Monday, January 21, 2013

The Characteristics of the Burmese Cat

The first real record of a Burmese cat dates back to 1930. A cat named Wong Mau was brought over from the orient and gifted to Dr. Joseph Thompson. All modern Burmese can trace their lineage to Wong Mau, who was a young female at the time.  She was walnut brown with points which were slightly darker, which led some to assume she was just a darker Siamese. Dr. Thompson, however, began a breeding program in an attempt to reproduce her unique features.

A breeding with a seal point Siamese produced some kittens like Wong Mau and other like the Siamese father. As breeders continued to use Siamese cats in their breeding programs, the only difference between Siamese and Burmese was the color. Recognition was difficult because most associations required three generations of like-to-like breeding.

The breed finally gained wide recognition in the 1950s. By this time, Siamese outcrosses had stopped, but crosses with black American Shorthair became more common. Over time, colors other than the original brown gained acceptance. The Burmese was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979. It was one of the first breeds to be recognized by this association.

The Appearance of the Burmese Cat

The Burmese has a compact and well muscled body and are medium in size. The ears are a little larger than most other breeds. The coat is silky and generally low maintenance, but does require weekly brushing to remove dead hair and keep your cat looking and feeling his best. 

The head of the Burmese is triangular in shape and the eyes are large and golden in color. Kittens are born with very distinct points, but as cats age the points become less visible. A full mature cat may appear to be almost solid. There are many colors available, including blue, sable, lilac, chocolate, and even red.

The Personality of the Burmese Cat

If you want a cat who will sit on your lap and never leave you alone, the Burmese may be what you're looking for. These cats like to play and enjoy younger children and small pets as companions. They don't tend to have a problem with dogs, though an older cat with no exposure to canines may be hesitant, especially with large dogs. Like the Siamese, the Burmese is a vocal breed and likes to talk to the people in its family.

The Burmese does not do well on its own. If you're away from home for more than six hours at a time, you might want to consider getting a second cat. This breed is not good for people who are away from home for days at a time, not unless you have someone at home who can keep your cat company.

Known Health Issues of the Burmese

For the most part, the Burmese is a healthy enough cat breed. However, there is a deformity known as the Burmese head fault or craniofacial defect. This deformity is carried on a lethal gene and kittens almost never survive birth. Those that do are typically euthanized to spare them a slow and cruel death.

The good news is that this defect is found exclusively in the American Burmese, and American Burmese are banned from most breeding programs. Ask  your local breeder about instances of this defect in their breeding program to determine if your cat is at risk.

The Burmese is a sweet and loving cat who needs attention. This breed is perfect for the family who wants an affectionate loving pet.

No comments:

Post a Comment