BURMESE BREED INFORMATION
The Burmese is a medium sized cat, certainly being heavier than they look at first glance. They are known as ‘bricks wrapped in silk’ as they have lovely coats coupled with this. They have golden eyes. They can be vocal, although their voices are not like that of Siamese.
They are intelligent cats, many learning how to open doors by jumping on the handles. We have had to change the handles in our house so that they open upwards!
We had also heard of a burmese letting all of the other cats out in a boarding cattery, not really believing this, until however one of ours let herself out while at a boarding cattery – only to be found sleeping in another run with one of our others that was also there!
They are very affectionate and love company, and will usually be found not far from human company. If they are left alone they will seek out company.
The Burmese breed of today originates from a single brown cat named Wong Mau brought from Burma to America in 1930. Wong Mau was mated to a Seal Point Siamese also brought from Thailand, named Tai Mau.
In 1936 the breed was recognised Burmese by the Cat Fanciers Association. The CFA suspended the Burmese breed as being pure in 1947, due to the amount of breeding with Siamese to increase the population, because in doing this the original type was being lost. In 1954 the suspension was re-instated. There is a lot of further information online.
Throughout the world Burmese have developed generally into two different groups – being the European Burmese and American Burmese.
The type bred in New Zealand more closely represents European Burmese, being more elegant and with a more triangular head than that of American Burmese, which are stockier and have rounder, shorter heads and rounder eyes. American Burmese can have what is known as the lethal head defect, and more recently work has started to happen to remedy this with a DNA test to identify carrier cats and with outcrossing.
Burmese still exist in their original form in Thailand, known as Suphalak, or Copper Cats, and in recent years these has been exported to several countries to be used in breeding programs designed to introduce genetic diversity to the Burmese breed.
For a list of issues associated with the Burmese and related breeds, please view the International Cat Care website.
In comparison to other breeds, Burmese have relatively few issues.
As breeders we take every precaution in avoiding the introduction of any hereditary problems in our cats.
We ask all of our kitten owners to advise us if there are any issues that come up, so that we can deal with these issues and prevent them arising again.
NZCF Standard of Points
To view the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc Standard of Points for the Burmese breed click here