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Cat breeds: Burmese

Cat breeds: Burmese


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FIFe classification and history

Country of origin: Burma - United States

The origins of the Burmese breed are mysterious. Written documents from before the 1700s mention cats with a shiny and brown coat, known by the name of Sulapak (or Thon Daeg), who are probably the ancestors of the Burmese. What is certain is that in 1930 an American, James Thompson, brought a female (called Wong Mau) to San Francisco from Rangoon, who had an elegant appearance and a brown and shiny coat. Presented at a cat show, it was not very successful, thinking it was a strange brown Siamese. The cat was crossed with a Siamese chocolat point and in the litter there was also a brown kitten like the mother. The two were crossed and puppies were born in turn crossed with Wong Mau. The kittens born had three different colors: some similar to the Siamese, others, although similar to the progenitor in the shade, had darker ends, others finally presented the homogeneous brown color on the whole body. The selection program continued, also using other imported cats with the same characteristics (unfortunately very few, so much so that it was necessary to resort to the Siamese again). From the selections it was evident that the particular coloring was due to a specific gene, called the burmese gene (cb). The breed was officially recognized by the CFA in 1936, but the first admission to the championship dates back to 1953. In the 1950s and 1960s, several specimens of Burmese were imported into Great Britain from where the breed spread all over the world. The initial brown color was later joined by many others (chocolate, blue, lilac, red, cream, tortie, fawn, cinnamon). It is bred all over the world and is very popular.
Recently the Burmese has been used to create the breed Burmilla.

General aspect

The Burmese is a medium-sized, elegant and muscular cat. One of the distinctive features is the distribution of color on the body: the base color varies in intensity, with more intense shades on the legs, muzzle and tail. The build should not be as light and slender as that of oriental cats, but not too robust as that of some European cats.
There is also the semi-long haired variety called Tiffany.

Burmese cat and puppy (photo www.burmesecat.co.nz)

Character

With a sweet and adorable character, they become very attached to the owner, who they follow around the house and from which they love to be pampered for a long time. They need constant attention and love to play daily; they suffer if they are left alone for too long. They love the company of other cats and, as a rule, also make friends with dogs. Thanks to their calm disposition, they do not create problems with children. Although affectionate, they are active and playful cats even as adults (and sterilized). They are intelligent animals. They live well both in the countryside and in the city, better in apartments with terraces.

Care

Due to the almost total absence of undercoat, the Burmese needs little care. To keep the hair shiny, simply stroke it often and brush it occasionally with a soft brush or glove slightly moistened with water and vinegar. The ears must be cleaned only if necessary with a specific product. The nails can be blunted with special scissors.

Burmese cat (photo www.burmesecat.co.nz)

Variety of color

The Burmese coat can be presented in different colors: Brown, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Red, Cream, Cinnamon and Tortie. The silver shade has recently been introduced. In all varieties the coat has characteristic nuances: the lower part of the body is a little lighter than the dorsal part and the legs, the tips can have a little contrast but the color must be uniform and without lines or shadows. Only puppies can have spots, white fur or streaks up to six months. In puppies the color is much lighter and the final coloring is reached even at two years. Much appreciated are the specimens with golden-yellow eyes, without traces of green or blue.

Standard

Category: Short Hair.
Build: average (females around 3.5 kg, heavier males); the body is well proportioned, muscular and strong, with a deep chest and straight back.
Head: slightly elongated, prominent cheekbones and nose with clear stop; wide jaws at the joint and strong chin.
Ears: medium, slightly inclined forward, wide at the base, well spaced and with rounded tips.
Eyes: large and spaced; rounded lower lid and upper straight.
Limbs: slender compared to the body, with oval legs.
Tail: tapered, medium and with rounded tip.
Coat: shiny, short, fine, thick appearance, close to the body and almost devoid of undercoat. Thin and silky hair.
Faults: any resemblance to the Siamese type or to that of the British collected; green eyes; tabby brands especially in red or cream color.

Burmese has different standards in the United States, Great Britain and the rest of Europe.
American Burmese: rounder and more robust build than the British one; short head with large, slightly protruding eyes.
British Burmese: slimmer and with more regular features.
European Burmese: similar to the British one.


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