Learn more about the Burmese
About the Burmese
The Burmese breed first came to America in 1930 when Dr. Joseph Thompson of San Francisco brought a small walnut brown female cat from Burma. He named her Wong Mau and bred her to Siamese cats. Through selective breeding the unique solid brown colored coat, now known as Sable, was isolated. This work demonstrated that these Burmese cats were a distinct breed and ultimately led the breeders to request championship recognition from the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). Along the way, the other colors seen in the Siamese breed were also seen in litters. Over time and with much controversy, these other colors were accepted by CFA. The four colors we now recognize in CFA are Sable, a rich dark brown; Champagne, a warm beige; Platinum, a pale gray with fawn undertones; and Blue, a medium gray with fawn undertones.
Burmese cats carry surprising weight for their size. Their coats are short and close-lying, and they have a very silky texture. They need very little grooming, usually requiring only some daily petting. You will see a range of styles of Burmese cats, with those with rounder heads and shorter bodies being the show cats. Their large, expressive eyes radiate an innocence that will seduce you, and they have an irresistible appeal that has won over many a person who thought he didn’t like cats. Burmese cats have an endearing quality that has won the hearts of those lucky enough to be owned by one. They have great affection for their people, wanting to be with them as much as possible without being overly demanding. Many Burmese will even play fetch with a toy, given the chance.
Burmese kittens can be quite spirited. They are playful and fearless, attempting feats beyond their means and landing on their sturdy little rear ends. A Burmese kitten will remain playful well into adulthood. As they mature, their unique intelligence will reveal itself as their personalities unfold. They will soon grow into confident and charming little executives who will rule the house and your heart. Burmese are soft-spoken beings who have little trouble making their wishes known. They adore their people and are known for being good with children as well as liking (or at least tolerating) the family dog. Burmese are extremely people-oriented companions. Their personalities are almost dog-like. They will follow you from room to room, and they greatly desire to give and receive affection. They seek out warm laps and gentle strokes of your hand, and they love to snuggle up with their owners when they are reading or watching TV. Come bedtime they look forward to sleeping in or on your bed if allowed. Burmese are convinced that it is their job to run the house. Females tend to demand center stage and take an active role in managing the household. Males on the other hand tend to be more relaxed, managing from a comfortable spot on your lap. Be forewarned – Burmese cats can be addictive! It is not uncommon for someone to acquire a Burmese and find one is not enough. Many people ultimately have two or more Burmese, one of each gender or of different colors. Being one of the most trusting cat breeds, Burmese should never be allowed outside. They are outgoing and fearless, knowing nothing of the world outside their doors and the dangers that might await them.
A Burmese cat should be purchased only from a reputable breeder. Avoid pet shops. Make sure you visit the breeder’s home prior to committing to a purchase. Although each breeder has their own way of managing their cattery, the home should appear clean and relatively odor free. The kittens should be energetic, curious and easily handled. The kittens as well as all the adult cats in the home should appear healthy with clear eyes, noses, and ears. Their coats should appear healthy. A reputable breeder will offer a health guarantee, good for a reasonable amount of time, for any kitten or cat sold. Registration papers should be provided, usually after the kitten has been altered. The breeder should suggest you have your own veterinarian examine the kitten or cat shortly after the sale and be willing to take the animal back for a full refund if it is found to be unhealthy. A breeder should also commit to be available to answer your questions once you bring your new kitten home.
The pricing of Burmese cats and kittens varies depending on the breeder’s location, the show-worthiness of the cat, and whether the breeder has already spayed or neutered the kitten. Most kittens are placed in their new homes at the age of twelve to sixteen weeks. At this point they should have received their series of kitten shots and have developed the physical and social skills needed to move to their new environment. It is important to keep these rare treasures indoors. If not already done by the breeder, they should be spayed or neutered before they reach six months of age. They should be offered scratching posts to express their natural behavior of scratching, which is essential for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.