few tricks may be a good idea. For example you can train it to fetch a small toy or walk on a leash.
Being an extremely companionable and kind cat the Burmese will be an excellent choice for families with children as well as other pets including a friendly dog. Actually if you favour this cat with enough love and attention it will thrive in any type of household.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· eye problems;
· orofacial pain syndrome;
· congenital peripheral vestibular disease;
· burmese head defect, a craniofacial abnormality;
· hypokalemic polymyopathy;
· flat-chested kitten syndrome;
· kinked tail;
· elbow osteoarthritis;
· endocardial fibroelastosis;
· dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart ;
· diabetes mellitus.
The Burmese’s short and sleek coat requires minimal maintenance. Its master should brush it once a week with a rubber curry brush to spread skin oils and get rid of any dead hair. The rest consists of such basic care routines as weekly nail trimming and periodic ear cleaning.
All cleaning procedures should be performed with soft tissue watered with a vet-approved cleanser. Regular dental hygiene should also become an essential part of your care for the Burmese. Grooming, nail trimming, and teeth brushing should be introduced early enough, so your kitten has a chance to get used to them.